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VOD apps cower in the shadow of Netflix and Hulu

The numbers are in and the people have spoken: give us free or subscription-based online streaming services, and keep your video-on-demand (VOD) apps.

A recent report by Home Media Magazine cites a study completed by the survey firm Frank N. Magid in which 1,200 people were asked about their online viewing preferences. And for those looking to hawk paid VOD services over apps and websites, the numbers aren’t pretty. In the survey, completed November 15th, only 7 percent of viewers said they would pay for on demand programming from their tablet. The numbers warm up slightly with internet TV and laptop viewing, coming in at 9 percent and 10 percent respectively, but that’s still pretty paltry.

In comparison, subscription based services like Netflix and Amazon Prime pulled in 30-40 percent of those surveyed, while a clear majority prefer to watch free content with a few 30 second ads thrown in, including a 51 percent share over TV viewing, and up to 63 percent from their tablets. The survey doesn’t take into account VOD over cable, satellite, and telecom services which, according to a MultiChannel news report, did show a slight rise in 2012 of around 3 percent. Still, for a movie industry that was hoping VOD sales would bolster the rapidly declining sales numbers of DVDs and Blu-rays, the latest polls don’t look too promising.

While most of us won’t be shedding a tear any time soon for the poor multi-billion dollar movie studio conglomerates, we’ve all seen what happens when big media doesn’t keep up with the times. We’re talking to you, music industry. It should be interesting to see how studios adapt to a public that is ever leaning towards streaming content, and leaving the traditional world of video rentals in the rearview.

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