Juan Pablo Conti ©RapidTVNews | 10-08-2011

The number of IPTV operators boasting one million subscribers or more worldwide is set to reach 25 by 2015.

By this time, over a third of these video service providers will actually have managed to sign up over three million customers.

The calculation was made by the Californian-based Multimedia Market Group in its latest report, IPTV Global Forecast: 2011 to 2015. In it, it is predicted that revenues from the global IPTV market will be worth $49 billion by 2015.

Total IPTV subscribers are expected to reach 113 million around the world within the same time frame, with Europe continuing to lead Asia. The market research firm pinpointed regulatory confusion as one of the main hurdles to a more aggressive expansion of IPTV projects in Asia.

The report indicates that, despite recent industry figures showing sales of connected TVs are climbing fast, such devices remain relatively niche compared with the use of set-top boxes as the primary computational engine to decode IPTV broadcasts.

According to the analysts, some IPTV operators are favouring integrated hybrid services, whereby their own video packages are supplemented by additional satellite, DTT and/or OTT services. “By offering integrated hybrid services, IPTV operators are able to offer additional integrated services not available on smart TVs,” the report’s authors said.

Two examples of the latter approach cited by Multimedia Market Group are Vodafone Germany (which combines IPTV and satellite for linear TV, plus broadband for VOD) and Telstra in Australia, which relies on DTT for linear TV and on the customers’ broadband connections to deliver streaming movies from its BigPond service.