The availability of 4K content is on the increase, but a new report says that despite growing sales of media streamers, set-top boxes, games consoles and UHD TVs, it is still not reaching consumers.
According to the Futuresource Consulting 4K UHD Consumer Market Tracking report, throughout 2017, 35 per cent of global TV sales will be 4K UHD, taking the worldwide household penetration of 4K UHD TVs to 8 per cent, as the average price continues to fall, and larger screens increase in popularity, many of which will be UHD as standard.
“Despite the strong hardware sales and a significant quantity of content being shot, produced and stored in 4K, only a small proportion of that is readily available to consumers,” says Futuresource Market Analyst Tristan Veale. “Therefore, the content gap is appearing to expand as the demand for the higher quality hardware is outstripping the propensity to pay for UHD content. This gap will likely continue to widen until broadcasted UHD becomes more mainstream.”
Futuresource says broadcasters must invest at multiple points, with this investment currently not being matched by the financial return from customers. As such, the upgrades and content acquisition are a challenging justification for many operators that are seeing increasingly suppressed margins.
Netflix currently has a library of over 1,000 hours of UKD content, while Apple’s offer of 4K UHD titles at the same price as HD on its iTunes store has already prompted a response from Amazon and Google, both of which have lowered the cost of 4K UHD titles.