Some facts about Online video:
- Online TV is growing. The number of people watching online video will grow from 563 million in 2007 to 941 million in 2013 according to ABI research, echoed by NewTeeVee.
- People watch far more hours of TV from the couch than on the PC. According to Nielsen (see table above found via GigaOm), 142 hours/month for TV versus only 2.5 hours/month for Internet video. Online TV will sure grow, but still a long way to catch the habit of watching TV from the sofa. A habit that will surely remain for long duration shows, like movies or NBA games.
- TV devices connected to Internet will grow from 28 million in 2007 to 300 million in 2013 according to IMS research echoed by NewTeeVee.
- Some lucrative consumer segments are ready to pay for quality, speed, ease-of-use and exclusive content (e.g. Apple knows very well this segment). Some reports foresee penetrations as high as 20% and even 50% in developed countries urban areas.
- Online TV is social. YouTube social component is part of its success. Joost has just added Facebook Connect.
- P2P will keep growing, and that includes also a growth of licensed content relying on P2P or P4P networks, although illegal traffic will still dominate for some time.
IPTV Telcos should defend from the threats of Online TV by embracing it:
- Address facts 1 to 4 by providing a one-stop-shop to integrate Online TV within the IPTV Service. Provide a quick, easy-to-use way to enjoy Online TV from the couch, integrated into the IPTV Service. Why not embed iTunes, YouTube or Hulu channels?
- People will manage to have only two to three devices connected to the TV in the living-room. IPTV Telcos should position their set-top-box to be the box to connect the TV set to Internet without hassle (including legal P2P) and in the way defend from other boxes that could make IPTV replaceable later (e.g. Apple TV, PC2TV or HTPC units).
- Add Facebook Connect to IPTV, so that you can see who of your friends is watching the show, or browse what shows your friends are watching.
In other words, keep the boxes from “over-the-top” players away from the living-room for as long as possible. Differentiate from the “over-the-top” players with the unique experience that IPTV can provide on exclusive live HD content, like live concerts (expect music artists to do more of these, as recording sales drop) or sport events.
Will Internet TV Kill IPTV?