Internet Television, aka IPTV: do you watch it? If you’ve every watched a YouTube clip, the answer is yes. And as I’ve mentioned here, the delivery of video content over broadband has the potential to be incredibly disruptive to the existing television broadcast systems, from the studios that generate the content to the networks that distribute it. And now we have some numbers to back it up.
iSupply has just released a report about IPTV, and predicts that the industry will grow from $423 million a year in 2006 to $5.8 billion in 2011. They define IPTV as “professionally produced and distributed mass-market video which is monetized via advertising and distributed through broadband Internet connections.” They break down the content by its length; snack, episode, and full length. As Internet content becomes more readily available directly on home televisions — such as Sony’s nine new models in the Bravia XBR5 and W3000 lines — viewers will opt for the longer segments. And while news content is most popular now, iSupply predicts that will shift to sports and entertainment as viewers move to episode and full length shows.
iSupply also makes an interesting point about the impact this will have on the Internet itself. The total required bandwidth — how much data can be delivered to individuals connected to the Internet — will increase 44 times current levels to 7 million terabytes per year. This will not be free, which makes the questions of who will pay for the creation and delivery of this content, and how, all that more important.