Sony & Channel 4 May Launch 4oD Video-On-Demand On PS3

Jonathan Sutton

Sony is about to add another multimedia offering to its growing portfolio of services available on its PlayStation 3 (PS3) console. UK’s Channel 4 is currently in talks with the multinational corporation to release its 4oD video-on-demand (VoD) service to the Sony PS3 console. This will bring Channel 4 shows like The Ali G Show to the Sony PS3. BBC’s previously released iPlayer has proven to be extremely popular, so the broadcaster is investigating the platform for other ventures.

If it is launched, 4oD video on demand will be the Sony PlayStation 3’s first commercial on demand service. Microsoft already has Sky Player, which is a similar commercial television on demand service, so this could help Sony – who has historically positioned its PS3 as a media centre vs Microsoft’s console-first approach – successfully compete.

According to an anonymous source, “4oD is becoming a platform agnostic product.” In line with that strategy, a future Apple iPad application is rumoured. These two new services will supplement 4oD content already being hosted on Virgin Media’s on-demand service and Youtube. It is likely that the 4oD service will continue to expand in both the scope of available materials and in the number of platforms the service is available for.

The source also feels that 4oD …”will be successful because of the quality of the content.” The premium content positioning is what allows the service to function as a commercial product in an age where so much of the video consumed is freely available.

Other web-based on-demand content providers are attempting to migrate to a pay model, also. Hulu, who streams content on the Flash platform, has recently unveiled a premium plan that will provide access to more content more quickly. The company has also introduced a Sony PS3 client, but the service is available in the United States only. No date has been given as to when Channel 4 plans to release its 4oD video-on-demand service.