IPGs are TV’s new killer app
Interactive Program Guides (IPGs) are emerging as the entertainment portal for TV viewers, according to the latest report from In-Stat/MDR, a high-tech market research firm based in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Interactive Program Guides (IPGs) are emerging as the entertainment portal for TV viewers, according to the latest report from In-Stat/MDR, a high-tech market research firm based in Scottsdale, Arizona. In Interactive Program Guides – the Killer App for Enhanced TV, the company says these digital TV guides that make it easy to find programs, program genres, and set up PVR recording have the potential to be to TV as Internet portals are the Web.
But In-Stat/MDR says there is more potential for growth if some third-party companies are brought in to add value to the service. It states that in the U.S., for example, Gemstar-TV Guide, Microsoft, Tribune Media Services and others with similar resources could make the IPG much more of a destination for viewers.
For IPGs to have the same status as Web portals, the report says they need components such as access to detailed TV program listing databases and a way to get that data in a usable form to the IPG.
In-Stat/MDR also recently released a study on Consumer Internet Services – The Foundation of Much to Come that looks at the possibilities online as household penetration of broadband usage climbs. It says that nearly 70% of U.S. households will have Internet access by the end of 2004, 28.4% will have broadband connections.
Innovative new consumer services are now starting to emerge for broadband users such as VOIP (voice over the Internet) and ESPN’s GamePlan. GamePlan is an online pay-per-view service that allows college football fans to access TV broadcasts out of their usual viewing region, something previously only available to cable and satellite TV subscribers. In-Stat/MDR’s opinion is that ESPN’s pricing of the online service at the same price as the cable or TV service ($119 U.S. per year) indicates that broadband is now mainstream rather than niche.
The U.S. market has reached a broadband penetration level to support these types of services and deployment of more of these services will attract more broadband users.