Research: Global IPTV Subscribership Approaches 60 Million

Global 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 research report.

"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 value."

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 markets."

Written by Kevin Kutcher at 13:00
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