While IPTV is definitely getting bigger, it’s still a pretty niche market. Services like Netflix and Hulu offer a lot of TV shows (when they can get the rights to them), and video on demand is growing quickly.
It’s the other formats of IPTV, where there’s a significant potential for changing how people watch TV, that have yet to take off.
Catch-up TV is becoming more popular. Downloading apps for providers like FOX, CBS, and NBC let viewers see the shows that they missed without the effort it takes to set up and record something via a set-top box like a TiVo.
NOW TV, TVPlayer, and Epicstream are all making headway into the live IPTV market, but they’re still not as mainstream as more popular VOD services.
Sports seems to be the area of TV that’s most quickly embraced IPTV. There are plenty of subscription sports packages that you can watch from your computer or stream to your TV whenever you want.
But it’s a safe bet that the rest of the television world will be right behind.
Many services are popping up that allow users to create their own VOD and live-streaming services, too. That way people can share their skills, advice, and passions with anyone else in the world (you can see how some people are using Uscreen to do this on our Examples page).
Starting Your Own IPTV Service
If you’re interested in starting your own IPTV service, your best bet is to hook up with one of these providers. They have the bandwidth, server capacity, and distribution channels that you need.
All you need to do is sign up, choose a plan, and start uploading your content. What sort of content? Who will watch it? How will you make money? All of those things are up to you.
There are IPTV channels for learning magic tricks, getting fit, learning to dance, watching movies, and pretty much anything else you can think of. If you have something you want to share with the world, you can use IPTV to do it.
Of course, you’ll still need to record all of that content. Which takes a lot of work. But once you’ve done that, these services will let you promote and distribute your TV shows, videos, or movies with ease.
It’s like building your own version of Netflix just for you and your subscribers.
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The Future of IPTV
It’s difficult to tell how many people are using IPTV services at the moment. With the wide variety of providers, different formats, and a huge amount of pirated content available, there are a lot of things to keep track of.
But there’s no doubt that IPTV will be increasing in popularity. Grand View Research estimates that the market will be worth over $117 billion by 2025. The increase in user demand as well as improvements in networks will support this growth.
Grand View also predicts that subscription-based IPTV will grow quickly over the next decade, suggesting that services like TVPlayer and Hulu Live TV will gain in popularity.
Some of that growth has started already.
Major media providers are planning to offer new streaming services to compete with Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other streaming heavyweights. And more traditional TV providers are allowing for time-shifted media via their apps. Even cable providers are allowing their subscribers to watch from their phones.
And now that people can create their own channels to distribute their content with ease, the amount and variety of IPTV options will be increasing quickly. Viewers won’t be limited to what broadcasters are sharing anymore; they’ll be able to go to each other to see everything from fitness videos to audience-specific movies.
In short, the future of TV is IPTV.