Sean Donahue

Plot Twists Continue for Subscription-Based Online Video

A couple months back, when I rounded up recent news from the online video-on-demand market, I didn’t expect to be revisiting the topic quite so soon. But as summer has rolled on, online video purveyors have continued to make big bets or scale back their ambitions in one of the toughest subscription content markets to crack.

The latest news:

- Netflix has made a deal with Microsoft to stream movies through the Xbox 360 game console for viewing on home televisions. The deal gives Netflix access to about 12 million Xbox 360 users. It also gives the DVD rental company a second platform for streaming movies directly to subscribers’ TVs, following the recent release by Roku rof a set-top box for Netflix rentals.

- The near-dead MovieBeam set-top box has *another* new owner: India’s Valuable Group. The media company plans to invest $100 million over the next two years to relaunch the service in North America, the UK, and other countries, according to PaidContent.org.

- Vongo is no more. The online streaming video service from Starz Entertainment group had charged users $9.99 a month to watch videos on their computers or mobile devices. But the parent company, which operates cable channels, is now turning toward striking deals with cable operators, such as Verizon?

So what killed Vongo? It was tough to market the service and the selection of movies was limited, according to a company spokesman.

 

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