IPTV had a banner year in 2009, adding more than 10.8 million subscribers, compared to 9.4 million in 2008. By year’s end, there were more than 33 million IPTV customers, an annual increase of 47%. Each quarter was stronger in 2009 than its corresponding 2008 quarter, and Q4 posted the strongest growth at 11%.
This is according to figures published by the Broadband Forum, prepared by industry analysts Point Topic. The study also shows there are now more than 466.95 million broadband customers in the world. In 2009, 58 million new homes were connected worldwide.
The Asian market showed the strongest growth, with China, the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam being the most significant contributors to Asia’s broadband dominance in 2009. Asia now accounts for 39% of the broadband market and 32% of the IPTV market.
China passed a major milestone in Q4, serving more than 100 million broadband subscribers and holding the number one broadband country spot worldwide.
This region also included the fastest growing major broadband countries in world: Philippines (over 60%), India (40+% growth) as well as Indonesia and Vietnam. In the case of IPTV, China, S. Korea, Japan and Hong Kong were all in the top ten list of territories.
According to Oliver Johnson, chief Aanalyst at Point Topic, “As regulatory hurdles are cleared, many countries in the Asian region should be freed to market to and add more subscribers. With South Korea looking strong and China building on its acceleration in the latter stages of 2009, the region could easily dominate IPTV growth in 2010.”
In the Americas, the top story was strong IPTV growth. The region experienced the fastest IPTV growth in the world with 58% more subscribers in 2009 than in 2008. Both North and South American countries have started showing significant signs of IPTV adoption and the prospects for 2010 look good. The US ended the year with more than 5.6 million IPTV customers, growing by more than 60%.
Regarding broadband growth, the US and Canada reported a steady growth throughout the year, while a slow down in Central and South America contributed to a lower growth rate for the region. The region as a whole added 13.7 million customers in 2009 (as compared to 15.9 million in 2008). The US, with 85,287,100 subscribers, and Brazil, with 11,006,400, were in the top ten countries in the world.
In the European region, the success of premium bundles and keen competition drove the take-up of IPTV, particularly in France. Point Topic estimates that there are were 8 million IPTV subscribers in France (up from 6.1 million in Q4 2008). This was equivalent to 42% of France’s 19 million broadband lines. France, Germany, Russia, Italy and Spain all were in the top ten IPTV countries.
Regarding broadband, Europe now accounted for 30.6% of the market, serving more than 142.9 million customers by year end. There was a clear acceleration of subscriber growth with strong numbers from all major European markets in the last quarter.
The Middle East & Africa (MEA) region experienced double digit broadband growth of 11.8 %, serving 13.7 million customers. Though significantly lower growth was reported in 2009 than 2008, the region saw the strongest quarterly growth of all regions in Q4 with a 3.3% uptake.
Recently initiating IPTV rollouts, MEA is just beginning to show growth. Although still early in its adoption cycle, the market looks set to accelerate in 2010.