Video-On-Demand: Riding The Entertainment Wave

VoicenData Bureau
New Update

Video-on-Demand (VoD) services allow operators to provide a wide range of

specialized content that consumers can watch at their convenience. Rich media

advertising, personal video recorder (PVR) services and online gaming delivery

are some of the areas that could offer immense monetizing opportunity for the

service providers.


Although VoD services are becoming popular, the actual usage remains quite

low. It has to overcome many challenges to become a mass-market phenomenon.

Bandwidth availability, storage, quality and security of content and cost issues

are the major hindrances in VoD's widespread use. The cost concerns include

cost of equipment, software, and skilled manpower to integrate the components

into a workable business model.

VoD services represent a new

opportunity of utilizing the present network infrastructure to deliver

video content

What Sets VoD Apart?

VoD systems allow users to select and watch video content over a network as

part of an interactive television system. These services represent a new

opportunity of utilizing the present network infrastructure to deliver video

content. It opens up new avenues for service providers. Through VoD, the

customer can access a video content instantly. PVR also makes it a truly

personalized experience. The technology has all the potential of becoming a

mass-market phenomenon. This has led to dedicated efforts by content developers

and broadcasters to penetrate this market and tap new revenue streams.


Emerging Content and Markets

The first VoD service was launched in Hong Kong in 1990. Though VoD is

mostly concentrated in North America, the recent past has seen it being launched

in Great Britain, Japan, South Korea, and Israel.

The international distributor of Bollywood content, EROS International and

the US broadband VoD download service, Movielink, have struck a deal to make

EROS Bollywood movies available for on-demand delivery over the Internet in June


In India, Tata Indicom broadband tied up with CNBC TV 18 to launch the VoD

service. This has enabled Tata Indicom subscribers to access CNBC's live as

well as archival content on the Internet.


Service providers are also using IPTV to provide VoD services. BT has decided

to use Microsoft's IPTV solution for its broadband-based VoD products. Rollout

of services is expected in 2006.


of Services


Video-on-Demand (Q-VoD) services:
Groups are based on common interest.

Near Video-on-Demand (N-VoD) services:
It has functions like forward

and reverse which are simulated by transitions in discrete time intervals.

True Video-on-Demand (T-VoD) services:
The user has complete control

over the session presentation. Has full-function VCR (virtual VCR)


Though prices of equipment have come down, integrating different systems and

launching the technology is still a challenge. According to Datamonitor,

increased marketing and greater content availability will help boost interest in

these services, which will ultimately drive the revenue potential of the sector


VoD Over Broadband and 3G Networks

Over IP Video (OIPV) is another advantage which VoD users can enjoy. It

enables VoD to be transmitted over IP. OIPV can stream video content over

broadband connections as well as 3G-enabled telephone networks, both of which

use the IP system to access the Internet. Through this technology, the streaming

VoD can be transmitted to various wireless devices including mobile phones. Many

companies are competing to provide these services to the subscribers. However, a

clear-cut profitable business model is yet to be developed.

With the continued growth of broadband globally, VoD shows immense promise.

The Yankee group estimates that by 2009, VoD will be available to around 36 mn

homes with a CAGR of 23.85% from 2002-09.

The emergence of on-demand TV and PVRs will revolutionize the service

provider business models and the TV viewing experience. The ability of time

shifting and premium services such as fixed IP addresses, guaranteed bandwidth

levels, and easy access to premium VoD content are bound to make it the killer

service of the future. What is needed is a workable and profitable business


Sonia Sharma