Concurrent VoD streams to reach 163 million

MUMBAI: Traditional video-on-demand (VoD) services may not be growing at a particularly rapid pace, but the introduction of time shifting, network PVR, and mobile video will propel the demand for VOD technology as the number of concurrent, time-shifted streams of video grows rapidly. In fact concurrent VOD streams worldwide will explode from 1.67 million in 2005 to 163 million in 2011, according to a new study released by ABI Research.

ABI Research principal analyst Michael Arden says, “Simply put, the need for on-demand technology and concurrent usage of that technology will skyrocket over the next five years. The growing importance of that usage is reflected in a spate of corporate acquisitions this summer, all intended to add extra VOD capabilities to their purchasers’ portfolios.”

Cisco, increasingly positioned as a consumer premises equipment provider, added headend capabilities by acquiring Arroyo, which made news recently as the technology behind Cablevision’s network PVR attempts.

By acquiring Entone’s VOD division, headend player Harmonic added an IP-based VOD platform – particularly a market-leading IP VOD platform – that puts the company in a good position to take a larger share of the IP video market.

Earlier, Motorola announced that it would be buying Broadbus Technologies, a move that will bring in a new customer base and allow Motorola to bridge its product line with the IP world.

“The big issue is the number of concurrent video streams. In most networks today, they represent under 10 per cent of customers. Once you start introducing new services such as time-shifted and ‘start-over’ video, and eventually network PVR, concurrency rates shoot up, and VOD solutions become more important in the greater scheme of things. That’s why the timing of these acquisitions is significant: it gives confirmation that VOD is no longer a niche market, and that these large companies plan on having VOD as a big part of their end-to-end video solutions,” says Arden.

The new ABI Research study, “Video-on-Demand Evolution to IP and Ad-Insertion” provides an overview of the growth in VOD subscribers, VOD program downloads, VOD servers, and VOD-enabled CPE for CATV, DBS, DTT, and Telco TV services.

The report also addresses emerging issues such as consolidation in the market, concurrent usage and planning, emerging applications such as time-shifted video, the move to an IP VOD environment supporting mobile and broadband VOD, and integration of ad-insertion technology.

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