Wednesday, April 28, 2010

IPTV 'interactivity gap' hampering growth

BOSTON, USA: Once viewed as a rising star in the digital television ecosystem, IPTV has largely failed to deliver on its promise, according to a report just published by analyst firm Strategy Analytics. As a result, many industry watchers—including Strategy Analytics—have revised their IPTV estimates downward.

“IPTV service providers have failed to answer the fundamental ‘why’ question,” according to Ben Piper, Director of the Strategy Analytics Multiplay Market Dynamics service. “Why would an otherwise satisfied customer drop an existing service and sign up for IPTV? What features, content, or functionality does IPTV have that cable and satellite lack? Interactivity was IPTV’s promise, but so far we’ve seen little delivered.”

Addressable advertising, the notion of interactive and targeted messages directed towards specific consumer segments at the individual or household level, is viewed by many as a hallmark of IPTV technology. The concept is not new, but commercial deployment has been slow.

There are glimmers of hope, however, according to Strategy Analytics. San Jose-based BlackArrow, an addressable advertising provider, recently announced that it had raised $20 million its latest round of funding. Led by NDS, and backed by other ecosystem heavy hitters such as Cisco, Comcast, and Intel, this intensive capital injection could very well propel addressable advertising—and the promise of IPTV—forward.

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