Apple iTunes Break Through As VOD Leader

While Apple may be a market leader in many things, it is usually for that reason that ‘video on-demand’ is rarely considered as one of them, but it appears from new statistics launched from the NPD Group that the iTunes service is the most popular in the USA when it comes to one-off transactions for video content.

npd_corporateThe study finds that while Apple are fairly cut-off from their rivals with regards to the methods used in their videos sold or rented, they drive an estimated 45% of the market, with almost half of all online video transactions (not including subscription services such as Netflix) coming via the controversial Apple-exclusive service, though it is thought to be a continuation of a decline experienced since recording as much as 65% at the same point in 2011.

NPD’s look into the specific market, abbreviated as iVOD (Internet Video On Demand), found that second place on the list was Amazon (with 18% through its Amazon Instant Video platform). Third was Wal-Mart-owned service Vudu (15%), while Microsoft was listed as 4th with 14% for their combined Zune/Xbox Video offering, with the remaining 8% filled by ‘other’ suppliers (including Google Play and the Sony PlayStation Store).

However, all this  is recognised as just 12% of VOD as a whole, with 72% of the entire VOD market under the control of pay-TV operators, while the ‘digital downloads’ portion (also known as ‘electronic sell-through’) represented the remaining 16%.

It is believed to be a strong rise as a whole for digital platforms against physical media, although it is still noted that the trend of buying/renting DVDs and Blu-ray, while declining, is still dominant, with 61% of all ‘home video’ transactions for 2012 being to buy a disc.

An NPD Group spokesperson summarised the trends and the potential future that platforms such as Netflix could play in the market, stating: “There is a significant base of video customers in the U.S. who continue to be comfortable with physical formats, and a large majority haven’t made the complete transition from discs to digital video. For the time being, at least, consumers still like to own and rent movies and TV shows on DVD and Blu-ray, even in a world of where connected devices and digital rental, streaming, and ownership options are becoming more accepted and commonplace.

“In the market for television content, Netflix has amassed a strong slate of popular programs, including Breaking Bad and The West Wing, all of which capitalize on time-shifting behavior because they immerse the viewer for shorter timeframes than full-length movies do. As long as TV content remains compelling and easily available, we can expect to see that sector of home video expand.”

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