It's been a big week for the IPTV industry: Google snatched up user-generated online video portal YouTube for a handsome $1.65 billion and we at FierceMarkets held our first IPTV event, co-located at Internet Telephony in San Diego.
I just got off my red-eye flight--still dizzy from IPTV information overload. Many of the panelists brought up the "YouToogle" deal, as expected, and pointed to YouTube as an application that any service provider could adopt as a differentiator from cable MSOs' services (to avoid the "me-too" label at all costs). While the YouToogle story provided for good fodder, the highlight of the show was NBC vice president Sheau Ng's keynote yesterday afternoon.
Ng explored the future of content with a spotlight on IPTV, while expounding on the "any time, anywhere, any content, any how" philosophy that most consumers are rumored to espouse. While some of the talk was old hat, seeing the future of television through the lens of NBC Universal was refreshing, especially when Ng broke down expectations vs. realities for consumers, consumer device manufacturers, service providers and aggregators as well as content providers. More on Ng's presentation in today's number one story (below).
In the final panel of the day, which had reps from UTStarcom, Ruckus Wireless, Frost & Sullivan and Metalink, an audience member asked the panelists to name an IPTV service provider who is doing it right and not simply following the MSOs' lead. The panelists had to reach for SPs in China and Fastweb in Italy, but after the event one exec told FierceIPTV that he didn't think any of them are doing it right. At least not yet. Viva la Evolution...
ALSO: Our next event is the second annual wVoIP executive summit in San Francisco next month. Helio's Greg Hayes is one of our keynotes: The MVNO is sure to shake up the fixed-mobile convergence space, but a wireless VoIP play should make for an interesting relationship with their network provider. Early bird registration for wVoIP ends this Friday--be sure to enter "DOLAN" as your registration code to get an additional discount. -Brian