New research from analysts at In-Stat reveals several factors inhibiting the success of Portable Media Players (PMPs), not least the dearth of legitimate video content for such devices.

Additional inhibitors include high prices and digital rights management (DRM) issues.

"The good news for PMP vendors is that in the past six months, there has been increased activity among manufacturers and content providers to promote the availability of video content for PMPs," said Stephanie Guza, In-Stat analyst.

"In addition, new product features such as wireless capability and larger screens will be available on next year's crop of PMPs; and In-Stat believes that the increased capabilities, coupled with the promise of more video content, are factors that could kick-start the market."

When the digital-audio-player market became a mass market in 2003, manufacturers moved quickly to offer products supporting video on the go, which they saw as the next growth area. These products have failed to meet expectations, however.

In-Stat warns the market will remain slow, with early adopters driving most such sales this year. The anlaysts observe that along with the cost of such devices and lack of video material for them, such devices compete with a host of other gadgets, such as portable DVD players and handheld gaming devices.

The analysts forecast that worldwide PMP shipments will reach just 7.5 million units by 2009.