Anyone who still had any lingering doubts that 4K represents the near future of television is directed to a new report by analysts SNL Kagan and security experts Irdeto that details just how many broadcasters are planning to launch services over the next few years.
Titled ‘A Clearer Picture of Growth: 2016 Global 4K UHD Industry Survey’ you can download the full report here (or, to be more accurate, fill in a form and download the report) but we can save you the bother as it is the sheer weight of numbers of broadcasters planning to launch 4K services that is very much the headline story.
The survey results, which covered 475 video service providers and content producers, found that 88% plan to launch 4K UHD content by 2020, with 78% saying they will have launched content even earlier than that by 2018 in anticipation of some impressive early adoption rates by consumers.
That’s 370 different broadcasters and other content providers with a 4K service in the next two years.
There is some interesting detail in the report too, notably some regional differences of opinion regarding the speed of 4K adoption. 46% and 36% of respondents respectively in the Asia-Pacific and EMEA markets think that the mass market would be reached in 2017-2018, a figure that slumps down to 25% in the Americas.
As usual with new technology and television, live sport is considered to be the primary driver amongst viewers, followed closely by movies. And, partly as a result of that, the broadcasters are also betting on a premium being charged to help pay for setting up the new services: anything between 10-30%.
We would like to say that won’t last long but then we noticed that we’re still paying a HD premium on some services, so that might be something we’re all stuck with for few years.