Europe is home to nine of the world’s top 20 IPTV operators despite losing some ground to Asia, according to data from research firm SNL Kagan.
This reflects continued strong growth in Europe’s key markets, led by France and shored up by Germany, Belgium, the Netherland and Spain, but also the fact that China’s explosive IPTV growth has been confined largely to one dominant telco.
According to the survey the world’s top 20 IPTV providers had 57.7 million subscribers between them at the end of 2013, 83 percent of the global 69.5 million total. Of this top 20 base, 28.4 million were in Asia Pacific, 17.5 million in Western Europe, 9.26 million in North America and 2.49 million in Eastern Europe. China had become by far the largest with 30 percent of the entire global IPTV base, around 20 million subs, concentrated mostly with China Telecom. France, still the world’s number two IPTV market, has four operators in the top 20, led by France Telecom Orange with almost 6 million customers.
The survey also revealed that of the top 20 operators, seven had developed their own in-house middleware while 13 had gone to third parties, of which Microsoft was in the lead with its Mediaroom serving 16 percent of the world’s IPTV subscribers. The report also highlighted a preference to source IPTV services locally, with 75 percent of operators choosing to partner with middleware vendors from their home regions.
It is worth noting there are wide discrepancies among IPTV surveys, particularly over the total number of global subscribers, reflecting differences over definition with some hybrids sometimes being counted in the sector and other times not. For example Pyramid Research scored global IPTV subscriptions at 84.3 million at the end of 2013, over 20-percent more than SNL Kagan.