Published: 13.29 Europe/London, May 4, 2011

ANGA CABLE 2011 – COLOGNE. Maxdome, Germany’s largest VOD portal, is asking questions about the creation of a commercial run on demand service by public broadcasters.

SevenOne Media’s Eun-Kyung Park told the audience at the Hybrid and Interactive conference session, “this is not what they are supposed to do. They are building a VOD service with money paid by the public. The public broadcasters should give us the content – we can sell and distribute it for them. I say: let’s talk about it.”

Maxdome offers movies and TV series. “Our business model is to go for the big movies and the popular TV series,” Park said, welcoming the adaptation of HbbTV. “It is ideal, it finally merges internet and the TV, which makes sense.”

So far, Maxdome refrained from any big marketing blitz, but this has not been a problem. “Without any media support, people are using it. We are reluctant to do major communication as there are not a lot of devices out there.”

Maxdome currently has several portals in online space and is also available on set-top boxes from Medeon and on Samsung Smart TV sets. “Our idea has always been to be on the TV. So the call is now to get the infrastructure and devices ready.”

Are OTT services such as Maxdome a threat to cable and IPTV platforms? “We are talking to all parties,” said Park. Of course in the German situation, where the cable infrastructure is only becoming two-way interactive, there was a chance for an outside party such as Maxdome to start a business. In Denmark, the situation is completely different, with a strong cable operator owning a modern network.

Anders Blauenfeldt, product development at Denmark’s cable operator YouSee, said his company YouSee enjoys a market share of 50% of all cabled homes in the country. “In 2009 we removed encryption on digital distribution and are now using a filter based system in the digital space. After that we saw an explosion in new TV sets in the market, because now people can watch directly on their TV with a built-in cable tuner. So, our set-top box product is not enabling digital, it is an on-demand product – that is our communication.”

The operator also launched a simulcast of all of their TV channels via broadband. “So if you take broadband then you get all our TV channels on broadband on the PC. We launched it some years ago and re-launched it in 2009. Now it is really picking up. We looked for functional bundles rather than cheaper bundles.” For the moment, people can only watch the channels inside the home but the operator gets a few questions customers when can we take it out of the home. “But this seems more a conceived demand than a real demand.”

For its on-demand service YouSee built a full VOD portal, which is not only available on the network itself, but to all Danish broadband homes as an OTT service. “With regards to movies, we have the ambition to be the Netflix of Denmark”.