Cisco, ABI Studies Agree: Streaming Video Consumers are Changing the Market

By | December 21, 2012 | Broadcasting, ST Briefs

[Satellite TODAY 12-21-12] New research from the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) shows that demand for streaming and multiscreen video experiences is high, with 70 percent of broadband users in the United States watching professionally produced Internet video every week during an average viewing time of more than 100 minutes per week.
   The study, published earlier this week, examined trends and behaviors of more than 1,152 video consumers in the United States. Cisco IBSG Senior Director and report author Chris Osika said that video consumers spend nearly four times more streaming premium Internet content than they spend watching downloaded Internet video from sources such as Apple iTunes.
   “Only a short time ago, consumers had limited choices for accessing professional video content,” Osika said. “Today, a smorgasbord of options continues to multiply—from premium cable and DVDs, to online choices such as Apple, Netflix, and Hulu. Hardware options are equally dizzying, as traditional TV gives way to PCs, smartphones, and tablets. As portable devices meet the cloud, more consumers expect to view their favorite content anywhere, anytime.”
   Cisco maintains that a cloud-based architecture can help service providers realize cost savings of between 13 percent and 36 percent, while also creating new revenue and service opportunities.
   “While free/ad-supported sites such as TV network sites and Hulu each pull in more than 40 percent of viewers, it doesn’t mean that consumers won’t pay,” the Cisco report said. “Approximately 27 percent of all online viewers would purchase more video if they had a safe, reliable cloud service. Providing consumers with a breadth of content, a quality experience free from technical glitches, and choice of device will allow for greater monetization of online video services in the future.”
   Osika added that the 2012 Olympic Games in London provided a perfect illustration of how this video consumption trend is taking hold in the market. “NBC statistics reveal that more than 57 million U.S. viewers streamed Olympic events online and over 7 million unique visitors per day accessed the BBC’s online Olympic sites, with nearly half of them watching on mobile devices,” said Osika. “Clearly, media consumption has evolved … While broadcast television still rules, 48 percent of consumers have increased their streaming of professionally produced video content in the past two years, making it the fastest-growing category of video use.”
   Separately, analysis firm ABI Research put out its own study of the video market this week, noting that the global pay-TV market added nearly 47 million subscribers in 2012 reaching a total of 864 million subscribers.
   ABI Research Vice President and Practice Director of Core Forecasting Jake Saunders said that growth in satellite, cable, and IPTV markets was strong in 2012, although digital terrestrial TV growth was flat. “We expect that the pay-TV market will continue to grow in 2013 to reach 907 million subscribers,” Saunders said in the report.
   Supporting Cisco’s findings, ABI also noted that the worldwide IPTV subscriber base has been increasing rapidly over the past few years, though it does expect a slight drop-off in the near future. “In 2013, the worldwide IPTV subscriber base is expected to add over 9 million subscribers to reach 79.3 million. More than half of the net addition will be from Asia-Pacific; China alone is expected to add more than 3 million subscribers,” the ABI report said. “Cable TV will maintain the largest market share of the overall pay-TV market in 2013. However, rapidly growing IPTV will cause cable’s market share to decline to 65.4 percent in 2013 from 66.2 percent in 2012.”  

PHOTO CREDIT: Gizmodo.com

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