Worldwide IPTV subscribers will reach nearly 60 million by year-end 2011, spurred by both offensive and defensive telco posturing worldwide, a new Parks Associates
study finds. IPTV: From Quadruple Play to Multiplay finds that European consumers will find their television choices expanding greatly, thanks to a growing number of IPTV providers per country, plus a surge in digital terrestrial offerings and a resurgence by cable providers in certain markets. While Asia has established solid growth to date, the Parks Associates’ study finds that certain regulations may bar IPTV providers from offering truly differentiated content. Finally, North American growth, spurred by major Tier 1 providers, will reach solid numbers by the end of the forecast period.
“On a global scale, the IPTV experience is going to provide widely-varying levels of success and challenges,” said Kurt Scherf, Parks Associates’ vice president and principal analyst. “European incumbents are being encouraged now to enter non-traditional markets, and this has spurred not only growth of multi-channel television delivery, but a whole new level of reliance on residential gateways and the beginnings of truly converged communications services. Asian markets have, in many cases, the necessary infrastructure to support incredible television experiences, but providers may struggle to truly differentiate their offerings from cable competitors. Finally, the North American model for telcos is going to have to shift very quickly from a defensive to an offensive posture for Tier 1 providers to establish a foothold and actually build revenue per subscriber.”
IPTV: From Quadruple Play to Multiplay examines the current and projected environment for IPTV services worldwide and offers specific recommendations for providers. Specifically, the study focuses on such features as fixed-mobile convergence, home networking, end-to-end service management, experimentation with new advertising models, and interactive applications as key ingredients for telco success against well-entrenched incumbents.
“Cable and satellite providers won’t stand still waiting for telcos to take their subscribers,” Scherf noted. “Already, we are seeing reactions that include aggressive bundled pricing in the U.S. and a renewed emphasis on hybrid television services in Europe, as DTT and broadband video become important pieces to the TV experience. The IP nature of the telco offerings lends itself to some key differentiation; we’d like to see telcos explore this more aggressively.”