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IPTV’s bright Indian future
IPTV services in India were introduced some two years ago, but have so far failed to match the success of DTH or cable. Industry experts feel that this is due to the limited launch of the service and a lack of focused marketing efforts.

Bharti and Reliance Communications have launched services only in Delhi and Mumbai, respectively. And although government owned BSNL and MTNL have together launched services in 54 cities, their marketing efforts have only recently started showing results.

Akshoptifiber (iControl) and Smart Digivision (MyWay) together have garnered more than 70,000 customers so far. Smart Digivision plans to offer IPTV services to between 1.6 million and 1.7 million broadband subscribers of BSNL and MTNL in these selected 54 cities which comprise 80 per cent of the country’s broadband subscriber base. Bharti Airtel is also finalising plans to expand services in the top eight cities of the country.

Despite low levels of penetration right now, the future of IPTV is bright. This is clearly evident from the amount of interest shown by biggies such as Google, Cisco, UTStarcom, and CopperGate etc.

Consumer Behaviour

Ericsson’s ConsumerLab recently conducted a study called Multi Screen Media Consumption 2010. Data was collected in China, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, the UK and USA. The sample in the study is representative of more than 300 million consumers.

The study says, “At least once a week, 93 per cent are still watching scheduled ‘linear’ broadcast TV, but the role of broadcast TV is changing owing to the introduction of new distribution channels. More than 70 per cent of consumers surveyed are streaming, downloading or watching recorded broadcast TV on a weekly basis, and 50 per cent are using internet based on demand TV or video, every week”.

While this study has been conducted in other countries, it does give a glimpse of what consumer behaviour will be like. This clearly shows a preference for time shift capability, in which IPTV has the unique capability that enables continuous recording of channels without the user’s intervention.

Full Story: Indian DTH Blog
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