This time last year the UK operator predicted that total VOD views for the year would surpass one billion. The final total was 1,004,447,198, which doesn’t include content stored locally on DVR hard drives. That figure is an increase of 14% on 2010. Virgin Media said that if someone were to watch this much television in one sitting it would take more than 56,000 years. ITV drama Coronation Street was the most watched catch-up show, while The Vampire Diaries was the most popular complete series.
Virgin Media introduced its next generation service TiVo during the first half of the year, and statistics show that the platform’s search and recommendation engines are helping customers to engage with more VOD content. Almost 90% of searches were for programmes outside audience research group BARB’s top 50.
“Essentially people are watching more TV; whether that’s On Demand, suggestions recorded for them, or as a result of new and exciting interactive experiences,” said Cindy Rose, executive director of digital entertainment at Virgin Media. “We know On Demand is incredibly popular as it’s watched more than any channel except for BBC1 or ITV1 but we far surpassed our expectations in 2011. We’ve led the development of On Demand and we’re now doing the same with TiVo, which takes the entertainment experience to another level.”
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