Boffo Backing for VOD - Multichannel

Boffo Backing for VOD

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Cable operators and studios have teamed to launch an
unprecedented $30 million marketing
and promotional campaign
over the next three months
targeted at building awareness
for on-demand movies.

With many top box-office films
appearing on video-on-demand
lineups at the same time as they
hit home-video shelves, the multitiered
campaign — titled “The
Video Store Just Moved In” — will
tout how fun and easy it is for digital-
cable customers to view movies
in their homes, rather than
trudging out to the video store.

“We’ve been excited about movies
on-demand from the cable operator
perspective for a long time
but, for a host of reasons, the studios
have been focused on selling
their product for home consumption
through other distribution
outlets,” Time Warner Cable chief
financial officer Rob Marcus told
Multichannel News. “It’s been a
logical proposition for a long time
in that it’s a much better customer
experience than renting from a
traditional rental outfit.”

Developed in association with
the Cable & Telecommunications
Association for Marketing
Co-op, operators participating in
the campaign include Armstrong,
Bend Broadband, Bright House
Networks, Cablevision Systems,
Comcast, Cox Communications,
Insight Communications and
Time Warner Cable. The studio
partners include 20th Century
Fox, Focus Features, Lionsgate,
Rogue, Sony Pictures Entertainment,
Summit Entertainment,
Universal Pictures and Warner
Bros. Entertainment.

Spurring the campaign is the
continued increase of movies debuting
on VOD schedules at the
same time as they do in home
video stores. More than 100 VOD
movies debuted on a day-anddate
basis with home video last
year, and this month a record 20
films — including the Twilight
sequel New Moon and Academy
Award winning film Precious:
Based on the Novel ‘ Push’ by Sapphire
— are debuting simultaneously
on VOD and home video.

Over the last two years, there
has been more than a seven-fold
increase in the number of dayand-
date titles offered to digital
cable customers nationally, according
to VOD content aggregator
In Demand.

Jamie McCabe, executive vice
president of worldwide pay-perview
and video-on-demand for
20th Century Fox, said studios
are focusing more on the VOD
space as a major revenue generator.
The campaign could continue
beyond the initial three-week
period if it proves to be successful
in delivering strong PPV performances,
he said.

“This is a really exciting campaign,
and we’re hopeful that
it resonates with the consumer,”
McCabe said. “It’s good that
you have both content partners
and operators that are all contributing
their time, money and
creative energy to try to give the
category a nice spotlight as it continues
to grow.”

Other titles premiering on VOD
during the campaign include The
Blind Side, Ninja Assassin, Pirate
Radio, Astro Boy, Bandslam, Did
You Hear About the Morgans? and
The Fourth Kind.

The TV spots will appear in
heavy rotation on such broadcast
networks as Fox, ABC, CBS and the
WB, as well as on cable via such
networks as TV Guide Channel,
USA Network, A&E and MTV.

Campaign print ads appeared
in Entertainment Weekly this
week, while online banners will
run on movie Web sites Rotten
Tomatoes and Fandango, according
to campaign officials.

Marcus would not say how
many TV spots operators would
be required to air as part of the
campaign but added that the
partnership should give the PPV
category a major boost.