HONG KONG: Record demand for internet-enabled 'smart' TVs in mainland China is expected to boost the nation's online video adspend to over $2bn for 2013, industry analysts have predicted.

Forrester Research, the independent market research company, has estimated that online video adspend on the mainland will almost double to $2.1bn this year, the South China Morning Post reported.

This total represents a significant annual increase from the $1.4bn recorded in 2012 and signifies that more and more consumers are moving away from traditional TV pay-per-view services.

Wang Xiaofeng, an analyst with Forrester Research, said that smart TVs provided consumers with a better online viewing experience, which in turn was encouraging advertisers to spend more on this media segment.

"Marketers in China have also been shifting their advertising budget from traditional TV services to online video due to regulations that limit TV ads," Wang added, while also pointing to the lower cost of online video ads.

Echoing Forrester's findings, the International Data Corporation (IDC) has also forecast that sales of smart TVs on the mainland are expected to grow to 23.97m units this year.

This would edge sales of smart TVs ahead of TVs fitted with liquid crystal display or light-emitting diode screens, which are expected to reach 22.06m units this year.

Kitty Fok, managing director of IDC China, said: "There is huge interest in smart TVs, from both consumers and advertisers, in light of the government's aggressive plans to develop triple-play networks, which combine telecommunications, broadband and cable TV services."

Meanwhile, according to analysts at Barclays Research, the leading smart TV providers in mainland China are TCL's iQiyi, Wistron's Xiaomi 3D-capable, the video-on-demand service LeTV, Skyworth's Alibaba and the internet-streaming provider PPTV.

Data sourced from South China Morning Post; additional content by Warc staff