Hisense to Establish American Internet-TV Operation Centre

Hisense said that it has nearly 25 million users of its Internet TV services (21.11 million in China) and plans to build an operation centre in the US to help boost coverage from 2.6 million currently in the US to 6 million in 2018. The company said that it has 11 million daily viewers in China and claims to be the biggest Internet TV platform in that country. Hisense is working with Netflix in the US. It is the only certified partner for Netflix in China, the company said.

Hisense claims 2.6 million subscribers in the US

Analyst Comment

I always believed that this was the reason that TV companies have invested so much in their smart TV businesses. I was honoured to give a keynote when Panasonic launched its VieraCast Smart TVs in March 2009 (Display Monitor, Vol 16 No 9). This is an extract of what I said at the time

“First, let’s consider that TV brands will, over the next few years, continue to consolidate pretty strongly. There are only half a dozen important brands in the developed world in flat TVs and we don’t see that number growing. Rather, it may even reduce. Over the next eight to ten years, the internet TV technology which is in the top of the range TV sets today will rapidly migrate to pretty well all but the very cheapest sets. Moore’s Law will see to that. In addition, broadband will become pervasive through fibre, cable and increasingly through wireless technologies, whether based on the WiMax or 3G or its successors. Whatever the technology, fast connectivity will get everywhere.

What that means is that over the next ten years or so, the TV set makers will have established massive and pervasive platforms for delivering video content directly to their consumers. Each of the top brands will have tens or hundreds of millions of customers that it can give video access to, on a global basis. Imagine if Disney wants to launch a movie all around the world on the same day, or Mercedes wants to launch a car. Instead of having to deal with dozens of national or regional broadcasters, they simply talk to Panasonic or its competitors and make available the video”.

I suggested in the talk that while being a broadcaster is different from being a TV maker, there was an opportunity for set makers to ‘disintermediate’ the TV business. It looks as though that is the path that Hisense is on! (BR)