We carried out a review of developments in the market for interactive TV services, as part of a wider study that examined future markets for satellite communications services, on behalf of a multinational R&D organisation.
Interactive TV is a broad term including the use of a set-top box to select options for programme content (e.g. camera angles in live sport, alternative soundtracks), and video on demand or programme repeat services. It can be carried by over-the-air digital TV, cable networks, satellites and the internet. For historical and regulatory reasons market structures vary considerably. For example:
- there is a dominant supplier of pay TV services in some countries (e.g. Sky in the UK) but not in other markets
- there is a wide variation in the coverage of cable TV markets across Europe.
Desk research, telephone interviews and meetings with experts and participants in this market were all used to build a picture of how these markets had developed, and of the factors that could drive or constrain their future development.
Most of the interviews were undertaken in the France, Germany, Italy and the UK but experts in other countries also participated. Some of the interviewees could be nominated at the start of the project but others were only identified as the process of information gathering proceeded. Some of the people we spoke provided detailed information; others covered very limited topics or suggested publications or individuals that could be useful.
The offer of a summary of the report’s findings contributed significantly to the participation of key industry players in the interview programme.
The topics of discussion included technology, regulation, commercial strategies, economics and consumer behaviour. Our findings were published in a report that combined case-history studies of national markets, a review of the business for service deployment and a listing of the key factors for commercial success.
Desk research, telephone interviews and meetings with experts and participants in this market were all used to build a picture of how these markets had developed.