Philadelphia — Video-on-demand is a product that cries out for consistency, Comcast's top content acquisition executive said in closing out the OnDemand Summit.
Toward the end of a 20-minute Q-and-A with Multichannel News editor in chief Mark Robichaux, Matt Bond, Comcast's executive VP of content acquisition, was asked what advice marketers should heed in order to establish more value in the on-demand world.
Mark Robichaux and Matt Bond"I think if you're a television network, the way to approach VOD is much the way that premium networks have approached video on demand," Bond said. "They've created a very powerful product that has a lot of consistency. People know what will be in HBO on Demand, Showtime on Demand, Starz on Demand before they even go into it. They know what they are going to find there. I think that is a very important attribute for video on demand -- rewarding the customer with a successful transaction, so to speak, in a very brief period of time.
"We've developed at Comcast what we call internally the VOD Magna Carta, which is a set of rules that are applied consistently to content. In terms of the recency of the content; the quality of the content; the format of the content, HD and SD; the length of time; the window period for series. To begin to establish some consistency, so that customers when they go into the on-demand area for A&E or History -- they will know even before they go in there what they are likely to find. I think that's an important marketing attribute for video on demand."
He was then asked about the future - which of the VOD trends should programmers and marketers be looking at?
"One word to sum it up will be: more," Bond said. "More depth, more content, higher quality. As the advertising model opens up, it will attract more content from the advertising-supported networks. Because this technology will open up a pipeline into customers' homes, there will be a lot of people with content that will figure out ways in which they can monetize that.
"I think it's going to be a much more satisfying experience for the customer," he said. "It already is satisfying to the tune of 3.5 billion views a year. But they're going to get more content, higher quality, better navigation, more devices."
The OnDemand Summit was organized by Multichannel News and Broadcasting & Cable magazines. Photo from the Summit by Joshua Kristal.