The number of homes paying for IPTV will soar from its current 35 million to 155 million by end of 2016 according to a new survey by Digital TV Research.

The report confirms the expected trend that the Asia Pac region will supposed Western Europe as the IPTV engine, supplying just less than three quarters of the 120 million expected additional subscribers. In terms of specific countries, China will overtake France as the home of IPTV with a 7x growth in the five years to 2016, providing 70 million of the total subscribers.

What this means on a global basis is that by the end of 2016 IPTV penetration will have climbed from 2.6% to 10.5% of TV households. In Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe and Western Europe, IPTV penetration will reach 12%.

Operators will readily take advantage of this growth with IPTV revenues likely to rise to $17 billion by 2016. As an indication of the growth path over a ten year period, IPTV revenues in 2006 were less than $1 billion and $6 billion by the end of 2010.

Even though Asia Pac will have the lion’s share of homes, the US will still command the revenues with a quarter of the total sum. This however is a slip from its current third of the market share. The report reveals that in developed countries, there is downward pressure on ARPU as competition within the pay-TV market as a whole increases and as DTT makes an impact.

The key for IPTV operators is bundling, the report adds. By 2016, 83% of the paying IPTV subscribers are expected to take triple-play services, with 10% paying for dual-play [TV and broadband] and only 7% as standalone TV subscribers.

Commented report author Simon Murray: “ARPU is also being forced down as cable operators and telcos convert their subscribers to dual-play or triple-play bundles. So triple-play IPTV subscribers will generate 73% of the total IPTV revenues in 2016 – lower than triple-play’s proportion of IPTV subscribers as triple-play subs will pay less for TV services as part of their bundle.”

Joseph O'Halloran | 05-07-2011