iVOD movie rentals remain in doldrums, says new report

Only 5 percent of the 134 million U.S. consumers who own an iVOD-capable device, such as Internet-connected TVs, game consoles, streaming media players, and tablets or smartphones, actually used the device to rent iVOD movies, according to a new report from The NPD Group.

The report, “Movie VOD Monitor,” defines iVOD movie rentals as those rented from: Apple iTunes, Microsoft Zune, Sony PlayStation Network, Amazon Instant Video, Vudu, Best Buy CinemaNow and Blockbuster.com. Further, the report finds that just 14 percent of those who own dedicated streaming media devices reported making an iVOD rental transaction. Netflix is categorized as a subscription streaming service, not iVOD.

Several reasons may account for the lagging performance of this category, including heavy competition from pay-TV operators offering VOD, competition from subscription movie services like Netflix and the fact that iVOD still hasn’t caught on with the majority of mainstream consumers. The NPD Group report finds 56 percent of iVOD movie renters also subscribe to Netflix, and 43 percent use their pay-TV service provider’s VOD service.

“To move the needle forward, though, iVOD providers must now leverage their content selection and search advantages and perhaps take a page out of Netflix’s playbook by offering more free trials to introduce potential users to their services,” said Russ Crupnick, VP, senior industry analyst for The NPD Group.