Video on demand (VoD) is a service that provides subscribers with the opportunity to watch the desired videos (movies, video clips, TV shows, news, etc.) at any time. How many of us have never watched TV series on Netflix or similar platforms?
When watching a specific video, the file is automatically downloaded to the user’s device. Subscribers can start watching the pre-recorded video from any moment, speed up or slow down the viewing, pause, i.e. use the so-called “trick modes”.
To enjoy the benefits of VОD, it is enough to have a high-speed connection to the server that implements this service. Thus, the user of the Video on Demand service is not tied to the TV broadcasting grid and can receive the required video data at the time when it is needed.
Top 3 VOD Business Models
Before introducing anything into your business, you need to make sure that it will bring money. And VOD is no exception. Listed here are all of the major business methods used by video-on-demand service providers to generate revenue. Often models are combined and the user is offered AVOD + TVOD or AVOD + SVOD, etc.
The concept of PPV (Pay Per View) is sometimes applied to this model. As the name suggests, the idea is that users only pay for what they watch. For example, they can buy access to an exclusive video or a movie premiere.
TVOD has two divisions:
Electronic Sell Through (EST) – buying videos through digital selling channels for perpetual use. Sometimes the term Download to Own (DTO) is also applied to it, which means that the content can be downloaded to the user’s device.
Download to Rent (DTR) – video rental for a period of time (for example, for 24, 48 hours, etc.). This means that users can watch a video for a fee for a limited time. The DTR model is cheaper than EST.
The EST and DTR models are used by companies like iTunes, GooglePlay and Distrify. These are mass services that can afford substantial content costs because they have a large loyal customer base, cross-marketing opportunities, and economies of scale.
The SVOD monetization model stipulates that video content is available for unlimited access for a regular (most often monthly) subscription. One of the best-known and most successful OTT businesses in the world, Netflix, operates under SVOD model, providing a video-on-demand service for a monthly fee.
SVOD is a successful business model, which is confirmed by global experience. People are ready to regularly pay relatively little money for the opportunity to access a database of high-quality and versatile content. ROI is possible, but apparently only if you manage to invest in the market leader.
Advertising supported Video on Demand (AVOD) is a type of VOD where the viewer can watch a movie, series or TV show for free with ad breaks. This type of monetization is well known to YouTube platform users. Advertisers pay content creators to place ads on their videos based on the size of the audience watching them. AVOD platforms are getting their fair share as well.
Why Is VOD Important in 2022?
In 2022, video is still the most in-demand form of information. This can be concluded from how popular video on demand platforms like YouTube or Netflix are. Viewers like to be able to access the content they want anytime, anywhere. And video creators appreciate the ability to deliver their content straight to the audience.
Statista predicts video-on-demand revenues to reach $94.88 billion in 2022. Moreover, by 2024, 82% of all consumer Internet traffic will come from online video. It’s no wonder why many companies decide to incorporate video-on-demand or live streaming into their business strategy.
A VOD Timeline: How it Changed Over the Years
Once upon a time, TV was the only place where we could watch our favorite movies or shows. The introduction of video-on-demand has revolutionized the entertainment industry. The ability to choose what and when to watch has supplanted broadcast TV and Video CDs/DVDs, becoming the number one choice for almost everyone.
Initially, VOD was not very affordable, since HTTP technology was used to implement it. However, after the emergence of YouTube in 2005 and the invention of technologies such as video compression, HLS, and adaptive bitrate streaming, video-on-demand has seen more users.
2016 was also a major milestone for the video streaming industry. The launch of Netflix and Amazon Prime has changed the viewing habits of many people in favor of video on demand. So, for example, 160 million Indian consumers alone have joined the VOD audience.
But not only the emergence of new technologies and video platforms have contributed to the scope of the adoption of the VOD service. COVID-19 lockdown has turned the attention of a society looking for new sources of entertainment to VOD platforms. The rapid growth in the popularity of the video service can be seen in the value of the VOD market. In 2020, the video-on-demand market was valued at $60 billion, in 2021 it grew to $81 billion, and by the end of 2022 it is expected to grow to $94.88 billion.
VOD vs Live Streaming?
What Is Live Streaming?
Live streaming is the delivery of video and audio content from a provider to users of a particular resource in real time. This method of media distribution is similar to how TV viewers receive uninterrupted broadcasts in a digital or analogue format.
How is Live Streaming Different From VOD?
The biggest difference between Live Streaming and VOD is how and when the content reaches the audience. In live streaming, the action is captured and streamed in real time, meaning the audience is part of the live event wherever they are. In the case of VOD, the video content that reaches viewers has been pre-recorded, edited and pre-uploaded, so there is no sense of “here and now” while watching. If you are considering which content delivery method to choose, VOD or live streaming for your business, comparing the following factors will help you in your decision.
In terms of quality, pre-recorded and edited VOD videos outperforms live streams that are literally created and distributed in real time and cannot be modified. Even giants like YouTube and Twitch have a hard time streaming live at high resolutions. And they still cannot provide reliable and smooth 4k live video transmission.
Before a recorded video is made available to the audience, it can be reviewed and polished. This gives VOD users a perfectly cooked product, and content creators have more control over what the viewer sees. Streamers do not have this privilege, as their viewers are watching the raw video with all the possible flaws that were made live. On the other hand, viewers like the feeling of “here and now”, as well as the likelihood that something will go wrong on the air, which they will witness.
Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of video on demand is that it is available to watch at any time. Viewers don’t have to adjust their time to the start of their favorite show. They can watch the content they want at their convenience. In the case of live streams, viewers must be available at the exact time the video is broadcast, which makes them a bit less convenient than VOD.
Because VOD is a pre-recorded and uploaded product, viewers cannot interact with the creator or each other while watching the content. So if you’re looking for interactivity, live streaming is your option. Since all the action takes place in real time, viewers can chat, comment on what is happening and ask the streamer questions. This incredibly unites the audience and positively influences customer retention.
How Live Streaming and VOD can Work Together for Your Business
The success of live streaming and VOD services lies in the fact that they are built on people’s natural needs for entertainment and the desire to consume information visually. And any business honed for success should also benefit from these technologies.
Companies use VOD platforms and live streaming platforms as a marketing tool for hosting live events, promoting new products, generating leads, building brand awareness, and informing audiences about a service or product.
Uploading your content and ideas about your industry to the VOD platform will definitely bring in more customers or viewers. It works if only because it’s convenient and anyone can access the video anywhere and anytime. Here are some industry trends that reflect the true value of on-demand video content:
- 86% of companies include video content in their marketing strategies;
- 59% of executives prefer watching a video than reading the text content;
- 50% of people look for a product video before heading to the store to buy it.
Both live streaming and VOD have their own strengths and have a positive effect on business growth. Therefore, it is best to integrate both technologies in your strategy, offering your customers several options for content consumption.
The Future of VOD
Video on demand fits perfectly into the modern lifestyle. In 2022, the audience needs to have control over the content they consume, the ability to choose what and when to watch. A state-of-the-art VOD technology gives it all.
While no one knows exactly what the VOD industry will look like in the future, one thing is certain: more and more viewers will unplug the cable and switch to a new, more convenient format. The streaming business is expected to expand and diversify in the near future. The projected market value for the next year is over $90 billion, and judging by the rapid growth of the past years, this is more than realistic.
A lot of startups, schools and organizations are implementing streaming technologies and seeing results. Technology will evolve and more companies will use it to advance their business.
How Launching an Independent VOD Platform Can Help Your Business
Some may wonder: why launch your own platform, when there are already many popular and completely free VOD hosting platforms. The answer lies in the shortcomings that YouTube-like hosting has:
- Content restrictions
- No brand customization
- No integration options
- No API access
- Limited monetization options
Now take a look at the disadvantages listed above and consider whether they match your business. Otherwise, it may happen that the use of a consumer-garde platform may downplay the significance of your company in the eyes of the audience.
Another thing is to create personalized videos on demand without failure on a fully customizable professional VOD platform that you own. With such a platform, you get a large set of professional-level tools, full control over media content and monetization systems, API access, and a branded video player. In addition, specially designed VOD platforms are distinguished by advanced security mechanisms, which is also important for hosting valuable corporate intellectual property.
With the right approach and choosing the best VOD software, your business will undergo the following positive changes:
- Enhancing brand awareness
With the help of a modern platform that will host creative and useful content under your brand, you can increase the authority of your company and distinguish it from competitors.
- Exploring new sources of income
Video-on-demand content is not only a way to increase brand awareness, but is also a product in its own right capable of generating a respectable income. Existing platforms have several earning models, we have already covered the main three: TVOD, AVOD and SVOD. Professional video-on-demand hosting provides more opportunities to make money. Their revenue scaling models allow you to start earning in the shortest possible time, even if the audience is initially small.
- Increasing your conversion rate
An informative and visually pleasing video can enhance the appeal of your company’s main service or product. If your content delivers relevant and useful information in a concise manner, it’s possible that your viewers will want to become your customers as well. In addition, high-quality video content can build a loyal community centered around your brand.
- Providing 24/7 and worldwide coverage
A huge advantage of the video-on-demand streaming service is its availability at any time of the day. This means that your media content can remind the viewer of your company and interact with potential clients anytime, anywhere. Even when you and your staff are asleep, and your viewer is not, the money comes in.
OTT Video Streaming Apps
It’s hard to cover the topic of VOD without touching on OTT (over-the-top). The two often go hand in hand, and some even consider them interchangeable. However, this is not entirely correct. While VOD can transmit content through both the Internet and satellite, OTT uses only the Internet.
The advantage of OTT applications is that they allow you to deliver content to the audience in different formats. From the highest quality pre-recorded and carefully edited videos to the most interactive live streams of important events, conferences and reviews. A company that offers its OTT app essentially leaves the audience to decide whether to tune in to the stream or watch on-demand video at their convenience. Viewers are happy that they get a variety of content and options for their money, and you get a double benefit.
Notably, for those who could not adjust to the stream time, the recorded video can be converted to VOD format to make it available for later viewing at any time. This will double the coverage and attract a wider audience.
Through OTT applications, users can view live VOD content from their mobile devices and TVs. Even switching from one device to another, they can continue to watch their favorite videos on the same platform.
OTT applications come with many important features that can greatly enhance the quality of service. Accessibility and compatibility have made OTT the number one choice for many businesses looking to expand into the video production and delivery industry.
Tips for Starting a Successful VOD Business
In order to start any business, it is necessary to draw up a competent strategy. The video content distribution industry is no different.
There are already many VOD offers out there. On the one hand, this creates a competitive environment, so you need to make more efforts and ingenuity in order for the business to be successful. On the other hand, there is someone else’s experience to learn from. We have found the top 3 tips that will definitely make your VOD platform stand out.
Build A Video Library
Before you launch your video on demand platform, you should already have a solid video content library. Books first, then bookcase. This is especially true for those who choose to use the subscription business model. If people don’t find enough content when they visit your site, they’re unlikely to be willing to invest their money in it. Yes, and the first impression will be spoiled.
Keep Up With Your Content
Content is the cornerstone of the VOD business. You can invest a lot of money in promoting your video platform, but if the media content is low-grade and not catchy, you will barely scrape together even a small audience. No matter what flashy cover you wrap a tasteless candy in, no one will ever want to eat it. Therefore, this aspect should be given perhaps the most attention, using all your creativity and awareness of the wishes of your audience in order to create unique, relevant and competitive content.
The candy should be so delicious that immediately after eating the first one, a user reaches out to grab another and another until the box is empty. Here are our hand-picked professional tips to help you make delicious content:
- Create and upload diverse content to your platform. To get more coverage, add multiple languages, set up filters by genre, duration, and more. The more variety of flavors in your box of chocolates, the more likely it is to match the desires of the audience.
- Act with Consistency. Expand the range of your multimedia database by regularly adding new material and keep your users informed.
- Strive to create original content that is not available on other VOD platforms. One of the great examples is ‘Netflix Originals’ by Netflix, which has created popular shows like Peaky Blinders and Stranger Things.
- Give your audience what they want. A smart AI-powered platform will allow you to discover what content your viewers are expecting. Thanks to the automatic analysis of the history of views, likes, reviews and comments, users will receive more accurate recommendations that best match their tastes and preferences.
Create Your Own VOD Website and Apps
Perhaps, due to its high cost and time-consuming nature, creating your own OTT application will not be worthwhile at the beginning of your VOD business journey. So it’s best to start with a website when your content library is ready to be uploaded. In addition, there are white label VOD and OTT platforms that are significantly less expensive and take less time to adapt to specific business ideas.
Developers will help you set up a branded app with the right monetization model, and you can focus on promoting and filling your video platform with good content.
Video on Demand (VOD) is a mega-seful technology of the future, for many of which it is already here. Its benefits are applicable to both business and leisure episodes of our lives. Therefore, it will become more and more popular.
Whales like Netflix or Amazon are already doing well in the VOD industry, and it’s hard to overshadow them due to their size. However, there is always a chance to stand out, leaving them to rest in the background. There are effective strategies and actionable tips to help the local player grow and be in demand in the rapidly changing video entertainment industry.One of the things you can do to make your VOD business successful is to use video on demand app development. By owning a customized powerful VOD platform, you can easily create personalized on-demand videos and start earning in no time.