China's OTT STB market set to show 20% growth for 2014

DetailsRebecca Hawkes | 31 December 2014

The Chinese Government's restrictions on over-the-top (OTT) set-top boxes (STB) has resulted in an overall market increase of 20% year-on-year for 2014, compared with ten-fold growth in 2013.

China's OTT STB shipments grew from around one million units in 2012 to ten million units in 2013, according to Digitimes Research.

China's State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television has introduced a series of OTT-based restrictions, affecting the video content that can now be offered online. The limit on the number of live TV channels offered, along with the state's demand for a pre-evaluation before programmes can be broadcast online, has led to far greater competition between OTT and cable TV set-top box vendors in 2014.

Although the year started brightly for China's OTT STB market, shipments dropped by 70% in the third quarter of 2014, with annual shipments expected to reach only around 12 million units in 2014 up 20% on 2013, says Digitimes Research.

OTT STB chip suppliers, however, remain optimistic about the market in 2015, after witnessing a recovery in market demand since the shopping promotions of Singles Day on 11 November.

Going forward, OTT STB vendors will be forced to increasingly cooperate with China's cable TV operators, as government policy is more favourable for the latter sector, Digitimes Research forecasts.