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On Demand: VOD Changes Primetime Economics

NEW YORK – Rentrak vice chairman and CEO Bill Livek believes the difference between video on demand and primetime linear TV is a lot like the gap between cooking with a microwave and an oven – food tastes better in the oven, but “you can’t beat the speed.”

Livek, whose company makes its living measuring TV viewing habits, said at the Multichannel News/B&C On Demand Summit that consumers, in an effort to accommodate their busier lifestyles, are making the trade off between watching commercials on the VOD platform for the convenience of merely clicking a button to watch their favorite shows when they want them.

And the numbers back him up. According to Rentrak, about 57 million households have access to VOD, up by about 2 million in the past year. More importantly, he said, time spent watching VOD has risen to 9.3 hours per month, about double the time spent just five years ago.

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