What is the Difference Between Video on Demand and Pay Per View?

Are you tired of being constrained by traditional cable TV packages? Are you looking for a more flexible way to provide access to the latest movies and TV shows? If so, you may be quite interested in exploring more about Video on Demand (VOD) and pay per view (PPV) services. 

These two options offer an alternative to the traditional cable TV model, allowing viewers to watch content on their own terms. According to a recent study conducted, a number of households in the United States have cut the cord on cable TV and are shifting to OTT platforms at a rapid pace.

With the rise of OTT streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, it is quite evident that viewers are looking for new ways to access online content. Indeed, VOD and PPV services offer an additional layer of flexibility, allowing viewers to choose what they want to watch and when they want to watch it.

In this blog, we will take a deep dive into VOD vs PPV. We will explore the benefits of each service, how they work, and the key differences between them. By the conclusion of this blog, you will have a better understanding of which service is right for you. So, take a seat, relax, and get ready to learn more about VOD and PPV.

What is Video on Demand (VOD)?

As a content owner or publisher, you know how challenging it can be to get your content in front of viewers. However, with video on demand (VOD), you can now broadcast your content to a vast audience with just a few clicks. 

In simple words, VOD is a service that allows viewers to access video content instantly, without having to wait for a scheduled time. This means that viewers can watch your content anytime, anywhere, on any device.

The VOD model also offers significant benefits for content owners. Unlike traditional cable TV, where content is delivered through a linear or fixed broadcast schedule. Also, VOD allows you to monetize your video content in a much more flexible and scalable way. 

You can choose to offer your content as a subscription-based service, where viewers pay a monthly fee to access your vast library of content, or as a transactional-based service, where viewers pay per view (PPV).

With VOD, you can also easily track and analyze viewer data, including how many people are watching your content, where they are located, and what devices they are using. This data can help you make informed decisions about how to market and distribute your content in the future. 

How Does Video on Demand Work? 

On a basic note, one can say that VOD works by storing videos on a server that viewers can access using an internet-connected device such as a computer, smartphone, tablet, or TV. 

how video on demand vod works

When a viewer selects a video to watch, the VOD system delivers it to their device through the internet. This is referred to as video streaming, which means that the video is delivered in real-time as it is watched, rather than being downloaded and saved onto the network device.

To ensure smooth streaming, VOD platform tend to use adaptive bitrate streaming technology that automatically adjusts the video quality based on the viewer’s internet speed and device capabilities. This ensures that the video streams smoothly without any buffering or interruptions.

Overall, VOD services make it easy and convenient for viewers to access the content, without needing to stick to a strict TV schedule. For content owners, this means that their videos can be made available to a wider audience, and they can earn handsome revenue via subscription fees or advertising on the platform.

Top 7 Benefits of Using Video on Demand:

Video on Demand streaming offers a plethora of benefits that can transform the way you broadcast your content. From flexibility to scalability, VOD has emerged as a game-changer in the entertainment industry. Keeping this in mind, let’s delve deeper and explore the multiple benefits it has to offer.

1. On-Demand Entertainment Anytime, Anywhere

One of the most significant benefits of VOD is that it provides on-demand entertainment anytime, anywhere. With VOD, viewers can watch their favorite movies, TV shows, or documentaries on their own time, without having to adhere to a fixed broadcasting schedule. 

This convenience is particularly appealing to those who lead busy lives or have unpredictable schedules. This means that you can start watching a movie in the morning, pause it in the middle, and resume watching it later in the day without missing anything. Isn’t that cool and comfy? 

Besides that, VOD platforms also offer viewers the ability to control playback speed, subtitles, audio quality, etc., making it easier to watch content accordingly. This flexibility in viewing habits makes Video on Demand an ideal choice for people who are busy and have limited time.

2. Endless Content Variety and Customization

Another advantage of VOD is that it provides access to exclusive content that may not be available on traditional broadcasting channels. VOD providers often tend to produce their own original content by putting in a lot of effort; thereby can only be accessed through their platform. 

However, Video on Demand also allows viewers to customize their content experience based on their tastes or preferences. For instance, some OTT platforms offer personalized recommendations based on your viewing history, making it easier to discover new content that you might enjoy. 

Above all these features, VOD providers also offer early access to movies or TV shows that may not have been released in theaters yet. This means that end-users can watch the fresh content before it is available anywhere else.

Planning To Start a VOD Streaming Entertainment Business?

3. Budget-Friendly for Binge-Watchers

One of the significant advantages of VOD is the flexibility and budget-friendly pricing models that it has to offer. With VOD, content creators and distributors can deliver their content to a wider audience at a much lower cost than that of traditional broadcasting methods.

For instance, VOD services typically offer different subscription tiers with varying pricing options, allowing users to choose a plan that fits in with their budget and viewing preferences. Some White Label OTT platforms also offer free content, which is ad-supported, making it accessible to a broader audience who can’t afford to pay. 

This indeed allows users to pay only for the content they want to watch. This pay-per-view model is particularly useful for users who are interested in a specific movie or TV show, but not interested in subscribing to a monthly or yearly plan. By paying only for the content they want to watch, users can save money and enjoy a more personalized viewing experience.

4. Freedom from Fixed Broadcast Schedules

As mentioned earlier, one of the most significant benefits of VOD is that it provides viewers with the freedom from fixed broadcast schedules. Viewers can watch their favorite content at any time, without having to worry about missing an episode or recording it. 

This flexibility is especially appealing to those who have unpredictable schedules or those who live in different time zones. Also, the ability to watch content at any time can help reduce stress and improve overall well-being.  

Nevertheless, the ability to watch content at their own pace can be particularly useful for those who are in the early stage of learning a new language or studying a specific topic, as they can pause and replay the content as many times as they need to fully understand it.

5. Seamless Access Across Devices and Locations

One of the most significant benefits of VOD is the ability to access content across multiple devices and locations seamlessly. Users can easily switch between devices without missing a beat. In short, they can start watching a TV show on one device and pick up where they left off on another device. That’s actually amazing. Isn’t it? 

VOD providers offer apps for various devices, including smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, gaming consoles, etc. This accessibility has made it possible for people to watch their favorite TV shows on the go, during their daily commutes, or while waiting in line at the grocery store.

Most importantly, don’t forget about the offline viewing functionality. Some of the OTT platform allow users to download movies and TV shows to their devices, which is quite useful when traveling or when an internet connection is not available. This downloading feature is particularly useful during any internet connectivity issue.

6. Personalized Viewing Experience with Recommendation Algorithms

VOD providers use recommendation algorithms to suggest content that viewers might enjoy based on their viewing history. These algorithms analyze the user’s watch history, genre preferences, and other factors to create a personalized content experience. 

The personalized viewing experience offered by recommendation algorithms can increase viewer satisfaction and engagement, leading to longer viewing sessions and more loyal viewers. This feature can help viewers discover new content that they might not have found otherwise.

It is worth mentioning that VOD platforms allow users to create personalized watchlists and playlists that they can access from any device. This means that users can add content to their watchlist on one device and access it on another without having to search for it again. This feature saves users time and makes it easier to keep track of the content they want to watch.

7. Enhanced Audience Engagement and Analytics for Content Creators

As mentioned above, VOD platforms offer content creators valuable insights into their audience’s viewing habits and preferences. This information can help content creators make informed decisions about future content creation and distribution. 

Also, VOD platform providers offer various engagement features such as commenting, liking, and sharing, allowing viewers to interact with content creators and other viewers. This engagement can help build a community around a particular piece of content.

All in all, the ability to personalize content based on the audience’s preferences and needs is essential in today’s highly competitive media landscape, and Video on Demand platforms are way ahead by providing all the valuable tools for content creators to achieve this.

What is Pay Per View?

Pay-per-view (PPV) is a way to watch specific programs, movies, or events on your TV or computer by paying a fee. Instead of subscribing to a whole channel or service, you can choose to watch a specific program that you are quite interested in.

pay per view ppv

To access PPV, you typically need to have an online account with any of the PPV providers. Once you have access, you can choose from a wide variety of programs that are available on a pay-per-view basis. 

Here, you will be charged a fee to watch each program, and you will have a limited time to watch it, usually 24 to 48 hours. In easy terms, one can say that the content is made available to the end-user for a limited time period. 

PPV is often used for special events like boxing matches, UFC fights, concerts, and movies that are not available on regular TV. It is a convenient option if you want to watch a specific program without committing to a long-term subscription. 

With the rise of online streaming services, PPV has also become a popular way to offer new movies and exclusive content to viewers on a one-time payment basis. With that keeping in mind, let us see how pay per view works in real-time. 

How Does Pay Per View Work?

Imagine you are sitting at home, scrolling through your TV guide, looking for something interesting to watch. Suddenly, you come across an advertisement for a special boxing match that is happening this weekend. 

how pay per view

You are intrigued, but you’re not sure if you want to commit to buying the whole event. That is where pay-per-view comes into the picture. With pay-per-view, you don’t have to commit to a long-term subscription. Instead, you can pay a one-time fee to access the content you want to watch. So, you decide to check it out. 

You log onto the PPV provider’s website and browse the selection of programs available for purchase. You see the boxing match you are interested in, and you click on it to learn more.

The provider gives you a brief description of the event and asks if you are ready to make the purchase. You confirm, and the provider prompts you to pay for the program. You enter your payment information, and within minutes, you have access to the program you want to watch.

Now, the content is available to you for a limited time. You can watch the boxing match as many times as you want during that time period. If you miss it the first time, you can always go back to it later and watch it again. That’s the beauty of PPV.

Providers tend to use PPV to offer special events that are not available via regular channels. It is a way for them to generate additional revenue by charging viewers for exclusive content. So, next time you’re looking for something special to watch, consider checking out what PPV has to offer! Before we get there, let’s have a look at some of the other benefits of pay per view. 

Top 7 Benefits of Pay Per View

PPV has revolutionized the way entertainment is consumed, making it an attractive option for both content providers and viewers. Indeed, PPV has opened up new revenue streams for content owners or providers. With that being said, let’s see the top 7 benefits of pay-per-view in detail. 

difference between vod and ppv

1. Flexible Pricing Options

This feature of PPV allows end-users to customize the final payments, where they can choose how much they want to pay based on various factors, such as the duration of the rental or the quality of the content. Overall, it allows users to have greater control over their spending.

For instance, you might be able to pay less if you are only renting the movie for a day instead of a week or if you are watching it in standard definition instead of high definition. Flexible pricing options make pay per view more affordable for everyone.

In simpler form, Pay per view allows one to choose to buy only the candy they like instead of buying a bag with all the candies in it. It gives you more control over what you spend your money on, and you don’t have to pay for things you are not interested in.

2. Access to Live Events and Premium Content

Pay-per-view (PPV) allows end-users to access live events by paying a fee for each view. These may include concerts, sports games, award shows, etc. This allows viewers to experience the excitement and thrill of the event from the comfort of their own homes, without having to worry about travel or other logistical issues.

In addition to live events, PPV also offers access to premium content that may not be available through other channels. This can include exclusive movies, documentaries, and TV shows that are not available on regular cable or movie streaming services. 

PPV allows viewers to access this content on a one-time basis, without having to subscribe to a specific service or pay for a long-term commitment. This allows viewers to tailor their viewing experience. Whether they want to watch a live event with friends, catch up on a TV show they missed, or simply relax with a movie on their own.

3. No Subscription Required

Another significant benefit of pay-per-view (PPV) is that viewers are not required to subscribe to a particular service or commit to a long-term contract. This means that viewers can access premium content on a one-time basis without any additional fees or obligations. 

Rather than paying for a full subscription or bundle of channels, viewers can choose to pay for only the content they want to watch. This can be especially appealing to people who have busy schedules or are only interested in a specific event or show.

In fact, the lack of a subscription eliminates the need to be concerned about cancellation fees or other hidden costs. Viewers only pay for the content they want to watch, and there are no additional fees or penalties. This gives viewers peace of mind and a sense of control over their entertainment spending.

4. Immediate Access to Content

Unlike traditional cable, there is no need to wait for a specific time or date to watch a TV show or event. PPV allows viewers to access content instantly, providing instant gratification and a solution for all entertainment needs.

This is especially appealing to people who want to watch events or shows as soon as they become available. PPV eliminates the wait time and allows viewers to experience the excitement of a live event or the new season of their favorite show without any delays. 

It also provides a level of convenience that is unmatched by other viewing options. Whether you’re at residence, on the go, or on vacation, PPV allows you to access the content you want to watch, anytime and anywhere. With PPV, all the content is easily accessible via the internet, providing a hassle-free way to watch and enjoy the latest attractions.

5. Easy to Use and Convenient

Usually, it is seen that PPV platforms are designed to be user-friendly, with straightforward navigation and intuitive menus that make finding and accessing content a breeze. This simplicity makes pay per view accessible to viewers of all ages and technical abilities.

Along with a good interface, PPV is known for its convenience as well. PPV can be accessed through a variety of devices, including laptops, smartphones, tablets, and smart TVs, making it easy for viewers to watch their favorite shows or events from anywhere. 

In addition to its ease of use and convenience, PPV also provides viewers with a high degree of flexibility. Viewers can choose from a vast selection of content, ranging from live events to the latest shows, and can access this content on a pay-per-use basis. It also provides a level of control, allowing viewers to skip through commercials or rewatch their favorite scenes.

6. Increased Revenue Opportunities 

One of the main benefits of PPV is that it allows content providers to generate revenue from their content without having to rely on traditional advertising models. With PPV, the revenue is directly tied to the number of viewers who purchase access to the content. 

This can be particularly beneficial for niche content providers who might have a small but dedicated audience. By charging a fee for access to their content, these providers can generate revenue that they might not be able to generate through traditional advertising models.

PPV can also be an effective way to monetize live events. For example, sports leagues can offer PPV access to live games, allowing fans who can’t attend the stadium to still experience the excitement of the game from their own home. Overall, content providers can generate significant revenue and build a loyal audience of dedicated viewers.

7. Control Over Content

Pay-per-view offers content providers greater control over their content. With PPV, content providers can choose exactly which content they want to monetize and make available to viewers. This can be particularly beneficial for providers who produce specialized content.

PPV also allows publishers to control the distribution of their content. By offering their content through a PPV model, providers can limit the availability of their content to viewers who have paid for access. This can further help prevent piracy and unauthorized sharing of their content.

Above all, PPV provides content providers with valuable data and insights into viewer behavior. By tracking the data, content owners can gain insights into which content is most popular with their audience. This can improve future content development and marketing strategies, allowing providers to create more targeted and effective content that resonates with their audience.

Difference Between Video on Demand and Pay Per View:

VOD (Video on Demand) allows viewers to access pre-recorded content at any time, while PPV (Pay-Per-View) allows viewers to access live events for a one-time fee. Here is the top differences of VOD and PPV mentioned below.

DifferenceVideo on Demand (VOD)Pay Per View (PPV)
AccessUnlimited viewing for a fixed feeSingle viewing for a fee
Content availabilityWide range of content available at all timesLimited selection of content, often for a specific event or timeframe
Cost structureSubscription or rental modelIndividual purchase or rental
Content formatCan be TV shows, movies, or any other types of videosOften used for live events or specialized or niche content
Viewing deviceCan be accessed on a variety of devices, including TVs, PCs, and mobile devicesOften accessed through cable or satellite TV providers
Viewing restrictionsGenerally no restrictions on when content can be viewedLimited time frame for viewing, typically 24-48 hours
Revenue modelMonthly subscriptions or rental feesRevenue based on the number of viewers who pay for access
User experienceProvides a more customizable viewing experience with the ability to pause, rewind, and fast-forward contentLimited user control, with content often presented as a live broadcast or stream


Both Video on Demand (VOD) and Pay Per View (PPV) offer unique advantages for content providers and viewers. In simple terms, VOD provides viewers with a wide selection of content that they can access at any time and consume at their own pace, while PPV offers targeted and exclusive content for a one-time fee.

Ultimately, the choice between VOD and PPV depends on the needs and preferences of the viewer and the goals of the content owner. Both models have their place in the entertainment industry, and the continued growth and evolution of these models will provide viewers with more choices and opportunities to access the content they love.

If You Already Have An Idea About Creating a Video on Demand Platform, Schedule a Free Demo and We’ll Get You On The Road To VOD Streaming Success!

Kesav works with CONTUS VPlayed as a video-on-demand platform expert. I love to blog, analyze, and discuss things on the newest technology. I'm especially curious to learn more about the technologies used by movie streaming platforms.


  1. Edward Reply

    I personally prefer video on demand platform because I like having access to a library of movies and shows without having to pay for each individual one. It’s just more convenient for me.

  2. Harvey Reply

    I never really knew the difference between video on demand and pay-per-view until I read this post. It’s really interesting to see how the two differ and which one might be better for certain situations.

  3. Arthur Reply

    I think pay-per-view is a good option for people who only want to watch one specific event, like a boxing match or a concert. It’s a great way to get access to something that might not be available on video on demand.

  4. Toby Reply

    One thing I didn’t realize is that pay-per-view can actually be more expensive than vod (video on demand ) in some cases. It’s definitely something to consider when deciding which option to choose

  5. Tyler Reply

    I appreciate the detailed comparison between video on demand and pay-per-view. It’s helpful to have all the information in one place to make an informed decision.

  6. Braxton Reply

    I think one of the biggest advantages of video on demand is the ability to pause, rewind, and fast forward through a movie or show. It gives you more control over your viewing experience

  7. Connor Reply

    I’ve used both video on demand and pay-per-view in the past, and I think it really depends on what you’re looking for. If you want a wide selection of movies and shows, go for video on demand. If you want to watch a specific event, go for pay-per-view.

  8. Ryder Reply

    Nice description on vod vs ppv. I think video on demand solution is a great option for families with kids. You can access a library of children’s movies and shows without having to pay for each individual one

  9. Nathan Reply

    I think it’s important to consider the quality of the video and sound when choosing between video on demand and pay-per-view. You want to make sure you’re getting the best experience possible.

  10. Angus Reply

    Overall, I think both video on demand and pay-per-view have their advantages and disadvantages. It really comes down to personal preference and what you’re looking for in terms of content and convenience.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Request Demo