Internet Protocol Television or IPTV is changing the way we think about, and watch, television. IPTV offers an enriched user experience where all digital services come together and are delivered via a multi-service network. IPTV is not the Internet, it is delivered over a separate IP network which will offer video in all its forms, TV on demand, free-to-air TV and pay-TV together, while simultaneously offering multiple broadband connections, VOIP phone circuits, video conferences and so on.
The hurdle in getting this technology to be adopted across the globe has been the existing broadband networks which were not built for this type of delivery system. Broadband cable infrastructures and speeds have been inadequate and to slow in the past to support IPTV and are currently being upgraded to allow IPTV. In many developed countries, IPTV is already a reality but still in a very immature stage. The potential for IPTV is far greater then what anyone with IPTV is experiencing today.
In the IPTV world, it will be possible for each device in a consumer’s life to control or access each other device. For example, a parent may use a Personal Digital Assistant while on the road, to transmit a message to the TV screen telling the children it is time for bed. This concept dives into an article I recently wrote on “The Future of the Internet” and elaborates on the Semantic Web (Web 3.0). In the future, all physical devises will seamlessly communicate with each other through Internet/Information Protocols and help us to run our day to day lives. IPTV is simply a technology that will facilitate the convergence of technologies and delivery mechanisms and allow them to be controlled via a multi-service network.
So what does this all mean? Why is this so important? The answer lies in the Business-Advertiser-Consumer interaction. After all, all these technologies are being driven by businesses who spend advertising dollars and those dollars are being spent for consumer consumption. But what happens when all digital technologies and channels converge into one “mega-channel” that we are all very familiar with (the television) and is also seamlessly integrated into all other mobile and non-mobile display devices (laptops, tables, smartphones, watches, glasses..etc). And what happens when the consumer has control over what they watch, when they watch it and through what application they choose to watch it from? Can you start to see the impact this new innovative disruption could have on the current landscape?
The consumer is going to become harder to reach through the endless content delivery systems and channels. Technology companies that facilitate consumer targeting for advertisers will be in big demand. Google and Apple, 2 of the largest tech companies are investing very heavily in this space. Google is very well placed and are investing heavily in broadband and fiber-optic connections (the giga-internet), in the content delivery and targeting system (youtube has more up their sleeves then most know), and the devises we interact with (Google TV, Glass, Android devises..etc). Apple is mostly busy with the devices we use (Apple TV and connection devices that seamlessly connect all apple devises). There is a technology war going on in this space and everyone is being very quite about it. There are a slew of other players trying to break into the space and these will form the new age of large technology companies that will emerge over the next decade.
Hope this has been helpful to you. I am watching the space very closely and will be writing on it again in the near future.