The main Dutch and Belgian industry players are planning a major push to promote Video on Demand with the general public. The aim is to create awareness that filmed home entertainment is available on a large number of digital platforms.
Based upon the earlier (relative) success of the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA), the yet-to be formed platform aims to “inform, involve and enthuse consumers for VOD in order to lower the entry treshold for these groups and stimulate their use of VOD in their homes”. All industry players, including the digital platforms and studios, will be part of the new platform, which is set for a June 2010 launch.
With rentals and sell-through of physical media going down, there is a growing need for legal digital alternatives. In 2009 the Filmed Home Entertainment Consumer market in The Netherlands was worth €378 million, 6% less than in 2008. DVD rentals went down from €50 million to €45 million, while DVD sell-through went from €328 million to €292 million. Blu-ray sales went up, but represent only a small fraction of the market (€19, almost double the €10 from 2008). (Figures from GfK research).
Digital (transactional/paid) increased by 46% to € 22 million, which was 6% of the total market. In the Benelux, mainly in The Netherlands and the Dutch speaking part of Belgium. Digital TV penetration is growing fast, but awareness of VOD services is still in its infancy. Of the total of 4.8 million digital homes in the country, 1.2 million are interactive and only 400,000 have actively used VOD, according to industry research. Cable operators report over 60% usage of the (free) catch-up TV services, but transactional and subscription VOD services are still a long way from such adaptation figures.
Part of the industry-wide VOD intitaive are the Home Entertainment divisions of Warner Bros, Disney, A-Film, Bridge, Cinemien, Dutch Film Works, Fox, Sony Pictures; the digital platforms UPC, Ziggo, KPN/Videoland, Belgacom TV, Telenet and Tele2; the private broadcasters RTL, Be.TV, VMMA (VTM), SBS/Veamer, and the Dutch video retail chain Ster Videotheken as well as connected devices Sony Playstation 3 and Microsoft XBox.