There will be an estimated 27.7mn households worldwide subscribing to IPTV services by the end of this year, up 7.5mn from 12 months previously, but representing just 2% of global TV households, according to a new report from Informa Telecoms & Media (publisher of IPTV News).
North America, Asia Pacific and Western Europe are expected to be responsible for 2.4mn, 2.3mn and 1.9mn respectively of this year's additions. Another 40mn pay IPTV homes are predicted to be added by the end of 2015, bringing the worldwide total to 66.6mn. However, only 5% of the world's TV households are forecast to subscribe to IPTV platforms by 2015, with only 14 countries having over 1mn IPTV subscribers.
Much of the future growth is expected to come from the Asia-Pacific region, which will become the largest region by 2014. By 2015, the Asia-Pacific region is expected to contribute 20.9mn of the 66.6mn global total. Japan will be the region's leading country, with 5.3mn subs, followed by China with 4.9mn, then South Korea with 4mn.
The US is expected to be the largest paying IPTV territory, with 11.7mn subscribers by 2015: although there is high satellite and cable TV penetration in US, IPTV operators have already scored "considerable" success, according to the report, winning with their attractive triple-play packages and taking advantage of the "traditionally fraught" relationship between consumers and cable operators.
France is expected to remain leader of Europe's IPTV market, but growth will slow in the coming years as IPTV has concentrated on urban areas. France is predicted to have 5.4mn paying IPTV homes by 2015, up from 3.3mn in 2010, but also has a considerable number of homes receiving IPTV signals but not paying for them, according to Informa Telecoms & Media.
Hong Kong, Singapore and Slovenia are expected to tie for top territory in terms of IPTV penetration - each recording 39% by the end of 2015. Croatia is predicted to come fourth with 32% penetration. By 2015, IPTV penetration is expected to be higher than 10% of TV households in 22 countries - with six greater than 20%. However, 15 countries covered in the forecasts will record IPTV penetration of 3% or less: Latin America is expected to post low rates, due mainly to the slow start of IPTV in much of the region.
The vast majority of IPTV subscribers are believed to take triple- or dual-play packages, and the move towards product bundles is believed to spell good news for telcos, which will achieve higher blended Average Revenue per User (ARPU) figures. However, TV ARPU is expected to fall over the next five years as bundle subscribers start to pay proportionally less for the TV part of their service.
IPTV subscription and on-demand revenues are forecast to reach US$ 11bn by 2015, up from US$ 5bn in 2010. Triple-play subscribers are expected to contribute US$ 6.4bn of the 2015 subscription total (US$ 8.8bn), while dual-play subs will bring in a further US$ 1.4bn. Standalone revenues are expected to reach only US$ 914mn in 2015.
Western Europe is predicted provide the most revenues at US$ 3.3bn by 2015, followed by Asia Pacific (US$ 2.9bn) and North America (US$ 3.2bn). By territory, only the US (US$ 3bn) and Japan (US$ 1.6bn) will be in the billionaires’ club by 2015, according to the report.
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