Video-On-Demand: Towards New Viewing Practices?

  • Wendy Van den Broeck IBBT-SMIT, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
  • Jo Pierson IBBT-SMIT, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
  • Bram Lievens IBBT-SMIT, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Abstract

In this paper, we focus on the user aspects of a specific television service, video-on-demand (VOD), offered on two platforms: TV and computer. The concept of video-on-demand has already for a long time been the subject of new media research, first in its analogue version and more recently as a digital service. The main asset of this functionality, embedded in different devices, is that it offers the ability of video content being watched at any time and thereby enables extensive ways of time shifting. Furthermore, there is a possible expansion in available content, made by professionals as well as amateurs. Therefore VOD has the technical capability to fundamentally change our viewing patterns and practices. The question is however: How does the audience domesticate this new kind of audiovisual content and (how) does it fit in with their everyday viewing practices? Based on an environmental scan consisting of an extensive literature review, this paper synthesises knowledge on existing viewing practices as well as the video on demand’s new affordances. Possible shifts and interactions are investigated and new research questions are being identified.
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