The panel “Now Entering VOD-Ville: New Dimensions for Anytime Video” was jam-packed, perhaps reflecting the interest in the new on-demand world. Matt Stump moderated with Stephen Burke (Comcast Corporation), Jeff Gaspin (Universal Television Group), Landel Hobbs (Time Warner Cable), Tom Rutledge (Cablevision Systems Corporation), and David Zaslav (Discovery Communications).
There was a fair amount of discussion of the pros and cons of Video on Demand versus Video on the Web. Rutledge said that VOD is a technology, not a business model, and that Internet content has different value. The panel argued that cable’s infrastructure is quite powerful (possibly underutilized, several speakers said) and has much to offer viewers.
A number of new projects were mentioned – a cavalcade of code names: Project Canoe, Start Over, Look Back, Project Infinity, Popcorn. For example, Canoe will make possible dynamic ad insertion on VOD, which the panel agreed was key. Hobbs noted that Start Over, the Time Warner service that allows you to skip back to the beginning of a show that has already started, does not allow viewers to fast-forward through advertising.
(Read more coverage of this session from Broadcasting & Cable.)