IPTV service providers may be small in numbers, but they are starting to gain ground on cable and satellite providers by gearing up for personalized and interactive offerings across portable devices.
A recent report by Infonetics Research, "IPTV services deployment strategies: Global service provider survey," found that 63 percent of the IPTV service providers that were queried plann to support multi-screen viewing across PCs, tablets and smartphones by next year.
While cable operators have been talking about targeted, or "addressable" if you prefer, advertising for years now, about half of the surveyed IP television operators planned to offer targeted or interactive advertising by 2012.
On the flipside, the report said IPTV operators continued to approach social networking on TVs cautiously, with only 26 percent offering it now, growing to 41 percent by next year. For the IPTV providers currently supporting social networking, Facebook and Twitter were most popular.
"Although most IPTV operators continue to focus on customer acquisition by offering similar services as their competition, our latest IPTV survey confirms that IPTV services are entering their next phase as operators move beyond basic video offerings and begin providing consumers a highly personalized, highly integrated and portable on-demand viewing experience," wrote Teresa Mastrangelo, directing analyst for video at Infonetics Research. "Multi-screen viewing, interactive applications and social networking are some of the services expected to be implemented over the next year."
While cable operators are moving toward IP video, Mastrangelo cautioned the IPTV providers to keep an eye on them during the transition.
"Although telco operators have led with innovation using IP video, satellite and cable operators are quickly leveraging broadband infrastructure to offer similar services. It will be important for IPTV operators to watch the competition closely to determine the direction of this market," she wrote.