Market outlook: IPTV to gain ground; media gateways offering more opportunities

There's still plenty of money to be made from pay TV services and IPTV is on the upswing, according to research released this week by a pair of international analytical firms.

iDate released data projecting an increase in worldwide video and TV revenues from $526 billion last year to $648 billion in 2017. And, while cable will continue to dominate subscriber numbers, it will "lose ground" to IPTV which grow to 8.5 percent of TV households in 2017.

The data also suggests that hybrid TV will not be enough to help terrestrial TV stop sliding down a slippery slope as it will only have 24.4 percent of the global market in 2017.

Still, the picture is hardly stable, said Florence Le Borgne, head of the TV & digital content business unit at iDate, in a news release.

"Although video consumption has never been stronger than today, global video market revenues slow down because of (a) permanent decrease in physical video distribution revenues, while business models of traditional TV are subject to the pressure of video over-the-top OTT services," Le Borgne said.

Many of those viewers will probably still access that content via set-top boxes, research from Futuresource Consulting indicates, noting that service providers will use home gateways to combat the threat posed by OTT and connected devices.

"Multimedia home gateways are increasingly a new weapon of choice for operators to stem subscriber churn, offering subscribers new services and more efficient delivery of video to secondary screens in the home and on the move," said Carl Hibbert, head of entertainment, content and delivery at Futuresource.

Hibbert, speaking in a press release, conceded that home gateways are not cheap--they're "roughly double the price of preceding premium set-tops," he said--but they "can be extremely cost effective for operators in the long run, particularly in homes with high levels of multiple TV ownership."

Besides, he concluded, "these sophisticated devices can open the doors to home automation, security, energy management and e-health, reinventing the multi-system operator as a whole house enabler and placing it at the forefront of the Internet of Things."

As for set-tops, they'll saturate in developed markets like the United States but will show continued growth in Asia Pacific and Latin America, the research said.

For more:
- iDate issued this press release
- and Futuresource issued this press release

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