IPTV and video-on-demand (VOD) are driving convergence towards a new commercial phase, Telefónica’s annual ICT report has revealed.
While convergent packages have been commercialised by Spanish telcos since late 2012, video has just become a key part of them. According to Telefónica’s Informe de la Sociedad de la Información en España 2016, 612,000 video convergent packages were subscribed to during the first half of 2016, and 76% of the new broadband subscriptions in June 2016 included a pay-TV option. “Currently, not only most new packages include video, but non-video packages are being replaced by video offerings, which consolidates video as a core element in users’ digital life,” said the analysis.
According to Telefónica, growing convergent and IPTV technology – along with expanding fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) infrastructure – have been the main drivers of the Spanish pay-TV industry. In fact, the latest official figures show a market nearing the six-million subs mark, when it has previously never even exceeded the four-million barrier. The other two main telcos in the country, Vodafone and Orange, have also repeatedly shown growth through fibre-based convergent packages and IPTV. According to the report, IPTV has also gained popularity as a video option because it allows hybrid TV experiences, supporting the viewers’ VOD and multiscreen preferences. “Freedom to watch content is possibly the feature that has had the largest impact on the way users consume content, and it’s also the most valued,” added the analysis. “This freedom also means higher number of connections and higher bandwidth needs, especially at home. Thus, in the near future we will need to deploy in-home infrastructures that are able to manage and optimise broadband usage.”