We've come a long way from satellite television. Choosing what we want to watch and forgoing the pre-scheduled shows. VOD and OTT have been a great boon as we don't have to miss out on the broadcasts of our favorite shows, games, movies, and more.
On-demand videos have progressed over the years that the lines differentiating VOD vs OTT have become a blur!
Wait, OTT and VOD aren't the same?
Yes, they are different streaming services. OTT and VOD streaming services have been used so interchangeably over the years that it has become hard to differentiate between the two. Some application and video-on-demand software switch between VOD and OTT that we've lost track of it.
OTT content originates from somewhere, and that "somewhere" is more than likely a linear channel currently being distributed to operators over satellite. That is unlikely to change for the foreseeable future, because satellite is still the most cost-effective distribution method for content to thousands of points of reception at one time. It is true, of course, that for long-tail content watched by relatively few people, satellite is possibly not the most cost effective method of delivery, so it is likely that some channels will come off satellite and be solely distributed in an OTT fashion over broadband.
How likely is that to significantly impact the demand for satellite capacity in the future? Consider that when MPEG-2 compression first made an appearance, people started to talk about the death of satellites due to a decline in demand for capacity. What happened? More channels ended up launching, more than filling the capacity vacated by compression. This process repeated with MPEG-4, due to a sharp rise in the number of High Definition (HD) channels that launched in addition to Standard Definition (SD).
Today, more than 70 percent of the video channels on air globally are still transmitted in SD, giving rise to the very real likelihood that any capacity freed by channels leaving for OTT-only distribution will be quickly filled. Even with HEVC around the corner, between HD and 4K channels launching in the next several years (and don't forget about 8K!), satellite demand is likely to continue.
The Challenge of Operator Consolidation
However, while the rise of OTT itself is unlikely to significantly reduce the need for satellite delivery of content, satellite operators are facing competition from some of the very customers they serve today. Large operators, who traditionally were the folks who installed thousands of receivers in individual headends to receive content, are consolidating. Architectures are moving from local to regional or even national headends where content is received once and onward distributed to every location being served.
To give themselves a competitive advantage, some operators are no longer receiving the top tier channels over satellite but rather are installing their own encoders at programmer locations and backhauling content at higher quality levels than can be achieved in limited satellite capacity. The trend, while not widespread today, is growing. It is unlikely to ever be cost effective to handle all channels in this manner, so satellite distribution will continue to be needed long into the future. Nevertheless, it is another sign that some decline in demand may prove inevitable.
Therefore, while there is no question OTT is increasing in popularity and will very likely continue to do so, in and of itself OTT content is unlikely to have a major impact on future satellite capacity demands. While some long-tail channels are likely to come off satellite in favor of cheaper OTT delivery only, the continued growth in HD and subsequently 4K will likely make up that shortfall. Instead, where satellite operators need to be wary is with continued consolidation both between operators and in the way their existing headend systems are architected. Moving from systems needing 10,000 receivers to systems only needing five to 10 receivers for the same job is likely to cause more channels to come off satellite and feed those locations more directly via OTT than satellite ever will.
What Is VOD Streaming?
Premium video on demand The introduction of VOD meant the wait for watching videos is over. Gone are the days when we hurried up from work to catch an episode of our favorite show or waited late nights for the reruns. Video-on-demand (VOD) allows you to watch videos at your own pace from anywhere.
It's easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of smart TV apps available. It's never been easier to find a cheap smart TV for a great deal, but it only pays off if you have the apps that give you the content you want.
Using your TV's built-in operating system can get you access to most of the content you want, but the experience can be fragmented. Sony Android TV apps are different from Samsung TV apps. The following apps work with Apple TV or Android TV, both of which will work with any TV with an HDMI port. Once you're up and running with the hardware, choosing the best smart TV app is all about choosing the kind of content you want to spend your time staring at.
Think of a system as Netflix for your personal video collection. It organizes the movies and shows you own—whether they're on your computer or in the cloud—and beams them to your smart TV. All you'll need is to make sure your TV and media storage location are connected to the same wireless network.
Even if you don't have a big collection, its partnerships with companies such as Lionsgate and Legendary Entertainment mean it has thousands of movies and shows on demand. It's also teamed up with music apps, so you can use it to listen to music as well.
Everything the apps excel at—including a slick and stable interface, the ability to pick up where you left off on any video, easy library management, and the option to automatically download artwork and metadata from the web—make them work great on the big screen.
If you spring for the premium version, you'll be able to sync your videos with your phone or tablet in addition to your television. It'll also allow you to do computer-to-TV streaming with online broadcasts of live TV, in addition to stored videos.
This freedom means that you get to:
Watch what you want
When you want to
From anywhere you choose to
VOD could be downloaded files, streamed from the internet, on-demand videos from the satellite, and more. YouTube, for example, is a VOD platform that lets you see any video as per your schedule.
With VOD, even creators get time to create content, edit their videos and provide quality content for their audience.
What Is OTT Streaming?
OTT video streaming
OTT usually refers to video content but can include podcasts, audio messaging, VoIP calls, and more. Majorly services like WhatsApp, Netflix, Skype, and others use the internet to stream content to their users.
OTT like VOD allows you to watch videos you like whenever you choose to. The only difference is that you'll need an active internet connection to stream such videos. OTT stands for over-the-top which is used to describe the service going over the top of traditional services like satellite and cable TV.
You're familiar with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video then you know how OTT works. You can stream OTT videos through any device that has an internet connection.
So, mobile phones, tablets, smart TVs, and computers can be used to access OTT streaming videos.
With an OTT connection, you can find shows and live streaming benefits of any video across the world and not necessarily through a closed network like satellite TV.
Types Of VOD
subscription video on demand
Many consumers have taken up SVOD business model, especially after the lockdown across the globe. Most content creators having video-on-demand platforms monetize their content by offering monthly and yearly subscriptions for eg: Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu, YouTube Premium, and more. These are mostly ad-free, and you can stream your videos without the hassle of sitting through advertisement breaks.
transactional video on demand
If you've booked for a live show being streamed online, a DIY class, or workshops, you've already experienced TVOD. TVOD is short for Transactional Video on Demand which charges its users based on a pay-per-view system. This content is usually unique and not available elsewhere on the internet. Many artists and professionals use this to monetize their video content.
advertising video on demand
A prominent example for Advertising Video on Demand (AVOD) is YouTube. You get to see videos under the stipulation that sponsored ads are part of the experience. Other than this, you'll not require to spend any money unless you opt for an ad-free experience. It helps broadcasters to earn money without the hassle of dealing with subscriptions or paywalls.
Difference Between VOD And OTT
The world of streaming videos has progressed a lot over years, yet at times, people do have confusion to differentiate between the two!
And that's absolutely fine! We are here to explain these concepts to you, making it even more comprehensive!
Distinguishing VOD & OTT Solutions
Over-the-top or OTT
1.This type of broadcasting uses internet or satellite/cable services to transmit curated content.
2.Online live events, sports, seminars, etc are showcased using OTT.
3.OTT describes the distribution model where video content gets delivered on the internet.
4.The best about OTT is its deals are focused on consumer-facing media services.
Video on Demand or VOD
1.As the name suggests it is available on-demand & can view playbacks anytime you want to.
2.Real-time relays will not relate with VODs unless it is packaged after live streams.
3.VOD describes the consumption model where the video is cast back on demand.
4.While in VOD it is panned over all kinds of industries & sectors.
The above factors are key indicators that set differences and are found beneficial since television broadcasting is quickly becoming obsolete.
Furthermore, it is a perfect takeaway for several content broadcasters.
We can say this without any doubt because it allows your customers to watch videos at their preferred conveniences, on multiple devices, free or paid, etc.
The Future Of Online Video Is OTT And VOD
With more consumers moving towards VOD and OTT live streaming benefits, the industry has seen a drastic increase in traffic. As I mentioned earlier, consumers love to control what they watch and when they watch content making this one of the best industries to invest in.
OTT and VOD are not just used for entertainment purposes but as the go-to platform for many educational and other professional institutions to train their personnel and offer services. As a bonus, OTT and VOD are inexpensive ways to broadcast content in comparison to traditional broadcasting.
Understanding VOD vs OTT is not as important unless you're in the video monetization industry. Most video-on-demand software work interchangeably.
If you want to differentiate your service, then ask this question: Is your online content not accessible at any time? Is it pre-scheduled like a live stream? Then you can use OTT instead of VOD.
Use a term that best resonates with your customers.