VOD Streaming: What It Is and How It Relates to OTT

Title Image: VOD Streaming

What Is VOD Streaming?

In essence, VOD is just that: the ability to click and play video content without the constraints of a broadcasting schedule or requiring a physical copy of what you’re viewing (as with DVDs or Blu-ray Disks). Today, VOD almost exclusively refers to content that’s distributed to viewers via streaming on internet-connected devices. However, downloaded files and recorded DVR content can also fall into this category.

The Blurry Lines Between OTT and VOD

  • Over-the-top (OTT) broadcasting describes media content delivered over the internet rather than via traditional cable and satellite services. Top players in the OTT space include Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Sling. Internet radio and VoIP services like WhatsApp also count as OTT because they bypass traditional broadcasting alternatives.
  • VOD, as detailed above, is any video content that starts when you push play — without requiring a physical DVD and player to initiate the process.
  • On-demand content distributed via a cable or satellite service (such as Xfinity On Demand)
  • Prerecorded video used in enterprise settings (employee training, corporate communications, customer resources, and more)
  • Live streaming broadcasts (such as online sports or live news)
  • Scheduled programming delivered via streaming (such as a channel accessed on Sling TV)
  • On-demand streaming content delivered by a cable alternative (Netflix, YouTube, the list goes on)

Live Streaming vs. VOD

Because VOD content can be played whenever the viewer chooses, it’s never live. Rather, VOD describes prerecorded content that internet-connected users can stream by request. That’s not to say that live streams can’t become VOD. And when it comes to monetization, recording live streams for additional broadcast opportunities is crucial.


Live-to-VOD services enable broadcasters to repurpose content and expand their audience as soon as the live event has ended. What’s more, VOD assets put the customer in control of their viewing experience — something we’ve all come to expect — with the ability to instantly, play, pause, and rewind the recording.

Monetization Models for VOD

Whether you’re redistributing a recorded event or releasing a movie directly to consumers, several strategies can be used to boost revenue using VOD. Let’s take a look at the most common models VOD offers for converting content into cash.

Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD)

SVOD stands for subscription video on demand, which includes any VOD service that provides unlimited access for a recurring fee.

Ad-Based Video on Demand (AVOD)

AVOD stands for ad-based video on demand, which looks the most like traditional TV broadcasting in that it uses commercials and other advertising techniques to generate revenue.

Transaction Video on Demand (TVOD)

TVOD stands for transactional video on demand, which describes pay-per-view streaming content that viewers access on an ad-hoc basis. To throw another acronym in the mix, TVOD is often reserved for PVOD, or premium video on demand. PVOD content includes highly anticipated boxing fights and cinematic releases.


Regardless of the monetization model, we designed our software, services, and hardware to make live and VOD streaming work for your business. Wowza powers reliable video delivery for market leaders in industries ranging from media to healthcare. And by offering a full-service platform and customized solutions, we work with each customer to ensure their success.



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Wowza powers scalable, reliable video for businesses looking to transform their product offering. https://www.wowza.com/