Digital television continued to grow in Europe last year, according to a Strategy Analytics’ survey of more than 70 digital television operators across 16 countries.
The analysts say 25.7 percent of Europe’s TV households, acquired digital television by the end of 2004, up from 21.1 percent during 2003, with credit for the success down to services such as DTTV (Digital Terrestrial television) and IPTV (Internet Protocol television).
“The arrival of successful DTTV and IPTV services is shaking up the established digital television market,” says Martin Olausson, Senior Analyst. “New business models such as free-to-air and bundled services will add further impetus to market growth.”
According to the market research, Europe’s DTTV operators – such as the UK’s FreeView and Germany’s free-to-air broadcasters – added a hefty 4.4 million subscribers during 2004.
Meanwhile, providers of IPTV – such as France’s Free and Italy’s Fastweb – boosted their user base by 450,000.
All the signs are that DTTV will continue to grow rapidly as more countries establish services, with a predicted user base of 42.2 million households by 2010.
IPTV is expected to have become an established fourth digital platform by that time, with an estimated 11.3 million subscribers.
Satellite is still the numero uno digital television platform in Europe, reaching 25.0 million households at the end of 2004, with further growth expected with new services such as HDTV.
Cable put in an unexpectedly solid performance, registering the best user uptake for three years, adding1.2 million new digital subscribers. Strong growth is predicted, as penetration is still low with only 16 percent of all cable subscribers currently taking a digital service.