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Analysis and forecasts for the five ways of connecting a TV set to the internet
It is clear that practically all TV sets will one day be connected to the Internet, at least in markets that have mature internet infrastructure. But the journey towards that goal is proving long and hard and only a few of the myriad contending product concepts have what it takes to last the distance.
For instance, after taking two wrong turns Microsoft has pretty much given up on connected TV altogether. The company's first effort, WebTV, was based on an assumption that we would all want to access the web on our TV sets (we didn't, and the service was closed in Sep-13). The company tried again with Windows Media Center which had a clunky user interface and offered minimal content (support for this product was withdrawn in Jan-15). Yahoo's effort was called 'Yahoo Connected TV' but this was a copy of Microsoft's failed WebTV concept and failed to go anywhere very interesting. In 2010, Google took a shot at the connected TV market with a product that assumed we'd want a search box on our TV sets which would allow us to search for TV shows and movies like we search for web content (this is partly true but Google TV was premature, executed poorly and later slated by partners as a 'disaster').
In parallel, manufacturers of games consoles and standalone Blu-ray players started adding internet connectivity plus TV shows and movie content as well. And as soon as the cost of adding internet connectivity to TV sets fell to about $200, TV set vendors began offering 'Smart TV' sets. Finally, Apple, Roku and many others offer a range of consumer devices that allow TV sets to be connected to the internet.
This reports looks at the entire connected TV market in order to define where the market currently is and how each of the different connectivity methods are being used. The report also offers analysis of which connectivity methods will prevail, and which will not.
Updated: 14 October 2014
PCs & notebooks will endure in some markets, but consumers have moved on
It's been 15 years since Bill Gates demonstrated the first serious attempt at a tablet PC. But Microsoft's visionary product was years ahead of its time and failed to resonate with users. Success came 10 years later, in 2010, when Apple announced the iPad and from that moment it was clear that the PC industry would have to change direction.
Personal computing devices – including smartphones, tablets and, in the future, smart watches – will become the primary means of accessing the web with desktop PCs and notebook computers accounting for a steadily falling share of total screen time.
This report charts the rise of the modern tablet, explains how the market is segmented, what the various vendors' offerings are and presents a series of forecasts for tablet shipments and the installed base worldwide with breakouts for 24 individual countries.
Updated: 22 August 2014
Where is Google going and is that a problem?
Of the handful of large companies driving the digital economy, it is Google that has the most expansive vision for the future and is driving hardest towards it, but a deeply-embedded culture of innovation has meant there have been more than a few accidents along the way – and that will continue to be the case.
It is normal for publicly-traded companies of Google's scale and vintage to settle down into the usual pattern where management attention is focused on managing analysts and investors who are mainly interested in the next quarter's results, rather than product concepts that will not generate meaningful revenue for years. Google is a rare exception to this rule because the company routinely takes risks developing new products or trying to create new markets that are not just highly speculative but span a staggeringly broad area.
But while it is hard to fault Google's culture of innovation, the company's practices, aspirations and technology roadmap raise serious questions about how powerful Google could become and even whether it has already effectively transcended regulation.
This report analyses Google in detail by reviewing the company's myriad product segments and by reviewing all of the company's major product segments.
Updated: 15 May 2014
A handful of successful models are emerging from the mist. Here they are.
It could be argued that the world needs quality journalism more now than at any time in the past. Whether the topic is the economy, terrorism, climate change, privacy, pensions, healthcare or technology there seem to be more serious issues to write about today than has even been the case in the past.
One challenge is how to replace the news industry's printed newspaper model will an all-digital model – which is profitable. Another problem is how to cater for the needs of a growing segment of the news readership who seem to be interested in a very different type of content than traditional news organisations are used to producing. The fact that news content can be copied or re-purposed by rivals in a matter of minutes has opened to door to 1,000s of 'parasitic', ad-funded news sites who are not in the business of journalism at all. The final complicating factor is that traditional news providers are now having to complete with a range of digital-only rivals who are not encumbered by having to carry the burden of a high-cost, frequently loss-making print operation.
Here we look at the online news market by carefully analysing all the major players.
This report breaks the online news market down into six constituent market segments and defines the market forces that are shaping each one. You will find an analysis which values the whole online news business in terms of total revenue which is then divided into advertising and subscription revenue, for each of the six segments.
The report also explains the core business strategy and key success factors for each of the six segments of the online news market.
Updated: 27 February 2014
The internet as a new distribution channel for movies
Around 1992, when the web was just getting going, most people accessed the Internet using 14.4kbit/s dial-up modems. At this time the idea of streaming movies in high definition (HD) over the Internet to a PC seemed like science fiction. And anyone suggesting that in 20 years time it would be possible to stream HD movies to mobile phones would have been laughed out of the room.
But then Nortel introduced the '1-Meg Modem' which was the world's first technology that telecoms operators could use to offer super-fast internet access. By today's standards 1Mbit/s seems slow but in 1994 it was a revelation. Today, an increasing number of governments regard broadband internet access as a human right – like the right to fresh water or electricity – and they are putting in place policy programmes aimed at allowing any home to get a minimum speed of 20Mbit/s.
The mass deployment of broadband internet is having a major impact on how movie content is commercialized for home or personal use. These changes will become pervasive and permanent. Looking ahead, the technical formats that will define filmed entertainment for the next 20 to 40 years – such as UHD, autostereoscopic 3D and new forms of cinematography based on virtual reality and light field image capture will all be better executed when freed of the constraints imposed by physical formats and traditional linear channels.
This report looks at online movie distribution in detail by analysing the underlying economics, value chain, key players and how the online movie market is unfolding around the world. The report also contains projections for the total revenues that movie studios will earn in the future as internet-based distribution becomes pervasive.
Updated: 23 January 2014
Analysis of the mobile ad value chain, key players and profiles of the market
Mobile advertising involves delivering advertisements to connected personal devices. In developed internet markets the two most important devices are presently smartphones and tablets. In developing internet markets featurephones remain an important device type.
While mobile ads could originally only be served on websites that had to be developed specially for mobile devices – a problem that damaged the market's potential – the capabilities of modern smartphones and tablets along with the latest web development techniques now mean that a web server will know what type of device is requesting a given page so it can send a page that has been optimised for that type of device.
Meanwhile, the screen quality and computational performance of most smartphones and tablets means that text ads, static display ads, animated ads and video ads can be simultaneously served on one mobile page with as high a quality level as that which is possible on PCs.
However, because users are now spending most of their mobile screen time within apps, rather than using their mobile browser, an important part of the mobile ad market now involves serving ads with mobile apps, although this is only possible if the app developer signs up for either AdSense (Google/Android) or iAds (Apple/iOS).
Including forecasts, company profiles and country-level analysis, this report presents a detailed analysis of the worldwide mobile advertising market.
Updated: 22 March 2013
Social commerce could transform online retail as we know it
Social commerce is a form of online selling where consumer-to-consumer interactions mainly enable the sale, rather than consumer-to-retailer or consumer-to-merchant interactions. It is too simplistic to regard social commerce as a fusion of online commerce and social networking or even as an enhanced form of social networking. This report finds that successful social commerce ventures fuse four key social networking concepts with four new concepts which have the effect of radically altering the concept of buying online.
When we think about social commerce we are not thinking about a merchant who has a Facebook page and who sells products and services directly from that page, even though this might be the popular conception of what social commerce involves. This situation is simply another form of online retail.
This report begins with presenting a clear analysis of what social commerce is as practised today by a wide range of companies. Based on a solid foundation of facts and data, the report then ventures into future by offering a compelling vision for what social commerce could look like in the future if implemented by a major social networking site, like Facebook.
Updated: 19 November 2012