At the end of May, Transparency Market Research published a report, which shows that the global television broadcasting services market was valued at US $395.5bn in 2016 and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 6.9% from 2018 to 2026, reaching US $755.7bn by the end of the forecasted period. The report said that North America was the largest contributor in terms of revenue to the television broadcasting services market in 2016. This is primarily due to strong adoption of television broadcasting services such as cable television, satellite television, and IPTV across the region. It also said that increasing demand for high definition content and advertisement as a growing source of revenue are the major factors that are expected to fuel the growth of the television broadcasting services market across the globe.
This report clearly reflects the growth of channels and the differing methods of content delivery to the consumer that has resulted in a demand for higher quality production standards. What is likely to happen next will be an ongoing migration to UHD as consumers demand high-quality content through the increasing numbers of UHD sets being sold annually. And because the global acceleration of broadcast technology is speeding up the consumer cycle, this puts pressure on consumer electronics manufacturers to enhance and entice consumers to switch to newer devices.
Furthermore, we’ll see UHD content not only on major content delivery platforms but increasingly on smaller OTT platforms, which serve niche audiences. While the sharp shift that we experienced with HD is unlikely, major content producers are already beginning to invest a proportion of their annual production spend on UHD programming.
In this regard, the shift to UHD has been most noticeable in Korea, Japan, and parts of Europe. In contrast, growth has been slower in the more mature pay markets like the US (Layer 3-T-Mobile USA being the big exception), providing yet another advantage to OTT leaders like Netflix and Amazon who already offer key content in the format.
Traditionally, OTT services have been easier to deploy compared to broadcast services, but UHD-capable STBs are being increasingly rolled out and broadcast workflows and infrastructure upgraded. Bandwidth remains a physical and a commercial challenge, but as demand increases this will gradually dissipate.
With technology evolving so quickly, it’s difficult to predict a three-year cycle let alone anything longer, but UHD will continue its global march as distribution channels grow and consumers worldwide get a taste for the highest quality content. This will then lead to an obvious question: How long until 8K becomes mainstream? It will be exciting to see!