Digital Terrestrial Television

20 July 2010

We think that ITV Digital will eventually be forced to close. What will replace the service on the digital terrestrial spectrum? This note looks at the possible outcomes once the commercial television regulator decides to re-licence the spectrum.

We identify the main external factors, such as the current strong video game cycle, mobile phone expenditure and piracy that will continue to reduce consumers’ expenditure on music. Format maturity is the main industry factor in its decline and we see no grounds for optimism about digital delivery for up to 10 years. As a result, we believe that, excluding exchange rate effects, the global music market will continue the decline that began in 2001 (-9%), with further declines in 2002 (-9%), 2003 (-7%), and 2004 (-4%), with a prospect – but no certainty – of stabilisation in 2005. If economic conditions deteriorate further in the US, Europe and Japan, our forecasts may look optimistic. In contrast, recent industry studies forecast 3-5% growth from 2004 onwards.

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