Video On Demand Expanding Worldwide

Until recently the video-on-demand (VOD) market has been almost exclusively a North American phenomenon, driven by the overwhelming dominance of cable services there. That state of affairs hasexisted for most of the three years since such services were launched.

In the last six to nine months, however, VOD has started to gain real traction in other parts of the world.

Vamsi Sistla, ABI Research’s director of broadband research, says that international adoption of VOD would have been quicker, but for the worldwide economic slowdown. However China, Japan, Korea,Australia, Venezuela, the UK and several other EU countries have all seen VOD deployments recently, and according to a new study from ABI Research, the time is now ripe for those fledgling markets tospread their wings.

In the U.S., the three dominant vendors of VOD servers have been Concurrent Computer Corp., nCube Corp. and SeaChange Corp. Many of the initial overseas VOD deployments have used servers from one orthe other of them, with nCube currently leading the race. However, Sistla says they have a problem: how to market their products to international buyers who may not be willing or able to pay Americanprices.

“If they cannot find a way to address these markets at an acceptable price point,” notes Sistla, “local VOD server vendors will undoubtedly seize the opportunity. They are naturally more attractiveto local operators (who are increasingly not just cable operators, but telcos): they are cheaper, they have regional support, and they have localized brand recognition.”

ABI Research’s new study, “VOD and PVR: Opportunities for VOD, PVR, and IP Equipment Vendors, Content Providers and Operators” analyzes thepresent and future market, the technology and service trends, for cable and telco video-on-demand (VOD) as well as for Personal Video Recorders (PVR).