274m digi-TVs by 2012

The push towards all-digital broadcasting is gathering pace, says a study out today from Datamonitor. The US and Europe will have a combined 274m digital TV sets by 2012 with exceptionally strong growth over the next two years.

“With the US analog switch-off date mandated for February 2009, and most Western European countries terminating transmission before the 2012 deadline, the next 2 years will see a rapid increase in new digital TV households,” says the Datamonitor report*.

“DTV will grow an average of 12% year-on-year, with particularly strong adoption in the near term as broadcasters terminate analog terrestrial television,” says Chris Khouri, analyst for media and broadcasting at Datamonitor and the report’s author. In 2007 there were 158m households using digital television services in Western Europe and the US. By 2012, Datamonitor expects there to be an estimated 274m digital TV households in these regions.

DTT households in Europe and the US will increase from 26m in 2007 to 55m by 2012, illustrating an average yearly growth rate of 16%. “As a whole, however, Datamonitor expects there to be a significant migration away from free-to-air services in the medium-to-long term, as bundled offerings (triple play, quad play etc.), enhanced features and premium content grow in importance to consumers,” says the study.

Over the next three years, all DTV platforms will show strong growth as consumers transition to digital services. The two fastest growing platforms in Europe and the US will be digital cable and DTT. Datamonitor expects they will achieve net household increases of 50m and 30m, respectively.

Concerning other platforms, IPTV services will show the strongest average yearly growth at around 28%, reaching almost 23m households by 2012. Despite satellite services illustrating very moderate growth of 5.5%, there will be a 20m increase in subscribers by 2012, reaching around 86m households.
*Western European and US Digital TV Adoption, 2008 (Strategic Focus)