If it’s taking the cable industry longer than expected to hammer out a consensus business model for VOD, it’s not for lack of trying. CTAM’s On Demand Consortium is looking at "all of the models that are out there," said member Channing Dawson, svp emerging media at Scripps Nets, at a CTAM panel Mon. The biggest problem is the free on demand space, Dawson noted, because the way it can be monetized through advertising "doesn’t match what linear is. So we have to … change the idea of what advertising is in this environment." Premium networks have a different problem. Since networks such as Showtime are not ad-supported, but are still highly enthused about on demand, the problem is figuring out a way to work with operators to reap the benefits of the service without focusing solely on who bears the cost, said Geof Rochester, svp/marketing, Showtime. "Who pays for the programming is going to depend to a large part on the model," said Lynne Costantini, svp/programming, Time Warner Cable, adding that there is a strong case to have a consensus model for on demand. TW is working on ways to share video assets in the advertising space. Its "start-over" DVR functionality, for example, addresses advertiser concerns about ad- skipping and is an incentive for programmers to provide content in a earlier window that is more valuable to customers. At some point VOD will develop a profitable model, Dawson said, "but if you don’t jump in with some content currently, you’ll never learn the process." – Mavis Scanlon

The Daily


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