Global IPTV grows to 91.7 million subs

January 29, 2014 11.26 Europe/London By Robert Briel

According to Point Topicís most recent data global IPTV grew to 91.7 million subscribers adding a record 4.49 million subscriptions in the third quarter of 2013.

As it stands this is a record for a quarter since Point Topic began tracking IPTV in 2005. It will be subject to restatement however and itís possible that it could dip below the previous record of 4.42 million net adds in Q3 2012. That said the current trends for broadband and IPTV (and other video) take-up suggest that any restatement is more likely to be upwards than downwards.

Either way it does represent something of a recovery for percentage growth and shows us the strength of some of the newer markets where IPTV services coupled with available and reliable bandwidths are more recent than in France or the US.


Europe Ė other and America Ė North were the only regions to add a lower proportion of IPTV subscribers than their share of the global market.

This indicates the slower growth in these markets compared to the rest of the world and as a consequence the overall market share of global IPTV subscribers is dropping.

Asia Ė East, which includes China, dominates the growth and is increasing its market share while other regions do report strong numbers they arenít challenging the current and future dominance of the East.

Other regions are starting to kick in however. Sufficient, consistent bandwidth is still relatively new in many markets and we see in those areas the same pattern of strong adoption of IPTV services on offer from the ISPs.

While the upward trend overall is strong it isnít the same story in all markets. In Italy for example where bandwidth is hard to find and terrestrial competition is strong the number of subscribers has been dropping for some quarters. Where the infrastructure can cope however it opens up the market to competitors.

The OTT suppliers will be hard to counter in the coming years and IPTV services from ISPs include more and more branded content from sources like Netflix. Concepts like CDNs and what are effectively two-tier delivery systems are part of the armory that ISPs can respond with but attention needs to be paid to the delivery networks that the OTT suppliers are deploying themselves.

With Google, Apple, Netflix and others all looking for ways to improve the consumer experience of their specific offering the IPTV/OTT video path is an indicator for other services in the future.