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Packaged Video-Like Experience Entices SVOD Viewers

17 Apr, 2002 By: Hive News


Results from early subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) launches indicate movies are popular and viewers watch them using the same pause, fast forward and rewind functions that packaged video consumers like, a Starz Encore Group executive said today.

Early launches of Starz On Demand, indicate subscribers use the VOD-enabled pause function in approximately 90 percent of their Starz On Demand sessions and an average of 2 times per view, Greg DePrez, VP of SVOD at Starz, told the Kagan VOD Summit panel in New York.

The service, an enhancement to the Starz Super Pak, provides impulse viewing of movies with "DVD-like" functionality for a flat monthly charge and no per-view fee. It runs more than 100 recent and catalog titles per month.

Research on viewing activity of 2,000 subscribers show they used fast forward in 36 percent of sessions and rewind in 23 percent of sessions.

"Starz On Demand is providing Starz Super Pak customers the convenience and control movie lovers seek when enjoying television," he said. "Not surprisingly, with the associated transactional angst of pay-per-view VOD stripped away, SVOD consumers are watching when they want, the way they want."

As part of a broader discussion about Starz' early SVOD findings at this morning's "Subscription VOD - Show Me The Money!" panel, DePrez said concerns raised by some in the industry about "subscription VOD clobbering my VOD network" have thus far proven unfounded.

Starz On Demand subscription VOD usage has yielded much smoother viewing patterns than its pay-per-view counterpart, with near comparable daytime and prime time viewing levels, DePrez said, and half of the sessions are shorter than two minutes, indicating subscribers are sampling their options to make viewing decisions.

"With significant daytime and weekend SVOD viewing already demonstrated, cable operators who have launched SVOD are maximizing the return on their VOD equipment investment," he said. Customers are using it throughout the entire day, not just in prime time."


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