We do the DERTy work (pt1)

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It’s been a particularly busy week a DERTy Towers UK. Contrary to popular belief, there are occasions when we feel compelled to stop lurking on the interweb and actually do some work – this has been one such occasion.

When the BBC announced it’s VoD service a couple of weeks ago, we mentioned that we had a bit of inside information. At the beginning of this year, one of our biggest clients, Motorola’s Connected Home Solutions (CHS) division, conducted a pan-European research project looking at the IPTV market. We released the first stage of results this week.

The project involved surveying 2,500 broadband users from the UK, France, Germany, Spain & Italy. Participants were questioned on their current TV services and usage, their understanding of the technology, demand for experiences offered by IPTV (video on demand, own-scheduling, etc) and predicted use of technology in the future.

We got some incredible results which paint a comprehensive picture of current TV use, consumer opinion of services in Europe today, the demand for personal control and predicted use of future technologies. The key point – surprising everyone here and at Motorola – was that 45 per cent of European viewers are watching TV online.

The point of interest was not the specific mechanic or method of delivery but on the viewing experience being embraced by end-users. Respondents may not have been able to differentiate between live streaming, video on demand or download (for these purposes we did not differentiate) but the message that camethrough conclusively was that people are taking far more control in their viewing habits, making the decision on their own time and not allowing themselves to be dictated to by broadcaster schedules.

It’s simply evidence that illustrates the changing face of viewing habits – something that’s enabled by high-bandwidth internet connections and IPTV technologies whilst being embraced by broadcasters (like the BBC and ITV in the UK this week), new stakeholders (Joost, Babelnetworks, Jalipo) and traditional providers (Telia Sonera, France Telecom).

Overall, the research gave compelling evidence for the importance of broadband in the home – everyone’s aware of the demand for a reliable internet but the fact that these burgeoning entertainment and communications services are solely reliant on a powerful internet connection means that broadband really is becoming the ‘fourth utility’.   

We had a great response from the media, and in the blogosphere, though there was a bit of a requirement to clarify the purpose of the research and implications for the market. It’s always gratifying to see such a positive outcome following a lot of hard work. It was an incredible team effort and we’ve all invested a lot getting this as far as it is at the moment. As we’ve been saying, there’s a huge amount of data so we’ll be making further announcements in the near future.

We’ll keep you posted…

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