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India to hit top IPTV slot in Asia Pacific by 2015: Kagan Research

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SINGAPORE: So what if IPTV is still taking baby steps in India? Come 2015 and India is going to be the third most happening market for IPTV in the Asia Pacific region in terms of the number of households that will have the service, just behind China and Japan, according to projections by Kagan Research.

What's more, the total pay-TV revenues forecast are expected to grow from $13.1 billion in 2004 in the Asia Pacific region to an estimated $38.0 billion in 2015. On the other hand, IPTV revenue share will rise from 0.7 per cent in 2004 to 12.9 per cent in 2015. With this, telcos will capture a significant portion of Asia Pacific total pay-TV revenues.

At present, IPTV has been launched or is in the trial stages in the following countries in the Asia Pacific region: China (trial), Hong Kong, India (trial), Indonesia, Japan, Korea (trial), Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore (trial), Taiwan and Thailand (trial). In the countries, where IPTV is on a trial basis, operators are either running a trial in selected markets or lobbying respective regulators to lift their grip on pay TV licensing. 

Some of the key considerations when planning a 'Pay TV Service' are: 'Pay' factor - who, how much, subsidies; 'TV' factor- programs, user experience, positioning, potential revenue stream; 'Service' factor- look and feel of service and customer service. 

In terms of the content strategy, some of the trends in IPTV that can be followed in Asia are: 

? Start with satellite turnaround signals which already have an Asian footprint as these require little inhouse programming expertise.

? Invest in brand-name channels to build critical mass and position as a 'complementary' and not 'substitute' service to traditional PayTV.

? In-house content department and capabilities give operators the edge, e.g. self-programmed channels, marketing, licensing and legal expertise.

? Local content/ self-programming are essential for competing with traditional Pay TV operators.

? PVR/ TiVo has started in Taiwan and Australia on traditional Pay TV platform.

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