Here is what you should know about IPTV trends
Till a few years ago, people were quite satisfied with the conventional method of Television broadcasting. Simply watching their favourite shows in the comfort of their homes was more than what they could ask for. But with the advent of technology and developments in various fields, the concept of watching TV has also changed for the larger majority. And, thus came IPTV into the picture!
So, what is IPTV and how is it different from traditional TV?
There is a lot of contrast between the two. For starters, let’s say that the way content is delivered to you is entirely different! Cable or satellite services send video content through signals which are then captured by your TV or an attached device. The signals are interpreted into a favourable format and displayed on the screen. But, IPTV functions differently. Video content is sent through your internet connection via data packets. As a result, you need to simply have an internet connection to watch your favourite shows now. So much on cutting down on the cable subscription fees!
Another major difference with normal TV is that you can only watch the programs that are being aired in real-time. Unless of course your cable provider has facility for catch-up or view later options (again, you have to pay extra for that!) Normally, you are put to the mercy of your content provider and forced to watch what they offer to provide. IPTV comes in three formats out of which VOD is the most sought out one. Why? VOD (video on demand) enables you to watch a TV show at your convenience. Let’s discuss this feature of IPTV in detail.
What are the different formats of IPTV?
Generally, IPTV comes in three flavours: Video on demand, Time-shifted media and Live IPTV.
- VOD (Video on demand)
As the name suggests, VOD allows you to request a particular video content and watch it at your convenience. It quite literally means that content owned by the streaming service can be provided to the customers based on their demands.
- Time-shifted media
This feature of IPTV is quite similar to the “catch-up” facility provided by your cable operator. You can access the shows at a later time than when it was broadcasted on Live TV. It is different from VOD as the videos in this category fall in a specific window of time. After the time elapses, you cannot watch the shows.
- Live IPTV
This is exactly the same as watching ordinary broadcast TV. This is especially relevant to sports channels as you get to watch the game on the go.
Now that you have an idea of the concept of IPTV, let us get to the real deal.
If you have an IPTV online streaming website or thinking of starting on your own, then you need to know about certain things in the aspect. You need to know the current trends in the IPTV world. That way you can determine your shortfalls and how to overcome them. You also will get an idea of how to function and what to offer your customers. To help you get started, here we discuss some of the most popular trends in the IPTV industry now.
Popular trends in the IPTV industry
- TV everywhere
It is a well-known fact that portable devices including mobile phones, tablets and such have taken over the world. People are so accustomed to their mobile devices, that they need everything at their fingertips, including TV shows! That is a clear-cut indication of the scope and reach of IPTV in the present world. TV everywhere as in IPTV has essentially set the benchmark for typical streaming channels- having to be interactive, personalized and robust. As per statistics, more people are willing to pay for extra features like video on demand. We hope you see the trend here and offer to provide the best of what the customer demands.
- Easy search and discovery
People worldwide are literally addicted to easy search and discovery for anything under the sun, thanks to the internet! Not only are they able to search for anything with high speed and convenience, but are also led to exploring more of related topics that they would be interested in. IPTV services feed into this desire by making it easy for customers to search for video content on the catalogue and are open to new content that they might love watching.
We suggest that you focus heavily on building a customer interactive website to provide IPTV service. This ideally means that customers should get to search for their favourite shows using any of the options.
Program/ film title
Name of the actors
Name of the director
Besides feeding their searches, you must also have a system in place to track your viewer’s watching habits. Based on that, you must make recommendations for the content that they are likely to enjoy. According to the latest trend, some IPTV providers even ask the viewers to rate the content depending on how much they enjoyed the show. These services are beneficial for both the customers as well as for yourself. If clients find your content interesting and fulfilling, then they are sure to pay for the service; even if the rates are increased.
- Increased competition in the OTT (Over-the-top providers)
There is still confusion among people whether Netflix and Hulu TV are IPTV or not. Well, they are not! In fact, they go by the name of OTT (Over-the-top) providers, yet are very similar to IPTV in many aspects. So, what makes them different from IPTV?
How is OTT different from IPTV?
There are many technical differences to speak of, but here we are not going to discuss any of them in detail. Just that you understand that the way they function is a bit different from each other. Put in simple words, OTT delivers content over the public internet while IPTV delivers content over a private network, but uses the same technology of the internet.
To access OTT, a laptop or smart TV and an internet connection are required. IPTV requires more specialized equipment like the set-top box.
Having said that, it is also important to know that they share certain similarities too. OTT and IPTV are broadcasted using the IPTV technology and share the same formats- Video-on-demand, time-shifted media and Live TV.
So, coming back to the leading trend now, you must be aware that modern-day OTT providers are serving customers with plenty of facilities. Its absolutely imperative that in order to keep up with the competition, your IPTV service must be at par, if not more, with the OTT providers. Otherwise, you will run the risk of losing clients if you do not offer unique and distinctive streaming service.
- Increased regulation
In order to avoid fines, fees and other issues, it is mandatory that you follow all the rules and regulations of video broadcasting. The anti-piracy laws have recently been tightened and governments are quite stringent about them these days. The transition of cable TV and analogue data to IPTV is being watched with much apprehension by the law.
- Flexible pricing
If you provide a wide range of packages with a wide and varied pricing range, it will be easy to appeal to every client of yours. This trend is indeed enticing among customers and hence, must be given due attention to. If you are able to cater to the client’s budget, then it is no doubt that you will earn more loyal customers.
- Advertisement -free model
As said always, advertisements are nobody’s favourite, especially if it interrupts your favourite show on TV. No wonder Netflix and other streaming services bank on this trend. IPTV services have the plus point of working on an ad-free model and thus, appealing to a wide range of people.
- Digitally switched architecture
IPTV basically works on digital architecture. The set-top box decodes the IP video and content is delivered as needed. The signals are encoded and multicast via data packets. This model is very much in alignment with the latest digital backed architecture. It is one of the leading trends in the streaming world now.
So, if you are serious about expanding or starting IPTV service, then we suggest you give a close look at these trends that are being followed worldwide. In fact, with so much competition going on in industry today, you cannot afford to get away without succumbing to these trends.
Having covered the current trends in the IPTV industry, let us now take a look at the current situation of the IPTV service industry.
The current state of the IPTV industry
- The viewer base of IPTV is indeed less than that of the conventional forms of media like the television. But it has been growing considerably over the last few years. In fact, the growth rate is so high that IPTV would be the leading form of entertainment in a short while. The official number of IPTV subscribers all over the world is said to be over 130 million today and is growing largely, even as we speak!
- VOD is considered the most prominent type of IPTV. Die-hard binge-watchers are on the rise like never before. These people desire to view all episodes of a show in a single row, irrespective of the time taken. IPTV caters to such viewers by storing and providing a catalogue of contents dating back to even many years ago.
- Live TV feature of IPTV is on the roll with sports channels coming to the streamline. Sports fans nowadays cannot stand the chance of missing even a single game, even when they are on the go. This makes for the most popular type of Live TV in IPTV broadcasting. In fact, many IPTV service providers offer sports subscription packages at special rates.
- Many users or customers are now being able to create and produce their own VOD and live streaming services in conjunction with an IPTV provider website. They are charged extra for the service.
- According to statistics, the fastest growing IPTV market is the Asian subcontinent. In fact, China is the leading country in creating the greatest number of IPTV subscribers in a year.
- Europe and North America are also on the race to acquire the IPTV service market. They form a lion’s share in generating revenue from the IPTV service.
- IPTV is bound to become even more popular over the years. In fact, it is said that by 2025 the IPTV market will be worth around $117 billion! This is owed to the increase in the user demand and the wide accessibility of the IPTV network to many.
- IPTV is considered a legal business but is banned in certain countries. This is because of the pirating issues that crop up with the usage of tampered set-top boxes. By manipulating with the device, customers are able to access exclusive and premium shows at a much lower cost, or even free of charge. If the IPTV box has a third party add on that allows content to be accessed illegally, then the client and the vendor is definitely are on the wrong side of the law.
- Streaming content illegally is a prosecutable offence. Copyright owners and service providers can charge against the law and sue you in court. There is plenty of technology in place to detect illegal streaming of content today.
- IPTV subscribers can make payment through many convenient means including online cash in the form of PayPal and Paytm. This is a traceable source of transaction and will make way for the legal entities to source people who do illegal business over IPTV.
Here, we have analyzed the current situation of the IPTV industry and the popular trends being followed. IPTV is a new form of entertainment medium. It is making huge waves in the industry and is expected to grow in the near future.