Video on Demand to Grow

If you’re a frequent reader of HDTV Almanac, you probably know that I’m a big proponent of the concept of “command and control” for video entertainment and information. By this I mean that you can watch what you want, when you want, and where you want. I believe that is the driving force behind change and new technology in video.

A new study by the market research firm iSupply lends some strong support to my position. The video-on-demand — VoD — market grew 40% from 2004 to 2005. They expect the VoD market to grow from $2 billion this year to $13 billion in 2010. They expect that there will be almost 150 million VoD users/subscribers worldwide by 2010.

They cite global IPTV as an enabling development, along with high-def DVD recorders that allow download and burn of movie content. Movies are available on-demand and for download closer to the theater release date; sometimes even the same day. Mobile video is growing rapidly. iSupply points out that there could be some losers in this change; demand for DVD rentals could be shifted to VoD services.

More than ever, it looks to me as though people want more control over their video viewing, and that this will drive massive changes over the next ten years. The old broadcast model of content distribution — watch what we’re offering when we make it available on our schedule — is under siege. As TiVo and other digital video recorders take hold, and online services offer more and more content for download at low or no cost, viewing habits are going to change radically. The question will no longer be “what’s on television tonight?”, but instead will be “what do you want to watch now?”