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Video on Demand Goes Global

More than 900 million homes worldwide will have access to true video-on-demand (VOD) or near-video-on-demand (NVOD) by 2012, according to Informa's "TV & PVRs" report. Informa said that this was equivalent to 78% of the world's TV households. Revenue from the services was predicted to exceed $10 billion in 2012.

Near-video-on-demand is like rush-hour subway service, where multiple copies of the same program run at close intervals. Like commuters, viewers wait for the next available program to start. This is also how many premium US cable channels have operated traditionally.

Informa forecast that North America and Europe would account for a combined 83% of global on-demand revenues by 2012, with North America accounting for nearly one-half of the world's VOD revenues.

"While true VOD operators still use a free-content model to promote high customer awareness of the technology, there are now signs that these services are successfully converting users into revenue-generators," said Adam Thomas, author of the report. "This is often at the expense of NVOD services, which are either being phased out, or reduced in size."

In Europe, the UK was predicted to be the on-demand leader, generating $677 million in 2012, with France and Germany in second and third places.

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