In this post, I will explain the vod meaning and all the things associated with it, as the term seems to be gaining notable popularity.
Basically, this is one of the best methods of online content delivery. As you can presume, videos are the most sought-after type of content, overshadowing images, blog articles, infographics, and everything in between.
While VODs are very popular as it is, experts predict that the demand will further increase in the following years. The greatest thing about videos is that you can use them for lots of different topics. Nevertheless, they are most suitable for entertainment purposes.
VOD (Video On Demand) is a term used to describe videos that are available online at any time. In other words, you can access this content whenever you wish, without having to worry about the broadcast schedule.
The main reason why they became the dominant content form is due to their convenience. Not only can you choose what to watch, but you can also do it at any time. Among others, you can replay VODs over and over again, allowing you to revisit fun and entertaining content. It is worth noting that VODs are never live, and you don’t need a physical copy to view them (everything is online).
The last 2 years were especially great for this content form. As many people were forced to sit in their homes, they weren’t able to visit cinemas. You had to watch the newest movies and series via Netflix, Amazon Prime, or some other streaming service.
As mentioned, Video On Demand can only be accessed via the internet. Keep in mind that downloaded content can also be considered as a VOD of a sort. Nowadays, companies and entrepreneurs are slowly starting to switch to this type of delivery method. Basically, streamed videos allow you to explain a complicated topic much quicker and in a visually compelling way.
What is the difference between VODs and streaming?
While these two are related to each other, they are not the same terms.
One of the best ways to access VODs is by streaming them online. The second method is to download them on a device and watch them at your leisure.
Most people prefer to stream their content. First off, this method is much quicker as you don’t have to wait for a file to download. Furthermore, you can avoid having dozens of videos on your device, overburdening the memory. Of course, streaming also has its flaws. Downloaded files can be used at any time, even if you don’t have internet access. It is also a great way to create your own video library.
While this process is called “VOD streaming,” it shouldn’t be confused with live streaming. As the name implies, live streaming goes live. The action on the screen cannot be changed or edited. Furthermore, you will get the information as soon as the events occur, in real-time. The best example of this is live sports.
Oftentimes, live streams are turned into Video On Demand. Whether in its entirety or partially, you can rewatch these events later on. Turning live streams into VODs is great as it allows content owners to edit out breaks, commercials, and irrelevant content. As such, this type of content is a great way to repurpose and prolong its life. By doing so, you can continue benefiting from the same video for years and years.
What is the difference between VODs and OTTs?
OTT stands for Over-The-Top content delivery. Most OTT companies actually rely on VODs to present videos to their users. However, Video On Demand is a bit different conceptually. Here are some of the main differences and similarities between the two:
When a company delivers its content via the internet instead of TV, it is regarded as an OTT service. The best examples of this are Netflix, Amazon Price, Disney+, and Hulu. In fact, whenever you bypass cable TV or satellite TV, this is regarded as OTT.
As mentioned, most of these OTTs use VODs. Companies such as Netflix rely on premade content, and then, they present it in the form of Videos On Demand to their users. Accessing VOD is pretty simplistic, and you don’t need a physical copy. Some of these services require a paid subscription, while others rely on ads as their main sources of profit. Keep in mind that social media also utilized the VOD concept.
As you can see, there is a lot of overlap between these two services. If we were to define these terms, VOD is a method of using content, while OTT is a method of distribution. In a way, VODs can be regarded as a much more inclusive concept. You can use them throughout the internet, on various platforms, and for various industries.
Another major difference between the two is that OTT can be live, while VOD is always prerecorded and usually heavily edited.
How do VODs work?
Now that we’ve answered what is a VOD, let’s see how it works.
First off, your video needs to be properly compressed so that you can post it on streaming platforms such as YouTube. There are several ways you can do this. For example, you can rely on chroma subsampling, interframe compression, and image resizing. While different, each one relies on the same basic principle: the removal of unimportant sections of the video.
Next, you will need to transcode or encode this video into a format suitable for a specific video player. Only then can you store it on VOD’s servers. Once this is done, your content will be placed in a video container that will have other information such as thumbnails and metadata. In most cases, using the MP4 format should do the trick regardless of the platform.
When a visitor wants to watch your video, the content will be encrypted and transmitted via the web. For this action to be performed, the platform will utilize a streaming protocol. Once the video reaches the user, it will be decoded into a content type that can be watched from the other side.
Keep in mind that there are the basics. The whole process can get much more complex as the amount of information increases or if the platform uses more advanced technology.
How do VOD providers make money?
Over time, brands have developed various revenue methods that would allow them to capitalize on their streaming services.
VODs can be utilized in numerous ways. Sometimes, these videos are purely educational. They can be used to transfer information from one group member to another.
However, in most cases, both content creators and continent streamers will profit from them. Nowadays, VODs are incredible marketing tools that can draw attention to your brand. Influencers utilize them to increase their revenues, whether from ads or product/service sales.
Streaming platforms don’t lag far behind. In 2020, YouTube reported revenues of 19.77 billion USD. Netflix, the biggest movie and series platform, has reported $25 billion in revenues during the same period. Streaming companies make profits by relying on AVOD, SVOD, TVOD, and hybrid revenue models.
AVOD (Advertisement-based VOD)
YouTube is perhaps the best example of an AVOD model. The company puts ads to all their videos and charges advertisers based on several parameters. Advertisers will promote products and services to a home country audience. Based on the living standard of that country, these ads can be cheaper or more expensive.
These payments and revenue are also based on ad interaction. If an ad results in a lead, the advertiser will have to pay more. The same goes for content creators. If people click on ads posted on their videos, influencers can earn much more money.
Facebook Watch, Twitch, and YouTube rely on AVOD as the bulk of their revenues. Depending on the platform, there will be several ad types to choose from, like pre-roll (ad before a video), mid-roll (ad during a video), and post-roll (ad after a video). There are also some other ways we can categorize these ads, such as skippable and non-skippable. Of course, the longer the ad plays, the more you will have to pay as an advertiser.
SVOD (Subscription-based VOD)
Nowadays, OTT companies that rely on the SVOD method are becoming more and more common. Disney, Amazon, Netflix have their own movie productions that create dozens of unique content every year. In order to watch them, you need to subscribe to one of their paid plans.
One of the things about these companies is that they’re not competing in the traditional sense. While they are fighting for the same space, a consumer can subscribe to several platforms at once. Their programming is so unique and interesting, which is why a lot of consumers are willing to subscribe to several platforms at the same time.
With every next subscription plan, you get additional perks. However, unlike most other subscription-based services, you don’t really feel an improvement when getting one of the advanced packages. This is because the basic plans give you access to all the programming.
TVOD (Transactional-based VOD)
Transactional Video On Demand somewhat resembles SVOD. However, unlike SVODs, where you get access to all the content during one month, you have to pay for every video or piece of content that you want to watch or listen to. But, with TVOD, you often get full ownership of this content.
A good example of this is Apple iTunes. You can buy any number of songs through this platform, and you will forever have access to them. Besides DTO (download to own), there is also the DTR model (download to rent). When you pay DTR, you can watch the video online, while DTO allows you to download content to your device.
A lot of companies have started implementing hybrid revenue streams. In most cases, this is an alternative to their traditional earning methods. A good example is YouTube Premium, where users can remove the ads but will have to pay a monthly subscription. Hybrid methods are great for freemium services, where you get all the features without any annoyance.
Certain brands are able to efficiently combine AVOD, SVOD, and TVOD in one service. The best example of this is Kaltura that allows clients to choose a different combination of business methods. As such, you can create your own VOD model that would be suitable for your specific business.
What to look for in a VOD provider?
If you’re a business owner, social media like Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram might not be the best option for your brand needs. When looking for a platform to post your VODs, here are some of the things you need to consider:
Ability to scale
Like with anything else, the ability to scale will be crucial. This especially pertains to delivery. The provider should be able to get your content to numerous viewers all across the world. This needs to be coupled with reliability through redundancy.
Adaptive bitrate streaming
Adaptive bitrate streaming is a feature that allows a stream to adjust from a blurry picture to a clear one within seconds. With it, the provider is able to ensure optimal user experience regardless of the viewer’s software, device, or internet connection. Needless to say, this function is especially important for high-resolution VODs.
Security is essential for several reasons. Among others, it allows you to properly utilize all these monetization methods. Keep in mind that unauthorized access can affect your revenue strategies. On top of that, you should always be able to secure sensitive data. Before choosing your provider, make sure to check their encryption, authentication, and digital rights management.
Transcoding and processing for numerous devices
Most users will access your content from several devices. Furthermore, they might access it from several devices at once. This is why VOD providers should be able to transcode and process videos so they can be delivered on multiple devices.
Live to VOD
Provider’s ability to go from live to VOD will be invaluable for some companies.
Flexible infrastructure deployment
You need a certain level of flexibility during the deployment of streaming infrastructure. Some companies will prefer deploying their VODs on a cloud, while others will want to protect their content behind a firewall.
Video On Demand.
Video-on-demand services allow you to access video content at any point in time, without the need to adhere to any kind of schedule.