Video on demand or VOD is a digital cable feature that lets viewers stream TV shows, clips, and movies whenever and wherever they want to. This interactive TV technology can deliver programming on demand and may allow viewers to download certain programs to be watched later. Video on demand uses the internet to deliver media to smartphones, desktops, tablets, and smart TVs that support the technology.
Video on demand can be extremely useful in the fields of education, conferences, and research since it can help minimize the cost to implement and deploy IPTV. The hospitality industry has likewise jumped on the video on demand bandwagon in efforts to deliver interactive viewing experiences for their guests. Some airlines now offer in-flight VOD services to passengers via individually-controlled entertainment screens embedded in the armrests or seatbacks, or via portable players.
There are two main types of business models when it comes to video on demand. Some VOD services (including Netflix) use a ‘subscription’ type business model that requires viewers to pay a regular fee (usually monthly) to access content. The other model is advertising-based. The provider relies on ads as the main revenue stream, and users can access free content without paying anything.
Video on demand is becoming the standard in this day and age when viewers are more likely to create their own viewing schedules and want to watch specific shows and movies in their own pace and time. Standard cable and free TV viewing are unable to provide the luxury of watching shows on demand, so it’s easy to see why viewers who want more flexibility are making the switch. The proliferation of smartphones and tablets has also empowered viewers to watch programs online whenever and wherever. Video on demand is a technology that is certainly worth looking into if you want to establish a stronger bond with your target audience using branded content.