Will Kangaroo ultimately prove to be a success?

Kangaroo's launch date has already been delayed for months by a Competition Commission probe. Now, it has lost chief executive Ashley Highfield. Will it fulfil its backers' ambitions?

YES - Phil Christer, board director, Zed Media

It isn't ideal that project Kangaroo has lost its chief executive, Ashley Highfield, after just four months, but if it gets the right long-term replacement in quickly, it shouldn't prevent the service from developing successfully.

When the launch of Kangaroo was announced last year, it seemed the right direction for the nascent on-demand market to go and I don't see any reason why this should change now.

Kangaroo has an audience, a revenue model, advertisers will invest and opportunities for growth exist and, let's face it, broadcasters need to have as many revenue streams as possible in the current market.

Whether or not the Competition Commission allows the project to move forward in its current form is another question, as other broadcasters such as BSkyB and Virgin Media will not want to be frozen out of the potentially huge on-demand market.

YES - Caroline Binfield, business director, television, Arena BLM

Looking at on-demand viewing figures, the demand for Kangaroo is there. And consumers love anything that makes life easier - just look at the excitement over the iPhone when it launched.

Its backers will be keen to exploit other revenue avenues given that high deflation in TV ad rates is predicted in 2009. But a lot of hurdles exist.

The current on-demand ad rates on some broadcaster's sites are excessive. Kangaroo must give advertisers an advantage over the cost of accessing the same content on TV.

But the service needs to be problem-free. TV is a fickle world. Navigation on the site is also key as there is a risk that the on-demand services from Kangaroo's backers could dominate.

If Kangaroo can master these challenges, it will take on-demand to the next level.

YES - Peter Bazelgette, former chief creative director, Endemol

Can Kangaroo hop over the hurdles confronting it or will the marsupial be marginalised? Ashley Highfield is a loss, but he has already contributed his pennyworth to the plan. Satisfying the competition authorities and achieving consensus among its partners are the key objectives for Kangaroo.

As regards competition concerns, the independent producers can be bought off if BBC Worldwide, Channel 4 and ITV yield a little ground over the current hold back - the period broadcasters require producers to wait before they can re-sell shows in the UK.

As for BSkyB and Virgin Media's concerns - it's difficult to believe the ever-declining PSBs can be said to be dominant anymore, particularly not online. So, can the three partners hack it? The model for them should be Hulu, the on-demand service from NBC and Fox. It's doing well and the recall on ads, which can't be skipped, is relatively high.

NO - Richard Oliver, managing partner, investment, Universal McCann

Our research shows consumers have an appetite for services such as Kangaroo and that they will have the content to satisfy them, so for consumers Kangaroo will be a success.

For advertisers, Kangaroo will be a success as advertisers are increasingly looking to augment their traditional TV campaigns with activity around high-quality online video content such as that offered by Kangaroo.

But for broadcasters, the fear is that their revenue projections for Kangaroo have been created to fill their forecasted shortfalls in other areas, rather than being based on realistic estimates of advertiser demand for, and the value of, such services.

There are many obstacles to overcome - regulatory, political and comercial - but advertisers, agencies and consumers will be supportive.

It remains doubtful though that Kangaroo can plug the revenue gap the major broadcasters face.

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