IPTV revs up for growth spurt

22 Dec 2008

Worldwide subscriptions to IPTV services are on pace to increase 64% to 19.6 million in 2008 from 6.5 million subscribers in 2007. At the same time, Gartner forecasts that worldwide IPTV revenue to increase 93.5% to $4.5 billion from $2.3 billion.

Gartner's study titled 'Forecast: IPTV Subscribers and Service Revenue, Worldwide, 2006-2012' suggests that in Asia Pacific alone, IPTV revenue is expected to reach $3.5 billion in 2012, with the number of subscriptions reaching 18.7 million.

Gartner defines IPTV as the use of a carrier-based managed IP broadband network to deliver television and video content services to the end-user's TV set using a set-top box, and delivering picture quality at least equivalent to existing pay-TV or free-to-air services. Content delivered over the internet or delivered only to a PC is not included. Video content can be broadcast-style pay-TV, video on demand or other video interactive services.

Gartner finds that in 2008, 1.1% of households worldwide will be subscribers of IPTV. By the end of 2012, worldwide household penetration of IPTV will be 2.8%.

Meanwhile, Frost & Sullivan believes that global IPTV deployments to date suggest that a half-hearted approach to IPTV services has not been effective. Many service providers are prompted to launch IPTV services as a defensive strategy to increase their 'n-play' offerings with one more service.

Adeel Najam, Frost & Sullivan research analyst, said that IPTV requires a full-throttle implementation to really take-off. 'As the broadcasting and pay-TV industry is uncharted territory for most telecom players, telcos will need to penetrate the market with an offensive approach - complete with a content acquisition strategy - to successfully attract cable or satellite TV subscribers,' he said.

A F&S study titled 'IPTV Business Case' reveals that the IPTV subscriber base in 13 countries in the Asia Pacific reached 4.1 million in 2007 and is estimated to reach 22.4 million by end-2013 at a CAGR of 32.7%.

Of the 13 countries, eight had commercial IPTV services in 2007 while the rest are conducting trials for expected deployments from 2009 onwards.

F&S finds that Asia Pacific accounted for about a third of the global IPTV subscriber base last year.

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