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IPTV a Mystery to the Masses

Accenture Survey Finds Nearly Half of European and US Consumers Do Not Understand What IPTV Is, But Potential for Service Exists

Consumers around the globe are confused about what Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) means, according to a survey released today by Accenture (NYSE:ACN).

The survey of 6,000 consumers across the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain and Italy found that 46 percent do not understand the term IPTV – whereby broadcast-quality digital television is delivered over an Internet-enabled telephone network.

However, despite consumer uncertainty, the survey reveals that the market for the services IPTV can provide is substantial in each country. As part of the survey, respondents were asked what they would do to make television better; the top two answers were “having access to a larger number of movies,” selected by 30 percent of respondents and “being able to create your own channel to watch programs whenever you want,” selected by 26 percent.

When asked what future benefits would encourage consumers to subscribe to an IPTV service, the greatest number of respondents (55 percent) selected less advertising, followed by the ability to choose specialist programs (47 percent).

“Despite a general lack of understanding about what IPTV means, there is strong consumer interest in the benefits that such a service could bring,” said Ray Dogra, global IPTV lead for Accenture’s Communications & High Tech practice. “Consumers clearly desire choice, control and the ability to personalize their viewing experience – all of which are the key benefits of an IPTV service.”

While there is strong consumer interest in the concept of IPTV, the study indicates that IPTV service providers must focus carefully on the marketing and associated end user education to ensure widespread adoption of the service.

Cost is cited most often as the main barrier to adoption, with 54 percent of respondents indicating they are not willing to pay an extra fee to get an entertainment service that allows them to search for content such as TV, radio shows and music whenever they want. Other key concerns slowing the rate of adoption include security issues (38 percent), such as computer viruses and general quality of service (39 percent) – including poor connections.

The findings showed a consistent trend across all six countries represented in the survey, with younger adults indicating a greater willingness to adopt and pay for IPTV services than older ones. From a gender perspective men also indicated a greater interest in IPTV than women.

For more information on the study and on IPTV, please visit: http://www.accenture.com/iptv.

About the Study
To identify consumer understanding and preferences regarding IPTV, Accenture hired Opinion Research Corporation to conduct a survey of 6,030 consumers in six countries during the latter part of 2005. Of the 6,030 respondents, 1,016 were from the United States; 1,012 were from the United Kingdom; 1,005 were from France; 1,001 were from Spain; 1,000 were from Germany; and 996 were from Italy.

About Accenture
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company. Committed to delivering innovation, Accenture collaborates with its clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. With deep industry and business process expertise, broad global resources and a proven track record, Accenture can mobilize the right people, skills, and technologies to help clients improve their performance. With more than 126,000 people in 48 countries, the company generated net revenues of US$15.55 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2005. Its home page is http://www.accenture.com.

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