Thursday, December 20, 2007

How far can you reach with IPTV?

Do you think that IPTV is television over the Internet?

If you said yes, sorry to disappoint, but you loose. IPTV stands for Internet Protocol Television. It’s a transport mechanism that telephone companies and cable operators use to deliver a television like experience. For now, most of the operator-deployed IPTV systems are designed to be walled gardens.

The systems operators want to deploy in walled gardens to ensure quality of service (QOS) and limit hacking and piracy. IPTV over the public Internet is called “streaming video”. As mentioned in a previous post, Shelly Palmer describes these technologies and their application very well in “Television Disrupted”.

A predictable quality of service and control over content aggregation is very critical for advertisers as they want to enhance the viewing experience and protect their brand. They also want to have as good a knowledge as possible of who is viewing their ads. IPTV offers a two-way system that allows for census based measurement – as opposed to sample based like AC Nielsen – and transactional user experience. In addition, the deployment of IPTV systems on video game platforms, portable video devices, and the growing adoption of DVRs allows for a consumer-based time-shifted experience.

This is, pardon the cliché, a true paradigm change! Clearly, to be effective in this new framework requires to think in terms of addressable and dynamic ads… It also requires having tremendous creativity and imagination, as well as, good processes to keep budgets under control. I find this so very exciting: Better knowledge, more imagination and more fun!

If you think that I’m getting carried away, take a look at the IPTV Subscribers Wordwilde 2006-2011 forecast from iSuppli Corporation and eMarketer from April 2007. The survey predicts the number of subscribers worldwide to grow from roughly 4 million in 2006 to over 100 million in 2011, with 45% of the viewers in Europe, 39% in Asia and 16%in the Americas.

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