A new survey finds that the nation’s most tech-savvy electronics consumers are beginning to consider IPTV—a mix of new interactive television and communication offerings delivered via broadband and Internet protocol—as a viable option to cable and satellite offerings. The survey, sponsored by Siemens Communications Inc., was conducted by market research firm In-Stat. Eighteen percent of […]
A new survey finds that the nation’s most tech-savvy electronics consumers are beginning to consider IPTV—a mix of new interactive television and communication offerings delivered via broadband and Internet protocol—as a viable option to cable and satellite offerings. The survey, sponsored by Siemens Communications Inc., was conducted by market research firm In-Stat.
Eighteen percent of early adopters, who now subscribe to cable or satellite television, said they “probably” or “definitely” would switch to get IPTV television services from their telephone company provider. If given a 10% savings offering on an IPTV package, an additional 34% of the remaining noncommitted early adopters said they “probably” or “definitely” would switch.
“IPTV has a number of advanced features that will eventually move into the mainstream over the next decade as users get more experience with the services,” said Chris Coles, who heads the Siemens Communications unit’s Surpass home entertainment solution that provides end-to-end IPTV solutions to more than 80 broadband operators in the United States and worldwide. “But initially, IPTV subscribers will need assurances that telephone companies and other broadband operators can deliver baseline digital television and communications services—things like pay-per-view and video on demand—that they now expect. Then they’ll be ready to let IPTV turn their televisions into more advanced home command, control and communication centers.”
The most popular services that early adopters said they are most willing to pay extra for included time-shifted TV, video relephony/chat, video home surveillance and gaming. For each additional service, the majority of respondents who said they are willing to pay extra said they would pay $7.50 or less each month:
- Time-shifted TV that allows a viewer to watch a program at any time rather than only during the regularly scheduled broadcast time. Ninety percent of early adopters said they are interested in time-shifted television services and more than half of this group (58%) said they are willing to pay extra.
- Video telephony/chat that enables the viewer to place a video call or chat session by clicking on an address book or call log. The session would be displayed on the television screen using a camera and microphone associated with the set-top box. Fifty-three percent of early adopters said they are interested in video telephony and chat and, of those who are interested, 48% said they are willing to pay extra.
- Video home surveillance that would enable program viewing on one part of the television screen and video monitoring, via a Web camera, on another part of the screen. Such a service could, for example, help parents monitor a baby’s room while watching programming. Fifty-eight percent said they are interested and 43 percent of this group said they are willing to pay extra.
- Gaming via a television set, the set-top box and an attached game paddle. Only 37% said they were interested, which is not surprising since the panel included only adults. However, 46% of the interested group said they are willing to pay extra for gaming services.
Early adopters indicated that some of the IPTV services they are interested in should perhaps be made part of IPTV packages without extra fees. Such services could include:
- Caller ID on TV (69% expressed interest).
- Interactive information (63 percent) such as up-to-the minute sports statistics, cast listings and other news and information.
- Call logging (58%) information about incoming, outgoing and missed calls.
- Remote programming (57%) of home televisions from mobile phones and other devices.
“Interest is likely to grow for other advanced IPTV applications as people get more experience using the services and understanding the benefits,” said Michelle Abraham, a principal analyst with In-Stat. “Portable entertainment applications, for example, are likely to attract more attention as mobile and fixed networks become more integrated and consumers get more first-hand experience taking content on-the-go and viewing it later with a PDA, mobile phone or laptop computer.”
While telephone companies are initially leading the way to deploy IPTV services, cable operators will also continue to create new interactive services that combine traditional pay TV services with telephony technologies. Some services are likely to be part of basic IPTV packages; other IPTV services may require premiums, pay-as-you go fees or will be supported by other revenue opportunities such as advertising.
Worldwide IPTV service revenue is expected to skyrocket to more than $44 billion in 2009, according to Infonetics Research. Global IPTV subscribers are projected to top 53 million in 2009.
“There will be a lot of new choices for consumers and operators to make over the next decade,” Abraham said.