2008 Year in Review: Market metrics present and future

Ongoing subscriber growth gave the world's IPTV service providers plenty to cheer about in 2008, so it's no surprise that several of FierceIPTV's most-viewed stories in 2008 revolved around market research and predictions related to subscriber numbers and revenue for the sector. In March, Strategy Analytics said U.S. IPTV revenue hit $694 million in 2007, but was expected to soar to $14 billion by 2012. ABI Research that some month said a worldwide subscriber tally of 13 million in 2007 would jump to 90 million subscribers by 2013. Most of the growth up to this year was coming from Western Europe, and while that certainly continues to be true, the U.S. market, China and other Asian markets, and a few Latin America countries are starting to get in on the act.

Of course, a wide variety of numbers from a wide variety of sources came out throughout the year, some more impressive and hopeful than others, and many market research firms continue to revise their predictions on a quarterly basis. Can the global IPTV market keep up with the optimistic expectations we all had earlier this year? The U.S. market's emergence in 2008 and specifically the huge subscriber growth from IPTV giant AT&T and top U.S. telco TV player Verizon Communications have been very encouraging. Just last week, AT&T hit its goal of signing up 1 million U-verse TV customers by the end of this year. However, 2008 is ending on a note of caution. The economic crisis has given us reason to expect slower adoption, or at least slower build-outs. We should know much more in earlier 2009 as service providers report their fourth quarter subscriber numbers and year-end financial results.

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