Hong Kong leads the way in the Asia Pacific IPTV market

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

Hong Kong has sealed its place as the leading IPTV market in the Asia Pacific region with just over 51.1% of homes receiving IPTV services at end-June this year, according to latest figures from Informa Telecoms & Media. Hong Kong’s strong progress in the IPTV market has been fuelled by aggressive marketing from local IPTV market leader PCCW as well as the widespread availability of high-speed broadband networks that can deploy quality IPTV services.

Hong Kong’s nearest competitor in terms of IPTV market penetration is regional rival Singapore where SingTel is rapidly increasing its subscriber base, reaching 17.5% of homes by 2Q10, up from just 8.3% at 2Q09.

With promising IPTV subscriber growth also taking place in China, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan – Asia Pacific has emerged as the second largest IPTV market in the world holding 33.3% of total global IPTV subs at 2Q10, behind Western Europe which has a market share of 42.5%.

“PCCW has led the way in Asia’s IPTV market and is regarded as the Flagship IPTV operator in the region,” says Tony Brown, Senior Analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media. “Even after losing the English Premier League (EPL) football rights to Hong Kong Cable TV they have demonstrated an innovative approach to programming that other operators in the region could learn a lot from.”

Informa has released these figures at its annual IPTV Forum Asia being held in Hong Kong on November 23-24 and a key topic of discussion at the event will likely be how operators can fight off the challenge of Over-The-Top (OTT) players like Google which is rolling out its long awaited Google TV product.

“The arrival of Google TV is a potentially very disruptive development for both IPTV and regular pay TV operators,” says Brown. “Telecom operators who have invested heavily in their high-speed broadband networks and IPTV content platforms are obviously very concerned about the impact that Google is going to have on the market.”

In addition, senior officials from mainland giant China Telecom will also be addressing the conference, giving delegates an update on the firms’ progress in the potentially huge Chinese IPTV market where regulatory restrictions have so far hindered growth.

“China is already the leading IPTV market in the region solely in terms of subscriber numbers but IPTV household penetration remains miniscule,”says Brown.

“However, with all three mainland telcos investing heavily in broadband networks and the government’s focus on the Three Network Convergence policy we are likely to see significant growth in the Chinese IPTV market.”

Leading Asia Pacific IPTV Markets by household penetration, 2Q09-2Q10:

                2Q09   2Q10
               -----  -----
Hong Kong      51.1%  51.1%
Singapore       8.3%  17.5%
Korea           3.2%  13.4%
Taiwan          8.4%   9.1%
Japan           1.6%   2.2%
China           0.8%   1.3%

Source: Informa Telecoms & Media