IPTVThe capacity for disintermediation – cutting out the ‘middleman’ to put it bluntly – is an inherent facet of new, disruptive digital information and communications technologies that innovative start-ups, and entrepreneurs have exploited to tremendous commercial advantage. Now some of the biggest names in production of media content are implementing the capability to circumvent video distributors and provide access directly to consumers.

HBO, Disney/ABC and Fox are among the big media companies who appear to be hedging their bets by investing in encoding equipment that expands their options of media distribution beyond today’s status quo pay-TV distribution model. These media companies are increasingly investing in equipment “… with multi-format transcoders than support direct to consumer distribution…,” according to a new study from ABI Research.

“Content owners will grow from 11% of the total encoder and transcoder market in 2012 to 17% in 2017, having already passed the importance of Telco operators for use in traditional IPTV platforms,” ABI Research practice director Sam Rosen was quoted in a press release.

“Their role in distribution stems from both authenticated access offered as part of a retransmission agreement with a classical Pay TV operator, but will also increasingly include advertising supported free-to-wire services and some standalone content-owner bundles.”

In the latest update to its Cloud Video and Video Hardware Research Service ABI analysts scope out industry participants, the state of play and trends in the worldwide video content and distribution markets.

Total revenue in the encoder and transcoder markets will grow to exceed $1.5 billion in 2017, according to ABI. Arris/Motorola, Cisco, Ericsson, Harmonic and Thomson Video Networks are all pegged as strong players, with Envivio leading the multi-screen market and Elemental leads the live multi-screen market.

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