When you look at how the IPTV sector progressed in 2008, there is a lot to like and just a little cause for concern. What's to like: Subscriber growth from one country to the next throughout the world; IPTV service providers winning customers away from cable TV firms; and, new features like whole-home DVR. What's to be concerned about: the inevitable slowing of subscriber growth; the effect of economic downturn; the likelihood that the expenses associated with expanding IPTV coverage aren't looking like a good idea to many telcos right now.
But IPTV itself is just one part of a thriving sector, what you might call the alternative TV/video network operator sector. I know-it's a mouthful, but what's happening in the market can't be pinned to a single technology or a single type or size of company. Different technologies are being used by all different types and sizes of players.
The five stories we have highlighted below might then be consider five of the biggest ongoing issues and trends we saw in that rich, complex sector during the year. They were not individual news events, but likely built from multiple events that occurred throughout the year that we expect to carry over into 2009. If the past year's theme was for the new TV carriers to establish a market foothold, the next year's theme will be to make it stick.
Happy Holidays, and here's to a successful 2009 for the upstart video providers.
P.S. - FierceIPTV will be on publishing holiday until Jan. 6, 2009. We'll resume our weekly coverage of the IPTV industry then, so have a happy holiday and thanks for reading!