More people than ever are turning to the internet for everything from entertainment to schooling to work. Due to this shift, there has been a sharp decline in attention spans, leading people to try out more engaging mediums like VOD streaming to keep people tuned in. But what is VOD Streaming? And how does it work? 

VOD stands for Video On-Demand. And while streaming videos online isn’t new, reports have found that year-over-year viewing times on VOD platforms have increased 155% (with almost 20 minutes spent per session). 

With more eyes on VOD streaming than ever, we know that it can be difficult to figure out exactly where you fit in. Don’t worry – we have everything you need to get started and find your place in the VOD world. Next, we’ll review the rise of VOD streaming, how it works, and how you can use this medium to share your knowledge and expertise with the world. 

Let’s jump in. 

VOD Streaming

What is a Video (VOD) Delivery Platform?

Although you may not realize it, you can likely already name a handful of VOD delivery platforms off the top of your head. YouTube is an obvious example since they allow users to upload videos and viewers to stream their content at will. However, platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and others are considering SVOD delivery platforms, with the S standing for Subscription.

Regardless of if users are paying for the content or not, these examples should give you an idea of how a VOD streaming platform functions. But how do you take advantage of this rise in VOD streaming if you’re not a YouTuber or making TV shows for a streaming platform? 

Thankfully, YouTube and Netflix aren’t the only Video Delivery Platforms out there and alternative options like Mastera can provide a tailored experience to highlight your VOD content. Next, we’ll compare VOD streaming with other ways to get your content to your users to see what might work best for you

Differences Between Live Streaming and VOD

Along with the rise of VOD streaming, there has been an upward trend in the popularity of live-streaming and the capabilities necessary for hosting live video. While some trainers and instructors prefer the live-stream format, others see VOD streaming as the best way to get their content in front of users. 

When trying to decide for yourself which streaming option makes the most sense for your business, it can be good to review the differences between the two. 

Live-streaming is the ability to transmit or receive live video and audio over the internet. Some features include:

  • Live learning. While a video allows users to speed up, slow down, or pause, live-streaming means that both you and your users need to be on the same page before you can move forward. Depending on your teaching style and their learning method, this can be good or bad depending on the circumstances. 
  • Immediate feedback. Users are just on the other side of the screen from you, allowing them to guide you with questions as you go or ask for clarification. This can be a double-edged sword unless you are confident in your ability to lead the class and limit distractions
  • Group dynamics. While watching a video is a solitary activity, live-streaming helps your students to feel like they are part of their community, especially if they can see the other users in the class. 

On the other hand, Video On Demand or VOD Streaming provides the following possibilities:

  • Flexibility. Video on demand means that your students or users can access your videos from anywhere at any time. This greatly reduces the time you will need to spend planning classes, but means that you will want to streamline the material for VOD. 
  • Learn at your own pace. Rather than needing to take in everything in one class, VOD streaming gives your students the opportunity to learn at whatever speed works best for them. While some might be able to get the concepts on the first run-through, others might want to re-watch or pause to digest as they go. VOD means they can. 
  • Puts the ball in their court. While live-classes make it easy to keep track of students and where they are in the learning process, it’s harder to keep track with VOD and the effort is on their end. This can be a double-edged sword, but as long as you can engage with them through other means, you can make this work for you. 

Ultimately, a health mix of the two is recommended to offer a solution that works for everyone.

OTT Streaming and You – What is it?

Once you have your VOD streaming platform ready to go, your next move will be to make sure your customers can view your classes and videos anytime, anywhere. The more places to watch, the more engaged your audience will be with your content. This is where OTT streaming comes in. 

OTT stands for Over The Top and is used to describe any streaming service that delivers content over the internet. Clearly, VOD streaming falls into this category, but OTT is a larger umbrella that includes traditional internet streaming along with various applications that support the streaming service. 

For example, some of our clients use OTT apps to allow their users to stream classes from their TV. Not only does this often make it easier for the end-user to fully take in the class, but it opens up opportunities for large classes and more engaged users. 

Why OTT streaming? 

OTT streaming is designed to have one platform hosting the content with ways to distribute the content across the internet, regardless of if the end-user has a cable subscription or other streaming services.

This is perfect for small businesses since instructors can push their content directly to their users, rather than having to use another service to get the content out there. 

Along with avoiding expensive costs, OTT streaming provides the following benefits: 

  • More engaged audience than traditional streaming. Most people using OTT streaming services are going to stay more engaged due to the lack of distractions and the clear cut parameters of the platform. However, your content will need to match this level of engagement. 
  • Data transparency. With traditional streaming and distribution, it can be difficult to gather meaningful data on your customers. With OTT and VOD streaming, every view and interaction can be documented, allowing you to get a better understanding of your audience and how to improve. 

But how do you take advantage of OTT streaming? Let’s break down how it works and why you should begin hosting your videos on a VOD/OTT streaming platform. 

OTT Streaming

Streaming Checklist

In order to get your content out through OTT streaming, you will need a platform like Mastera to distribute your content along with a plan for doing so. We’ll talk more about Mastera in a minute, but to get started, you will need to check the following items off your list.

Something to record with. Thankfully, most smart phones today have a good camera and can be used until you have saved up for a better piece of equipment. Computer webcams can also work, but you’ll want to make sure the loss of quality isn’t noticeable. 

A plan for your content. Are you going to sell by the video? By the class? How often will you upload or stream new content? Having answers to these questions and a plan for implementation will save you a lot of headache in the long run. 

Supplemental content. Depending on what you are teaching, there will likely be supplemental content necessary for instructing your students. Decide what type of extra content you want to provide, such as workout plans or blog posts, and make sure that you have a way to get those to your students along with their streaming classes. 

From there, you will need to find the right OTT solution for you. Mastera offers the ability to stream live and on-demand content, along with the ability to build apps for TVs, smartphones, and tablets, allowing your students to access your content from basically anywhere. 

As you start to add more users and content, you will start to receive feedback and work to improve your offerings. This is why it is essential to have a platform that can grow with you and to make a plan early on for growth so you don’t find yourself stuck later. 

Also, read:

What Makes a Great Video Hosting Platform for Business?

Now, it’s one thing to make content and put it up online, it’s another to take that video hosting platform and make it a profitable business for you.

Thankfully, that is what we specialize in at Mastera and our team is constantly working to create a great experience for both you and your students. So, what makes a great video hosting platform? A few things. 

1. Ease of use

A good video platform makes it as simple as possible for students to interact with your content. Options like categorization and tags are a good place to start, but from there you can get more advanced with your presentation through the use of playlists and programs.

The easier to access your content, the better prepared you will be to meet their needs. 

2. Playlists and Programs

Mentioned above, playlists and programs allow you to create content plans and execute them with a good amount of creative freedom.

For example, you could create a 12 week program with a new video unlocking each week or a playlist without a specific timeframe, but you have to complete the previous video to move forward. These are a great way to give your students a framework to their education. 

3. Built-in payment processing

When you put so much time and effort into your work, you need to make sure you are compensated for your work. Built-in payment processing is one of the best features a video platform can offer for growing businesses.

Additionally, giving different options for subscriptions and pay-as-you-go plans allows your students to have options when deciding on how they want to interact with your business. 

4. Automated reminders

Even your most diligent students need reminders now and then, and so do you! A quality video streaming platform like Mastera will offer automated email notifications to alert you and your students about bookings, upcoming classes, and cancellations.

One less thing for you to worry about means more time to focus on content and curriculum. 

Why Mastera Is The Best VOD Streaming Platform For You?

As you can see, the advancements made in the world of VOD streaming and OTT platforms has made it possible for small businesses and individual instructors to reach more students and provide exceptional teaching environments. And with Mastera, we can help you to provide everything we mentioned above. 

From on-demand videos to live-streaming classes to playlists and programs, there is something for every instructor or teacher on our platform.

Our goal is to provide the framework so that you can focus on the content. Together, we can learn and grow together. What is VOD Streaming & How Does it Work?

Our hope is that you will consider what a platform like Mastera can do for you. Once you know what you want to teach or create for the world, let us know and we’ll help you make it a reality.