Juniper Research: 4K OTT Adoption “Set to Soar”


HAMPSHIRE: New data from Juniper Research predicts that 4K internet TV and video content will be viewed by 1 in 10 U.S. residents by 2021, up from 1 in 500 this year.

The Digital TV & Video: Network and OTT Strategies 2016-2021 report found that 4K OTT services will attract more than 189 million unique users globally by 2021, up from just 2.3 million this year, driven by greater content availability and compatible devices. While connected TVs will be the dominant platform, viewership will take place through a range of devices, including smartphones, tablets and PCs.

Juniper’s findings show that lack of content is what has been delaying growth. While YouTube, Netflix and Amazon already offer some 4K video, network providers have been waiting for a critical mass of content to become available before launching their own 4K offer. This year has seen the rollout of a number of new 4K offerings such as the launch of the Sky Q 4K service in the U.K., coupled with new hardware launches to provide a means of streaming online 4K content.

Research author Lauren Foye said: “The popularity of online video has seen the use of set-top boxes from vendors such as Roku and Amazon soar. However, delivery mechanisms for content have seen slower adoption, as the availability of 4K-capable streaming devices is limited. New device launches, such as the 4K-capable Xbox One S this month, among others, are likely to spur a boost in 4K usage.”

The research firm also expects 8K to emerge by 2020. Currently there is only one commercially available 8K TV on the market (priced at $133,000). However, in a similar form to 4K, Juniper sees 8K smart TVs emerging first, followed by streaming devices and set-top boxes, making it a drawn-out process. Japan is planning to broadcast the 2020 Olympics in 8K, and the industry is likely to use this as an opportunity to drive sales of 8K smart TVs. Juniper forecasts that 8K smart TV shipments will grow more than threefold between 2020 and 2021, to reach more than 400,000 per annum by the end of the forecast period.