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Date April 9, 2021
Category Articles
Avatar Erwin Dey
Date April 9, 2021
Category Articles

There is always a blurry line between VoD and OTT, and many people use them interchangeably. Of course, they have specific similarities and come hand in hand sometimes, but they both can exist without each other.
In this guide, we will cut through the depth of their technical definition and show the differences between VoD and OTT.

What Is VoD?

Video-on-Demand (VoD) streaming allows users to watch videos whenever they want. VoD is the opposite of live streaming or broadcast TV. There is no need to wait for broadcasters’ schedules or have a physical copy of the videos once using VoD. Many cable service providers, firms, and new businesses use this to make their content accessible to their audiences. These kinds of videos can be accessed through online streaming, per-recording, or downloads.
VoD makes it possible for users to playback any video content at a time of their preference. The VoD covers a combination of large video content and different media like music, podcasts, and even more. VoD provides specific collections for many programs such as entertainment, sports, featured films, education videos, etc. accessible all the time. These also allow immediate access to content.

In addition, VoD has become a better and popular alternative to television. Relying on interactive technology made VoD allowing users to watch videos in real-time or download for later. Typically, VoD systems consist of a TV receiver and a set-top box for the users. It is also possible to receive the VoD on computers, smartphones, or other advanced digital media devices via the Internet. There are two categories of VoD: VoD Service operates over cable connection for broadcasting and VoD Platform that delivers the content over the Internet.
VoD caused a significant change in the way people opt for watching video content and broadcasting. The major emphasis of the VoD is on users’ behaviors. People embrace online streaming because it gives them opportunities to watch videos at any time suitable from any Internet-connected device. The popularity of VoD comes from the fact that it is available virtually anywhere and on any device. VoD uses unicast transmission and commonly used in video conferencing.

Read also: What is VoD platform? How does it work?

What Is OTT?

Over-The-Top (OTT) platforms are online services where Video-on-demand, linear TV, and many other media types are accessible. OTT is a much cheaper alternative to cable and satellite TV. OTT includes subscription fees. Previously it relied on satellite/cable for transmission but now uses the Internet. OTT covers a wide range of services that people are regularly using.
OTT gained universal popularity across the world because it merged with the concept of both digital videos and television. The OTT delivery is based on the network service providers’ service. The network service provider has no control over the OTT service, and the end-users can use it as their preference. OTT allows audiences to stream content to any device via the Internet. Most smart devices that can receive Internet signals can have OTT access as well, including mobile phones (Android- or iOS-based), computers, PCs, smart TV, gaming consoles (PlayStation and Xbox), OTT set-top boxes, and more.

The OTT users won’t be waiting to download files anymore for all the content that has already been uploaded to web servers. Access to OTT platforms is possible through websites and applications. OTT covers a wide range of content like movies, TV shows, TV, music, radio. OTT has different users as follow:
Over-the-Top Video Viewers: They watch Videos using any applications or websites that provide streaming video content and bypass traditional distribution.
Connected TV (CTV)/Internet protocol TV (IPTV) Users: These viewers use TV sets contacted to the Internet through built-in Internet connectivity or other devices with functionality like; set-top box devices.
Linear OTT Video Service Users: These users subscribe to services that deliver TV channel bundles over the Internet for a monthly subscription.

Different Types of OTT and VoD

OTT Types


Ad-Supported VoD

AVOD is an audiovisual content consumption model. It doesn’t cost the users because it is funded through advertising. But users must spend their time and watch those Ads. An example of this model is YouTube. AVOD is accompanied by drop-in commercials and depends on ads’ views or what users spend on the content.

Transactional-based VoD

TVOD model is a service that does not charge the users to open an account, but it charges the users for the content they view. Consider this service an online video store, and customers only pay for what they watch. Transactional-based VoD follows a pay-per-view (PPV) model. It is different from AVOD. An example of this service is Google Play.
Subscription-based VoD

SVOD is a streaming television model that requires subscriptions. SVOD is based on a contract that guarantees unlimited access to the content that exists on the platform. The obvious example of this is Netflix. The access to content through this model has a stipulated duration. While the subscription is active, users can watch any video content from the platform’s complete media library.

The Difference Between VoD and OTT?

Some may consider OTT and VoD the same thing because, in practice, they might overlap. To be more specific, it is better to know that they both can be delivered via the Internet. VoD and OTT allow users to stream video content at their convenience. They are available on multiple devices, paid and free. In general, OTT interacts with VoD.
However, there are specific differences between VoD and OTT. Let’s have a solid example of this matter. OTT is a live football match streaming over the Internet. This match is not VoD because the time cannot be controlled. If the match is downloaded and watched later, it is VoD. The viewer can decide when to watch the Video. But what about VoD vs. OTT?
VoD has a broader concept than OTT. VoD describes any media content that plays when users want to play it except for physical CDs and players. OTT refers to the “how” of distributing content, and VoD contains the “how” of consuming videos. OTT is an example of VoD but keep in mind that VoD can never be live.

On-demand means it does not include live streams. Usually, the content creators turn the live streams into on-demand content after the live has ended. This way, the VoD will be created, and audiences can have control over it. VoD includes online content and recorded DVRs and downloads. VoD doesn’t have to be a video on a platform; it can be from the user’s digital media collection. OTT streams via the Internet. And the content can be videos and radio broadcasted over the Internet (like podcasts). The following comparison can provide in-depth

insight into VoD vs. OTT:


One of the differences between VoD and OTT is that OTTs are associated with a service/a product, and VoD is related to presentation/videos.


Usually, OTT offers a wide range of channels available to be viewed. But VoD only views selected videos as a premium service.


OTT offers video streaming and Video on demand, and VoD provides on-demand video portals, broadcasters or related enterprises.


OTT is more relevant in the management, monetization, and distribution of video content. VoD gives users an uncompromised experience.


OTT delivers video content over smartphones and connected devices. VOD is secured on the Internet and can be compatible with multiple devices.


OTT is faster than VoD. VoD offers drop-in video quality because users must download the Video so that the quality may drop or have a long buffering time.


OTT is based on the distribution model (Video content delivered over the Internet) related to how it delivers content via the Internet. OTT can be available anytime, and VoD describes the consumption model (Video content that can be played back on demand) means that users can play at their convenience, which doesn’t have to be from the Internet. Users wait after downloading or recording the content.

VoD can be divided into two main types. The first one requires paying for conventional TV, and the second one, which does not, is OTT. OTT is considered a subset of VoD, and it is transmitted over the Internet without the subscription requirements of satellite or cable services. OTT offers users endless opportunities and easy access to the content. VoD makes it possible for users to watch the contents at a specific time or record them. Users using OTT do not have to waste any time downloading for the same or cheaper price as downloading them. It also does not occupy storage space on your devices.


If you are in the video industry or your business relies on these technologies, it is essential to know VoD vs. OTT streaming services’ details. VoD, like the ArvanCloud Video Platform, is more preferred by users who seek flexibility to watch videos in their free time. OTT caused broadcasting to be cheaper and more reliable for both businesses and users. Knowing the details of VoD vs. OTT streaming service will help you choose whatever fit your needs. But generally, it is not essential to name the service you are using as OTT or VoD, for these terms are flexible and interchangeable in some parts. By Making it possible for users to download and tune in to videos anytime, you are offering both services. Choose whatever resonates best with your audiences and target customers.
If you still doubt the difference between OTT and VoD, contact ArvanCloud, and we will get back to you ASAP.

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