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Cablers Making Good on VOD Promises

6 Jan, 2003 By: Hive News

After at least decade of promising that video-on-demand (VOD) service was just over the horizon, the cable TV industry has finally started delivering, a new study reports.

Over the past year, cable operators have rolled outVOD services in dozens of cities and metropolitan areas throughout the United States and Canada. At the same time, VOD functionality has improved to let subscribers time-shift their favorite shows, notes the report from market research firm In-Stat/MDR.

But difficulty crossing borders will largely confine the service to North America for the next few years, limiting VOD's short-term growth rate, the report VOD in the Cable Industry: The Long Wait is Over states.

"Until cable-based VOD services expand into Asia and Europe, we expect the total number of VOD users to remain relatively modest," sadi to Mike Paxton, a senior analyst with In-Stat/MDR. "While there are more than 300 million total worldwide cable TV subscribers, only a small fraction of those subscribers will have VOD services anytime soon."

The study also found that:
  • Cable TV operators are continuing to develop their marketing strategies by experimenting with both "movies on demand" and subscription VOD packages that offer a broad range of content at different price points.
  • About one-third of digital cable TV subscribers in the U.S. with available VOD service have become regular VOD users.
  • The "Cost per VOD Stream," a metric that defines how much it costs to deliver VOD services to a subscriber household, has dropped from over $600 per household in late 2001, to approximately $475 today.
  • Worldwide cable-based VOD subscribers will grow from just over 3 million regular users at the beginning of 2003, to over 11 million by 2006.

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