In Demand has cut a deal with Clearleap that will enable the distributor of video-on-demand and pay-per-view services to move ahead on terrestrial IP strategy that will put In Demand and its cable operator partners in position to sell and rent movies and other content on a variety of connected devices.
In Demand, owned by Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications and Bright House Network, distributes about 4,000 hours of transactional, subscription and ad-supported, free VOD a month – a figure that also includes high-definition and standard-definition content as well as titles that it distributes for 56 linear networks.
In Demand has historically distributed VOD to its partners via satellite. Moving VOD distribution to a terrestrial-based system will give In Demand access to more bandwidth and help In Demand and its partners flesh out their multiscreen strategies, John Vartanian, chief technology officer of In Demand.
In Demand, he added, will continue to lean on satellites to distribute pay-per-view movies and live events, barker channels, and out-of-market subscription sports packages for Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League and Major League Soccer.
In Demand will initially use the upgraded system to distribute VOD titles that are tagged for set-top boxes. But, importantly, the new system will also put In Demand and its MSO partners in position to sell and rent movies directly to customers via broadband to mobile devices. When that capability is activates, it will enable them to compete against the likes of Apple iTunes, Amazon, Vudu and others in the so-called electronic-sell-through market. In Demand will support UltraViolet, a cross-industry effort that lets consumers access purchased content from a secure “digital locker.”
The upgraded platform, which will use Clearleap’s workflow toolset, will allow In Demand to support a much broader range of distribution and sales models. “The way you manage ingest and process that content is critical to do the business deals our customers want to do,” Vartanian explained. “Their sophisticated IP technology allows us to be more nimble, flexible and future ready as our needs evolve.”
Clearleap, company CEO Braxton Jarratt said, adds in a streamlined layer of control and security around Internet-based delivery. While satellite-based delivery has sufficed for years, a move to an terrestrial IP platform for VOD will give In Demand and others flexibility and speed that satellite can’t match.
In Demand started to migrate affiliates to the new platform on October 1, and expects to complete the job by the end of the month.