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Ericsson: TV’s future and the road to 2020

Simon Frost

Simon Frost,
Head of TV Marketing, Ericsson

Guest post by Simon Frost, Head of TV Marketing, Ericsson

We are witnessing the beginning of a new dawn for television. The TV and media industry is welcoming a new landscape driven by the rapid upswing of mobile broadband subscriptions, especially in advanced markets such as Western Europe and the USA. Our extensive research indicates that in just six years, there will be 9 billion people in the world contributing to more than 8 billion mobile broadband subscriptions and 1.5 billion homes with digital television – furthermore, IP will become the globally dominant media transmission method. By the year 2020, we expect to see more than 1 billion fixed broadband subscriptions, making up approximately 75% of all homes and supporting a pay-TV subscriber market worth $460 billion.

These predictions foreshadow a new era of entertainment and connectivity — one that will deliver on the promise of more choices, better quality, and greater personalization for consumers and where content providers and operators will engage in new monetization models. This will lead to an industry that is worth $750 billion and will push us closer to our vision of the Networked Society — where billions of video-enabled devices are inter-connected and rely heavily on IP and cloud-based services, completely renovating the consumer TV experience.

Ericsson has outlined its strategic view of the future, namely our Media Vision 2020, underpinned by our global-leading position that spans the entire media value chain. Our Media Vision 2020 project includes statistical data and detailed surveys, as well as interviews with individuals, focus groups, industry participants and consumers.

These findings are more than just an assemblage of statistics. Through our in-depth and ongoing research on a global level, our Media Vision 2020 embodies a view of where we stand now, the factors and trends that will carry us into the future, and what will be the likely outcome for the industry.

Our Media Vision 2020 includes:

The ‘Networked Society’ is realized. By 2020, 15 billion video-enabled devices will be connected to broadband IP, transforming the consumption experience of TV. Mobile broadband is essential in all regions and fundamental in emerging regions.

The bundling of content and services remains the ultimate opportunity. Consumers will value simplicity and perceive value in a single bill. However, the essential need for broadband will enable separation of propositions from broadband access and content.

There will be OTT delivery for all. Delivery of content over-the-top becomes applicable to all TV service providers or content owners as a way of reaching consumers, and enhancing established broadcast delivery platforms

On-demand has risen to parity with live/linear. IP will have accelerated the ongoing shift of consumers to embrace the convenience of on-demand access to content to 50 percent of their consumption.

New entrants will bring new investments. The acceleration of broadband capacity and penetration, along with ever more connected devices potentially enables a powerful device or social ecosystem to become a premium TV aggregator

Market revenues will grow to $750bn. This is up from $530bn in 2013. The distribution of revenues however shifts between content owners, broadcasters, TV service providers and network providers, especially as brands adapt advertising focus.

Ericsson arrived at these predictions by conducting more than six months of research collectively across the globe. On the whole, these forecasts indicate how the industry came to this juncture, the current landscape, and the biggest trends that revolve around the consumer, technology and business models that impact TV over the proceeding years to 2020.

Down the line, our Media Vision 2020 vision will grow and cast a wider net. It will amass several variables as well as six influential factors that every TV industry executive needs to have a strategy around if they want to thrive in an agile TV market.

As part of our Media Vision 2020 campaign, we refer to these six elements as ‘Game Changers’.

They include:

  • Forever evolving experience
  • The IP imperative
  • Brand-casting
  • Changing consumption models and bundles
  • Cloud and web approach to TV
  • New money, new players

Throughout 2014, we are delivering a series of reports on each of these key areas to enable our customers to build their strategies for success as we move toward 2020. Download our first Game Changer, the Forever Evolving Experience, here.

Our ‘Game Changers’ are built on three core principles: critical technologies, shifting consumer behaviors, and new business concepts. Through our reports, we will discuss how evolving technology adoptions will overhaul the TV industry and will be fundamental to a new and enhanced consumer experience — where global brands combine devices, social media, and apps to connect 15 billion people. We’ll also take an examined look at consumers and offer insights as to how and why their values and assumptions are shifting and what they will expect by 2020.

Of course, making precise predictions on anything is impossible. Our Media Vision 2020 project is not an exact science, and it will differ greatly from region to region but it does make clear the trends and directions which are taking hold across the TV and media ecosystem — a new era of entertainment has arrived, and the dawn of the Networked Society is fast approaching.

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