Digital media content continues to grow:

  • Customer subscriptions for digital cable TV jumped 18 per cent to 16.3m across Europe in the first half of 2008, as subscribers migrate to enhanced services.
  • At the end of 2007, 54 per cent of homes in Europe and USA had some form of digital TV service. This will grow to 88 per cent by the end of 2012 According to the report by independent market analysis firm Datamonitor.
  • IPTV networks (Internet Protocol television) are a system where a digital television service is delivered to viewers using the Internet Protocol over a network infrastructure. Utilizing the internet for such transmissions requires the video streams for TV to share the same servers, networks and data pipes as all other internet content.
  • Global IPTV subscriptions should top 65 million by 2012, a staggering leap from the 13 million households worldwide that currently are receiving broadcast via the Internet, says a new report from IMS Research, IPTV: A Global Market Analysis – 2008. Analyst Shane Walker writes that the 52 percent annual growth in the market will be driven by several factors including:
    • Growing offerings by tier one and rural Telco’s in the Americas;
    • A more competitive pay-TV market that’s offering more localized content and triple- and quadruple-play offerings as well as new Internet-based TV services like VOD;
    • An exploding market in Asia as China and South Korea uptake IPTV at an accelerating pace with the easing of government restrictions, and
    • A continuation of the solid growth the European market has seen as IPTV providers continue to invest heavily in infrastructure and speed upgrades.

The Customer Expectations Challenge:

  • Massive Infrastructure investments continue to be made to address the emerging media markets, but by disparate entities operating in silos. Cable companies, Telcos, businesses and Content Delivery Network companies are all adding hardware, seeking better distribution efficiencies and working on software acceleration solutions. These investments are focused on the tail, sacrificing foresight of how customer expectations are evolving. Current investments are being made in the legacy technologies limiting scalability and further hampering evolution of the user experience. Limitations on services are limitations on revenues.
    • On October 1, 2008, Comcast Corp., the nation’s second-largest Internet service provider, began capping the amount of data subscribers can download and upload each month.
    • Cox Communications’ monthly caps in 2008 vary from 5 gigabytes to 75 gigabytes depending on the subscriber’s plan.
    • Time Warner Cable Inc. is testing caps in Q4/08 of between 5 gigabytes and 40 gigabytes in one market.
    • Frontier Communications Co., a phone company, plans to start charging extra for use of more than 5 gigabytes per month.

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