Two-fifths of pay-TV homes to get STB-app access by 2019

Editor | 01-03-2014

The transition of the humble set top box to media hub continues apace with a new ABI Research report predicting that 40% of pay-TV households will have access to applications on the devices by 2019.

If played out this would represent tremendous growth for apps after ABI calculated in 2013 that just a tenth of pay-TV households had set-top box access to applications such as news and information services, service provider specific apps, OTT video, games, and music services. By 2019 video will remain the focus for entertainment applications - consumers’ penchant for OTT video underscoring, said ABI, the importance of video and how operator application libraries will evolve.

“While a number of operators garner significant media attention, a great deal of activity is happening behind the scenes in the B2B market,” commented practice director Sam Rosen. “Companies like Accedo, ActiveVideo, Alticast, ES3, FourthWall Media, Myriad Group, TiVo, and Zodiac Interactive have partnered with numerous operators to help bring applications and interactivity to traditional pay-TV services.”

Added senior analyst Michael Inouye: “In addition companies like Opera and ACCESS, which have established strong positions in the CE and mobile spaces are also targeting the pay-TV markets – helping developers reach a wider audience.”

Even though telco TV operators such as AT&T, Verizon, Free, Orange, and SFR are currently setting the pace in the arena, leading the market for applications on set-top boxes ABI observed that activity in the cable and satellite markets was starting to gain momentum, particularly as more companies look to new standards like HTML5. It noted that in the US cable market Comcast’s X1/X2 and Liberty Global’s Horizon platform as noteworthy services.