Video on Demand

Video on Demand is the paradigm of video content being available for viewing by consumers at any time at their leisure

The emergence of internet enabled the Video on Demand paradigm, which is distinct from the paradigm of linear television. With linear cable television a consumer had to tune into a channel at a particular time of day to watch their favorite TV show. Video on demand has eliminated this constraint in watching TV and film. Users can now spend their leisure time catching up on their favorite shows and films.

Netflix pioneered the video on demand space in 2007 when the company started their video streaming service. In 2008 Netflix licensed Starz’ 12,000-title catalog of films, making the entire library available to all their users. Since 2011 Netflix has started creating their own content - Netflix Originals - making an enormous library of films and shows available to their audience, to be watched at their leisure time.

Netflix follows the Subscription Video on Demand business model - consumers get access to all content on purchasing a monthly subscription to the service. Considering that the service has over 100 million paying subscribers, Netflix is able to invest heavily into licensing top films and shows and creating their own content.

YouTube on the other hand relies on user-generated content, and has the biggest audience of all video platforms. YouTube’s business model is Advertising Video on Demand, as its business is an intersection of content creators, advertisers and the platform itself. Content creators distributing through YouTube adopt various business models such as sponsorship and branding, and Patronage as a model (via Patreon)

The term VOD is mostly used for entertainment content, but can be used to refer to education content as well.