Do We Need Video On Demand?

from the just-tivo-it dept

Wired has an article about HBO’s latest experiment with video on demand. Apparently, it’s going pretty well. However, it’s costly for the company, and really, it just sounds like a specialized Tivo that only works for HBO. It seems to me that Tivo (or a Tivo-like device) is really the future of video on demand – rather than the broadcasters themselves. Why would anyone sign up for HBO-on-demand when they could just buy a Tivo and have the same functionality for every channel?

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Comments on “Do We Need Video On Demand?”

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Daniel says:

No Subject Given

Actually, I had a chance to play around with this at the Nobody Beats The Wiz store on Long Island. Cablevision is offering this on their new digital cable system called i/o. It is really cool. I brought up HBO on Demand, and they had every episode of every series they have. I started a “Curb Your Enthusiasm” episode and it played immediately. The quality was very good, just below DVD. I could pause, RR, FF. It was free. They also had 200 movies- most were free, except the new releases which were $4. I left the store saying “wow” about a hundred times!

todd says:

Re: re: model

The ideal model would be for one of the distributors to work in concert with TiVo to assess the pent-up demand for any movie at any given time and price discriminate down the demand curve.

Example: I have “breaking away” on my TiVo wishlist. I’d pay $0.99 to see it (commercial free — interesting little twist there, huh). Say TiVo aggregates that information and determines that 1000 people would pay $3.99, 1400 would pay $2.99, 3000 would pay $1.99 and 5000 would pay $0.99. They could offer it starting at 3.99, then 2.99, then 1.99, etc. I might not get it — given my low price — for quite some time if at all. But the distributor gets to reap all the demand (assuming price is negligible — which may not be a fair assumption). Perfect price discrimination?

I think TiVo starts to blur the line between always-streaming content and batched content. Now that my TiVo has both tuners active on DirecTV, it has the ability to record a minimum of twice as much TV as I am able to watch.

What I would pay to watch — and when — is another story. That market is only starting to get interesting thanks to technology like TiVo.

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