Report: VOD on fast track in Europe

Research points to 45% annual growth rate

BRUSSELS -- VOD is expected to multiply tenfold from 2007-13, with a compound annual growth rate of nearly 45%, according to a report released Monday.

Although VOD services have been almost dormant since their inception a decade years ago, the recent arrival of IPTV operators will trigger a subscriber surge over the next few years, according to the report from ABI Research.

It will become a must-have feature for operators, who will now look to offer HD VOD, while boosting the size of their content library, the report says.

"Western Europe will see the strongest surge in VOD users, with the largest subscriber base and a slightly higher average revenue per unit than North America, thereby making it the eventual leader in the market," ABI Research analyst Paul Lee said.

VOD's potential already has been recognized by many big-name companies that have moved into the sector. Cisco acquired Arroyo for its VOD solutions in August 2006, obtaining customers such as Comcast, Time Warner and Charter; while Concurrent's VOD platform secured 50,000 streams in the first quarter of 2008.