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Broadband services will help drive huge growth for internet protocol television (IPTV) in years to come, it has been claimed, despite concerns in some quarters over how to monetise the service.

Brian Tuner, a spokesperson for ,has said that IPTV is now on the verge of becoming a mass market product and even overtaking standard TV. This development, he claims, has been fuelled by the affordability of broadband in the UK, where sustained competition in the market has driven down prices.

Mr Turner said: "Nowadays, [internet protocol television] services are becoming much more mainstream and home video entertainment systems repeatedly try and leverage the internet for a wider service offering.”

His comments may surprise those with the telecommunications industry who have thus far been sceptical over the viability of IPTV. Among the concerns raised by doubters is that IPTV has yet to come up with a workable means to monetize the service.

However, Mr Turner’s prognosis is lent greater weight by a study conducted by Virgin Media into broadband TV which examined the reactions of 100,000 users in North London to ads showing on its on-demand TV service.

The survey found that advertisements running on its channels were proving effective and had won the approval of viewers. In the three-month study, 54 per cent of viewers who watched its on-demand service had responded well to advertisements. Meanwhile, targeted commercials that chimed with the programming on offer enjoyed especially positive reaction. The warm response given to tailored advertising suggests that this could represent the best way to make IPTV a viable economic proposition.

Adding greater credence to the hypothesis that advertising is the way forward for IPTV is the success of US service Hulu. Backed by NBC, Hulu shows advertisements before a program starts and has enjoyed enormous take-up.



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