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New to streaming? Here’s what you need to know about Video-on-Demand (VOD)

What does VOD mean?

A definition of VOD:

Video-on-Demand (VOD) refers to a prerecorded video that can be accessed by viewers whenever they want.

VOD encompasses a wide range of video content that includes event shows, product promotions, movies, and television shows. These videos can be streamed instantaneously to various devices over the internet or downloaded for viewing later on. As opposed to tuning in at a set schedule to watch a program on conventional television, VOD enables viewers to select from a catalog of video to watch at any time that is convenient for them.

What is VOD streaming?

VOD streaming is essentially a method for viewing VOD content. As more viewers adopt this way of consuming content, several companies and content creators have started using VOD streaming for business.

For instance, during the pandemic, with brick-and-mortar stores closed, businesses helped customers through product tutorials that can be replayed to watch later. Many businesses also created product launch videos to reach customers and keep them informed about new products and services. Studios skipped the theater and released movies via streaming. Educators and instructors continued conducting classes and lectures by using VOD that could be accessed either free or for a fee, and more companies developed training videos to onboard new employees and pass along corporate knowledge from one generation of workers to another.

Things are now largely back to normal, but VOD remains in high demand among audiences and organizations, proving that VOD streaming is here to stay. Video streaming platforms in particular help generate incremental revenue that businesses want to pursue, and almost anyone can develop a video app or a streaming service with the right platform.

Live video vs. VOD

Live video is broadcasted in real time, so viewers must join in right on schedule to watch it. However, with a good streaming solution, it can be recorded and uploaded later to a website for viewers to access as VOD content if they missed the broadcast. VOD, on the other hand, can be watched at any time. It is stored on a server and delivered to the viewers upon request.

How can VOD help your business?

Here are some benefits businesses can get from VOD:

  • Increased reach and viewers. Businesses are able to reach a wider audience as viewers across the globe can stream the VOD content at any moment from any device.
  • Post-event engagement. By making VOD accessible for a longer time, businesses can drive continued engagement on the rewatch and sharing of content, which further promotes the brand.
  • Content repurposing. Repurposing live videos as VOD content for marketing, social media, or tutorials can help businesses save content production time.
  • Monetization. Businesses can monetize VOD content through ad insertion, paid memberships or subscription, pay-per-view, or viewer conversion.

How to get started with VOD streaming

Here are the key things you need to start VOD streaming:

  • Content library. Create a video collection that will engage viewers and make your brand recognizable. VOD content can be anything from video blogs and video podcasts to video gaming streams, music videos, workout classes, makeup tutorials, and more.
  • Streaming platform. Select a VOD streaming platform that will help you host, share, and monetize your content all in one place. You can use free streaming platforms like YouTube or professional-grade streaming platforms like Gcore.
  • Content distribution network (CDN). Use a CDN when streaming to protect your video server and distribute content to viewers across the globe with reduced latency and buffering issues.
  • Revenue model. Decide the right monetization model for your VOD content to generate a steady stream of income. You can apply one or more methods. Here are some of the most popular:
Model Description Example
Subscription-based Businesses generate revenue through the monthly or yearly subscription fees viewers pay to access a set of videos.
  • Netflix
  • Hulu
  • Disney+
  • Amazon Prime
Transaction-based or pay-per-view Businesses generate revenue through the rental or purchase fee viewers pay for a particular video they want to watch.
  • YouTube
  • Google TV
  • Apple TV
Advertising-based Businesses generate revenue through showing ads to viewers when watching video.
  • YouTube
  • Facebook Watch
  • Twitch
  • Marketing and promotion. Implement strategies to promote and draw customers to your business. You can post your VOD content on your website, add video snippets on social media, or add calls-to-action into the video encouraging customers to sign up for a newsletter.

How to choose the right VOD streaming platform

Here are some essential features to consider when selecting a VOD streaming platform:

  • Automatic transcoding. This creates multiple files of the same video, each with different sizes, resolutions, and bitrates to make the content viewable on the widest possible range of devices.
  • Video hosting. This streamlines the upload, storage, management, organization, and distribution of VOD content.
  • Adaptive streaming. This adjusts video quality based on device capacity and network conditions to produce seamless playback for the viewers.
  • Cross-platform playback. This ensures playback across any platform including web, mobile, casting devices, gaming consoles, set-top boxes, and smart TVs.
  • CDN. This reduces load on the origin server and ensures that VOD content reaches viewers anywhere in the world faster and more securely.
  • Privacy and security. This protects VOD content from unauthorized access and download with features such as AES encryption, DRM, signed tokens, geo and domain restrictions, and a lot more.
  • Monetization. This enables businesses to monetize or earn money from VOD content. Monetization options include the ones described above.
  • Analytics. This helps businesses measure how a video performs and make informed business decisions based on the data.
  • API and SDK access. This allows for customization and integration with external apps and technologies. This is something you need if you are looking to make your own app that connects with a streaming platform.

Head to the “How to choose a streaming platform: your ultimate checklist” post to learn more about what features to look for.

VOD streaming with the Gcore Streaming Platform

People are increasingly turning to videos, which is a great reason to jump in and start creating video content for your business.

Gcore Streaming Platform makes it easy, and with the free plan, there is no risk. With our advanced streaming platform based on a powerful CDN, you can upload, manage, and instantaneously share videos to anywhere in the world. It also has the features mentioned above, and more that you need to succeed in the online video space.

Find out below and on the website the other exciting features and functions that our platform can do for you.

Check out these comparisons showing how our platform stacks up against other streaming providers on the market today.

Sign up for a free trial to see the Gcore Streaming Platform in action.

Watch a sample video

Here is a sample video at 4K resolution hosted on the Gcore Streaming Platform.

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