IPTV gaining traction slowly but surely

Quarterly net additions to IPTV services hit an all time high in the last quarter of 2009, although just four countries are accounting for the bulk of this growth.

According to the latest research from Informa Telecoms & Media, the number of quarterly net new subscriptions for broadband-based TV services hit 3.2 million in the run up to year end 2009.

As a result, the global IPTV market reached 29.7 million subscribers at the end of 2009, up from 19.4 million a year earlier. Yet widespread adoption is still slow going, with just four countries accounting for nearly two thirds of all IPTV subscriptions – France, the US, China and South Korea.

“IPTV still has a long way to go. The technology had only 5 per cent of the multichannel-TV market and less than 2 per cent penetration of the world’s households, despite services being available in over 50 countries. In many markets, services have simply struggled to make progress against cable, satellite and terrestrial TV competition,” said Rob Gallagher, principal analyst at Informa.

But the potential for delivering broadband-based services to the TV should not be underestimated. “Despite the low number of success stories for conventional IPTV, the underlying technology is increasingly being embraced by cable, satellite and terrestrial TV providers as well as internet firms, media groups and consumer electronics manufacturers,” said Gallagher.

According to Informa, IPTV has gained significant share in markets where one or more competing forms of multichannel TV are absent or weak, such as Iceland (81 per cent), Qatar (80 per cent), Cyprus (67 per cent), Slovenia (35 per cent), Croatia (25 per cent), Estonia (25 per cent), Montenegro (23.5 per cent) and Greece (23.5 per cent). Services also began to take the majority of net additions in some more competitive mid-sized markets in 2009, including Switzerland, Belgium, Singapore and Portugal.


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