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PwC: 27 percent of Aussies will buy IPTV by 2016

IPTV ≠ freetarding, may = Foxtel delivered in new ways

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Showing the kind of optimism that only large analyst firms can muster, PriceWaterhouseCoopers has boldly predicted that 27 percent of Australians will have an IPTV service by 2016.

Right now, IPTV is very much in its infancy in Australia, with a number of ISPs and carriers offering services but, in terms of the country’s eight million or so households, only moderate adoption.

Even so, the PwC entertainment and media outlook study says over the next four years, total penetration will rise to 27 percent – depending, of course, on the extent to which providers are able to overcome content rights-holders’ strenuous resistance to the upstart technology.

It’s difficult, however, to see where PwC’s optimism comes from. Australian households have shown fairly scant enthusiasm for Pay TV, with current penetration estimated at around 28 percent (according to a CCZ Statton Equities report earlier this year).

Part of it, presumably, would be a “might as well” response, since consumers increasingly receive IPTV capability as a built-in feature of TVs, games consoles and set-top-boxes. The analyst outfit believes as many as half of Australian households already own an IPTV-enabled device of some kind.

To El Reg, the bullish projection also seems at odds with the reasons consumers give for expressing an intention to pay for an IPTV service. While more than 80 percent cited “increased programming choice” as a key decision driver, followed by 40 percent citing quality of content, fewer than 20 percent of respondents said the service is worth the money.

Of course, Foxtel's enthusiasm for turning itself into an IPTV operation, added to its stranglehold on content, would allow the IPTV market to reach PwC's projections - with no net benefit or even growth in the rest of the Australian market. &reg

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