IPTV has been a long time in coming. Back in 1991/1992 at BT Labs I helped build one of the first VoD systems over DSL with Gavin Young‘s team. Nearly 20 years later, most of the major telcos have rolled out IPTV, e.g. China Telecom, Deutsche Telekom, and AT&T. Global IPTV customer numbers are at around 35M, and expected to grow to 90-100M by 2013.
This growth, is in the face of wholesale market consolidation. Operators are consolidating as small operators are increasingly uneconomic, no longer less profitable. Vendor solutions are consolidating. Industry segments are consolidating with the convergence of cable, broadband, mobile and IPTV. And vendors in this space are consolidating with the following being acquired over the passed few years: Orca, Myrio, Kesenna, Thales, Tanberg, Scientific Atlanta, C-Cor, nCube, plus more on the way…
Yet we’re on the verge of an explosion in IPTV service innovation, mostly originating from the web, with:
- WebTV – watching all the free stuff from the web on TV.
- Interactive / targeted advertising
- Social TV: viewing, recommending, chat
- Search & recommendations
- App stores
- BYOB (Bring Your Own set top Box) – using the Wii, xbox, or PS3
Given all the consolidation in the telco IPTV space, were is the innovation going to come from? Does the telco IPTV industry risk loosing out to the innovation engine of the web?
If you’re in anyway involved in IPTV, I’d be grateful if you’d take the time to complete this IPTV Survey; if you enter your email at the end I’ll send through a copy of the results. Thanks in anticipation of your help.