This was a new one for me: among Motorola’s operator customers, VOD content libraries have more than doubled since 2005. And what’s even more interesting is that all the reasons for that growth (see below) are just at the beginning stages of development.
- The window of time from movie theater premiere to VOD offering is getting shorter. Studios have barely begun to experiment with this distribution channel, but with front-movers like HDNet pushing the envelope, we’re bound to see further tinkering with the model.
- Local on-demand content is growing. Comcast has its own local VOD team in its Eastern Division dedicated to developing exclusive local content. This isn’t content like you’d find on your local community access channel. (Visions of local transportation meetings dance in my head) It’s content like “Penn State On Demand” with interviews, instructional videos, documentaries, etc.
- Interactive content is starting to become available. Disney has launched a VOD travel channel with Cablevision and Time Warner that includes a “Talk to Agent” feature which will generate a call from a travel rep. I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical of this idea at first, but then I started thinking about how successful home shopping channels are.
- Standard VOD offerings are starting to lead to more advanced services like Time Warner’s Start Over application. From a technical perspective, this type of time-shifted TV represents a major accomplishment. It requires substantial video ingest capacity, greater stream count capacity, greater storage capacity, and the ability to support ultra-high concurrency rates for popular content. In crossing these hurdles successfully, we are only creating an appetite for more and more and more of these services. (Read more about the technical details and see a demo here.)
Bottom line: All of the reasons for VOD’s growth point to substantially more growth in the months and years ahead.