NPD: MVPDs still hold a VoD rental advantage

Despite all the talk of cord cutting and Internet-enabled streaming movie rentals, cable companies are still consumers' first choice when it comes to ordering on-demand movies on a per-use basis, research from The NPD Group said.

The research broke apart the various pay TV segments, rather than grouping them together as multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs). It noted that Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) led the way among cable operators, who as a whole generated 48 percent of all paid VoD movie rentals in the first half of 2012. The telco VoD space is growing fast as well, with 24 percent year-over-year growth. That's more than Internet VoD growth, which came in with about a 15 percent year-over year improvement.

"When it comes to paying for on-demand movies on an a-la-carte basis, cable companies are by far the primary conduit, due in large part to their widespread penetration and usage in Americans' homes," Russ Crupnick, senior vice president of industry analysis for The NPD Group said in a news release. "Even as iVoD, and VoD from satellite-media companies and telcos grow in popularity, cable companies continue to dominate the VoD movie rental market."

Broken down by company, Comcast led the way with 23 percent of the VoD rental market, followed by DirecTV (Nasdaq: DTV) (14 percent), Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) (9 percent), iTunes (8 percent), Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and Dish Network (Nasdaq: DISH) (7 percent). AT&T (NYSE: T) got top customer ratings based on criteria that included site organization, navigation and title availability, the Long Island-based research firm said.

The Internet appeared to be the place to be for "tech-savvy early adopters," 70 percent of whom are men, NPD said.

"In fact 44 percent of iVoD movie rental orders were made by men aged 25 to 44, compared to only 21 percent of cable VoD rentals," the report noted.

For more:
- NPD Group issued this news release

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