Video trends · 7 min read

What is VOD and how does it work?

Learn what is video-on-demand, how it can help your business and how it is different from live streaming in this short read.

Arushi Gupta

August 3, 2023

“Once a new technology rolls over you, if you're not part of the steamroller, you're part of the road.” - Stewart Brand, Writer


Picture yourself in your office or home, daydreaming about your next thrilling vacation. Two options lie before you: flipping through a travel booklet, or immersing yourself in captivating videos showcasing breathtaking landscapes, mountains, oceans, delicious food, vibrant cultures, and more! If you had to choose, you will surely choose the second option, because let’s all agree, videos are far more realistic and give you the right information quickly. !


But there are various formats to videos, and video-on-demand is one format in which videos are consumed today — thanks to video-on-demand (VOD) platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Hotstar, and more.


Now what are VOD platforms in the first place and how do they work? Let’s find out.

What is VOD?

Let’s first understand what is on-demand. On-demand is something that is desired for or wanted. Similarly, video-on-demand or VOD is any content format that gives the audience the power to watch it whenever, wherever, and however they want. It can be found anywhere on the internet for any purpose — be it entertainment, online learning, or e-commerce. Since VOD is streamed through the internet, there is no intervention of cable or satellite connections unlike traditional broadcasting methods.


And that is what makes VOD so popular and also, so convenient to use.

Benefits of VOD

Now that we know the meaning of VOD, let's look at some of its important benefits.

VOD offers enhanced engagement

With VOD, you can create multiple videos for your products and services, providing proper descriptions of their features and functionalities. Attendees can watch, understand, and learn about your offerings through these on-demand streaming videos. Moreover, it is a common habit for people to watch various videos, read content, and then make product comparisons before making a decision. This provides you with an opportunity to capture the attention of a global audience for your products and services.


Did you know?

According to a 2022 study by Wyzowld, it was found that a massive 94% of marketers agree that video helped them understand a product or service better. It was also noted that 88% of people had been convinced to buy a product or service after watching the brand's video. Not to mention, the study also found that 96% of people watched an explainer video to know more about a product or service.


VOD is convenient for your business

Video on demand allows your audience or customers to watch content according to their will. There are no restrictions on place and time, and they can watch the video as they wish. The best part is that unlike most other general broadcasting services, VOD platforms’ availability is not restricted to certain geographical locations, so viewers from around the world can stream content.


Did you know?

77% of Americans report being happy with the convenience and flexibility of streaming video on demand, while 71% discarded cable TV as they can easily find the content they want online.

VOD tastes like freedom

VOD platforms offer the freedom to create content with complete control, free from advertisers' guidelines and restrictions. Producing videos-on-demand allows you to share your authentic self with the world. With just an idea, a camera, and an internet connection, you can craft the perfect video content for your product or service, ready to be showcased on your app or website.


VOD offers better opportunities at lesser cost

Video-on-demand proves more budget-friendly than hosting a virtual event or live streaming content. As opposed to livestreaming where you can be online for just a defined time — like a day or a week — video-on-demand has no restriction on the availability of your content and that allows people access to your content for a larger duration of time.

What makes a great VOD platform

There are various aspects of a good VOD streaming platform. Let’s see what they are.

  1. Customization with a white-label video player

The foremost focus of your product lies on branding. It is always great to have logos, images, and colors to maintain your brand's prominence by white-labeling your videos — and a good VOD platform should let you do that with ease.


At, you get complete control to showcase your brand and stand out with our customizable video streaming API.

2. Content delivery network (CDN)

A content delivery network (CDN) is like the backbone of a VOD platform. A CDN plays a crucial role in delivering videos with minimal buffer time to your users across the globe, making sure they can enjoy smooth and speedy streaming.

3. Digital rights management

Digital Rights Management (DRM) is a tech tool that safeguards your content from piracy and unauthorized sharing. A good VOD platform usually has a DRM solution that lets you create videos and restrict their viewership to private or public.

4. Multi-user access

A multi-user access feature provides custom access controls and user permissions within your business and for each target audience group. With the help of built-in safeguards, a good VOD platform lets you share your workspaces with other members and collaborate on a project.

How is VOD different from live streaming?

The best way to describe the difference between VOD and live streaming is to understand real acting vs. reel acting. In theater, there are no second chances; what happens on stage is the final act. On the other hand, movies and series permit multiple takes, extensive editing, and color correction before producing the final video. Similarly, VOD empowers you to shoot, edit, and upload videos at your pace, granting you the freedom to pause, play, rewind and fast forward.


On the other hand, live streaming lacks such options since it takes place in real-time, untouched by editing. If you see the broader aspect, live streaming is a subset `of VOD as live videos can be watched on demand by the viewers at a later date.

If you are wondering which one’s better, we would say both of them can be combined for a wholesome business package. While VOD offers convenience and accessibility, live streaming is more engaging for the user.

Is VOD the right option for you?

In a word, YES. There can be a lot to do in this era of online marketing, but video-on-demand can change your brand in a lot of ways. It is attractive because it grants you complete control over your videos without adhering to advertisers' guidelines. With the ability to shoot, edit, and upload at your own pace, VOD caters to diverse needs and audiences. Viewers can indulge in on-demand content, pause, play, and revisit their favorite moments at their convenience.


In a nutshell, VOD is an excellent way to connect with your audience and make a meaningful impact that can go a long way in your business’ growth but you need to evaluate your content goals, target audience, and desired level of control to be able to decide if it is the right option for your business.


If you are looking for an API that lets you integrate videos seamlessly to your product, checkout With usage based pricing that does not burn a hole in your pocket, lightning fast encoding and a developer friendly API, you get everything you need at to integrate VOD in your app or website.


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