My trip to Cannes starts a couple of days late, partly because I needed to attend the annual On Demand Summit, a conference that allows cable representatives and programmers a chance to get a state of the union. The day-long conference took place in midtown Manhattan, and professionals from across the country came to see and speak. I tweeted throughout the event on Wednesday, and here is a tweet-by-tweet series of highlights:
The big statistic everyone’s buzzing about so far today: 74% of all cable VOD transactions come from free on demand channels/menus.
Exec from Verizon FIOS, says their FlexView movie app will be available to non-Verizon subscribers. That’s kinda big news. [NOTE: this could essentially be an iTunes-like store from Verizon]
The cable companies really want smartphones and tablets to help them with navigation and search for subscribers. IPad apps, etc.
Day-and-date panel. Lisa Schwartz from IFC: you have to pick the right type of film, and it hasn’t hurt theatrical business.
Cox exec on Netflix competition: a percentage of the population is getting priced out of multichannel offerings. Netflix is affordable.
Cable guys joke that we’d be getting a very different take on Netflix if you asked their broadband colleagues.
Programming VOD: Disney exec says all their films will be day-and-date with DVD; “Mars Needs Moms” could do well bc it didn’t theatrically.
Comcast VP interview: if you compared our nationwide VOD viewership to Nielsen ratings, we’re more watched than TNT and USA.
Diana Kerekes of Comcast: we program On Demand like a network.
Kerekes: our Comcast On Demand promotion has often boosted ratings for linear programming. They’re promoting “The Voice” right now.
Kerekes: Comcast doesn’t compete internally between linear and VOD programming, they all want the subscriber to stay each month.
WB exec discussing case study of the major Movies On Demand promotion: cost $30 million, 20 companies involved, 345 million PR impressions.
Another big topic that doesn’t apply to movie programming, at least not at the moment, was ad insertion. That’s a big trend that cable companies are looking at: the ability to increase revenue from free VOD through better advertising. Think of it as Hulu, through your cable box.