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The Rise of SVOD: How the Growth of Subscription Video-on-Demand Impacts Copyright Holders

Ben W. Sheppard and John G. Plumpe

©2015. Published in Landslide, Vol. 8, No. 1, September/October 2015, by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association or the copyright holder.

In recent years, subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Instant Video, and Hulu Plus, have blossomed into a material destination for consumers to access long-form video content, including motion pictures and made-for-television content. According to Nielsen, over 40 percent of U.S. households had access to at least one SVOD service as of November 2014, with 13 percent of U.S. households having access to multiple streaming services.1 In addition, according to Morgan Stanley, consumers are more willing to pay a subscription fee to watch content online.2 While this growth in consumer preferences no doubt has a positive impact on how SVOD services are valued, what does this mean for those interested in how the streamed video content is valued, including copyright holders and other stakeholders?3 In this article, we explore the growth in SVOD adoption and how this growth has affected overall consumer spending. We also look at how the growth of SVOD may further impact monetization from the perspective of copyright holders and other stakeholders.

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