BIDS aims to provide a comprehensive analysis of the future of broadband digital television and interactive multimedia services across Europe.
In particular, the study explores:
the evolution and dynamics of demand, costs and revenues, investments and returns;
the impact of technological and regulatory factors on infrastructure, competition, service content and distribution;
how regulatory structures should be changed to suit the requirements of a changing, converging market.
BIDS has already established a database of the interactive digital TV trials and analysed the first outcomes of 10 case studies (deliverable on "Analysis of ITV Trials"). Following the project's recent extension, four Eastern European countries are being added to the database.
Provide programme participants with specific information on the television and multimedia markets;
Identify key parameters and bottlenecks for the introduction of digital TV and Multimedia Services.
Main contributions to the programme objectives:
Broadband convergence scenarios, market analyses, based on compiled database of companies and new service offerings.
Contribution to the programme
Analysis of competitive and risk factors affecting broadband deployment.
BIDS will :
gather and organise data to provide on-demand information to ACTS projects: database on Interactive Television Trials, database on infrastructures in each EU Country, database and indicators regarding the audiovisual and multimedia markets for each EU Country;
analyse the competitive situation of infrastructures, reviewing audiovisual and telecommunications regulations, identifing main markets and major players, describing the economics of the digital TV industries, in order to help the enforcement of migration strategies of services towards digital delivery.
Summary of Trial
As an horizontal project, BIDS will assist ACTS multimedia projects in the preparation of their trials, providing on-demand information on ITV trials, the situation of infrastructures, the major players' strategies, the economics of multimedia services.
So far, Digital Television and Interactive Multimedia Services have been contemplated from a global technological point of view. Now, the technology is developed enough to lead to the organisation of trials, as it is the purpose of the ACTS Programme. But it is also time to take into account the various starting point of the Audiovisual or On-line industries in the EU countries, where the situation varies a lot, in order to successfully launch the new interactive services.
As regards markets, the development of "pay entertainment" compared to "free audiovisual" (advertising or licence fees based) is very uneven, and so will be the willingness of consumers to pay for such new services.
As regards infrastructures, the competitive situation of the different networks varies with the development of cable and satellite, and the influence of the dominant (if not public) Telecommunications Operator upon the cable networks.
Apart from the technological choices, the strategies of the major players (content providers and service providers) will be crucial: some will encourage the development of new services, whereas some others will block any new development in order to protect existing activities.
Regulation will also play a major role, as a new organisation of the telecommunications or audiovisual bodies will probably be necessary in most of the countries.
The starting point of the BIDS project is the need to address these different parameters, i.e. to take into account the market dimension of the digital and interactive new technologies.