In Demand Adds Transport Role With Music Choice

In Demand said it has signed a deal to provide video-on-demand transport services for top VOD network Music Choice.

As part of the pact with Music Choice, which takes effect in February 2012, In Demand said it will complement its distribution footprint via the Comcast Media Center's VOD content distribution platform, which encompasses more than 56 million VOD-enabled households in the U.S. and Canada.

Music Choice said its current transport providers are Avail-TVN and CMC. Representatives of Avail-TVN, a rival to CMC, could not immediately provide a comment on the upcoming switch.

In Demand, which is owned by Comcast, Cox Communications and the Time Warner Entertaiment-Advance Newhouse Partnership, has an existing VOD transport alliance with CMC.

Music Choice's owners include Comcast, Cox and Time Warner Cable units, in addition to subsidiaries of Microsoft, Motorola, Sony Corporation of America and EMI Music.

Music Choice is the top VOD network based on usage, according to In Demand, and is available in 51 million homes in the U.S. Programming includes hundreds of free videos and original programming covering pop, rock, country, hip hop and R&B music genres. Music Choice videos generate more than 1.2 billion annual views, and more than 100 million views per month. Music Choice Video on Demand launched in November 2004.

"For the past seven years, Music Choice has refined the concept of VOD music into a distinctive brand that is a model for success in the On Demand world," In Demand CEO Bob Benya said in a release. "We are pleased that Music Choice has chosen to depend on In Demand's sophisticated technology and proven systems to deliver its product for the next generation."

In Demand is best known for managing pay-per-view and other transactional content, but also manages transport of "free" and subscription VOD for more than 40 programmers, it said.

In Demand transports on-demand programming directly to affiliates for such services as Ski Channel, Sportskool, Bollywood On Demand and New Frontier. Via the collaboration with Comcast Media Center in Denver, In Demand also delivers VOD content for network groups and channels including AMC Networks, MLB Network and TV Guide Network.

A recently completed bandwidth expansion enabled In Demand to double its transport capacity in 2011, it said.