December 13, 2006
Music Choice's Popularity in VOD Opens Up Increasing Number of Distribution Doors

Video-on-Demand channels seem to be one form of distribution that are continuing to draw more and more attention as a viable model. WIth the breaking down of the traditional flow of network programming, in an era where TV guide options for viewers allow them to pay little attention to what network their favorite shows air on other than the watermark in the corner, companies are starting to adapt to the non-linear viewing experience.

Case in point? The growth of Music Choice, the Video-on-Demand network that Daisy Whitney with TelevisionWeek reports is expanding its reachinto the Time-Warner cable markets, according to an announcement made yesterday.

By adding all the Time-Warner homes, the VOD network--one of the more popular currently out there, distributing free content VOD through Comcast and others--will be available in 20 million homes.

Whitney reports that Music Choice has had more than 550 million orders of its music so far.

And, as the popularity in VOD advertising shifts, so do the advertising models, and networks are moving more and more of their content onto VOD, such as the CBS/Comcast VOD deal I wrote about in September, as well as the NBC/Cablevision deal.

And, a couple of weeks ago, I wrote about The Gospel Music Channel's efforts in the VOD space.

Trying to develop a branded VOD-exclusive channel, however, is more than just repurposing recent content for the VOD market, as I've written about with WWE 24/7 On Demand. Of that project, I wrote in August that:

he point of all this? WWE has been able to draw on nostalgia in a way that appeals to a very concentrated group of fans, those who care enough about professional wrestling to throw down a few bucks a month to watch old pro wrestling programming, tape archives that were otherwise just sitting in a closet somewhere. It's an example of Chris Anderson's Long Tail, in that products like these can be profitable just by finding a fan base. Although the initial costs of digitizing and mapping out these tape libraries may put the product in the red, the long-term sustainability of this niche product should eventually turn a profit, especially considering that the footage can also be used for DVD releases, etc. (The company has found this out, especially with releasing multiple-disc sets of various wrestling personalities.)