By David Lee Smith
December 20, 2006
Video-on-demand, that wonderful feature that -- particularly in concert with the digital video recorder -- permits us to control our television viewing, rather than the other way around, has been a long time coming. Its arrival bodes well for a number of companies in several areas of the television and content space.
For those Fools who have not become involved in the world of video-on-demand, or VOD, the feature is, at face value, something like your old pay-per-view. However, there are substantial differences between the two, and they begin with the word pay. For years, cable executives attempted to determine the appropriate economic model for VOD. Early approaches, from five or so years ago, generally had the operators charging for most video-on-demand offerings. Those first offerings usually consisted of movies, and the cable multi-systems operators (MSOs) typically charged from $0.99 to $7.95 for a film, depending upon its type and vintage.
The VOD capability...
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