There were just under 6 million homes worldwide at the end of 2006 tuning in to an IPTV service, but that number should explode to more than 80 million by 2011, predicts a new report from Strategy Analytics.
Revenue won’t scale directly with user numbers, however, because many IPTV viewers will get IPTV for free as part of a package of bundled broadband services. The percentage of households worldwide paying for IPTV services is about 50 percent now and is expected to stick at that rate; there were 3.3 million paying IPTV subscribers in 2006, and there will be 40.9 million in 2011, as projected by Strategy Analytics in its report, “Global IPTV Forecast: Homes, Users and Subscribers.”
One of the key questions is whether telcos will discount or even give away IPTV in their bundles, just as some MSOs heavily discount VoIP in theirs today. It might come down to how telcos structure their bundle offers.
“The jury is still out on how much consumers are willing to pay telcos for IPTV,” noted David Mercer, VP and Principal Analyst at Strategy Analytics.
“Most telcos will likely offer customers a mix of free, subscription and pay-as-you-go programming models.”