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VoD (Video on Demand)

What is Video on Demand (VOD)?

VOD is a common video-industry acronym for Video On Demand. It's a term that refers to how video is transmitted as well as services offered. Video on Demand is a media distribution system that allows viewers to watch content whenever they choose. Content is not live or scheduled. VOD systems typically distribute media using internet connections, so good bandwidth is important for best results for viewers. Popular platforms include Netflix, Hulu, Disney, Amazon Prime Video and many others.

VOD platforms have interesting challenges to solve - because content is streamed using internet connections, these systems have to take into account that every user will have a different quality of connection and viewing console. Codecs for compressing and transmitting video efficiently are constantly being improved or developed anew, with the goal of providing the best experience for viewers everywhere.

Types of VOD

There are different kinds of VOD platforms available:

Build Your Own VOD - Services like api.video provide a video focused CDN that allows you to upload, transcode, host, stream and analyze your video content. You create everything from scratch.

Subscription VOD - Companies like Netflix and Hulu allow consumers to pay a fee to watch any content they want on their platforms.

Pay per VOD - This is an arrangement where rather than a subscription, users can choose to purchase the opportunity to view a video once. Or they can choose to purchase and 'own' a digital copy of the video on the platform they're viewing from. A good example would be Amazon Prime Video. You can rent videos to watch or pay to own a copy you can watch whenever you want.

Advertising VOD - This is for advertisers who want to appear on popular subscription platforms. They pay fees to have their ads air in front of the right kind of user during various shows. Because ads and content are often streamed to someone's computer, they can offer interactive content.

VOD at api.video

  1. Videos uploaded to api.video are available as VOD.
  2. Live streams at api.video with the parameter record=true are saved and re-encoded as VOD after the stream ends.
  3. Private videos: VOD videos with the parameter public=false will have unique playback links - allowing for just one view per link (to prevent the sharing of the video).