Video-on-demand services are currently being held up by thin content, concludes ABI Research in a new report. While technology vendors SeaChange, Concurrent and nCube were recently recognised with Technical Emmy’s, another ingredient is necessary to ensure cable’s competitiveness.

With over half US digital cable subscribers now able to access to video-on-demand, a wide choice of content is still lacking, according to Vamsi Sistla, ABI Research’s director of broadband and residential entertainment technologies.

“The focus for cable operators up to now has been to light up as many homes as possible with video-on-demand services,” he observes. “The VOD services consumers are receiving are very rudimentary.”

Cable operators, he suggests, should take the video-on-demand model to the next level of customisation in order to reap its full benefits and should aggressively start looking to content aggregators to provide a wider array of choices to their customers.

While video-on-demand is arming cable operators in the war against churn, another front is emerging as telcos deploy similar systems over broadband networks.

“The telcos will get their ducks in line,” he says, “and once they do that, cable operators might find it much harder to keep their churn rate low. A full fledged VOD offering is one of their key weapons to keep the loyalty of their subscribers.”

ABI Research’s study VOD and PVR, analyzes the present and future market and the technology and service trends for cable and telco video-on-demand and personal video recorders.