Firms Haggle Over Video On Demand

Everyone agrees video on demand over the Internet should be a goldmine for telecoms and media firms, but the two converging industries have yet to figure out how both can make money, a conference in France heard this week. Video on demand—the ability to download a movie or TV program via high-speed Internet—is expected to take off in Europe as broadband, already piped to 10.5 percent of households, attracts enough users to merit investing in the service.

But how quickly video-on-demand becomes available is uncertain, as telecoms operators and media companies haggle over how to slice up the revenue pie. They did not seem close to an agreement at a conference in Montpellier, southern France, this week. "We want to launch video on demand (in France) before the spring but it is difficult to agree on the business model," said Carlo D'Asaro Biondo, head of AOL France, which has about a 9 percent share of the French broadband market and is part of the Time Warner Inc. media group.

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News source: eWeek

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