Media consulting firm Screen Digest has released a study showing that about 40% of the households receiving IPTV service across Europe's booming array of markets are actually receiving the service for free as a result of IPTV being bundled with other services. Was IPTV supposed to become a commodity quite this quickly?
Though this trend fits with all the advice carriers have been getting about how to think of IPTV as a customer retention tool, Screen Digest points out in a press release that "in many cases the sheer size of the investment needed to deliver IPTV far outweighs the cost savings resulting from even a substantial drop in broadband churn, particularly as IPTV is currently generating so little revenue." What creates a difficult situation for service providers will of course be advantageous to customers, as IPTv drives down the cost of other pay TV services. For example, Screen Digest notes that "France now enjoys some of the cheapest pay-TV in the world, with much content available free simply with a broadband subscription. For this reason, nearly a fifth of French households will be using IPTV as their main method of TV viewing by 2012."
- see this Screen Digest press release