DIGITAL BRITAIN: THE REPORT. The government has set aside £30 million (€35.5 million) to be spent on collaborative and pre-competitive research and innovation as part of the Digital Britain report published today.
One of the first projects for the Technology Strategy Board will be the trial of a new micropayment system for on demand content. Today’s report says that Virgin Media has demonstrated that there is a clear demand for on demand content with 52% of the cablenet’s households using the service.
However, the report points to Channel 4’s video-on-demand service 4oD that has found it difficult to establish a pay-per-view model for on demand content. It reveals that at launch in 2006, 4oD charged customers 99p per show, achieving less than 1,000 views a day.
Digital Britain says it is unlikely for viewers to want to establish billing relationships with multiple suppliers and a single clearing house should be established to produce a low cost billing relationship for the consumer seeking on demand content.
Broadband TV News is intrigued by the approach, Kangaroo offered convenience, but the presence of too dominant broadcasters caused the Competition Commission to reject the project. A clearing house for micropayments will give an endorsement for companies large and small to offer their own content, potentially attracting independent producers to launch their own stores, through connected TVs and other means.