A new study says 4K OTT services will attract more than 189 million unique users globally by 2021, up from just 2.3 million this year, driven by greater content availability and compatible devices.
Juniper Research, in its Digital TV & Video: Network and OTT Strategies 2016-2021 report, found that although Netflix and Amazon have rolled out some 4K video, network providers have been waiting for a critical mass of content to become available before launching their own 4K offer.
For the U.S. market, as more content becomes available, the number of viewers consuming 4K content will swell to 1 in 10, compared to just 1 in 500 this year. And, although the dominant device for consuming 4K will be connected TVs, smartphones, tablets, and PCs also will be used to view 4K content.
“The popularity of online video has seen the use of set-top boxes from vendors such as Roku and Amazon soar,” said research author Lauren Foye. “However, delivery mechanisms for content have seen slower adoption, as the availability of 4K capable streaming devices is limited. New device launches, such as the 4K capable Xbox One S this month, among others, are likely to spur a boost in 4K usage.”
And, despite Japan’s promise to broadcast an 8K Summer Olympics from Tokyo in 2020, 8K content is a long way from becoming mainstream.
8K likely will follow a similar path to 4K, with smart TVs initially being capable of handling 8K content, followed by streaming devices and set-top boxes. Currently just one 8K TV set is available on the market, at $133,000, but estimates say about 400,000 could be sold annually by 2021.
Follow me on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn