Clearing house to manage VOD micropayments

By Julian Clover

The government has set aside £30 million (€35.5 million) to be spent on collaborative and pre-competitive research and innovation as part of the Digital Britain report published today.

One of the first projects for the Technology Strategy Board will be the trial of a new micropayment system for on demand content. Today’s report says that Virgin Media has demonstrated that there is a clear demand for on demand content with 52% of the cablenet’s households using the service.

However, the report points to Channel 4’s video-on-demand service 4oD that has found it difficult to establish a pay-per-view model for on demand content. It reveals that at launch in 2006, 4oD charged customers 99p per show, achieving less than 1,000 views a day.

Digital Britain says it is unlikely for viewers to want to establish billing relationships with multiple suppliers and a single clearing house should be established to produce a low cost billing relationship for the consumer seeking on demand content.