It seems as though video on demand (VOD) is still very much a relevant source of content for today’s consumer. Comcast proved so earlier this month with its record-breaking Xfinity “Watchathon Week.” The seven-day event served up more than 3,500 episodes (among some 75 series) from 30 television networks to viewers via set-top boxes, and mobile devices running Comcast’s authenticated TV Everywhere app. Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and The Good Wife were the three most popular shows respectively during the event, which ran from March 31 through April 6.
April 5 was the hottest day of the fest – and the biggest ever for Comcast’s set-top box-based Xfinity On Demand platform: viewers logged a total of 11 million hours in the single 24-hour period, according to a post on Comcast’s blog. The week generated 50,000,000 hours of overall watch time (spread among 13,800,000 viewers) and 10,000 posts on social media. Live ratings for the Game of Thrones season premiere were 17 percent higher in Comcast households than in those without Comcast service.
In addition to rewarding its customer base with tons of available content for binging, Comcast’s goal for the Watchathon was to provide a lift to shows’ live ratings after the event concluded – a gambit that seems to have worked. According to Comcast, Game of Thrones, The Mindy Project, Archer, Chicago Fire, Cosmos, and Parks and Recreation all had substantially higher ratings post-Watchathon.
The titanic media company is already planning for its next Watchathon – and considering this year’s proof of VOD’s unwaning popularity, there’s a good chance it’ll be just as successful.