Imagine being able to choose the movie you want to watch, without having to wait to watch it live on TV or any other device or channel.
That’s what Video-on-Demand (VOD) is—videos you can watch when you “demand” it.
Case in point: If you’ve ever watched videos on YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV+, or any other streaming service, those videos are on demand because you can watch them whenever you want. And you’re not alone; there are over 1.7 billion VOD users worldwide.
In this article, we’ll provide every info you need about VOD, including its core benefits, VOD software, use cases/examples, and more!
What is Video on Demand (VOD)?
Video on demand is content you can watch whenever you want (whenever you “demand” it). You can watch on-demand videos through your computer, mobile device, smart TV, or any other type of device).
For example, you can turn on Netflix, YouTube, or Hulu and begin streaming thousands of different videos and creators.
Unlike cable television or live streaming, you don’t have to wait for VOD content. It’s always there, ready for you to stream through your mobile device, computer, tablet, or smart TV.
Providers offer different ways for you to consume VOD, and that’s typically through the following monetization models:
- Advertising video on demand (AVOD)
- Subscription video on demand (SVOD)
- Transactional video on demand (TVOD)
VOD content isn’t just limited to the entertainment or publishing industry. Everyone from tech companies to marketing teams can use VOD to promote their services, spread brand awareness, and sell their products. For example, you might use a VOD platform to host customer testimonials or product tutorials. Or you may use a VOD platform for employee onboarding and training.
VOD can be live or pre-recorded and is typically offered by:
Brands that want to provide educational content to their audience, without aggressively selling their products or services.
A good example is HubSpot Academy, where the company offers free video lessons on topics its audience is interested in, like inbound marketing, customer service, and sales.
Celebrities or content creators who want to share exclusive content with their fans. For example, celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay’s Restaurant website offers a range of cooking videos his audience and followers can watch on-demand.
News organizations that want to offer on-demand access to breaking news stories. CNN, for instance, has a section on its website devoted to video clips from its popular news programs. Those are on-demand videos.
Content providers like Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, HBO, and Amazon Prime Video that offer entire libraries of films and TV shows.
What is a VOD Platform?
A VOD platform provides all the built-in features you need to host, manage, and deliver video content. These platforms give you the building blocks for uploading and organizing your videos, and they have the APIs and SDKs you need to stream your videos to mobile applications, websites, over-the-top (OTT) apps, or smart TVs.
Most VOD platforms come with a dedicated HTML5 player that you can customize to your branding to offer a personalized experience wherever your audience engages with your content. You’ll also find live-streaming functionality, monetization tools, data protection technology, and integrations to connect your VOD platform with other tools like your customer relationship management (CRM) platform or data analytics suite.
What’s a VOD software provider?
A VOD software provider is a company that offers a platform or software for you to host and manage your on-demand video content. They typically store the videos on a remote server and stream them to users over the internet.
VOD platforms also usually provide a video player you can embed on your website or app so your audience or viewers can watch your videos. Some VOD software providers also offer other features, like live streaming capabilities, monetization tools, and video content protection tools.
Popular VOD software providers include brands like JWP (yep, that’s us), Brightcove, and Dacast.
How Does a VOD Platform Work?
If you’re looking to provide videos on demand for your audience, you’ll need a reliable video-on-demand (VOD) solution.
And a typical VOD system comes with five major components:
- Encode and Transcode: Convert your raw video files into a digital format compatible with your viewer’s application or hardware. VOD platforms transcode your videos into a variety of formats to ensure a smooth playback across devices and bandwidths.
- Encryption: Protect your content to ensure only those who pay get access to your content, reducing stealing and illegal distribution.
- Hosting: Your own servers likely don’t have the power and bandwidth to support thousands of pieces of content being consumed by thousands (or millions) of simultaneous viewers. That’s where a VOD platform comes in handy.
- Delivery: VOD platforms provide content delivery networks (CDNs) with points of presence (POPs) in dozens of locations worldwide to provide top-notch performance wherever your audience consumes your videos.
- Advertisements: VOD platforms empower you to add advertisements to your videos and get paid when viewers watch them, regardless of if that’s on a mobile device, desktop, or TV.
Here’s how those three components work together:
When someone wants to watch one of your videos, the media player will send a request to the CDN for the video file.
The CDN will then fetch the video file from its storage and begin streaming it to the viewer.
If you’re live streaming content to your audience, the encoder will send the live video feed to the CDN, which will then distribute it to viewers. And if you’re offering both live and on-demand videos, the CDN will switch between the two based on what viewers request.
If you’re offering only on-demand videos, the CDN will simply keep those videos stored until they’re requested.
Finally, you’ll need to embed the media player provided by your VOD software onto your website or app so your audience can watch your videos “on demand.”
Different VOD solutions will often offer distinct features, but that’s the general gist of how it works.
It’s not all about features, though. All in all, it’s about performance and customer experience.
Benefits of Using VOD
There are many benefits to offering video on demand, both for businesses and customers. Here are some of them:
Get your content out faster
Since you don’t have to worry about the quirks and processes of physical media like DVDs, you can get your content up on a VOD service much faster than you could with traditional distribution methods.
Or if you’re a TV station or news outlet, you (and your advertising or show partners) won’t have to wait for a spot on television or airtime; you can get your content out much faster using VOD.
Allow viewers start videos back where they stopped
With VOD, you can allow your audience to continue your videos from where they last stopped.
For example, if a viewer watches 50% of a video and then exits, the next time they come back to watch that video, it will start from the 50% mark.
This is a great way to keep viewers engaged, as they won’t have to start the video from the beginning every time.
And this is also super helpful if your videos come in episodes; viewers can easily continue watching from the last episode they watched — without having to search for it.
Offer more convenience
With functionalities like pause, rewind, and fast forward, VOD provides a lot of convenience-focused features that help your audience watch content on their own time and at their own pace.
Many (if not most) VOD platforms also provide transcripts and Closed Captions (CC) to help your content become accessible to a wider range of viewers, including those with hearing impairments or who speak a different language.
By making your content accessible and convenient, VOD helps you reach a larger audience and ensures that they stick around until the very end of your videos; the more convenient they are, the less likely they are to click away.
Another major convenience factor VOD offers is users can watch videos on any operating system, whether android, iOS, Windows, or Mac. Or on any device like smartphones, desktops, or tablets.
Generate additional revenue
VOD helps you generate more revenue by giving your viewers the option to purchase or rent your videos.
For instance, if you have a video that is popular among your viewers, you can charge a rental fee for people who want to watch it.
Or maybe you have a video tutorial on topics that people are willing to pay for. In this case, you can sell your video as a digital product.
VOD also gives you the opportunity to run ads on your videos and generate revenue from ad views. A great example of this is how YouTube runs ads on videos and makes money from them.
They run pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll ads on videos on their app and website, and make billions of dollars per year from them. In fact, YouTube made a whopping $28.8 billion from these ads in 2021.
Author’s note: You can use JWP’s video ad revenue calculator to see how much you could make from your videos — especially when you use our video monetization platform. You’ll get a report that looks something like this:
Save on production costs
VOD helps you save costs on production by allowing you to pre-record and store your content, rather than live-streaming it.
This means you can cut down on equipment and personnel costs, as well as reduce the time and effort needed to produce your content.
For instance, if you’re recording a live show, you’ll be able to avoid the hassle of coordinating a live event, which is often logistically complicated and expensive.
In addition, you can use VOD to target specific audiences with laser precision, which helps you to save on advertising and marketing costs.
Overall, using VOD helps you to save on production costs, and allows you to produce high-quality content without breaking the bank.
Improved audience engagement tracking
VOD helps you better understand how your audience is interacting with your content. Once viewers have consumed your content, you can track their behaviors, preferences, and more with your VOD software.
You’ll see what’s working and what’s not, make changes on the fly, and continually improve the effectiveness of your content strategy.
For instance, you can track:
- How many people are watching your videos
- What parts of the videos they’re watching (and for how long)
- When they’re watching your videos
- Where they’re watching your videos from
This data is essential in understanding what your audience wants and how to give it to them. Once you have data, you can better cater your content to their needs.
For example, if you see your viewers are only watching the first few minutes of your videos, you know you need to make your content more engaging from the start. Or, if you see people are watching your videos from a particular location more than others, you can target your content to that audience.
In the end, when you offer on-demand videos to your audience, you get access to a wealth of audience engagement data you can use to improve your content strategy and make sure your audience is always happy with what they’re watching.
Create interactive content
With VOD, you can also add interactive features to keep them engaged.
For example, you can add a call-to-action at the end of each video, or include a mid-roll interactive ad. You could also add a quiz at the end of each video to test viewers’ knowledge.
However, you only get these interactive features depending on the VOD platform you’re using. So, before you create any video content, check if the VOD platform you’re using supports interactive features.
For instance, with a VOD platform like JWP, you get interactive features like download buttons, social sharing, and interactive transcripts. Just to explain a bit further, here’s what the interactive transcripts look like:
Viewers can search the transcript and locate any part of the video they’re watching.
And this is just one of the many ways you can keep viewers engaged with your content even after they’re done watching it; there are several opportunities to create interactive content with VOD.
Easier access to a library of videos than traditional methods
With VOD, your viewers can easily access your library of videos. All you’ll need to do is upload your videos to the VOD platform and allow users to access them.
Or you can create a page on your website where you embed the video player for each video. Your viewers can then watch all your videos without having to leave your website.
You can also include a search bar on your VOD platform or video library page on the website, so viewers can easily find the video they’re looking for.
How to Choose the Right VOD Platform
While we’re going to provide you with over a dozen platforms, not every VOD solution will fit your business. Some will be overly complex, while others might deliver enterprise quality for enterprise budgets.
You’ll be tempted to create a feature comparison list or dig deep into the rabbit hole of reviews to see which has the highest ratings. This will reveal some answers, but they don’t tell the whole story. Ultimately, you don’t need more features—you need the right features.
To help you narrow down your search, focus on these VOD platform elements:
Think about what features you need from your VOD platform. Do you want livestreaming functionality? What about built-in engagement features like lead generation forms or quizzes? Do you want to customize your player’s colors and branding?
You don’t need a platform with the most features—those tend to cost the most, too. Instead, focus on finding a platform with the must-have features you need to upload, deliver, and monetize your content. Everything beyond that is fluff you’ll still be paying for, even if you’re not using it.
Consider your long-term goals. While live-streaming might not be a priority now, it could be something you plan to pursue in the next year or two. And what about podcasting? Do you plan on doing any audio-only content, or do you already use another platform for that?
Keep performance at the top of your list. It doesn’t what features or industry-low price a platform delivers if it creates a terrible experience for your end users. Your viewers should be able to watch high-quality streams and broadcasts (preferably in high-definition and 4K) without sacrificing performance.
While you can look at reviews to see others’ experiences, you’ll gain the most insights by trying it yourself. Sign up for free trials of the products you’re considering to get hands-on experience with the products. See how they perform with high-resolution content and test what the content will look like on a poor internet connection.
Choose a VOD platform with a content delivery network you can trust. Single servers can fail, and you need a solution that’ll provide reliable uptime even during one-off natural disasters or cybersecurity threats.
Look for platforms that use a multi-CDN approach. These have better performance, uptime, and security at scale, empowering you to stream your content across the globe with confidence.
If video content is the lifeblood of your business, you need to ensure it’s protected with industry-leading technology and best practices. Find a VOD platform that prioritizes data rights management. Look for a solution that provides the following:
- Blocks: Prevents users from screenshotting, screengrabbing, or sharing your content.
- User limits: Restrict how many users, devices, IP addresses, or locations can simultaneously access your content.
- Expiration dates: Limit the number of times or amount of hours a user can access your content.
- Watermarks: Embed watermarks into your videos to verify ownership and prevent redistribution.
- Geographic fences: Choose which geographic locations get access to your content.
- Content monitoring: Alert your team when there’s a breach that needs addressing.
Ultimately, the point of your content is to make money. That might be through product sales or lead generation, or it might be through in-stream advertisements or subscription-locked content. Regardless, do your research to ensure the platform you choose provides the built-in monetization features you need to maximize your income.
Some platforms specialize in advertisements, while others provide more options for rental or purchasing content. While most platforms will have third-party integrations with applications that unlock this functionality, it’s better to find a platform purpose-made for the monetization methods you plan to use.
Getting someone to view your content is just the beginning. Once you have their attention, it’s time to attract them to other pieces of content to increase your revenue per session or boost the chances they’ll subscribe to your content. Find a platform that prioritizes engagement with unique features and offerings.
You might engage your audience with curated playlists or personalized video recommendations, or you might do it through in-video quizzes and choose-your-own-adventure features. Think about your audience and what would keep them engaged, and then find a platform to support your engagement strategy.
Some VOD platforms on our list provide free options, while others demand hefty monthly subscriptions. Do your research to find the estimated pricing before you get too invested in a platform. You’ll find some platforms offer transparent pricing, and others require you to reach out to the sales team to get a customized quote.
Submit your quotes as soon as possible so that you can create a more apples-to-apples comparison.
VOD Purchasing Guidelines to Consider
Here are six guidelines to help you select a VOD provider that can give you the features, support, and price you need.
Define your needs and wants
Before choosing a VOD provider, you need to first define your specific needs and wants.
What are your must-haves and what can you live without? This will help you narrow down your options and make the selection process much easier.
For instance, you may need a VOD software provider that offers live video streaming tools so that you can offer live content to your viewers and also provide them with the option to watch it on-demand later.
In this case, you’ll want to rule out any VOD providers that don’t offer live streaming capabilities. So when you start your search, be sure to keep your specific needs and wants in mind.
Make a list of top VOD software providers
Once you know what you need, it’s time to make a list of potential VOD software providers.
There are a few key factors you’ll want to consider when narrowing down your choices:
- Does the provider offer a free trial?
- Do their features match your wants/needs?
- What’s their average user rating on review sites?
Make a list of your top 3-5 providers and then proceed to the next step.
Compare pricing relative to features
You also need to compare pricing relative to features. Some companies offer more features than others, so you need to make sure that you’re getting enough value for your money.
A good practice would be to compare the features of each company side-by-side so that you can see which ones are worth the price.
For example, if one VOD software provider offers 3 times the amount of bandwidth or storage space for the same price as another provider, then it’s probably better to go with the one with the larger storage space.
The key here is to make sure you’re not paying for features you don’t need, and also to make sure you’re getting a real bang for your buck. In case you’re wondering, here’s a list of some of the features you get from our VOD software platform:
Evaluate pros and cons
No VOD software tool is perfect, but you want to make sure the pros of your choice product outweigh the cons.
For instance, some tools might be great for live streaming, but lack in their editing and archiving capabilities. Others might have these features but come at a higher price point.
There are usually various trade-offs to consider, so it’s important to make a list of your priorities and evaluate each tool against them. And in the end, pick the tool that’s best for YOUR specific needs.
Check if there’s a free trial
This one’s super important; you want to make sure you’re 100% comfortable with the software before you commit to anything.
And one of the best ways to do that is to try it out for yourself.
Case in point: At JWP, we offer a free, 30-day trial of our VOD software so that you can explore all the features and get a feel for how it works before you decide if it’s the right fit for you.
But no matter what VOD platform you’re considering, be sure to see if they offer a free trial and decide whether or not it’s worth your time to explore further.
Check out customer reviews
Checking customer reviews is arguably the best way to get an idea of what you can expect from a company and their software.
For example, if you read a bunch of negative reviews about a particular VOD platform that all say the same thing, it’s probably a good idea to stay away. And on the other hand, if it’s mostly positive reviews, you’re likely onto something good.
Case in point: At JWP, we’re proud of the customer reviews we’ve received over the years. Take a peek at some of our customer stories here.
Now, let’s look at some of the most popular use cases of on-demand videos.
VOD Use Cases
Any company that’s serious about video content should invest in a video on demand platform. With so many solutions to choose from (including free to paid), it’s never too early to start using a VOD platform to host, organize, and distribute your videos.
While any business that uses video content could benefit from a VOD platform, the following industries can’t live without one:
- Broadcast: Consumers are turning away from cable and satellite, leading broadcaster to take their content online and on demand.
- Enterprise: Show highlights and replays from your conferences and webinars to repurpose content and spread awareness.
- Publishing: Media companies, content creators, and influencers can use video on demand to grow their audience, sell products, and build their brands.
- Events: Livestream and then replay on demand sports, musical festivals, interviews, and concerts to benefit from an in-real-life (IRL) and remote audience.
- Fitness: Create everything from spinning classes to yoga courses that your audience can watch on their own schedule.
- Gaming: Replay highlights and top plays from your live-streamed performance to juice everything you can from your content.
- Faith: Let viewers watch sermons and scripture studies classes whenever and wherever they want.
- Retail: Sell products to your customers through reviews, demonstrations, unboxings, and product demos.
- Education: Schools and education companies can create additional learning opportunities by hosting their classes (and even complete degrees) in an on-demand format.
Here are seven examples of how you can use VOD depending on your business model:
You can use on-demand videos to give potential customers a guided tour of your products or services.
They’ll see what your offerings are and how they work, without having to come into your store or office. This is especially useful for businesses with complex or physical products or services or businesses that sell hospitality services, like hotels, resorts, and tour operators.
A real-life example of this is the 360-degree video tour of Qsuite, a premium first-class cabin on Qatar Airways.
The two-minute video showcases the luxurious features and amenities of the suite, from the private space to the fully flat bed, and is an excellent way to pique the interest of potential customers.
Customer testimonials and case studies
You can use VOD to showcase customer testimonials in a way that is both personal and engaging.
Potential customers can go to your website, app, or any other streaming platform you’re using to host videos and see/hear real people sharing their experiences with your product or service — which helps them build trust and confidence in your brand.
Case in point: A/B testing software company Optimizely uses VOD to show how their product has helped companies like Salesforce and many others.
This way, their target audiences and potential customers can get a behind-the-scenes look at how some of the world’s biggest brands use Optimizely to drive results.
VOD is also an excellent format for how-to content.
If you want to show your audience step-by-step how to do things like cooking, makeup, or car maintenance, how-to videos are a perfect format.
A good example of this in action is The Home Depot’s series of do-it-yourself (DIY) videos. These videos cover a wide range of topics, from painting walls to fixing a leaky sink.
One critical benefit of how-to videos is that they keep viewers on your website or app longer, mostly because they’re really trying to learn how to achieve a goal and your video becomes the vehicle to help them accomplish it.
And that long time they’re spending on your video is obviously good for business — the more time spent, the better the chance for conversions. So on-demand content or videos are a goldmine.
Another type of content that works well on demand is Q&A videos, where you answer questions your audience is asking and provide valuable information in that process.
When you make these videos available on your site or app, your viewers can watch them at their convenience, and you can be sure they’re getting the information they’re looking for.
This type of content is a perfect way to build rapport with your viewers while providing valuable content for them.
A good example of this is the Q & A series by The Canadian Urological Association (CUA) on Bone Health Management, where they discuss common challenges and questions that practitioners have related to bone health management.
By providing informative and relatable content, the CUA is able to foster trust and credibility with its audience, helping them become a go-to source for information on the topic.
Live event replays
Another type of video content that’s often very successful when made available on demand is live event coverage.
Not everyone can make it to live events, so providing on-demand coverage is a great way to ensure that your audience doesn’t miss out even if they can’t be there in person.
Live event replays give you the chance to edit the footage down to the most engaging parts, cutting out any bloopers, lulls, or dead time. And this not only results in a better experience for your viewers but also allows you to get more mileage out of your event coverage.
A great example of live events being successfully delivered on demand is the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) League Pass.
This service gives users the ability to watch the playback of NBA games if they miss them when they originally aired or if they just want to catch up on the highlights.
This type of content is also a great way to build anticipation for future live events. By providing on-demand coverage of past events, you can get your audience excited about future events, which can help drive ticket sales.
People love getting a behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of their favorite businesses. So if you make those videos available on-demand, you’ll likely have diehard fans that will appreciate it.
Example: Red Bull is known for its action-packed videos featuring extreme sports. But the company also offers a behind-the-scenes look at some of its most popular events, like the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series.
These videos give fans a taste of what goes into putting on a world-class event, and they love it. As a result, Red Bull is giving its audience exactly what they want — and reaping the rewards.
Employee onboarding and training.
You can use on-demand videos to onboard new employees or train existing ones on company policies and procedures.
For example, you can use an on-demand video to provide a comprehensive overview of your company’s product offerings. Or you can use it to train employees on specific topics, such as customer service or safety procedures.
You’ll simply need to upload training videos to a secure, password-protected VOD platform, and then provide employees with access as needed.
This can also be a great way to ensure that everyone is getting the same high-quality training, and it’s usually a more cost-effective solution than sending employees to off-site training courses.
13 Best VOD Platforms for 2023
Each VOD platform has pros and cons that make it a better solution depending on your business and its content. Some provide freemium models, while others deliver advanced functionality and performance in exchange for a monthly subscription.
Not every option on this list will be right for you, and that’s OK—you just need to find one platform that’ll get the job done and keep you within your budget. Below, we’ll walk you through our favorite VOD platforms and detail what makes them special in today’s market.
1. JW Player
JW Player is a complete video platform with all the built-in features you need to upload, host, organize, deliver, and monetize your video content. We use a multi-CDN approach with POPs in 130+ countries to ensure top-notch performance and buffer-free streaming regardless of where your audience consumes your content.
We provide you with APIs and SDKs to build your VOD services across web players, mobile devices (Android and iOS), OTT apps, social media platforms, and smart TV applications. You can customize the player to create a branded and cohesive viewing experience.
JW Player lets you monetize your content through robust advertising integrations, subscriptions, or transactions—you choose. Connect your VOD to your tech stack to ensure everything from your CRM tool to your Google Analytics is synced and sharing real-time data.
- Monetize through AVOD, SVOD, or TVOD
- Affordable solution for startups and small-to-medium-sized businesses
- HTML5 video player
- Robust APIs and SDKs
- Flexible customization options
- Setup takes a bit of a learning curve
- No audio-only or podcasting solutions
YouTube is one of the most popular online video streaming platforms. It’s easy to use, and the content ranks exceptionally well in Google searches, making videos on the platform easier to find for new users. New users can get an account and start sharing videos in no time, but gaining a brand-new following with all the competition is challenging.
YouTube has livestreaming functionality, and it also has basic engagement features like clickable links. While the platform has dabbled in SVOD models, it mostly relies on AVOD tactics to generate revenue.
YouTube’s publishing features are a bit limited, and you won’t have the freedom to embed videos wherever you’d like with APIs and SDKs. Additionally, you have no control over your player’s branding, and YouTube will often recommend your competitor’s content next to and after your videos.
The biggest disadvantage of using YouTube is that you lack control over your content and audience. YouTube has the right to censor your content, and they can ban your account if they find you in violation of their terms of service. That means you might lose access to the following that you’ve invested in building with little notice.
- Massive audience on the platform
- One of the oldest (and most popular) video streaming sites
- Easy to use
- YouTube advertises competitor content next to your videos and after your content finishes
- YouTube can censor your content and ban your account if they believe you violated the terms of service
Brightcove is an enterprise-quality VOD platform that specializes in advertising and marketing content. It provides encoding, live streaming, video on demand, and integrations for delivering your content on websites and applications. It has an excellent reputation for being user-friendly and easy to set up, and most users love its organizational tools.
Brightcove is one of the oldest VOD platforms, giving it plenty of time to polish its features and offerings. The platform provides robust advertising tools and excellent user engagement analytics. It also empowers you to engage your audience with interactive experiences like in-video quizzes, shopping, and adventure paths.
- Strong user engagement analytics
- Reliable performance and security
- Easy to use
- Users on G2 complained about the dated user interface
- Some users on G2 complained about Brightcove’s processing time
Vidyard is a marketing-focused video on demand platform. It empowers your business with lead generation and engagement tools, including advanced video analytics, built-in SEO optimization recommendations, and email capture features.
Users can easily upload videos from their webcam feed, a screen recording, or a combination of both. You can customize the on-screen business logos and player to act as a brand-building part of your video campaigns.
Since the platform mostly focuses on marketing, you won’t be able to monetize your content with advertisements or subscriptions. Instead, use Vidyard if you want to promote your products and services, drive more leads, and grow brand awareness.
- No bandwidth caps
- Unlimited uploads
- Excellent lead generation and engagement tools
- Advanced analytics
- A few users on G2 complained about Vidyard’s complex backend
- Some users on G2 had an issue with third-party integrations
Wistia is another marketing-focused VOD platform, but it emphasizes customization and player branding more. You can personalize practically every player element to give it an on-brand experience wherever you deliver your content, whether on a mobile application or a webpage.
The VOD platform provides top-notch analytics and audience data, empowering you to better target your users and create better-performing content, thumbnails, and calls to action (CTAs). Wistia even provides A/B testing features to optimize your videos for improved engagement.
Wistia also includes podcast hosting, allowing you to publish audio-only content on your platform. If you’re looking for an all-in-one solution for video and podcast streaming, Wistia is one of your best options.
- Provides podcast hosting
- Advanced customization features
- A/B testing functionality
- Some users on G2 complained bout Wistia’s high pricing
- Users want Wistia to add more integrations with third-party applications
Dacast is one of the leading video on demand platforms. It provides professional-level broadcasting with top-notch delivery and performance. Dacast uses a robust CDN network to reliably deliver content around the globe, ensuring smooth playback regardless of where your audience lives.
Dacast also provides live-streaming functionality, adaptive bitrate streaming, and comprehensive analytics. You can monetize your content with AVOD, SVOD, or TVOD models and use the platform’s APIs to build video content into practically any application or webpage. The platform has an excellent reputation for providing 24/7 technical support.
- Extensive CDN network
- 24/7 technical support
- AVOD, SVOD, and TVOD monetization
- Some users on G2 had an issue with Dacast’s APIs
- A few users on G2 complained about bandwidth and streaming problems
Kaltura is an open-source VOD platform that specializes in hosting and delivering educational content. Users get access to learning features like lecture capture, campus portal, virtual classrooms, and webinar sessions. It integrates with your CMS to simplify organizing your classes and seminars into easy-to-navigate courses and playlists.
Businesses can customize their video player’s branding, colors, and on-screen features for a truly tailor-made experience. A strong developer community has also loaded the platform with custom integrations and add-on features, letting you build a video solution to satisfy your audience’s needs.
However, all this flexibility and open-source roots come with a price. Kaltura can be difficult to set up, and you’ll likely need extensive developer resources to build the exact experience you want.
- Educational engagement tools and features
- Open-sourced solution
- Engaged developer community
- Rich personalization options
- Many users on G2 complained about Kaltura’s complexities and learning curve
- Some users on G2 found that Kaltura doesn’t perform well on tablets
Vimeo is a well-rounded VOD platform for hosting a variety of content. You can use it for repurposing webinars or video hosting marketing content, or you can even lock your content behind a subscription model to monetize entertainment or educational videos. Vimeo has a relatively simple and easy-to-use CMS that works great for small creators, but it doesn’t provide all the advanced features and functionality that larger businesses and video companies need.
Vimeo’s platform has a massive user base, which can help new users discover your brand. It also gives you more control over your player’s branding than other platforms like YouTube.
- Free tier
- Access to a larger audience
- Customization of the video player’s branding
- SVOD and TVOD monetization options
- A few users on G2 complained about the outdated live-streaming features
- Some users found Vimeo’s tools to be unintuitive
Uscreen is an end-to-end VOD platform with all the built-in features you need to upload, deliver, and monetize your content. The APIs let you customize the player to your branding, and community engagement features let your users build avatars and profiles for live chat and commenting capabilities.
While Uscreen focuses on the learning community, its solution also works perfectly for the fitness, faith, and entertainment industries. The CMS works perfectly to update videos across applications and webpages, and comprehensive analytics give you detailed insights into user engagement.
Uscreen provides plenty of monetization opportunities. You can use subscriptions, lifetime access, rentals, and pay-per-view pricing options to monetize your video content.
- End-to-end VOD platform
- Extensive APIs and customization options
- Rich monetization options
- Some users on G2 wish the platform was more user-friendly
- A few users on G2 commented that they want to see more third-party integrations
Wowza is a VOD platform that focuses on live streaming, broadcasting, and stream embedding. Developers love this tool thanks to robust APIs, SDKs, and GitHub repositories, enabling them to build custom solutions on any mobile app, OTT app, or webpage.
Wowza offers built-in transcoding and adaptive bitrate streaming to provide high-quality buffer-free streaming to your audience. It’s a secure platform with automated source code reviews and third-party penetration testing.
- Robust developer tools and resources
- Feature-rich live streaming and stream embedding
- Built-in transcoding and adaptive bitrate streaming
- Some users on G2 complained about the customer support
- Users on G2 don’t like having to upgrade to a higher tier to access better support
VPlayed is a VOD platform with high-end features, security, monetization models, and customization options. Businesses can personalize just about every aspect of the video player, and the platform provides audio-only and video content solutions. VPlayed’s HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) player uses multi-bitrate technology to boost video performance and quality.
The platform provides top-notch security with leading DRM practices and AES encryption. VPlayed’s CMS allows you to upload unlimited videos at any time with encoding to provide excellent playback regardless of your audience’s bandwidth. VPlayed boasts six different video monetization offerings and has several third-party integrations for connecting your VOD platform with your analytics and CRM tools.
- High-end security features
- Customizable player
- High-performance HLS player
- Six different monetization offerings
- Users on SaaSworthy complained about minor glitches
- Users on SaaSworthy want the pricing to be more transparent
Muvi’s VOD streaming platform provides a comprehensive white-label experience for your videos, giving you a domain name and personalized player branding. Muvi also provides an audio-only streaming option, making it a great platform for building a podcast or offering music streaming options.
Muvi’s primary competitive offering is ease of use. It’s a turnkey solution that’s quick and simple to get up and running, especially for businesses brand-new to video platforms or those that lack developer resources.
- Easy to use
- Doesn’t require technical know-how
- Comprehensive white-label product
- Fast deployment
- A few users on G2 wish Muvi provided more pre-built templates
- Some users on G2 complained that the free trial doesn’t offer enough features to test the platform
13. IBM Cloud Video
IBM Cloud Video provides a live streaming and video on demand content platform. It’s an enterprise solution built for live streaming video campaigns to generate sales and leads. It has built-in features for various monetization models, including advertisements.
IBM Cloud Video uses artificial intelligence to generate real-time transcriptions immediately available for indexing. The company has strong technical support for helping businesses set up their platform for long-term success and day-to-day troubleshooting issues.
- AI-generated transcriptions
- Strong technical customer support
- Robust live-streaming features
- Some users on G2 complained about the expensive pricing
- A few users on G2 complained about slow download speed
Frequently Asked Questions on VOD
These are some of the most frequently asked questions about our VOD service. If you have more questions, please contact us.
What’s OTT? And how’s it related to VOD?
OTT stands for “over the top,” and it refers to the delivery of content like video services over the Internet, without the need for a traditional cable or satellite TV subscription.
And it represents how a majority of people are consuming entertainment these days, whether it’s watching shows on Netflix, Hulu, Roku, Twitch, or any other streaming service.
VOD (video on demand) is simply a type of OTT content that refers to online video viewers can watch on demand and whenever they want. These could be movies, television shows, or other videos.
Is VOD the same as live streaming?
No, VOD is not the same as live streaming. With live streaming, you’re watching content as it’s happening in real time. But with VOD streaming, your audience can watch your content whenever they want, without having to wait for it to air live.
Are VOD businesses profitable?
Yes, many VOD businesses are highly profitable. In fact, the global video-on-demand market is expected to reach $257.59 billion by 2029; that’s up from $82.77 billion in 2022.
So if you’re thinking about starting a VOD business, there’s a good chance it could be very profitable for you.
How do you create a VOD platform like Netflix?
If you want to create a VOD platform like Netflix, there are a few things you’ll need:
– First, create the brand; this includes coming up with a unique name, logo, and identity.
– Next, create a catalog of killer content that people will want to watch. This could be original programming, movies, TV shows, or anything else that people will find entertaining.
– Then, set up the technology platform that will power your streaming service. And this is where your VOD software provider comes in; they’ll help you get set up with the right tools and technologies. With the right platform in place, you’ll be able to deliver your content to viewers with no issues. (Author’s note: Check out the JWP VOD platform here).
– Finally, market your VOD platform to the masses and get people to watch your content. This is where things like SEO, social media, and paid advertising come into play.
With all that in place, you’ll be well on your way to creating a VOD platform that’s successful and profitable.
What are some of the most popular VOD software platforms?
There are many VOD software platforms out there, but some of the most popular ones include JWP, Vimeo, DaCast, Wistia, and Brightcove.
What’s the best way to monetize a VOD platform?
There are a few different ways you can monetize a VOD platform.
One way is to charge viewers a monthly subscription fee like Netflix does. This is called SVOD — and it stands for “subscription video on demand.” With SVOD, viewers have to pay a monthly subscription fee to watch videos. It’s a great option if you have a lot of high-quality content that people will want to watch.
Another way is to sell advertising space on your platform like YouTube does. And it’s called, AVOD — “ad-supported video on demand” or “advertising video on demand.” Viewers can watch videos for free, but they’ll have to sit through a few ads. AVOD is a great option if you have a lot of traffic and you want to monetize it.
Finally, you could also offer a pay-per-view option like Amazon does; this one’s called TVOD — “transactional video on demand.” With TVOD, viewers can pay to watch individual videos or movies. And it’s a great option if you have some really popular content that people are willing to pay for.
No matter which option you choose, there’s a good chance you can monetize your VOD platform and make it profitable.
So there you have it!
We’ve covered just about everything you need to know about on-demand videos, from what they are, their core benefits, and use cases, to how you can make money from them if you’re looking to start a business in that area.
We hope this guide has been helpful in getting you started on your VOD journey.
If you’re looking for a great VOD platform to power your streaming service, be sure to check out JWP. We offer a powerful and easy-to-use platform that’s perfect for anyone looking to use video for their business or project. Click here to learn more about JWP or just sign up for a free trial today!
Video on demand (VOD) content is all the rage these days, and publishers are scrambling to capitalize on growing demand. We’ve seen monolithic VOD platforms like Netflix and Hulu invest millions into their services while brand-new competitors like Disney+ and Peacock have joined the fray in recent years.
Despite the presence of companies that seem to have a monopoly on video streaming services, it’s still a relatively young market that’s begging for new offerings and revolutionary services.
54% of consumers want to see more video content from brands and businesses they follow, meaning every company needs to become a video company to engage its audience in the modern digital world. Whether you’re building the next online streaming service or providing video content for a local niche, you need a VOD platform to host your content and support your offerings.
Fortunately, you have plenty of options when it comes to VOD platforms. The hardest part is sifting through the prospects and finding the right solution for your business. We’ve done the hard work for you by compiling a list of the best VOD platforms for delivering video on demand content in 2023.
Below, we’ll walk you through a brief overview of each solution with important pros and cons to consider. First, let’s get on the same page by discussing what a VOD platform provider is, how it works, its benefits, and which businesses need one.