About Futuresource Consulting

Futuresource Consulting, the specialist research and consulting company, is delighted to be the official knowledge partner for CEATEC. The company can trace its roots back to the 1980s and provides market insights into consumer electronics, digital imaging, entertainment media, broadcast, optical manufacturing, storage media, professional IT and education technology.
With more than 70 full-time employees providing in-depth analysis and forecasts across consumer and professional electronics categories, Futuresource is able to advise on market, competitive and technological developments, providing clients with access to the information that helps produce the best possible results.


New Business Models will Restore Growth to Japanese TV Set Market

Analogue switch-off and the "eco points" discount scheme have had a massive impact on Japanese TV set demand but it is access to online video services through in-built IP Connectivity that will be key to driving demand in the near future.

The Japanese TV set market almost doubled in 2010, to reach over 25 million units, reflecting both the final transition from analogue to digital terrestrial broadcasting but more significantly the impact of the government instigated "eco-points" programme. This discount programme, introduced in May 2009, was extended twice and eventually ran until March 2011. As a result annual TV set sales are expected to fall by more than 10 million units in 2011, with further slight declines forecast for 2012 and 2013. Despite this, sales are still projected to run at least 15% ahead of the levels achieved prior to the introduction of the "eco-points" scheme and beyond 2014 sales growth may again return. The basis of this projection is centred on expected demand for a range of attractive features, including Full HD, 3D Ready, and LED, which all contribute to the maintenance of high acquisition levels, but it is IP Connectivity that stands out as a key market driver in the near future.

Japan leads the world in the adoption of IP Connected TVs- 44% of all TV sales in 2009 rising to 100% by 2013, some two to three years ahead of sales levels in Europe and the US. Already 50% of Japanese homes have access to IP delivered content direct to the TV and this is forecast to grow to over 90% by 2014. Around 40%-50% of IP enabled TV owners are estimated to have actually connected to the Internet. This is a sufficiently large enabled customer base to make this platform attractive to a range of service providers.

The highest profile of these has been acTVila (a joint venture of five TV display manufacturers) a paid for service that launched in 2007 and now has more than 2.5 million subscribers. Besides being able to download movies and TV programmes on a video on demand basis, customers can also access other services such as news, games, weather information etc. Other services such as Tsutaya TV are also available. Viewers are also able to access catch up TV from a range of leading broadcasters.

In August 2011 it was announced that US online streaming site Hulu will launch a subscription video service in Japan this year- its long awaited first expansion outside of the US. The high level of Internet enabled TVs in Japan together with one of the world's fastest average broadband speeds and high levels of Smartphone ownership all contribute to making Japan an attractive market for Hulu and other online content companies.

In Japan Dentsu, Japan's largest advertising agency, is coordinating a group of five of the country's leading broadcasters on a part advertising funded venture, planned to launch in early 2012, designed to allow consumers to watch TV shows and related content online via a single point of entry- rather than having to visit each of the broadcasters' websites individually. In a market where access to multichannel content has traditionally been limited compared to other major markets, the development of both subscription based and particularly advertising funded business models is allowing IP connectivity through the TV set to create a competitive content platform that in turn will help maintain TV sales at a high level .

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