Juniper Research says that UltraHD OTT content adoption will climb quickly over the next five years, finally reaching the mass market. These services are forecast to attract 189 million users worldwide by 2021, up from 2.3 million this year.
The rapid growth of UHD OTT services will be driven by greater availability of both content and compatible devices. Connected TVs will be dominant, but smartphones, tablets and PCs will also be used.
Sites like Netflix and YouTube already offer some UHD OTT services, but network providers have been waiting for a ‘critical mass’ of content to become available before launching their own offers. 2016 has seen a variety of new offerings, such as Sky’s SkyQ service, and new hardware launches supporting UHD streaming.
Juniper also touched upon Super-Hi Vision (8k) content. Today there is only one commercially-available 8k TV, from Sharp, costing in excess of $130,000. The format is a long way from becoming mainstream. Juniper expects 8k TVs to be produced first, followed by streaming devices and STBs.
The TV and display industries are likely to use Japan’s commitment to broadcasting the 2020 Olympics in 8k as an opportunity to drive sales of such sets. Juniper expects that 8k TV sales will grow more than 300% between 2020 and 2021, ending the forecast period at more than 400,000 sets per year.