The number of video-on-demand (VoD) services in Europe almost doubled in the 12 months to December 2007. A report published by the European Audiovisual Observatory (EAO) - Video On Demand In Europe - has found 258 VoD services in operation in the 24 European countries surveyed, compared with 142 at the end of 2006.

Much of the growth is due to websites provided by broadcasters and television channels offering free catch-up TV, giving viewers access to certain programmes, notably episodes of series, for a period of several days after their transmission. As a result, the great majority of VoD services (74%) are being delivered via the internet, rather than IPTV or cable.

As in 2006, France - with 32 services - remains the country with the highest level of VoD provision; it is followed by the Netherlands (with 30 services) and Germany (with 26 services). Together, these three countries account for almost a third of Europe's VoD services. Sweden and the United Kingdom rank joint fourth with 16 services each.

The EAO survey also covers the latest developments in strategy among various VoD providers (including cable and IPTV network operators, television channels, programme makers and equipment manufacturers).