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Video on Demand (VoD) | Definition, History and Benefits

By Ghufran Sheraz
A person watching an on-demand video

Video On-Demand (VOD) platforms are replacing traditional over-the-air television programming in recent years. For instance, YouTube is replacing TV broadcasts and Netflix is replacing movie rental brick-and-mortar stores. These VOD platforms provide users with the freedom to watch, browse and access a range of video topics in a matter of seconds. 

We are familiar with YouTube and Netflix, but what does VoD mean and how did it evolve over time to make floods of heavy data (particularly videos) readily accessible? 

What is VoD? 

VoD stands for Video on Demand, where viewers can search through an online video library and access any content through keyword searches. What is intriguing about video on demand is that people are not restricted to the broadcasting schedules, which means they can watch their videos whenever and wherever they wish. 

Britannica defines Video on Demand as, “a technology for delivering video content, such as movies and television shows, directly to individual customers for immediate viewing, regardless of broadcast schedules.  

Whiltechopedia defines VoD as a system, “that allows users to select and watch video content of their choice on their TVs or computers. VoD provides users with a menu of available videos from which to choose.  

Dictionary.com in its definition of VOD, too includes an important phrase "select content and view it at a time of his or her own choosing".


Fundamental to VOD, is the viewer's ability to watch a video at his or her time time


History of VoD 

Since 1990s, developments in compression technology such as DCT and ADSL made it possible to decrease the required bandwidth of a television signal from 200 Mbps to 2Mbps. This paved the way to practically introduce VoD services.  

In 1994, The Cambridge Digital Interactive Television trial included a major VOD service, supplying access to 250 homes and schools connected to the Cambridge Cable network. The trial ran at the speed of 2Mbps which was later increased to 25 Mbps. BBC and Anglia Television offered content. Although it proved to be practical, the project concluded in 1996 due to great difficulty in sourcing content.

Virgin Media (formerly Cable TV providers Telewest and NTL) introduced VoD services in 2005 by the name of Sky by broadband (Later renamed to SkyAnytime on PC). It used peer-2-peer approach which means that video content comes from multiple system users who already downloaded the content.  

The European Audiovisual Observatory reported 142 VoD paying services in 2006 across Europe, which rose to 650 by 2009.  

VoD is now present in all parts of US with YouTube and Netflix introducing its own online service in 2007 (after delivering its billionth DVD and shifting away from its business model of mailing DVD’s).  

Laterbusinesses began to look for alternatives because platforms at the time had limited features like lack of customization, loss of content ownership once it was publicly shared, and secure sharing to internal stakeholders. To meet this gap, professional-grade VoD options became prominent in the marketplace such as VIDIZMOKaltura, Wistia, Vimeo and Muvi. 


As per the statistics from Statista: 

  • Revenue in the VoD segment is estimated to reach $85.8 billion in 2021. 
  • An annual growth rate (CAGR 2021-2025) of 10.17% is expected in the revenue of VoD segment. 
  • User penetration is expected to reach 29% by 2025 (up from 24.4% in 2021). 


Benefits of VoD 

Convenience: Through keyword searches, viewers can search through the video library and watch their choice of content whenever and wherever they pleasewithout being bound to any broadcast schedules.

Sharing: Videos can be shared with intended audiences and they can watch it at any time at their convenience. 

Navigation: Using chapter markers (indicators of sequences) to jump to a specific section in the video 

Content variety: Viewers can search and access a myriad of content topicsResults from searches are generated in seconds with rapid stream delivery.  

Reach: Content creators can tap into any demographic segment without geographical and time restrictions due to the prevalent availability of screens in the internet space. 

Affordable Promotions: Launching commercials in an online space is cheaper than buying prime time spots for TV commercials.  

Compatibility: Providing high quality viewing experience over broadband internet with quick start up and minimum buffering time on various gadgets on the go like Tablets, PCs, phones, and Smart TVs. 

Viewership metrics: You can easily gauge measurements of viewer activity through figures from analytics. Unlike TV metricswhere determination of target audience and their viewing behaviors are difficult. 


While YouTube and Netflix are great platforms targeted for consumer entertainment, they may not be suitable for enterprise purposes such as video content management, branding and customization, monetization, and security compliance. VIDIZMO can offer these features through its VoD portal that enables you to customize communication for both internal and external audiences. 


VIDIZMO as a VoD Platform 

For businesses with large video archives dealing with both publicly accessible and confidential information, it can be overwhelming to securely share, manage and customizefit for all target audiences. This is where VIDIZMO’s capabilities for on-demand (VoD) streaming come in.  


VIDIZMO can help you organize your video archive by searching for keyword tags to segregate content into categories. Moreover, it features AI-generated automatic closed captions that can be automatically translated into multiple languages.  

With VIDIZMO’s strong networks of CDNs (Content Delivery Networks) and transcoding, you will be able to reach audiences in remote areas and bring high-quality videos, minimum buffering, and rapid delivery on any device. 

One of the major benefits of VIDIZMO, which simple VoD such as YouTube does not offer, is you get to keep your ownership of published videos. With viewers being able to access previously published videos months and years later, this can help in areas such as lead generation to develop a loyal viewership.  

The portal also brings private sharing through robust security featuresso that only relevant individuals/departments can stream videos. With authentication and authorization rights, only authorized personnel will be able to watch and edit the videos, without leaking sensitive information to third parties. 

VIDIZMO not only offers on-demand video streaming but complete end-to-end enterprise video platform, with live streaming, video management, data governance, security, compliance, and more. 

Learn More About VIDIZMO EnterpriseTube

Moreover, VOD is only one type of video streaming platform. Learn more about the different types of platforms here.


Tags: VoD Platform

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