VOD faces uphill battle in fight for eyeballs

In Germany, some digital players have pulled unimpressive numbers, and for now the impact of VOD on the industry and viewers is minimal. Telco giant Deutsche Telekom and TV group ProSiebenSat.1 operate VOD services Videoload and Maxdome, respectively, but demand is low. In2Movies, a VOD joint venture launched in 2006 by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and Bertelsmann-owned ISP Arvato Mobile, threw in the towel after just two years. The the future of recently launched FilmConfect is in question.

On Demand Deutschland (ODD), a joint venture between London-based On Demand Group and Germany’s Tele Muenchen Group, operates VOD services on regional cablers and supplies content to Telekom Austria’s Aon TV VOD service.

All VOD operators have content deals with Hollywood studios and local distribs, offering a mix of German and international films and series. But for local distribs and sales companies, however, VOD revenue remains insignificant. “People would be lying if they said they were making money with digital distribution,” says Irina Ignatiew, exec VP international at Munich-based Telepool. Yet she predicts that in two to five years’ time it will be a much bigger part of the business.

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