Blog Post

VOD Lights Up Virgin Media, But Sky Waiting In The Wings

Virgin Media (NSDQ: VMED) routinely puts out quarterly and monthly stats on its consumers’ VOD consumption – but that hasn’t stopped it packaging them together again for an annual snapshot…

Yes, its on-demand service got 56 million video views in December (60 percent more than the year before) and more than half a billion video views throughout 2008. Fifty-two percent of Virgin’s 3.5 million TV customers regularly use the service.

Its iPlayer implementation earned 17 million views in December (up from 10.5 million in June), making up a third of all iPlayer consumption. We already knew iPlayer was a big driver for Virgin – the operator also now says its on-demand music channel saw over a million views of songs by X-Factor winners Alexandra Burke and Leona Lewis.

Virgin has genuine advantages with both its broadband infrastructure and its network-based VOD implementation (Sky+ is great, but who wants to bother recording shows to a box when they’re already available in the cloud?). But Virgin only offers VOD for those channels with which it has struck relationships – BBC, C4, ITV (LSE: ITV), Bravo, Living and Virgin 1, as well as movies. The real test will come when Sky is expected to start offering VOD over broadband via Ethernet to its SkyHD boxes later this year…

4 Responses to “VOD Lights Up Virgin Media, But Sky Waiting In The Wings”

  1. Leena Iyabi

    Its a shame that even since privatisation of this market we only have sky or virgin or few more small DTV suooliers here in UK ( Full list is available at ). We have hundereds of companies offering landline and broadband packages but still Sky and Virgin are the only bigger suppliers out here. I think there should be few more suppliers for the competition.

  2. If sky keep loosing sporting events they will loose a massive amount of their customer base. Who wants to wait to download films on a slow internet connection?

    VOD will only work once the whole nation is fibre optic

  3. Elle Maeo

    Obviously Virgin only offers VOD for those channels with which it has struck relationships, same as BT, Tiscali or Sky when it finally arrives in the 21st century. Virgin actually carries over 40 VOD channels including FX, Discovery, Nat Geo, HBO, Warner TV & many more. It's also the only platform to offer True VOD without no need to take a broadband package and the only platform able to offer True HD-VOD.

    Sky's network is still reliant on BT's copper local loops and struggle to offer a comparable service to even the minority of customers with Sky HD.