Round-Up: CNET Grows, VOD Survey, French ‘Piracy Champions’

CNET: CNET (NSDQ: CNET) Networks may be facing a fight to control its board at home in San Francisco, but here in the UK the tech publisher’s flagship has seen its audience grow 89 percent in the last year to 2.54 million unique monthly users. It just filed its latest annual ABCe return for the November month, showing page impressions up 156 percent to 18 million. The site launched late last year. Via AOP.

VOD stats: The proportion of UK viewers regularly watching on-demand has risen from 17 percent in 2006 to 37 percent, reckons Tiscali’s TV Trends 2008 survey – a December poll of 1,760 consumers carried out by Tickbox. Some 86 percent of them report watching more TV generally thanks to VOD. Top reason is catch-up (58 percent), followed by flexibility (49 percent) and schedule clashes (39 percent). Even so, 62 percent said they would prefer to have VOD on their living room TV. Via Brand Republic. In November, Virgin Media reported 45 percent of its customers use on-demand – they use it 17 times per month.

French piracy: French DVD sales dropped 10 percent in 2007 to around 125 million – their third consecutive drop. “Piracy is the main reason. The French are the European piracy champions, both because of the extent of broadband concentration, and us being such a nation of cinephiles,” French Digital Video Federation director Jean-Yves Mirski said, adding media-savvy youngsters are downloading English-language movies without subtitles. This is all despite DVD prices dropping. Via Variety.