Demand for streaming media adapters is poised for a sharp growth spurt amidst growth of recently introduced linear, 24×7 streaming video services, such as DirecTV Now and YouTube TV, according to a streaming media adapters forecast from ABI Research. Global unit shipments will rise to reach nearly 56 million in 2022, and 4K penetration is helping fuel the growth, ABI highlights.

In addition, ABI forecasts that 100 percent of streaming media adapter shipments in North America and Western Europe will be 4K-based in 2022. The first 4K streaming devices are now emerging on markets.

Streaming Media 4K Penetration
“4K streaming devices represent about 35% and 24% of streaming device shipments in North America and Western Europe, respectively, in 2017. However, as penetration of 4K TVs grows, so will the revenue opportunities from UltraHD definition purchases and rentals, as well as premium early release content,” ABI Research managing director and VP Sam Rosen said.

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“Pricing premium for these formats represents substantial revenue opportunity for studios and streaming service providers, and this will drive a faster shift to 4K streaming media adapters.”

The growing numbers of OTT video subscribers worldwide is fueling growth of streaming media adapters and players, ABI industry analyst Khin Sandi Lynn pointed out. “This abundance of low-cost and no-contract video streaming services drives the adoption of media streaming devices, which can be given freely or heavily subsidized for subscriber acquisition,” she said.

Given their penchant for controlling the entire ecosystem of products and services, some traditional pay-TV providers are introducing dedicated streaming media devices to select customers in an effort to lay to rest any thoughts they may have about cutting the cord on their traditional cable, satellite or telco pay-TV services, ABI adds in its “Media Devices: UltraHD, 4K, HDR, BK, HEVC” market data report.

These OTT switching prevention devices offer cable and other traditional pay-TV providers the control and security they desire, as well as the flexibility to roll out new or modify existing services and features.

That said, cable and other pay-TV providers need to convince their customers that installing these new set-top boxes is worthwhile even though they do not support other popular OTT video services.

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