Study: 4.8 M VOD-capable homes in N. America by 2003
Thanks to aggressive video-on-demand rollouts to help cable operators reign in the DBS threat, 4.8 million North American households will be VOD-capable by the end of 2002, forecasts research firm Allied Business Intelligence.
In addition to higher per-subscriber revenue and lower churn rates, VOD is also becoming a favorite among cable operators because it's a unique weapon they can wield against satellite providers such as EchoStar and DirecTV.
When VOD evolves beyond movies-on-demand to include subscription-based flavors from premium and basic channels, the service "will become an instrumental component in digital tier service," says ABI Director of Residential & Networking Technologies Navin Sabharwal.
An evolution towards so-called everything-on-demand is also set to create a huge VOD server market. ABI predicts the VOD's global equipment market will grow from $108 million in 2001 to $186 million in 2002. Momentum and demand tied to cable operators as well as telcos will help newer VOD players such as Sun Microsystems and SGI compete with leaders such as Concurrent Computer Corp., SeaChange International and nCUBE Corp.
According to ABI's new study, "Video-on-Demand: Infrastructure Issues and Service Offerings," SeaChange and Concurrent led 2001 with respective market shares of 40 percent and 28 percent. -Jeff Baumgartner