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Five Recommendations to Improve VOD

The Over-the-Top Video Conference (OTTcon) took place this week, and while I couldn’t make the trip out to San Jose, I did get a copy of Motorola’s presentation at the event. Director of Business Development Craig Bender spoke, and his talk addressed both the challenges and opportunities in incorporating OTT video with traditional cable- and telco-provided services. The prospect is daunting when you consider issues of content management and legacy technology, but it’s less so if you go in with a phased approach. The first phase for operators today is to upgrade existing VOD services.

Here are five recommendations for improving VOD in the short term and preparing for the integration of traditional VOD systems with OTT video.

  • Add Live Capture
    Think “Start Over” type functionality. The idea is to create short turnaround times for making live TV into on-demand content.
  • Add Branded Extras
    Bios, behind-the-scenes clips, outtakes, etc. These are the types of assets consumers expect based on their online experiences.
  • Use Targeting for Higher CPMs
    We’ve talked about advanced advertising for a long time. Implementation will improve revenue.
  • Provide In-Channel VOD
    Right now operators are still separating the live TV and VOD channel guides. Integration is key to fixing the user navigation experience.
  • Add Bookmarking, Recommendation, and Community Features
    Again, this is critical to improving user navigation. In a world of infinite content, consumers need a few guideposts.

4 Responses

  1. Great ideas, here are a couple more that I’d like to see implemented.

    HD-VOD – The limited experience I’ve had has been with b content, so maybe it was my selection, but the quality looked like it was encoded in Mpeg2 instead of a better compression algorithm. The quality could definitely use some improvement.

    Support for TiVo DVRs – Given that outside hardware vendors are supposed to have equal access it still baffles me that we don’t see VOD supported on advanced DVRs. I know that some people like the ones that Motorola makes, but consumers who have a different preference shouldn’t be discriminated against.

    More Archive content – The magic of VOD to me is that it allows you to catch up on content that you would have missed. When it comes to serial shows especially, I’ll stop watching entirely if I miss an episode. If the content owners want people to watch their shows live, they should make it easy for us to get caught up.

    More longtail content – When I had access to VOD, I remember there being less than 500 shows to choose from. If Netflix can offer 17,000 cable companies should be able to match that. It’s OK if it isn’t always premium content because when you have that large of a selection people will find at least a couple programs that they really love.

  2. I agree with Davis that more and longtail content would make VOD more appealing (and competitive); of course, this goes hand-in-hand with the recommendation to improve user navigation. Better discovery – a few guideposts – is key for growing VOD libraries, as well as for creating an integrated experience with live TV.

  3. [...] still difficult to get a lot of the good stuff on my TV in any reasonably easy way. There may be more stuff I want out of VOD, but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate what it does for me [...]

  4. [...] Five Recommendations to Improve VOD – on live television capture, in-channel VOD, and [...]

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