Written by StreamYard
What Is VOD (Video on Demand): A Guide for Content Creators
Video on demand is fast becoming the most popular way to consume content. But what is VOD or video on demand? The short version is that it's a way to watch videos and quality recorded content whenever you want, instead of having to watch them at a specific time, as you do with traditional TV. You can even enjoy content on smartphones, laptops, and tablets for entertainment on the go.
With VOD, you can choose from a library of movies, TV shows, and other videos and start watching them right away. You can also pause, rewind, and fast-forward the videos, just like you would with a DVD. Think of Netflix, Amazon Prime, and pay-per-view events.
Why should this matter to me, you ask? Here's why you need to come to grips with VOD as a content creator:
- VOD can help you build a community of viewers.
When viewers can watch your content on their own terms, they are more likely to become engaged with your work. This can boost your viewership, your social media engagement, and even sales.
- VOD can help you monetize your content.
There are a number of ways to monetize VOD content, including advertising, subscription fees, and pay-per-view. This can be a great way to generate revenue from your work.
- VOD can help you track your viewership data.
VOD services typically provide detailed viewership data, which can help you understand how your content is performing and make improvements.
The VOD streaming (SVoD) segment is really lucrative too! Out of all VOD segments, it had the highest revenue and biggest audience in 2021, with 1.1 billion users.
If you want a piece of that action, it's time to start recording your content.
Let's dig into the details.
The Evolution of Video Content Consumption
The first US TV station began broadcasting in the late 1920s. In the early days of video, you really only had live broadcasts to choose from, like news and sporting events. These broadcasts were limited to a small number of viewers because you needed expensive equipment and infrastructure that just wasn't all that readily available.
The real change happened in 1970 when cable TV began to offer a wider range of video content, including movies, TV shows, and sports. This was a major turning point in the history of video content consumption, as it made it possible for people to watch what they wanted when they wanted.
Then, in the 1990s, the Internet really changed the way people consume video content. With the rise of streaming services like YouTube and Netflix, viewers weren't limited to cable TV providers. They could now watch any video they wanted on demand.
These days, everyone is talking about OTT or over-the-top video content, which covers content delivered directly to viewers over the Internet without the need for a traditional cable or satellite TV provider. Whether it's Netflix, Amazon Prime, Voot, or any other streaming platform, they have made video content available anytime, anywhere, and on multiple screens and devices.
How OTT Changed The Game
With OTT platforms, you can binge-watch videos wherever you are. Whether you're in a bus, waiting for someone, or even on a flight, you can enjoy an episode of your favorite TV show or movie. OTTs have seamlessly integrated into our lives, offering a diverse range of content just a click away.
As the demand for OTTs grows, the quality of content libraries has improved a lot. These platforms are attracting A-list stars, hosting digital concerts, releasing movies shortly after their theatrical runs, and even reviving canceled shows based on fan demand.
OTT platforms continue to evolve, creating new avenues for entertainment. The question is, how are you adapting to this changing landscape as a content creator?
Understanding Video On Demand (VOD)
Imagine you're in control of your own personal movie theater, where you can watch whatever you want, whenever you want. That's basically what Video on Demand, or VOD, is all about.
If you had to define VOD, you'd say that it's a system that allows viewers to choose and view filmed entertainment through a computer or interactive TV system, with a wide variety of content to choose from.
VOD comes in different flavors, each with its own special features. Let's break them down:
- SVOD (Subscription Video on Demand): This is the kind of VOD service that requires a monthly subscription. You pay a monthly fee and get access to a vast library of content. The most popular Popular SVOD services include Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV, Disney Plus, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime Video.
- TVOD (Transactional Video on Demand): TVOD is a bit different. Instead of paying a fixed monthly fee, you pay for individual pieces of content that you want to watch. It's like going to a store and buying or renting a specific movie or TV show. You have more control over what you pay for, but you might need to open your wallet for each item. Examples of TVOD services are iTunes, Google Play Movies, Amazon Instant Video, and other service providers.
- AVOD (Advertising Video on Demand): Now, imagine you can watch videos for free, but there are occasional ads that interrupt your viewing experience. That's AVOD for you. Ad-supported platforms offer a wide range of content at no cost to the viewer, but they make money by displaying advertisements. YouTube is a popular example of an AVOD service, where you can watch videos for free, but ads pop up now and then.
Each type of VOD service has its own unique characteristics.
SVOD is perfect for binge-watching entire seasons of your favorite shows without any interruptions.
TVOD lets you pick and choose what you want to watch without committing to a subscription, making it great for occasional viewers. AVOD provides a free entry point to enjoy a variety of content, but you might need to tolerate some ads along the way.!
Why is VOD Important for Content Creators?
Video on Demand has become so popular that content creators can't really afford to ignore it. Here's why:
Everybody is making the switch.
Firstly, viewer habits have changed dramatically. Instead of watching broadcast television shows and going to the movies, people want the freedom to watch what they want when they want. It's not going to change anytime soon. Over 50% of streaming viewers are under 35, whereas viewers aged 60 and above spend only 14% of their entertainment time on streaming services.
Some viewers use platforms like Netflix as background noise or company, with attention levels sometimes decreasing during increased viewing. Watching Netflix before bed has become a common part of sleep or dinner routines.
VOD platforms cater to this demand by providing a vast library of content that can be accessed instantly. This shift in consumption patterns has created a huge market for on-demand content.
It's a new opportunity.
VOD is exciting for content creators because it's so flexible. You have the freedom to produce content that suits your artistic vision without being constrained by time slots or programming schedules. Release your work when it's ready and build a dedicated audience who can access your content whenever they want.
Another advantage is the global reach of VOD platforms. With VOD, content can be viewed anywhere in the world. You can reach a global audience, breaking down barriers and expanding your reach beyond local boundaries. It's an incredible opportunity to connect with viewers from diverse backgrounds and cultures.
You can make money.
Traditional media relies on advertising or ticket sales, and VOD introduces new revenue streams. You can make money from your content through subscriptions, pay-per-view models, or even ad-supported platforms.
You get to know your audience.
VOD platforms can give you real insight into your audience, including information on viewer preferences, engagement, and demographics. You can use this to understand your audience better and tailor your content accordingly.
VOD Platforms for Content Creators
To create a library of on-demand videos, broadcasters use special software called VOD hosting software. This software helps store and manage the videos. There are different types of VOD hosting platforms available. Some are designed for regular users and others for businesses, or both, like Youtube.
Most free VOD platforms are great for hosting content, but if you want more control over the way your content looks, you should use a more professional solution. VOD platforms have really great features, like video monetization options, customizable video players, easy embedding links, and more.
Here are a few you might want to look at:
Streamable is a popular video hosting and sharing platform. With its user-friendly interface and seamless sharing capabilities, Streamable offers an efficient solution for quick video sharing across various online platforms.
Whether you want to share highlights from a sports event, funny moments, or brief video snippets, Streamable provides a convenient way to upload, organize, and share your videos.
The platform supports features like video playback, looping, and the ability to create GIFs from videos. Streamable is widely used by businesses and content creators who want to share short, engaging video content.
Reasons to Use Streamable:
- Upload and share your videos instantly – the fastest video uploader on the web.
- After your videos are uploaded, you can stream in 4K UHD (60fps).
- You can easily embed Streamable videos anywhere.
- Convenient video organization:
- This lets you organize your videos into categories or playlists, allowing for better content management.
- They have a “Clip from URL” tool
- This lets you clip video from YouTube, Twitter, and hundreds of other sites. It's free to use for videos up to 10 minutes long — no gimmicks and no watermarks.
- Video editing that gets out of your way
- One-click resizing to landscape, square, or vertical formats, you can get back hours of time.
Dacast VOD Platform
Dacast is a platform that allows you to host and stream videos online. It offers advanced features like video monetization, strong security, and global video delivery. Despite having many powerful features, Dacast keeps its prices competitive. It is best suited for big businesses and professional organizations that want to broadcast high-quality videos live or on-demand. You can upload videos easily, organize them into categories and playlists, and integrate with Zoom for live streaming.
The Starter Plan is priced at $39/month and includes 1,000 GB of bandwidth and 50 GB of storage. The Event Plan is priced at $63/month and provides 6 TB of upfront bandwidth and 50 GB of storage.
Reasons to use it:
- Unified streaming solution for VOD hosting and live streaming.
- Advanced features include video monetization, top-notch security, and global video delivery.
- Offers content management with categories, subcategories, and tags.
- Supports multi-bitrate live streaming and provides 24/7 technical support.
- Integrated white-label paywall for monetization.
- Provides video hosting and library organization.
- Supports uploading, migration, and bulk uploads.
YouTube is a popular platform for sharing and watching videos online. It started in 2005 and is now owned by Google. It is mainly used by individuals but can also be used by small businesses with a limited budget. YouTube is free to use, which makes it a great option for reaching a wide audience.
It has some limitations when it comes to monetization and professional tools, which may not be ideal for businesses. When you upload videos to YouTube, you give up partial ownership of your content. You can upload videos easily and organize them using YouTube Studio, and best of all, it's free!
Reasons to use it:
- Mainly used by consumers but is suitable for startups and small businesses with lower budgets.
- It's free!
- Basic video hosting and organization tools.
- Simple upload process with restrictions on monetization.
- Offers data API access but limited security features.
- Supports various video formats and resolutions.
Dailymotion is another platform for hosting and sharing videos. It is often called the "French YouTube." Dailymotion is similar to YouTube and doesn't enforce many content restrictions. It is a basic platform for amateur broadcasters to upload and host on-demand video content. Dailymotion is free to use but doesn't offer many professional hosting tools. You can upload videos easily and make some money if you meet the requirements. It's free to use.
Reasons to use it:
- Consumer-grade VOD streaming platform.
- Similar to YouTube but with fewer content restrictions.
- Free to use with basic hosting tools.
- Easy video upload with monetization available for partners.
- Limited monetization tools and video analytics.
- Supports various video formats and resolutions.
Facebook is a social media platform that also supports live streaming and video-on-demand (VOD) through its feature called "Facebook Watch." It is free to use and popular among small businesses and organizations that are new to online video streaming. Facebook has some limitations regarding video ownership, monetization, and video length. It offers limited ad-based monetization options. You can easily upload videos to Facebook and organize them by date. It's free, but you might have to spend some money building your audience.
Reasons to use it:
- Free to use, popular among small businesses.
- Easy video upload with limited ad-based monetization.
- Limited privacy and security features.
- Supports various video formats and aspect ratios.
Vimeo OTT is a paid solution that lets you create a subscription service and channel to share videos with your subscribers. It provides tools to manage, promote, and earn money from your videos. You can customize your channel with your own branding, regularly add new content, and track subscriber growth with analytics.
Vimeo OTT offers different pricing plans. The Starter plan costs $1 per subscriber per month and allows one-time purchases or rentals. The Enterprise plan has custom pricing.
The Starter plan doesn't have a monthly fee, but processing fees and taxes may apply.
The Starter plan includes web-only apps for creating a dedicated website. You can monetize your content through pay-per-view (TVOD) and subscription (SVOD) models. There are some drawbacks. Customer service could be improved, uploading can be slow, buffering issues may occur, and live stream features are sorely lacking.
Reasons to use it:
- Customize your channel with branding and regularly add new content.
- Access analytics tools to measure subscriber growth over time.
- Capture and share videos from one dashboard.
- Stream live events and create your own streaming app.
- Build a website to host your video content.
- Upload, host, and manage your videos.
- Monetize your videos using pay-per-view and subscription models.
- Use built-in templates for video creation and discover other videos.
- Track subscriber growth and manage your video library in one place.
How to Utilize VOD for Your Content
Video-on-Demand (VOD) is really important if you're a content creator, but you have to use it effectively. Here are some tips to get you started:
1. Creating Binge-worthy Series
One powerful way to attract and retain viewers is by creating binge-worthy content series. Structuring your content into episodes keeps viewers coming back for more. A great storyline or theme will hook your audience and leave them wanting more! You can really build anticipation and keep their interest in your content going.
2. Optimizing for Search
If you want the biggest audience possible to see your work, you have to keep search engines in mind. Conduct keyword research related to your content and include those keywords in your titles, descriptions, and tags. This will improve the chances of your content appearing in relevant search results and make it easier for an audience to find you.
3. Promoting Your VOD Content
You don't have to spend money promoting your VOD content, but promoting your content will grow your audience much quicker. You can share teasers, trailers, and behind-the-scenes footage to generate buzz. Work with influencers, bloggers, and relevant websites to expand your reach and tap into their existing audience, or share shorts on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.
4. Use Great Recording Software
If you want your content to look great, you need to make sure the recording is perfect.
Look for a platform that offers easy live streaming and recording capabilities, allowing you to effortlessly go live and capture high-quality recordings. If you can invite multiple guests for interviews, you can add great variety and engagement to your videos. You should also look for customization options like logos, lower thirds, and overlays to help maintain a professional and on-brand appearance.
That way, you can ensure that your VODs are visually appealing, engaging, and aligned with your brand.
5. Use Live Streaming
While we're on the subject of recording, let's talk about live streaming content and how it fits in with VOD. Live streaming means broadcasting or sending video and audio content instantly over the Internet. It lets people watch and interact with the content as it's happening instead of watching videos that were recorded beforehand. Live streaming has become really popular because it offers immediate and interactive experiences for people all around the world.
If you want to take advantage of the VOD trend, you have to consider live streaming because:
- You can reach a wide audience in real time. When you broadcast a live event, Q&A session, or behind-the-scenes footage, you can really engage viewers that want those instant, authentic experiences.
- Live streaming expands your reach. Live streaming helps expand your reach, attracting new viewers who may then explore your VOD content.
- You can engage your audience. Viewers can interact with you and other viewers through comments, chats, and live polls. This real-time feedback creates a sense of community and encourages active participation. By incorporating live Q&A sessions or incorporating viewer suggestions, you can make your audience feel valued and involved.
- It enhances the entire viewing experience. Live streaming provides an immersive experience that complements VOD content. Viewers can witness events as they unfold, generating excitement and a shared viewing experience. It adds a sense of urgency and exclusivity to the content, as viewers know they're experiencing something in real time.
Think of live streaming as enhancing your VOD strategy by expanding your reach and improving engagement and connection with the audience.
Video on Demand (VOD) has changed the way we consume content, creating a flexible, convenient, and personalized viewing experience for all. As a content creator, you have to explore and use VOD to maximize your reach and impact.
VOD lets you build a dedicated community by giving viewers the freedom to engage with your content on their own terms. It also opens up various monetization opportunities, from advertising to subscriptions and pay-per-view, enabling you to generate revenue from your work.
They also offer valuable insights into viewer data, allowing you to understand your audience better and make informed decisions to improve your content. With a growing market and a large user base, VOD provides an excellent opportunity for content creators to expand their reach and connect with a global audience.
By creating binge-worthy series, optimizing for search, promoting your VOD content, using high-quality recording tools, and incorporating live streaming, you can fully harness the power of VOD and take your content creation to new heights.
Best Recording Software for VOD
When it comes to recording VOD content, you need the best of the best. StreamYard is a great choice. It is a browser-based live streaming and recording platform that's great for both beginners and seasoned content creators.
StreamYard offers a generous forever-free plan. With 20 hours of cloud recording and two hours of local recording (video and audio) per month, you can potentially record all your content episodes without spending a dime. And you can trust in the stability of the platform. You won't have to worry about losing your recordings or experiencing downtime during crucial moments.
StreamYard is designed to help you grow your content. It provides powerful tools, including live streaming and repurposing features, available on all plans, including the free version. You can have up to 6-10 participants on screen, invite co-hosts or guests with a simple link, and create separate audio and video tracks for high-quality editing.
The platform even offers repurposing tools like a trimmer for editing and posting clips to social media platforms, making marketing a breeze.
If you want to get in the VOD game, sign up for StreamYard. It's the easiest way to record videos) for your audience.