We’re in San Francisco today for the Web 2.0 Summit where Brian’s talking to John Battelle about all things Internet. A big part of what’s happening on the Web for Comcast right now is our initiative to bring more TV shows and movies online, which we call “On Demand Online” (that’s a working title for now). And we’re talking about some of the best stuff on television today… HBO’s hit shows like Entourage, True Blood and blockbuster or award-winning movies that are on HBO, Starz and Cinemax.
Our goal is to exponentially increase the amount of TV and movie content that is available online to consumers for no additional cost. Right now Comcast customers who are participating in our trial can watch Wall-E, American Gangster, the Bourne Ultimatum, Michael Clayton, Charlie Wilson’s War, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and hundreds more.
More top shows, more movies – watch them whenever you want. It’s that simple. There’s a lot of terrific broadcast content on the Web, but shows from top cable networks or premium providers like HBO haven’t been widely available on the Internet. We are working on a solution to change that with our partners in the trial and other industry leaders like Time Warner. Comcast has been testing “On Demand Online” since this summer with 5,000 people and we just increased our trial to 7,000 users.
At Web 2.0, Brian previewed the test site, the video player and walked the audience through the process that you would use to “authenticate” or sign on to the service. Our authentication system uses a password log-on and is a fairly easy process. The customer experience is simple, but the security and authentication technology that functions behind-the-scenes is much more complicated. That’s what our teams are building and testing now.
Customers in the trail have been very active. Here are some interesting stats that Brian shared at Web 2.0:
- The average time that consumers watch video on the Web is about 4 minutes.
- In our On Demand Online trial they are watching an average of 21 minutes.
- 90% of trial participants say that they really like the service.
We have about 100 designers and engineers working now on the next version which Comcast will launch in Beta later this year. There are 24 networks involved including top programs from HBO, Turner, TNT, TBS, Discovery Channel, Starz, Food Network, HGTV, DIY, A&E, BBC, E!, Style, IFC, MGM, CBS, Sundance Channel and others.
More to come on ODOL in the near future. We’ll be adding more content, more functionality and will share more details soon.