In a month when video downloads from YouTube have set off riots across the world, Tim Johnson, Consultant Analyst of broadband communications service information provider Point Topic, is proposing a new set of metrics to reveal the global extent and influence of IPTV.
Speaking at a key meeting of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in Bangkok, Thailand today (Wednesday 26 September), Johnson will propose five measures which need to be collected by the member countries of the Union if we are to understand the true extent and value of IPTV usage.
“Video has been driving the development of broadband and now it’s a major reason why people want higher speeds,” says Johnson. “The deployment and success of next generation networks is closely intertwined with the demand for TV over the internet. That’s just one reason why measuring and reporting on IPTV is so important for the broadband industry.”
Point Topic, identified by the ITU as a world leader in producing, analysing and disseminating data on IPTV subscriptions, already collects data on IPTV services which have about 70 million customers worldwide. Johnson suggests, however, that is only a fraction of the maybe 500 million homes which download TV clips and longer videos over the Internet, mostly for free. Hard facts about this huge global shift in how easily video can be accessed are scarce, and most of what there is available covers only single countries.
Johnson’s proposed metrics are:
1. Total IPTV households
2. Subscription IPTV households
3. Hours of viewing IPTV
4. Revenue generated by IPTV
5. IPTV coverage
“IPTV is gaining huge economic and social importance,” Johnson suggests. “It can set off riots or earn millions right across the world. But there’s very little data on who can get it, who uses it, how much they watch it and how much it earns. The ITU is aiming to fill the gap and it was an honour to be asked to contribute.”
Johnson’s suggestions to the Tenth ITU WTIM (World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Meeting) will be reviewed by the ITU Expert Groups to ensure that international comparability can be achieved.