Country Focus: Belgium
Dutch VOD providers unite
by Boyd van Hoeij
- Video on Demand, or VOD, has been a growing explosively as access to broadband internet, via optical fibre or cable, has become more common and streaming video content has become the norm.
This is also the case in the Netherlands, where the use of VOD has doubled over the past three years according to recent research, and around 2 million people use VOD platforms to watch streaming content or download films.
The Dutch VOD market was worth about €72m in 2012, which is still only a third of the Blu-Ray and DVD market but the tide seems to be turning as DVD lost 21.3% of the market in the same time and Blu-Ray gained a measly 2%, compared to the enormous growth for VOD.
Various VOD providers in the Netherlands felt that it was time to reunite their forces and thus be able to negotiate with distributors as well as government regulators and other partners as a group. Some of their concerns include standardizing digital contents delivery, release windows and their association, called VodNed, is made up of some of the biggest VOD platforms in the Netherlands, including RTL XL, MovieMax, Ximon, Pathé Thuis, Videoland, Maxx-XS, Cinemalink and meJane.com.
VodNed is chaired by Marc Jurgens, the director of Ximon, one of the largest providers with over 3,100 titles and the first to offer access to much of its catalogue for a monthly flat fee (currently €9.50).
Notably, Ximon has an enormous catalogue of Dutch TV series and historically significant local films, such as Oscar winners Antonia's Line and Character, from 1995 and 1997 respectively. It recently closed a deal with commercial broadcaster RTL to further complete its catalogue.