|IPTV in Europe: A battle of
the brands as subscriber numbers are set to double in 2007
Other Topics: Portugal IPTV
Service, Web TV Channel
Screen Digest Press
April 2, 2007
London, UK -- The European market for IPTV will double in 2007,
according to the latest figures from media analysts Screen Digest.
The research examines the 54 IPTV services across Europe, 19 of
which are in operation in the five European markets of the UK,
France, Italy, Germany, and Spain.
IPTV is the fastest growing pay-TV platform by far, outstripping all
other platforms combined. Screen Digest forecasts that subscriptions
to IPTV services across Europe will almost double from 2.9m in 2006
to 5.6m in 2007, with subscription revenues from IPTV increasing
from �470m to over �1bn. Almost 1m of those new customers will be in
Europe's Top Five Operators
The top five IPTV operators in Europe – Orange, Telefónica, Free
Telecom, Neuf Telecom and Fastweb - accounted for 60 per cent of the
total IPTV market in the five countries at the end of 2006. Screen
Digest expects that these operators will remain in their respective
positions throughout 2007, with Neuf Telecom and Free Telecom vying
for second place in France.
One key factor contributing to the strong growth in IPTV is that
services are being offered by well known household names, giving
consumers the confidence to subscribe. Orange, BT, Telefonica,
Deutsche Telecom and Telecom Italia were already very established
brand names in their markets, giving them a significant advantage
when promoting the service.
Telco's on the defensive
Digital terrestrial TV (DTT) is one of the main driving forces of
IPTV uptake in France, Spain and the UK, with ten IPTV services
using hybrid DTT/IPTV boxes in the three markets. Such services are
popular because they allow customers to access the DTT channels for
free, and give them the option to take pay-TV and Video on Demand
(VoD). BT in the UK and France's Darty are two operators using this
model, with Italy's Rai currently trialling it.
For operators, the hybrid IPTV models provide a cheap and easy way
to broadcast content. This explains why in some cases the customer's
packages are inferior to cable or satellite offerings. Nine of the
IPTV operations have free or reduced pay-TV, and even those with
full services lack the channel range exhibited by their competitors.
"IPTV is in many cases not designed to be a competitive alternative
to existing pay-TV services, but has instead been launched by telcos
fearful of losing their traditional revenue streams" comments
The Outlook for 2007
Broughton expects to see more IPTV services on offer and an
increasingly globalized industry this year, as major players look to
create a presence across a number of markets. Telecom Italia was an
early starter launching services in France and Germany, Tiscali will
launch in Italy, and Swisscom will complete its acquisition of
The UK will experience the biggest growth in 2007, with Screen
Digest forecasting that subscriber numbers will grow from 80,000 to
300,000 by the end of this year. This 250 per cent increase will be
fuelled by the recent launch from incumbent BT as well as national
launches from rivals Tiscali and France Telecom in the autumn.
"2007 is set to be the strongest year yet for IPTV. Companies which
launched their services last year will be marketing in earnest,
while those already established are well placed to build on last
About this research
The data in this press release is taken from Screen Digest's online
service – TV Intelligence. The service continuously tracks and
forecasts IPTV operators globally.
About Screen Digest - Global media intelligence
Screen Digest is the pre-eminent firm of industry analysts covering
the global media markets. We employ a team of 30 specialist analysts
covering television, broadband, mobile, home entertainment, cinema
and gaming. With our unrivalled network of contacts within the media
industry we have the information and provide the analysis that
hundreds of media companies base their decisions upon.
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