IPTV subscriptions were approaching 60 million as of year-end
2011, with growth accelerating to record the market's biggest
three-month increase to date, according to a new Point Topic
"The year end is often the strong quarter, but in combination
with the global recovery in consumer spending and the will and
technical ability to deliver a service, IPTV is really starting to find the
sweet spot," commented Point Topic CEO Oliver Johnson in an
announcement of the research results.
IPTV service providers are also realizing growth in Average
Revenue per User (ARPU), according to Point Topic's Internet Video
and Voice service research. "Globally, ARPU increased just under 2%
in the year, total revenues were up over 30%, and with the
continued subscriber growth it looks like a very strong positive
set of indicators."
The disparity between subscriber, revenue and ARPU growth
indicates the highly competitive state of the IPTV market globally,
Point Topic notes. "The technical path to deployment is well
trodden, but in combination with high equipment and content costs,
and the increasing competition in the market, IPTV is not a 'slam
dunk' for operator," Johnson added.
Provision of value-added services is the future for IPTV
providers as "bare-bones" broadband margins contract even further.
According to Johnson, "Offering the right bundles for their
customers in a particular market, signing the right deals and
maintaining a customer base in the face of global competition will
be the mark of a successful in the next few years.
"Get it wrong and they won't see growth, get it right and their
prize will be an income base worth several multiples of its yearly
Conversely, an Ovum
report released in January cautioned serviceproviders not to become
overly fixated on IPTV "as a non-traditional business
opportunity. Doing so may distract them from taking advantage of
other Internet TV alternatives in the multi-channel and pay-TV