From Russia with love for digital TV

Editor ©RapidTVNews | 08-12-2011

Even though the market can be generally categorised as in its embryonic stages of development, the digital TV market in Russia looks set for growth that will likely offset declining packaged revenues.

In, particular, according to research by Futuresource Consulting, the growing presence of online video has given rise to significant advances in the overall Russian home video market and the analyst expects digital viewing growth rates to reach the giddy heights around 1000% by the end of 2011. "Consumer appetite for viewing video content online is strong with over 100 billion views expected in 2011, consequently presenting the paid-for online video market as a highly commercial opportunity," explained says Fiona Hoy, Market Analyst at Futuresource Consulting, "and our forecasts show that by 2015 the online market is expected to exceed 30% of total home video market revenues, driven primarily by subscription services."
That said the analyst regards the overall Russian video market looks fragmented, following a trend similar to more established European markets faced with declining packaged sell-through, with widespread piracy in Russia exacerbating the problem. Interestingly despite its travails elsewhere, in-home 3D viewing Russia is said to be relatively strong mainly as it is more difficult for pirates to replicate. Bundling 3D TV titles with 3D compatible hardware has proved popular, often accounting for 70% of 3D Blu-ray trade sales.
Going forward, the analyst expects on-going investment from cable providers to uncover significant revenue-generating possibilities through increased broadband speed and penetration, with 54% of households expecting to have access by 2015, an increase of nearly 60% from 2011, and average achieved download speeds gaining pace from 2.9 Mbps in 2011 to nearly 10 Mbps by 2015. In general Futuresource sees faster broadband speed and connectivity providing greater scope for multi-platform use, with many online providers aggressively launching services compatible for download onto connected devices.
"Consumer research indicates that Russian consumers are often reluctant to pay for online content available for free on a laptop or PC, however they are willing to pay for the same content if accessible on a big screen at home," Hoy concluded. "This presents a strong opportunity for Hollywood studios to monetise their content through paid-for online video services. Leading CE manufacturers have recognised the potentially lucrative opportunity to grow online video revenue using connected devices, by providing direct multiplatform accessibility to online content… investment in combined online video and multi-platform usage is of high value to manufacturers, content providers and the consumer."