This annual report offers a wealth of information on the worldwide development of digital media in terms of entertainment. Information at a regional level is provided for the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. The report includes analyses, statistics, forecasts and trends. It provides a comprehensive insight into the progress of Digital Media and examines the key issues and opportunities.
Subjects covered include:
The most important outcome of the convergence between telecommunications, media and IT is that the market is changing from stand-alone content and services (ie telephone, television, newspapers, radio) to multimedia (integrated content) applications and multimodal services (content delivered to various devices).
However while the entertainment, video and multimedia market is undergoing sweeping changes characterised by an expanding product offerings, the delivery systems and devices still remain highly heterogeneous due to the fact that they have always been separate.
The Internet was one of the first platforms to begin offering integrated content. Today the revenue generated from the large range of online content and services is rapidly increasing globally and interest in the Internet Economy has again be revived. Travel, gambling, adult content, music and health services have proved extremely popular, with more growth ahead.
Social networking services based on User Generated Content (UGC) are also flourishing. People naturally want to communicate, and the Internet has always provided a forum for this, from the early bulletin boards to today’s video blogs that allow for new levels of interaction. Websites such as MySpace and YouTube are proving to be hugely popular around the world, and there is no sign of this growth abating.
A huge array of video content is now also available from the Internet, from small User-Generated clips to full feature length films. However, while there are certainly opportunities for ‘TV and VoD’ applications, we see the future to be increasingly focused on the content produced by the users and viewers themselves.
Media centres in the home are also playing a key role in delivering the new Digital Media. Requiring a digital TV, Home Media Centres combine applications such as DVRs, home networking, CD/DVD playback and MP3. Cable TV operators, telcos, consumer electronics and IT companies are all vying for the Media Centre business.
DVRs and EPGs will form an important part of the digital revolution over the next few years. TiVo (USA) and BskyB (UK) are two of the leaders in this field.
The take-up of Digital TV is expected to accelerate over the next five years, and while the UK continues to be a leader in digital television penetration today, this is expected to change as other parts of the world embrace the technology. Growth is particularly expected from parts of Asia. Cable will be the dominant delivery system, followed by satellite (DTH TV), Digital Terrestrial TV (DTTV) and Broadband TV (IPTV).
These developments in broadcasting have led to interactive TV coming back into favour. Many TV programs now have an interactive element to them, particularly in the Asian and European markets, and further advances are expected in this area.
Convergence in the mobile space is also occurring with services such as mobile TV, mobile gaming, mobile music, mobile Internet etc continuing to evolve and improve. Other recent developments include mobile VoIP and mobile UGC services - Hutchison’s Kink Kommunity is one example of a social networking service available via mobile.