IPTV senior level executives shared some thoughts on the telco-content provider relationship at the IPTV World Forum. According to T-Online SVP of Content & Portal Division Peter Kerckhoff, telcos are best positioned to tackle the studios major issues--security and footprint. He urged studios to collaborate with key local players rather than go it alone and initiating huge local market deployments. Tiscali UK Portal Director Richard Ayers voiced a similar opinion, saying that content providers should see ISPs as partners rather than parasites.
Meanwhile, Disney spokesman Darren Cochrane wants to wait to see how operators develop and then come in if the economics work, suggesting that library titles can be used as part of the initial discussions. Sony SVP of European distribution Stuart Baxter did not find a percentage of low ARPU incentive enough to align for a long-term relationship. Andy Birchall of ondemand! pointed out that while Sony has margins of around 10 percent, adult content can easily command an 80 percent margin. Entone's spokesperson argued ARPU from U.S. homes is less than $10 a month and personalized TV based on additional ARPU cannot be justified.
Ovum Consulting Director Tom McKeever has a word of caution for the telcos: "video revenues are not going to save your share price, the web is a serious threat." He contends that making content themselves would be a mistake. Instead, they should partner with content providers to offer some differentiation.