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Americans will spend an estimated $26 billion on video-on-demand (VOD) services over the next seven years, according to a report published in March by Newton Centre, Mass.-based Strategy Analytics. Currently, an estimated 8 million homes in the U.S. are serviced by at least one VOD-capable cable network, and that number will rapidly rise to nearly 50 million by next year, predicts the company. But to get the public to actually pay for such a service, the introductory price should be low. A separate report released in April by Winchester, Mass.-based Leichtman Research Group found that 42 percent of cable subscribers say they would be willing to pay a monthly fee of $4.95 (about the price of a single rental at Blockbuster) for a subscription VOD service (SVOD), and 29 percent are willing to pay $9.95 a month. However, of those who have actually used SVOD, a majority (57 percent) say they would be willing to pay for the service at either the $4.95 or $9.95 price point, suggesting that the trick to getting VOD off the ground is getting consumers hooked first.

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