According to the latest market study by MRG, Inc., and based upon investment data from 875 IPTV service providers, the rate of growth of global IPTV operators continues at a rate of over 10 new Operators per quarter -- with about 50 percent of those in North America.
That said, given the phenomenal performance of the Netflix business model, can traditional pay-TV operators in a highly-saturated market -- such as the U.S. -- maintain a positive outlook to informed industry analysts?
With the 20 vendor acquisitions in 2010, the global IPTV industry is primed for a transition. The total value of the 10 reported financial transactions was $1.95 billion. If the other 10 unreported deals were added, the overall value of the transactions would be well over $2 billion.
According to MRG, in 2011 vendors and service providers also are starting to embrace Over-the-Top (OTT) video services, as well as other forms of online entertainment options in order to provide value to consumers who are questioning the high-price of the legacy offerings.
Vendors released a variety of new cloud-based IP video solutions during 2010, which focuses on delivering OTT and managed IPTV entertainment -- mixed with linear TV and video on demand (VOD). Clearly, IPTV operators around the world are looking to better compete against the incumbent pay-TV service providers through a variety of new IP-based services.
But are the incumbents the forward-looking competition for consumers in search of an affordable video entertainment offering? I think not. Digital broadcast TV, combined with a OTT on-demand subscription offerings from Netflix or LOVEFiLM is the emerging real competition.
Globally, so far, there were no changes to the number one ranked IPTV market leader vendors in the six IPTV product segments covered. However, in Asia there were several changes to leaders as service providers in China and South Korea saw large subscriber growth in 2010.
Many changes in ranks below the leaders occurred regionally.
"Some smaller Telcos are looking at unmanaged OTT or hybrid OTT (including Digital Satellite or Digital Terrestrial plus OTT) to provide video services," says Jose Alvear, IPTV analyst at MRG. "It is yet to be determined how widespread the move to OTT really is, and how much it impacts new operator trials and strategies."