Things to Consider When Starting an IP Television Business

In this day and age, there are all kinds of businesses that you can go into. However, one of the very best options for making money and having a long and successful career is the IPTV industry. Of course, this isn't the kind of industry that you can (or should) go into without some knowledge, experience, and training. However, if you are familiar with the television services industry and are interested in a new way to appeal to clients or a way to take your business into the future, then IP television services could be just what you are looking for.

Before you drop everything and start up an IPTV business or revamp your current business into one that offers IPTV, take a step back and consider a few things first. Doing this will ensure a much more positive experience and will greatly increase your chances of overall success, both immediately and in the long run.

Understanding IPTV

Obviously, before you enter into the IPTV industry, you need to be very clear on what, exactly, IPTV is and how it works (read about how Hotel TV works). Many people know the basics of IPTV but don't have a full and complete understanding of it, which can obviously cause problems when you are attempting to make it your business and your livelihood.

At its most basic, IPTV involves finding subscribers and then providing them with video, television programming, and other services. Most of the time, these services will include at least the following:

  • Live television
  • Interactive TV
  • Digital recording services
  • Video on Demand (both paid and unpaid)
  • Programming designed for many different platforms
These services are offered via the IP protocol, and thus generally have greater security and superior performance to older, more traditional means of providing television services. These features keep clients happier, which can lead to greater success for the businesses that offer these services, as well as the opportunity to increase their revenue.

Are You Already Offering Live Streaming Content?

Now that you understand exactly what IPTV is, the next question to ask yourself is whether or not it's the right choice for you and your business or business idea. To begin with, think about whether or not you are already offering streaming content. Typically, businesses that go into IPTV already offer streaming content and are looking for a way to increase their profits from doing so and/or to expand their services and their client base.

This is not to say, of course, that you cannot go into the IPTV industry if you don't currently offer streaming content, but it generally takes much less of a "leap" if you are already offering this type of content. Going into IPTV can make it easier for your programming to reach a much, much wider audience, and you still have a choice as to how you manage and market your streaming content. Some of your options include:

  • Paid live streaming platform
  • Subscription television/streaming/mobile viewing services
  • Selling digital downloads
Many IPTV businesses actually end up making their money through a combination of some or all of these options, so you definitely do have a lot of choices when it comes to how you offer IPTV programming.

Do You Have Something Interesting to Offer?

Another thing you will want to consider when determining whether or not IPTV is the right industry for you to go into is if you actually have something interesting, new, and unique to offer your customers.

While no one really likes to think about it, the fact remains that there are a lot of television providers out there, many of them popular and considered to be "big name" providers.

Because of all of the "big name" providers that exist, it is really not smart to go into the IPTV business unless you have something that can and will enable you to stand out from the other providers and cause customers to come to you over them.

This "something special" does not necessarily have to be anything major. It could be something as simple as offering a channel or show with a "cult following" that no one else offers or having lower rates than everyone else who offers the same thing you do. The important thing is just to have some kind of "angle" that you can work. That's not to say you can't have success without that "x factor"- after all, anything is possible- but it can definitely help and greatly improve your chances of success within the IPTV industry.

How Will You Obtain Programming?

If you do want to work the "specialty" angle, as advised, the next step is figuring out how you will access and deliver the special content that will allow you to stand out from all of the other IPTV providers out there.

If you are already in control of content and offering it, then this is less of a concern. In this case, all you have to figure out is how to move your content to a larger audience and to offer more services, which can easily be done by partnering with the right company.

For those just starting out, the process can be a lot more arduous than it is for those who are already working in and who already have a footing in the industry. This information should not discourage you from offering IPTV services, but, instead, it should prepare you for some of the challenges you might face when embarking on IPTV services as a brand new provider.

There are a lot of awesome services out there that can guide you, develop your platform, and help you to get off the ground, but you should be aware that this is typically costly. So, if you are new to "the game," you'll need to consider cost, as well as how to obtain programming, what services to use, and more. This takes a lot of research and effort on your part; it can be done, though. You just have to make sure you are willing to embark on such a complex and time-consuming track before you dive in.

Are You Willing to Go Mobile (And Beyond)?

Something else that you should consider as you start your IPTV journey is whether or not you are willing to offer mobile viewing, apps, and other technological advances popular in the IPTV world. To be honest, it is very hard to have success without offering these newer and popular technologies.

In addition, you also have to be willing to accept the fact that IPTV technology is relatively new and, thus, growing and changing every day. That could mean that the technologies you invest in today are a "thing of the past" tomorrow. In other words, you have to be willing to constantly evolve your technologies and services. If you are willing to accept that reality and, in fact, to view it as a benefit and a way to keep your business relevant no matter what comes your way, then it can end up being a wonderful thing. It's all about attitude and what you are willing to do for the success of your business.

Can You Handle the Start-Up Costs?

Another thing you should be aware of as someone looking to get into the IPTV industry is that there definitely are start-up costs involved. This is especially true if you are starting out fresh, but it is also true if you are upgrading or "changing over" from more traditional television service offerings to more modern ones.

The important thing is to have a clear plan in mind as to what your business plan is, how "big" you want to go, and what your offerings will be. That way, you can get a clear and realistic idea of what the start-up costs are and of whether or not they are feasible for your business.

If they are not, that doesn't necessarily mean that you should give up, but it does mean that you may need to raise more money and/or find more investors to get your plans off the ground.

Being realistic may not be fun, but it will carry you a long way toward having success in this industry.

Are You Ready to Deal Closely With Customers?

When you're used to more traditional television offerings or to just offering basic content at no price or a low price, you don't really have to deal with customers quite as much. Sure, there is the initial set-up and the process of getting clients in the first place, but, aside from that, clients typically do not demand much.

IPTV clients, however, are a totally different animal. They usually expect the best of the best, and, for what it's worth, are also willing to pay for it. A higher cost, however, means that, on your end, you need to deliver in every possible way. If you are not prepared for that, then this may not be the right industry for you.

Likewise, if you are not ready to deal with customer complaints, concerns, general maintenance, and more on your own or to hire someone to do it, then there may be a problem. The important thing, as mentioned earlier, is to be realistic about and thoroughly prepared for what you are taking on. Most of the problems that newer IPTV services have are a result of not being prepared. If you can accept the full responsibilities that come along with offering IPTV services, as well as the benefits, and make a realistic plan for consistently meeting those responsibilities, then you may just be ready to make the "big switch."

As you can see, there are quite a few things to think about and consider before you embark on the journey of becoming an IPTV service provider. However, if you are willing to put in the hard work, then you will definitely be rewarded for your efforts. Ultimately, though, only you can make the decision of whether or not being an IPTV provider is the right choice for you.