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IPTV Enhances Linear Television - Doesn't Replace It

Posted: 12th Aug, 2008 By: MarkJ
Thinkbox, a television marketing body for the main UK commercial broadcasters, has just published the findings of its 2008 Half Year Review. The results found that the popularity of Internet TV (IPTV) services, such as the BBC's iPlayer, seem to be incremental to the broadcast TV that consumers have always watched.

The figures only measure domestic broadcast TV, and they show that people watched 3.77 hours of broadcast TV a day in the first half of 2008. This is 2% more than the five year average for the period and compares well to figures from ten years ago, when the average daily viewing was 3.65 hours a day:

That both broadcast and online TV platforms are growing simultaneously underlines how they fulfil different needs for viewers and that they can co-exist and indeed promote each other. Thinkbox’s recent joint research with the Internet Advertising Bureau showed how online TV services are primarily used as a means of catching up with the broadcast stream. Thinkbox last week announced that it has commissioned further research to examine how and why people use online TV, its relationship to broadcast TV and the advertising opportunities it affords, with preliminary results expected before the end of the year.

Presently it can also be quite expensive to download a lot of video content via the Internet, especially if it’s of a higher quality. Many cheaper broadband ISPs are often forced by their own inflexible economic models to restrict service usage and or allow congestion to do it for them, resulting in poor end-user performance.

Unfortunately this problem is unlikely to be solved through existing infrastructure and many in the UK will be forced to wait for BT’s new fibre optic network before true High Definition (HD) IPTV services can become an affordable reality.
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