304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124
Monday to Friday: 7AM - 7PM
Weekend: 10AM - 5PM
304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124
Monday to Friday: 7AM - 7PM
Weekend: 10AM - 5PM
The global entertainment industry has been grappling with constant disruption over the past decade. The competition for viewers’ attention and spends, ad revenue and more remains intense, with new options emerging every day.
But for all the turmoil, one trend has remained constant. Traditional media continues to fight for relevance as VOD platform providers bring attractive and affordable streaming video services. This has not only enabled a growing number of “cord-cutters” who cancel their traditional media subscriptions but has also given rise to a new breed of “cord-nevers” who never became traditional TV customers at all. As a result, VOD penetration is projected to be 21% globally in 2023, with an expected 24.2% penetration by 2027.
Let us dive into what a VOD platform is and what goes into making the best one ever.
A VOD platform is a service that provides access to a range of content, including movies, web series, sports live streams, and other genres and content on demand, via the internet.
Users enjoy VOD access on a range of devices, including smart TVs, streaming devices, smartphones, and tablets, making it easy for them to watch their favorite content wherever and whenever they want.
No more couch surfing! VOD viewers take their entertainment everywhere – to the gym, to their commutes, and sometimes, though not recommended, to work too!
Video on demand (VOD) allows viewers to access and watch video content at their convenience. That’s the foundational premise.
Here’s what a typical VOD workflow looks like:
A sound VOD viewing experience and a profitable VOD business require top-of-the-line VOD platform providers. So if you’re in the market looking for the best VOD platform provider, make sure you’re getting the following benefits in the bargain.
Viewers should be able to search through your vast library of content using keywords for discovery and instantly viewing the content of their choice. No navigation through menus or skimming through channels. That’s for the linear TV era; your viewers have moved past it. Rapid stream delivery, using a combination of technology like CDNs, adaptive bitrate streaming, and video compression, ensures viewers’ searches are generated and available for viewing in seconds.
Viewers should have complete control over when and where they watch content. Unlike traditional broadcast television, VOD is not limited by broadcasting schedules or, in most cases, even geographical restrictions, nor is it restricted to any one device like the family room TV. Your VOD platform should be accessible from smart TV, smartphone, tab, or even a gaming console.
Another advantage is the level of control viewers demand over their viewing experience. They should be able to easily pause, play, rewind, fast forward, and adjust the video speed at their convenience.
Videos should be shareable with predetermined audiences using DRM technology and technologies like user authentication or device identification.
Subscribers should access content on one or limited devices as per their subscription plan.
For licensed content with geographical restrictions, your VOD services should also be restricted with geo-restrictions, using IP address blocking, among other techniques, to limit content access based on the user’s location.
DTC VOD platforms have enabled content owners to break the domination earlier held by a few big broadcasters. They can now distribute content directly to viewers without restrictive licensing arrangements or partnerships.
There is no limitation due to the difference in time zones nor the clash of broadcast schedules with the viewers’ plans. Instead, VOD platforms offer flexibility, and that’s precisely what your viewers demand.
VOD platforms also offer content owners the ease of reaching out to audiences around the globe, coupled with the facility for viewers to consume content at their convenient time, place and pace, increasing reach and, subsequently, profitability.
Video-on-demand platform providers offer a much more comprehensive range of content acquired under licensing arrangements. Formats and genres include movies, shows, sports, documentaries, and others.
Netflix, the gold standard of VOD platforms, also offers original content like the popular “Stranger Things” and “The Marvelous Mrs Maisel” in addition to licensed content. VOD platforms using the right tech stacks have data and AI superpowers to analyze viewer preferences and not only recommend content that every viewer would like but also build empirical content strategy and partnerships based on real world viewer insights and preferences.
Chapter markers on VOD platforms allow viewers to navigate to specific parts of the video they are interested in without having to run through the timeline manually. The chapter marker functionality also provides an overview of the content and can be helpful for longer videos or educational content where users may like to revisit specific sections.
And this is just scratching the surface of possibilities for a pleasing navigation experience and higher adoption and usage for VOD platforms using sound tech stacks built for excellent UX.
VOD players typically use video compression for the large content sizes required for HD viewing without buffering or lag.
HTML5 and HLS formats ensure that the content can be accessed on a variety of devices, including smartphones, tablets, and smart TVs.
Pre-caching of content in the background allows instant start-up when users click on their preferred content.
VOD analytics provide valuable insights into viewer behavior and how viewers engage with content. These metrics and in-depth insights allow content providers to make informed decisions at the granular viewer level and the larger content strategy. Some crucial metrics include:
VOD platforms allow advertisers to target specific audiences without limitations on time zones, geographies, or broadcast schedules. In contrast, with traditional TV, the advertisers have to compete for limited primetime spots during popular shows or events, rendering TV ads expensive and, often, even inaccessible.
The flexibility of ad placements offered by VOD platforms also helps keep down ad costs and ad waste. Ad spots can be placed before or after shows and even during the show, improving both flexibility for the advertiser and experience for the viewer.
Major VOD platforms allow viewers to share comments, likes, and ratings with other viewers, creating a community where like-minded viewers can discuss and debate their favorite shows.
Other interactive features include in-video files such as surveys, file attachments, and timed comments that allow content creators to gather feedback and insights from their viewers while the video is playing.
These interactive features make watching videos on community platforms a much more engaging and social experience.
If you are a content owner on the hunt for the right tech stack for your VOD service, the options out there can baffle you! But no fear, content owner. We’re here to give you a full download of top features to look out for in your VOD platform provider, all so you can deliver the best viewing experience, achieve high ad revenues and scale rapidly.
VOD platforms must provide seamless and low-latency video delivery through a combination of technologies and protocols.
For example, adaptive bitrate streaming, which adjusts the video quality based on the available network bandwidth, enables high-quality streaming even in areas with unreliable internet bandwidth.
CDN replicates content to servers closer to the end users, minimizing latency.
HTTP-based protocols such as HLS or DASH are optimized for web delivery and provide low-latency video streaming.
A centralized platform provides a single interface to content owners for all content operations and management.
It facilitates content libraries where content can be cataloged and be available for authorized access using metadata such as titles, tags, etc., to find the required content.
A centralized platform also automates content distribution to websites and apps, ensuring that the content reaches the intended audience and device promptly and efficiently.
A centralized platform also supports quick and easy ad insertion, allowing advertisers to identify and act on audiences’ preferences and intent quickly.
Content security is a critical element of VOD platform providers, ensuring total protection of content owners’ rights and creators’ interests. Various technologies come into play to control the use and distribution of digital content and prevent piracy.
For example, Digital Rights Management (DRM) uses technologies like AES, a secure encryption standard. When content is encrypted using AES, it can only be accessed by authorized devices with the necessary decryption keys.
Watermarking comes into action to combat piracy attempts occuring after content has been securely delivered and has hit the screens. Watermarking involves embedding a unique digital signature into each content copy to trace the source of pirated content.
The best VOD platforms, like ViewLift, offer the ability to deliver language accessibility for videos, providing subtitles in multiple languages. The platform also supports language-specific metadata, enabling users to filter video content by language.
Closed captioning makes content accessible to users who cannot hear the audio due to hearing impairment or need assistance understanding content not produced in their native languages. But the work of closed captioning does not end there. VOD platforms offering this feature must ensure it doesn’t mar the viewing experience. Viewlift, for example, allows adjustment of the font size and the contrast of the closed captions and subtitles for easier viewing.
Audio Description is an optional narration feature that describes what is happening on screen, including physical actions, facial expressions, costumes, settings, and scene changes and is helpful for the visually impaired. Offering this feature can make your VOD platform accessible and inclusive.
A diverse and flexible range of monetization options should be available for content creators, owners and distributors. Besides subscription-based, ad-free SVOD, other monetization options include AVOD, TVOD, and pay-per-view. It is also possible to have a hybrid combination of two or more monetization models.
For ease of monetization, multiple payment methods should be available, such as integrated payment gateways, e-commerce gateways, international currency, cross-platform payments, and marketing tools like coupons and offers.
E-commerce integration allows merchandising related to the video content, such as T-shirts and posters. In addition, VOD platforms like ViewLift can manage the entire ecommerce process for content owners as well as their brand advertisers, providing a seamless shopping experience for users without having to leave the VOD platform.
In-app purchasing enables users to purchase additional content or premium features within the app, generating additional revenue for the content.
With the integration of multiple payment gateways like PayPal, Apple Pay, and Stripe, ViewLift makes it easy for users to make purchases and for sellers to receive payments.
VOD platforms must offer analytics and visualization using graphs and charts, enabling content and platform owners to make data-driven strategies and everyday decisions that ensure profitability.
For example, identifying which marketing channels are most effective in driving new signups and which types of content or promotions lead to higher conversion rates helps optimize customer acquisition strategy.
Viewing habits, device usage, and user preferences help identify user behavior and engagement patterns. This delivers tailoring retention strategies with personalized recommendations and targeted promotions.
The recommendation engine’s performance tests the success of personalization strategies and the impact on user engagement and retention.
Geo-fencing technology uses GPS or RFID to create a virtual fence around a specific geographical area. Geo-fencing enables the setting of geographic restrictions for content viewership. This is useful in adhering to license terms and content distribution regulations in particular geographies.
VOD platforms like ViewLift use integrations with Meta and Google for targeted customer acquisition and retention campaigns based on demographics, interests, and behaviors, among other factors.
For viewer engagement and retention, VOD platforms working with ViewLift get access to integrations with a variety of customer engagement platforms such as Airship, CleverTap, Mailchimp, and Mandrill. In addition, personalized messages, recommendations, and offers can be delivered through push notifications, email marketing, and in-app messaging.
The best VOD platforms, like ViewLift, provide legal integrations with betting apps, allowing passionate sports fans to place bets on their favorite teams as they watch them play in real-time.
ViewLift also integrates other interactivity features like live trivia, Q&A sessions, etc., where viewers can interact, thus fostering a sense of community among viewers and boosting engagement and retention.
With multi-channel subscriptions and increasing subscription fatigue, more and more customers are starting to prefer FAST channels, which translates to Free Ad-supported TV. It’s free for the user, and monetization is entirely based on ad revenues.
ViewLift, with its FAST platform, offers a pleasant FAST viewing experience. All you have to do is to get great content and let the platform do the rest!
User engagement is the key to success on a VOD platform. The more engaged your users are, the more likely they are to stick around and become loyal customers.
Here are some strategies and tools to help you boost engagement, including some user engagement features offered by ViewLift.
Whether you’re looking to boost engagement, increase retention, or reach new users, these tools and features can help you achieve your goals and build a successful VOD platform.
Content is king when it comes to building a successful VOD platform. But with so much content available, how can you ensure that your users can find the content they’re looking for? Let’s get right into it.
By implementing these strategies, you can increase visibility and engagement for your VOD platform’s content, and drive more views and revenue.
In a market characterized by dynamic growth, it is essential for content owners to partner with the most optimal VOD platform providers who offer the precise features and tech stack that drive customer acquisition and retention, brand partnerships and revenue growth.
ViewLift, with its end-to-end platform, has been powering some of the most successful streaming services and VOD platforms across the globe. With its industry-leading functionalities, complete scalability, and deep operational experience with content owners of all sizes, ViewLift can help you distribute your content profitably to audiences worldwide.