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3DTV Opportunity? Look to the Cube Tubers!

by David Mercer | 10月 14, 2010

The excitement around 3D has been palpable over the past year, beginning with the numerous announcements, roll outs and demos at CES.  The momentum continued through the spring and summer, with more service providers putting stakes in the ground, and carried over to this year’s IBC show, where Strategy Analytics hosted an analyst breakfast on the topic with Sky 3D head, Brian Lenz.  The verdict? Excitement and hype levels were skyrocketing.  The question remains, though, whether or not anyone can spin this into a viable and profitable consumer offering. Over the summer, we fielded a 4,800 respondent survey  in five countries (France, Germany, Italy, UK and US), asking individuals about their understanding of, interest in, and willingness to pay for 3DTV.  The results are covered in detail in report we just published last week.  Here are some highlights:

Translating 3D Excitement into 3DTV Viability is Challenge

Over 70% of those who have seen 3D in the movie theater are impressed by its quality, but only 55% of those same individuals say they’re interested in watching 3DTV at home. How can Service Providers translate the cinematic excitement around 3D into a viable residential business? We found a few barriers standing in the way, including a dearth of content in 3D, luke-warm consumer interest in paying, hardware issues (the need to wear glasses), and widespread market uncertainty.

Market Uncertainty is a Barrier

Respondents were asked a battery of questions around their perceptions of 3DTV, including availability, hardware requirements and potential health and safety issues.  While overall awareness is quite high, with 94% saying they believe it’s possible to see 3D films in a movie theater, on other questions, the market uncertainty is substantial. The most surprising, and most critical finding to both vendors and service providers alike, is the uncertainty surrounding perceived health risks. Overall, 70% of respondents said they were either unsure or believed that watching 3DTV causes damage to the eyes. We believe that this perception issue, which proved to be common across the five countries surveyed, is a key hurdle standing in the way of widespread adoption of 3DTV. Regardless of the validity of the belief, customer perception is what matters, and such widespread uncertainty could prove disastrous if not addressed appropriately.

Perceived Health Risk by Country (“3DTV Causes Eye Damage”) N=4,803

HealthRisk Source: Strategy Analytics

Target: Cube Tubers

3DTV, at least in the short term,  will be largely a niche application, attractive to only a subset of the general population. Through our survey work, we have isolated and identified this demographic as the “Cube Tubers,” and suggest that they should be viewed as a key target market for service providers and equipment vendors. These individuals represent between 8%-10% of the overall population, and are unique in their intentions to purchase a 3DTV in the upcoming year, and to be active premium/HD customers.  Cube Tubers,  who are predominantly young, educated married males, are nearly twice as likely as the average Joe to expect to pay for 3DTV.  Willingness or expectation of paying hits on an issue that many in the industry seem to be overlooking.  Few question the “wow” factor of 3D.  Rather, the question is, how do you make money at it? Client Reading: 3DTV: Will Consumers Buy It? Add to Technorati Favorites
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