4k hd tvVideo service providers (Pay TV and OTT) and content providers believe the majority of consumers and operators will adopt 4K UHD TV by 2020, according to a survey about 4K video adoption made by SNL Kagan and digital platform security provider Irdeto. Most respondents also believe that consumers are willing to pay more for premium 4K UHD content.

More than 6 in 10 video service providers (64%) and 7 in 10 content producers (73%) said they believe viewers are willing to pay 10-30 percent more for subscriptions that deliver 4K UHD content, according to SNL Kagan and Irdeto’s 2016 Global 4K UHD Industry survey.

4K Video Adoption
Surveying nearly 500 video service providers and content producers around the world, the market research partners found that most see early launches of 4K UHD as affording them a competitive advantage, according to a news release about the 4K video adoption survey.

Nearly 9 in 10 (88%) said they intend to launch 4K UHD content by 2020. Nearly 8 in 10 (78%) said they will have launched content by 2018. Retaining ¨ownership¨ of home entertainment platforms was the key driver for 57 percent of respondents. OTT video service providers have taken an early lead when it comes to 4K UHD, but the market research results indicates Pay TV providers will catch up as production and consumer uptake of 4K UHD set-top boxes (STBs) grows.

Not surprisingly, video service providers and content producers are focusing on delivering live coverage of sports events and early feature film releases via 4K UHD TV platforms. Six in 10 (59%) ranked early releases of feature films as the most promising type of content.

Furthermore, they see smart TVs as the primary in-home entertainment device/platform for 4K UHD content. That said, a lack of supporting devices and insufficient bandwidth are their two main concerns. Six in 10 (61%) see available bandwidth as having a potentially high impact on the success of 4K UHD content.

“4K UHD content brings new opportunities for video service providers and content producers along with a number of challenges associated with costs, compatibility and security,” Irdeto VP of global marketing Godert Burghard commented.

Market participants will need to secure and protect their 4K UHD investments, he continued. “The industry also faces an ongoing problem of piracy, and 4K UHD is the next logical type of content that criminals will aim to steal.

¨As our survey points out, pay TV operators and content producers expect 4K UHD content to be a key revenue driver in the coming years. As a result, it will be important to combat these challenges by implementing a proper 4K UHD security strategy that is compliant with MovieLabs’ Enhanced Content Protection requirements.”

Pay TV operators rated Internet piracy detection services (53%), content protection (51%) and Internet piracy analytics (50%)as  the most effective means of protecting their 4K UHD investments, according to the 4K video adoption survey.

Early Moves
In late July, AT&T announced an agreement with NBCUniversal to offer U-verse and DIRECTV subscribers an array of premium viewing enhancements for the latter’s coverage of the Rio Summer Olympics. DIRECTV subscribers with compatible 4K UHD equipment and the Pay TV provider’s ULTIMATE service package were to have access to the first 4K UHD coverage of select Olympics events.

More broadly, interest in 4K UHD TVs is particularly strong among smart TV households, men and Millennials, according to an NPD Group research report released in early June. Overall, 1/3 of survey respondents said they were ¨somewhat¨ or ¨very likely¨ to use a 4K UHD TV in the future.

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