Report sees worldwide IPTV subscriptions tripling

IPTV has a bright future worldwide, according to the aptly named Global IPTV Forecasts report developed by Digital TV Research.

The report, released Aug. 1, predicts that 165 million homes worldwide will be IPTV subscribers by 2017, more than tripling the 51 million who subscribed at the end of 2011. As usual, the U.S. won't be leading the way; that honor goes to China where the subscriber base will grow from 14 million in 2011 (and only 350,000 in 2007) to 77 million subscribers by 2017. In something of a change, though, the report said that the U.S. will come up in second place with 14.4 million subs by 2017.

"Some may be surprised to see the USA in second place," admitted Simon Murray, the report's author, quoted in a news release. "U.S. telcos are aggressively marketing their IPTV products, with both FiOS and U-verse appearing in the top 10 pay TV operators."

Of course, that 14 million is a bit diminished when the report adds that 114 million IPTV subscribers will be added between 2011 and 2017 and that 86 million of them will be from Asia Pacific. India, alone, will add 7.2 million—or half the U.S. total—during that time frame.

As subscriber numbers grow, so do penetration percentages. IPTV reached 3.7 percent of TV households at the end of 2011 (up from 0.6 percent in 2007) and will now hit 10.8 percent in 2017.

"Penetration will remain low in Latin America and Middle East and Africa. However it will be as high as 14 percent in the Asia Pacific region by 2017, led by Singapore (43 percent) and Hong Kong (38 percent). The UAE (41 percent) will buck its region's trend," the news release stated.

Revenues will also grow—how can they not?—from $9.7 billion in 2011 to $21.3 billion in 2017 with the U.S. continuing to be the largest IPTV revenue earner with one third of the 2017 total. While impressive, that percentage is down from the 41 percent of earnings U.S. providers raked in in 2011.

Broken down geographically, the U.S. will add $3 billion to IPTV coffers while Asia Pacific tosses in $5 billion (China contributes $1.8 billion of that alone while Japan chucks in $1.6 billion).

For more:
- see this news release

Commentary: Not the greatest country for IPTV

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