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May 10, 2005
If the Content is Free, Why Use Cable?
MediaDailyNews has an interesting article explaining why video-on-demand services aren't thriving (Users Don't Want VOD To Be C.O.D., Want It Free):
THE LACK OF FREE CONTENT appears to be supressing demand for video-on-demand (VOD) television services, suggests new research from Forrester Research. VOD is now available to nearly 19 million homes--or about 75 percent of the U.S. digital cable universe, Forrester's Josh Bernoff notes in his report on the various ad models for VOD. While movie buys and usage of subscription content such as HBO On-Demand are increasing, the model is languishing to some degree, largely because of the reluctance of cable operators to pay for quality programming. [emphasis in original]
Here's a question. Why the heck would cable be the platform of choice for distributing free video content anyway? Does such centralization of distribution (and the attendant gatekeeping function) really make sense? Why not skip the cable company and deliver the VOD content via IP?
One interesting fact from the article is that VOD use is greatest among households with TiVos, since they are already used to the idea of timeshifting television viewing. So where is my internet enabled TiVo that will let me download programming and not worry about this cable-controlled VOD business?
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