Doubling up on Pay TV and a Smartphone Generation Gap Among Deloitte’s Tech Predictions

Today Deloitte kicks off its annual Technology Media & Telecommunications Predictions 12-stop Canadian road show in Toronto at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

For more than a decade, Deloitte’s TMT Predictions have provided insights into the implications of what’s to come in technology, media and telecommunications and this year’s prognogations don’t disappoint.

Among today’s predictions, three stand out: Canadians will double up on pay TV, the smartphone generation gap will shrink, and patient wait times will be reduced.


Pay TV

According to Deloitte, more than 2.5 million Canadian households will have multiple TV subscriptions, paying for TV through a traditional distributor and at least one other OTT (over-the-top) TV service like Netflix, up over 150% from 2012 levels.

“As more and more content owners, aggregators and platforms such as cable, telecom and satellite providers make their content available online through subscription, the number of Canadian households with multiple subscriptions will rise,” says Duncan Stewart, Deloitte’s Director of Research for TMT.


Smartphone Generation Gap

Deloitte predicts that market adoption for PCs, tablets, TVs, game consoles and smartphones may be saturated and therefore level off but the opportunity for smartphone adoption will be amongst seniors 65 years and older.

Currently less than 30% of seniors own a smartphone in the developed world and the number will rise 50% in 2014.  Deloitte also predicts the smartphone generation gap will continue closing and will possibly be non-existent by 2018.

But some things may not change: 30% of those over 65 who own a smartphone have never downloaded an app.


Patient Wait Times

Deloitte also predicts that technology will reduce patient wait times and decrease the cost of health care by shifting the focus from prevention to early intervention. 

There will be 75 million “eVisits” in 2014 in North America, potentially saving over $3 billion compared to in-person doctor visits, and will benefit patients and doctors both for receiving basic diagnoses, and reducing wait times as well as providing better care for remote communities through services like tele-stroke.


Check out Deloitte’s 10 most important technology, media and telecommunications predictions for Canada below.

1. Doubling up on pay TV  –  By the end of 2014, as many as 50 million homes worldwide will pay for TV through a traditional distributor and have at least one other OTT (over-the-top) TV service.

2. Narrowing the gap: seniors embrace the smartphone  – In 2014, the fastest growing demographic for smartphone adoption globally will be individuals who are 65 and older, with  50% increases year-over-year, and resulting in more than 40% of seniors owning a smartphone.

3. eVisits   – In 2014, the global health market will be driven by eVisits, which are an alternative to face-to-face appointments that offer cost savings to public and private health systems, opportunities for improved patient experiences and access to care; as well as reduced wait times. 100 million eVisits in 2014, with 75 million in North America, saving as much as $3 billion.

4. MOOCs (short term/long term)  – Enrollment  in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) will be up 100% compared to 2012 to over 10 million courses, but they will not disrupt the tertiary education market in 2014, with fewer than 5% completing their courses. But the enterprise market looks like it will be an early adopter, both in Canada and globally.

5. Phablet are not a Phad – The lines will blur as phones and tablets converge.  Phablets – part phone, part tablet – are smartphones with a screen size of 5.0-6.9 inches. They’re not doomed because of their size: global sales will be 100% higher than in 2013, with 25% of 2014 smartphone sales, or 300 million units, worth $125 billion.

6. Wearables: the eyes have it – Global sales for all categories of wearable computers in 2014 will exceed $3 billion. Some wearable devices will be better positioned for success than others, with smart glasses likely to sell 4 million units at a price point of about $500, for a $2 billion market.

7. Death of the voice call – but only for some – The proliferation of smartphones, data plans and full-featured messaging apps is expected to create a category of voice seldoms.  In 2014, the 20% of Canadian cellular customers who log the fewest minutes of voice calls will spend less than two minutes per day talking on their phones. Instead, many are letting their fingers do the talking through various text messaging applications.

8. Those who like TV like it a lot –By the end of 2014, the 20% of English-speaking Canadians who watch the fewest minutes of traditional TV will watch just over 30 minutes per day, down from nearly 60 minutes in 2004. At the same time, the one fifth of English Canadians who watch the most traditional TV are predicted to watch even more: 8.2 hours per day, about the same as in 2004, but up 10% from 2009 levels. This decline amongst the first group and the increase amongst the group who watch the most TV will have virtually no effect on the average English Canadian TV viewing of 3.8 hours per day. Demographic commonalities are found in TV viewing behaviours by age, language and ethnicity and even by income and education, which means that advertisers will have the opportunity to better target the audience they want to reach.

9. The Converged Living Room: a plateau approaches – Global combined sales of smartphones, tablets, PCs, TV sets and gaming consoles have enjoyed remarkable growth since 2003, almost 12% per year, but Deloitte predicts a plateau in growth is imminent. Sales will grow at a slowing rate with a ceiling of about $800 billion a year.

10. TV sports rights: extra premium – The global value of premium sports video rights will increase by 14% in 2014, compared to growth of 5% from 2009-2013. This surge will be led by North American sports leagues, including the recent Canadian NHL announcement, and European soccer.