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CANNES 2007 Industry

Over 150 VOD services in Europe

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Held by the European Audiovisual Observatory and the French Minister of Culture in the gigantic Salon des Ambassadeurs of the Palais des Festivals, the video on demand (VOD) conference attracted throngs of film industry professionals at Cannes on Saturday afternoon.

The conference aimed to weigh up the rapid development of VOD in Europe. While the means of distribution has yet to reach its full financial potential, it can look forward to a bright future (see VOD Special Report).

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In addition to an informative exchange of opinions, the event announced the results of a survey carried out in the sector by NPA Conseil. At the end of 2006, there were 142 fee-paying VOD services in 24 European countries. Encompassing free services, as well as fee-paying platforms for countries not included in the survey, estimates reveal 150 VOD services in Europe.

France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom are the leading players in VOD, which uses the Internet (94 services) and ADSL transmission (47 services, most often by TV and IPTV distribution) and even satellite and terrestrial networks via storage on DVD recorder (a poorly developed means of access but one which involves two important market players: Britain’s BskyB and German-Austrian group Premiere).

Among the various conclusions of the study, which stresses that films represent the majority of titles offered by fee-paying access, the trend is towards a renegotiation of media windows (the delays between a film’s release in theatres and in other formats, such as video, Internet and TV), with a reduction in the delay of the film’s first release on VOD.

Same-day DVD VOD release is already becoming increasingly common, especially in Scandinavian countries.

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(Translated from French)

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