Monday, March 14, 2005

IPTV to reach 25m by 2008

IPTV to reach 25m by 2008

The world of internet television (IPTV) is set to grow from 1.9m users last year to 25.3m in 2008, according to new research, by then enjoying more than 10 times today's revenues.

A study from California's Multimedia Research forecasts IPTV subscriber revenue growth from $635m in 2004 to $7.2bn in 2008. These conclusions are reached due to several emerging factors in the US, Europe and Asia.

The report points to plans by US cablers SBC and BellSouth to deploy large IPTV networks in the US, as well as plans by Verizon to use IPTV technology for video-on-demand services to supplement its RF-based broadband video service over its fibre-to-the premise (FTTP) access network.

The study also talks up the planned introduction of video-on-demand IPTV services by China Telecom, and in many countries in Europe, where IPTV subs grew by 450k last year. Continued growth of subscribers by the major established IPTV service providers, Free in France, PCCW in Hong Kong and FastWeb in Italy, is also expected.

The forecast also identifies the top 10 regional service providers in each of four regions of Asia, Europe, North America and RoW, broken down by seven product segments for 2004-2008. "This granular approach enables system and content suppliers a quick understanding of the service providers that dominate 60% or more of the regional sectors," states Bob Larribeau, MRG's senior analyst.

The bullish growth predictions chime in with recent research from Strategy Analysts and Jupiter Research that said by 2008, 41% of European homes will subscribe to broadband, with Sweden, Switzerland and Belgium leading the way with penetration rates of between 55% and 60%.

Furthermore, the expansion of IPTV in Europe is expected to drive the growth of digital TV across Europe, lifting it to 25.7% by the end of 2004 and 111.6m by 2009. By 2010, said Jupiter, there will be 11.3m IPTV subscribers in Europe, plus 42.2m digicable homes.