Internet-protocol television (IPTV) has been hailed as a promising avenue for direct marketers, after a study showed IPTV subscribers are predicted to number 48.8 million by 2010.

Watching television delivered via the internet has seen a steep increase in popularity in recent years, and its success as a marketing tool has been attributed to the power of TV to build brands combined with the ‘measurability’ of the internet, which easily allows companies to gauge the success of their advertising efforts.

Despite the eight-fold increase in IPTV subscribers predicted by data analysts Gartner, the medium is not expected to enter the mainstream as a Pay TV distribution platform, or rival established performers in the field of cable and satellite services.

“The difficulty in carving out a distinctive proposition that will clearly differentiate early IPTV services from other established TV options will lead many service providers around the world to drive adoption by competing on price in the next few years,” said Elroy Jopling, a research director for Gartner.

“As a result, the global picture for IPTV revenue is much less impressive than for subscriber numbers,” he added.

“Global IPTV revenue during the period will grow from $872 million in 2006 to a still relatively modest $13.2 billion (£7 billion) by 2010.”

North America is forecast to see the highest growth in IPTV take-up in the next few years, while China is also adopting the medium with gusto despite regulatory problems, analysts report.ADNFCR-8000151-ID-17624412-ADNFCR

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