Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The RS-DVR issue comes to Europe

My friend John Goedegebuure unearthed a new service from KPN: Opnemen Pakket ('recording package'), basically an RS-DVR service, comparable to Cablevision's cloud-based service.

  • 5 EUR/mo (free for Premium subs)
  • max 6 simultaneous recordings
  • initiatiate using red button or EPG
  • max 200 hr in SD quality (or 100 in HD)
  • max 32x fast forward during playback
The new service could undermine catch-up TV, since recording is made very easy. It could also undermine the advertising models that underpins both broadcast and catch-up TV, because ad skipping is made very easy as well and because the service (presumably) doesn't have pre-rolls.

At the same time, KPN has found a new revenue source. Obviously, that may not sit very well with the content industry. John also found a verdict from the Oberlandesgericht in Dresden, in a case brought forward by RTL Germany against Save TV. It basically says: Save TV is allowed to offer the service - but needs RTL's consent.

Conclusion: in Germany, the content industry prevailed. What will happen next in the Netherlands? RTL Netherlands apparently hasn't taken action yet, but based on the German verdict, it may ask KPN to end its RS-DVR service. The way out then appears to be some sort of revenue sharing agreement.

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