Iran’s government is giving licenses for IPTV and VOD services. Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) and Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance (MCIG) are the two organizations in charge of IPTV and VOD respectively.
Nearly one year ago Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) started to give IPTV license to few companies in Iran. Basically these companies are providing National TV shows and programs using internet. Before the broadband internet paving its way to households, people tend to watch National TV shows more often regardless of Satellite TVs. With the broadband internet, things started to change. People could watch what ever they want online or even download it via torrent because these contents weren’t available in Iran so the only way was pirated content. People also started to post their video contents on Internet. So Video on Demand started to attract people.
With the internet infrastructure improving in the past few years, Aparat started to host UGC contents (User-generated content) and became a hub for these kind of contents. They even grow enough to become a very serious competitor to IRIB to the point that they didn’t give IPTV license to Aparat. So these organization can’t keep up with the private sector anymore, because they don’t have any innovation within them. As I mentioned in this article, Aparat started to attract famous TV host and help them to produce TV shows with their support. These initiative caused Aparat to not be able to get the IPTV license up to this day.
On the other side, according to Fars News, Secretary of the Supreme Council of Cyberspace, AbolHassan Firouzi Abadi, said that the government should help the old players in VOD and IPTV related businesses and help them to grow faster, otherwise companies such as Youtube and Netflix would get market. He told that they are having many meetings with IRIB and MCIG to make the process of getting these licenses faster and make the regulation easier for the companies. He also noted that with the internet infrastructure that we are having right now even Netflix couldn’t provide its services to more than 60,000 people simultaneously in Iran. So the government should work on the infrastructure even more in order for these companies to be able to provide their services for their audience.
With this pace we can easily predict that private sector would get this market in near future. It also worths to mention that they already made a good impact. But we should wait and see if companies such as Youtube or Netflix would enter into Iran’s market.