IPTV, or Internet Protocol Television, is television via the Internet. A system which has taken off thanks to the continuous, inexorable diffusion of broadband connections and mobile devices – tablets, smartphones – which have become the new cult objects. IPTV essentially offers two types of content: live, delivered simultaneously to multiple users, and Video on Demand, which is distributed to a single user on request. The distribution protocol also changes depending on the type: multicast protocol is used for live streaming (the same signal is sent simultaneously to all users); in the other case unicast protocol is used, a point-to-point connection that connects each single user with the platform offering the service.
But apart from the technical characteristics, IPTV is a phenomenon that has had significant impact , essentially a "behavioural" one, on the television content market. The domestic centrality of the TV, the so-called linear TV, with its fixed time schedule and shared rituals, has lost its traditional supremacy to anytime, anywhere forms of utilization, with the growing possibility of watching programmes wherever a broadband connection is operative. In addition, IPTV has greatly contributed to another phenomenon, "deconstruction" of the programming schedule: the user is free to select what to watch and when to watch it. A true revolution. In its continuous evolution and growing audience share, IPTV has inspired new business models, platforms and on demand services created primarily by television networks, TLC operators and new players specialising in pay on demand TV, mainly films and TV series.