The Future of China's IPTV Market
From Interfax China: Interview with Joe Lin, President, CEO and co-founder of Streaming21
Streaming21 provides broadcast and media-on-demand software solutions used to deliver broadcast-quality video and audio over IP networks. The company is already working with Shanghai Media Group (SMG), the only IPTV license holder in China, on the Shanghai-based broadcasters IPTV field trials. The company is also working with Shanda to provide content for the online gaming firm's new IPTV gaming console.
Interfax: What are the major differences between the Chinese IPTV market and other Asian markets?
Lin: (...) In terms of China, I see ongoing trials next year, in 2006. My prediction on China's IPTV market is about 2007. The reason for this is the Olympics in 2008 in Beijing and the World Expo in 2010 in Shanghai. IPTV will be a multimedia communication tool, and definitely will play a crucial role in these two events. All the IT people, even the government, will throw in the resources to make it happen.
Interfax: Do you see a dominant IPTV provider emerging in China?
Lin: No. Nobody yet. It's an interesting world. I think that a lot of providers, they are real serious on the market, but at this time they are just waiting and preparing for the trials. Everybody, I think, is waiting for a big move. The deregulation is the first stage on IPTV. I do believe Shanda, with their penetration in online gaming, goes beyond just being a carrier and providing access. They provide services. This type of player has a good chance of being successful. Shanda will be an interesting party to watch with their home entertainment system, and later on may be merged with IPTV.
Interfax: Will there be a killer application in China's IPTV market?
Lin: One thing very interesting happened in the past year - the take-up of karaoke. This is a special culture in Asia. It's the same in Taipei, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Korea and even Singapore. Because of this special culture, and the content is not a big problem you can get it much easier than Hollywood content, I believe karaoke on demand, we call it sing-along on demand, will be a killer application way before IPTV.
The whole interview