TV shows have become the most popular content on Comcast’s video-on-demand service, which overall delivered 2.4 billion hours of VOD across all categories in 2012, up from 2.1 billion a year earlier, according to the MSO.
By comparison, Netflix claims its members stream more than 1 billion hours of video per month.
For Comcast, the top TV show on Xfinity On Demand for 2012 was CBS’s The Big Bang Theory, followed by Fox’s Family Guy and HBO’s Game of Thrones, the company said in announcing its third annual Xfinity On Demand Awards recognizing the most-watched content of the year.
Currently, Comcast customers watch more than 80 million hours per month of TV shows on VOD, Matt Strauss, Comcast’s senior vice president of digital and emerging platforms, wrote a blog post.
“With the ability to easily access and watch most of the current top-rated TV series from broadcast and cable networks, many customers are catching up with their favorite shows next day on demand, and in some cases, instead of using the DVR,” Strauss wrote.
Binge-watching of TV shows among Comcast VOD users is on the rise, according to Strauss. For example, the operator’s Xfinity Streampix service offers every episode of seasons 1-8 of ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, with the most recent episodes on demand. “Of all TV series, Grey’s has the most views per viewer in a month, telling us it’s the most binge-watched show in all of our offerings,” Strauss said -- adding that in one month in 2012, the average Grey’s Anatomy viewer racked up an average of 20 episode views.
Other series popular with Comcast binge-viewers were NBC’s The Office, HBO’s Entourage and Lifetime’s Army Wives.
“Once fans are hooked to a particular series, we want to make keeping up easy,” Strauss wrote. “We expect to see even more marathon viewing and downloading as we constantly add even more current content to Xfinity On Demand and great library content on Xfinity Streampix.”
As for VOD advertising, Comcast said ABC, NBC, Fox and CW are each delivering ads in their programming that count toward Nielsen’s C3 rating (live plus three days following premiere).
Currently, the MSO has more than 60 networks certified for dynamic ad insertion for VOD, but Comcast declined to say how many dynamic ads it is currently placing. FearNet and NBCUniversal networks are working with Canoe Ventures, the MSO-owned advertising company, to place ads in Comcast VOD inventory but the operator has not named any other programming partners.
Comcast’s on-demand platform has delivered more than 28 billion views since it first launched in 2003. The MSO logs about 400 million views per month and is on track to top 30 billion to date this year, Strauss noted.
Comcast offers more than 36,000 titles on traditional VOD; more than 270,000 online at Xfinity.com/TV; and 20,000 TV shows and movies on the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch through the Xfinity TV Player app.
Among other top VOD content for 2012 on Comcast, the most-viewed new series was A&E’s Duck Dynasty, followed by HBO’s Girls and NBC’s Revolution. The most-viewed kids TV series was Disney Channel’s Mickey Mouse Clubhouse followed by Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time and Regular Show.
The most-viewed new release movie was 21 Jump Street followed by The Hunger Games and Ted, while the top kids movie was Alvin & The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked followed by We Bought a Zoo and Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. In the music category, the most-viewed artist was Beyoncé, followed by Nicki Minaj and Chris Brown.
In November 2012, Comcast added the ability to download select movies and shows to the Xfinity TV Player app. According to Strauss, Showtime’s Homeland was the most downloaded TV series of the content Comcast started with at launch. Among movies, Finding Nemo was the most downloaded title.
For transactional VOD movies, Comcast’s share of the $1.3 billion market declined from 29% in 2011 to 28% last year as telco competitors gained share, according to NPD Group.