How to Create Video-on-Demand Platforms that Help Your Business
The influence, use and growth of video-on-demand have been explosive. With billions of people hooked up to the internet, video streaming is booming. In light of this, many businesses are taking advantage.
The savviest businesses, whether they be in technology, fitness, marketing or anything else, are monetizing their video-on-demand content. It makes complete sense, then, that many businesses are investing in video-on-demand content.
People are video streaming more than ever, with no signs of this trend slowing. In fact, video is predicted to make up 82.5% of internet traffic in 2023. Further, revenues between 2023-2027 are expected to show an annual growth rate of 8.77%.
People often choose video streaming through a video streaming website, a video streaming platform or a video-on-demand website. The plethora of options for VOD content that maximizes revenue is profound. This provides you with great options for setting up your video-on-demand website. However, it also means there’s more to learn about how to do it properly.
As video-on-demand experts, we’re here to help. In this rich guide, we’re going to break down VOD and all its components. Most importantly, we’ll teach you how you, too, can set up a video-on-demand platform or a complete video-on-demand business.
Table of Contents
- What is Video-on-Demand?
- The State of the Video-on-Demand Industry
- What Users Want from Video-on-Demand
- Use of VOD on Business in 2023
- Benefits of VOD for Your Business
- 9 Key Features of an Online Video Platform to Build a Video-on-Demand (VOD) Website for Business
- How to Create a Video-on-Demand Website in 9 Steps
- Identify Your Audience
- Plan and Strategize
- Produce Your Content
- Develop Your Website
- Understand the Difference Between Streaming vs VOD vs OTT
- Upload Your Content
- Embed Your Video Player
- Promote Your VOD Website
- Monetize Your Content
- Dacast – A Leading Online Video Platform for Building VOD Websites
What is a Video on Demand?
Video-on-demand refers to a distribution platform or service that delivers video content. This is done through subscriptions, pay-per-view and rentals. Today, this method of enjoying people’s favorite video-streaming content is ubiquitous. It allows users to watch videos when they want, wherever they are. It’s as simple as clicking a button or a link.
You may want to incorporate video streaming onto your current website. Or perhaps you want to share your own video by building a complete video-on-demand website. Whatever it is, you’ll need the right tools and features from a professional video streaming platform. Further, you want a video monetization platform that suits your needs.
For businesses, the most common uses for online video are:
- Interla training, updates and announcements.
- Training and educational content.
- Conferences and events.
In all these scenarios, video-on-demand is perfect. With the popularity of VOD at an all-time high, now is the perfect time to take advantage. With a VOD platform, your VOD streaming success takes a leap.
The State of the Video-on-Demand Industry
Much has been written about the effects of video-on-demand in the entertainment industry. According to Conviva’s State of Streaming Report, in the first quarter of 2022, people’s usage of streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+ increased by 10% compared to the previous year.
Streaming is officially starting to surpass television in popularity as Nielsen research shows, in 2022, watching video streaming accounted for one-third of all TV time.
And just like TV, streaming isn’t just limited to entertainment. Education, fitness, and how-to content are all popular genres people are willing to spend money on. These niche markets are worth hundreds of millions and growing yearly.
The report explains that viewers are now watching more hours of content per day than they did a year ago, with live and on-demand content both increasing.
That means that the video-on-demand industry is growing, and people are increasingly interested in watching videos on their time. They’re willing to pay for this privilege, too.
What Users Want from Video-on-Demand
With the increased demand for video streaming services, it’s important to understand what users look for when using video-on-demand platforms. User demand for on-demand video content is continuously growing as users want more personalization, accessibility, and portability in the content they consume.
Unsurprisingly, the price plays a major role when you select a video-on-demand streaming service. According to a 2022 Nielsen report, nearly 85% of all users rank cost as “extremely” or “very important” when picking a streaming service.
As the report details, other important factors include:
- 81% ease of use – how quickly can I find and watch the content I want?
- 79% content variety – does the service have a wide range of content I’m interested in?
- 77% streaming quality – is the video free of buffering or other technical issues?
- 74% menu selection – is the interface easy to navigate and understand?
As you can see, while the price is important, there are other things users want. To create a successful video-on-demand platform, you’ll need to focus on offering a great user experience.
That means having a platform with an intuitive interface, high-quality video-on-demand streaming, and a wide range of content is critical to success. So whether you’re a part of the entertainment industry or own a business and want to create an internal video-on-demand website, it’s important to understand what users are looking for.
Use of VOD on Business in 2023
Entertainment companies aren’t the only ones involved in the video-on-demand industry. Video is becoming an important tool for corporate teams as well.
When virtual solutions became critical for so many people in 2020, companies were forced to consider new ways to use VOD to become more efficient. These might have represented temporary solutions once upon a time, but the world has adapted in the last few years. As a result, many companies find that some virtual solutions work better.
Let’s take a business conference for example.
Sure, there are tons of reasons that a virtual business conference will always have a different impact than people meeting in the same room to exchange ideas. But live streaming the conference or building a video-on-demand website opens up the possibility for a limitless number of attendees worldwide.
Suddenly, an exponentially greater number of people have the resources and physical ability to attend business conferences. That means even more ideas being exchanged, more networking opportunities, and more money for event organizers.
But it’s not just business conferences that will be affected by the rise of VOD. Efficient CEOs will be looking for ways to use VOD to help disseminate information throughout the workforce, which could replace training sessions, internal communications, and more.
Benefits of Video-on-Demand for Your Business
Investing money in a new project is always risky. You already know many businesses go down because of money mismanagement and overspending. So, why would you want to put your money into something as unproven as a video-on-demand website?
Businesses can get quite a few benefits from having their own video-on-demand platform. Here are a few of the most important ones.
1. Building Trust and Credibility
You want to come off as an authority and thought leader in your industry, right? Well, a VOD platform can help you do just that. Give you credibility, help you establish authority, and build trust with potential and current customers.
Think about it, if you’re selling a product or service, you want people to believe that you’re an expert in your field. And what better way to do that than having high-quality video content on your site? Videos allow you to show your knowledge and build trust with potential customers.
Of course, you can expand beyond just product videos. Video-on-demand platforms also allow you to host webinars, create how-to videos, or even share your company’s story.
2. Informing and Educating Your Target Audience
The demand for informative and educational content has been growing for some time now. According to Think With Google, roughly 6 out of 10 consumers now use digital video to acquire new skills and knowledge.
So, suppose you have a business that sells products or services requiring some explanation or education. In that case, you need to use video to inform and educate your target audience. That is where a VOD platform comes in handy.
Sure, you could host your videos on YouTube or another video-sharing site. But, by having your videos on your platform, you can keep viewers on your site longer and increase their chances of taking action (such as buying a product).
3. Showing Off Your Personality
Creating a VOD platform is also great for showing your company’s personality. After all, a company’s story is one of the most powerful marketing tools available. Moreover, in the 2020s, consumers don’t want to do business with faceless corporations.
Instead, they want to connect with real people.
Brand trust is the most important factor in purchasing decisions for 33% of consumers, according to a 2019 Global Consumer Insights Survey conducted by PwC. A VOD platform allows you to show your company’s personality and build trust with potential customers.
For instance, suppose you run a small business that makes handmade jewelry. In that case, you could use your video-on-demand solution to show customers the care and attention to detail that goes into each piece of jewelry.
4. Exploring New Revenue Streams
Video-on-demand platforms can help businesses explore new revenue streams. For instance, if you have a brick-and-mortar business, you can use your platform to sell products or services online.
The best VOD platforms will allow you to create and sell courses or other educational content. If you have expertise in a particular area, you can share your knowledge with the world and get paid for it.
A video-on-demand platform can help you generate leads for your business. Use the platform to capture contact information from viewers who are interested in what you have to offer.
9 Key Features of an Online Video Platform to Build a Video-on-Demand (VOD) Website for Business
There are many video-on-demand platforms on the market. However, they each have different sets of tools at different price points.
Here are nine important features to look for when choosing an online video platform for building a VOD website.
1. White-Label Video Player
A white-label platform allows you to customize the video player with your logo and colors to put your brand front and center.A white-label service is one of the most important features for creating a video-on-demand website. Simply put, a white-label video player does not include any third-party branding. The only logos and branding on white-label video content are whatever you choose to include.
An all-device HTML5 video player typically has white-label capabilities and provides an on-brand appearance.
That is a much more professional approach compared to a consumer-grade video hosting platform, like YouTube, that has ads and YouTube’s branding.
Consumer-grade video-on-demand platforms are free because they run advertisements and brand each video with their logo. In contrast, a white-label service ensures that your brand is front and center.
2. Simple Embed Process
Embedding a video on your website is a key part of building a video-on-demand solution. Some video-on-demand platforms make this easy, while others have more complex embedding processes.
Embedding videos should be as simple as copying an embed code from your video host and pasting it into your website’s backend. The process works with all major CMS providers, such as WordPress, Squarespace, and beyond.
Embedding your video to social media platforms is a possibility, as well. You can also simulcast your videos, streaming to multiple platforms simultaneously.
3. API and SDKs for Easy Development
As of 2020, most businesses are migrating to API-based workflows for online video. Video APIs, or Application Programming Interfaces, enable custom development and integration.
With video API, you can customize the video hosting experience. Another type of API, player API, gives you the power to customize your video player further.
APIs are essential in the modern workflow for video projects that are more complex than simple uploading and embedding.
Streaming Media states, “The video workflow and distribution environments are incredibly complex. The way to build a best-of-breed system or even gain finer control over tasks—especially when delivering video at scale—is by API.“
Software Development Kits (SDK) are similarly important. These simplify the process of developing mobile apps and services for different platforms.
Building a mobile app opens the potential to grow your subscriber base substantially. Therefore, video-on-demand platforms for businesses should ideally include both APIs and mobile player SDKs to make their custom development easier.
4. Cloud Video Transcoding Services
Most modern video cameras record in different sizes and formats. Additionally, those who view your videos must also watch in different sizes due to varying internet speeds and device capabilities.
Some of your viewers are likely using cell phones with slow internet connections, while others are on fast connections and large, high-resolution screens.
Meeting the needs of consumers and standardizing viewing formats presents some technical challenges. Cloud video transcoding solves this problem by creating multiple “renditions” at different bitrates for viewers with different internet speeds.
Combined with an adaptive video player, it’ll allow you to automatically upload any video, click one button to transcode to multiple renditions, and serve it to your viewers in the appropriate adaptive bitrate.
5. Video CMS
A broadcaster needs a centralized interface to host and manage content. The best tool for organizing and managing your content is a video content management system (CMS).
Your video CMS will allow you to sort videos into categories, tags, or folders. It also makes your content searchable, making it easy to perform bulk actions on multiple videos.
It’s particularly valuable if your video-on-demand platform allows you to provision multiple users/admins with different permissions for managing, uploading, and publishing content to your account.
6. Privacy and Security Features
In this age of cyber attacks and the popularity of the dark web, you can’t compromise user privacy and website security.
Since you’ll most likely ask users to create an account with you and share personal details, including a credit card, you must ensure their privacy.
For that, look for an online video platform with password protection and Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption.
These websites are a target for phishing scams, especially if you have ads on your website. Advanced security keeps you and your users safe as it protects your video-on-demand platform from being hacked and the content from being stolen.
But be careful of subpar security features. That’s because the last thing you want is to block an authorized user out. After all, they changed their location or used an unsafe device to log in.
7. Range of Additional Features
Some video-on-demand platforms have features that are nonessential for others. Your VOD platform will probably need some unique features. Some of these include
- Options for content segregation, such as behind a paywall or users with subscription plans
- Accessibility features, such as subtitles, audio descriptions, and transcripts
- Number of supported languages
- Social media integration
- SEO tools
- Unlimited storage
- Option to geo-block content
- Restrict download of certain videos
- Instant playback
Make sure you identify which of these you’ll need based on your business, and audience and then choose an appropriate platform to create your VOD website.
8. Video Analytics
Data about how your videos perform helps you improve content quality, identify the most watched content, troubleshoot problems with streaming, and enhance user experience, to name only a few benefits.
If you’re competing for viewers, having good analytics features becomes essential to optimize your content efficiently.
And you can only rely on something other than Google Analytics because it sometimes offers you video-specific data such as watch time and estimated revenue.
You also must be extremely cautious about following privacy regulations when tracking users’ data. That’s why, in addition to checking for excellent video analytics features, check whether the online video platform’s analytics tool is GDPR compliant. They should also preferably have security certificates such as ISO/IEC 27001.
9. Multiple Options for Monetizing Your Content
If you’re creating a video-on-demand website for extra revenue, you should choose an online video platform that offers you a range of monetization options. Some common ones include subscription-based monetization, transactional, ad-based, and pay-per-view streaming (more on that later).
You should check the percentage of the online video platform’s cut to determine if you’re getting a good deal. Also, look into how convenient the setup is and which payment methods they support.
How to Create a Video-on-Demand Website in 9 Steps
Now that you’re familiar with nine of the top features for creating a VOD website, let’s discuss how to create one for your business or organization with the support of an online video platform.
1. Identify Your Audience
Wait to start working on creating the content until you identify who you’re targeting.
You need to have one or a couple of user personas ready. Feel free to use the ones you already have for your business or create new ones, especially if you want to increase your audience.
Use the data points you already have and get professional marketers on board. Nothing beats highly personalized content and experience. It’s wise to take your time during this stage and be as clear as possible about who your audience is.
2. Plan and Strategize
Before you build a VOD website, you must develop a solid strategy. First, identify what you’re trying to achieve.
And then, plan out your content with your target audience in mind. Map out your video series, write scripts, and determine your needed equipment. It would be best if you had a decent idea of what you will do before you start.
At this stage, you should also work out who you’ll need to hire for filming, acting, editing, directing, and web development.
3. Produce Your Content
Once you’ve planned everything, it’s time to produce the content for your VOD website. Depending on your goals, you may want to release many videos simultaneously, so this step could take several weeks or months.
You may plan a full-scale theatrical production with a cast of actors, a complicated set and costume design, and multiple camera angles. Or, you might plan a simple information series where one person casually talks to a camera.
Generally, content production starts with scriptwriting. You might have professionals from your brand or organization “star” in your content, or you could hire paid actors. The way you approach this will depend on the type of content you create.
Some companies start generating content by recording virtual events and live streams. Uploading previously live content as a VOD file is a great way to repurpose your content.
4. Develop Your Website
To create your own video-on-demand website, you have to consider several things such as video content, management, and monetization strategies.
Your VOD content needs a place to live, so you’ll need to develop a website. To create your video-on-demand website, you must consider several things, such as video content, management, and monetization strategies.
You can either build a section on your existing business website or an entirely new one. Building a new website is a good idea to keep things better organized. That could also elevate the viewers’ experience.
If you decide to build a new website, you can hire a development team or leave the responsibility to a skilled and experienced team member.
Pro tip: You’ll want your site to be professional, on-brand, and easy to navigate. It’s generally a good idea to have an experienced developer build your site rather than take a DIY approach to ensure the best results.
5. Understand the Difference Between Streaming vs. VOD vs. OTT
Before you upload the content, it’s best to understand the different types you can create.
Streaming, in the simplest of terms, means viewing videos continuously with the option of playback.
If you watch it in real-time as soon as it’s filmed, it’s called live streaming. Otherwise, it’s called video-on-demand streaming, which means that the content was pre-produced and stored on a server.
VOD is the umbrella term and has two broad categories: cable television-supported VOD, and Over-the-top (OTT) VOD.
With cable (TV) supported VOD, users can find content such as sports matches and movies via cable set-top box, select one, and stream it on demand without needing a broadband connection. Moreover, they can pause, rewind, and forward the content like any other downloaded content.
OTT video is on-demand streaming over the internet. You pay a membership fee or one-time transaction price and get access to all the content in your plan. Some OTT-type content is also free, such as that on YouTube. That is the type of steaming most businesses aim for when creating a video-on-demand website.
6. Upload Your Content
Once your content is ready you’ll want to upload it to your video hosting platform. Make sure you’ve chosen an online video platform that offers secure upload.
If you’re uploading batches of large video files at once, you’ll want to check if your OVP offers FTP upload.
Many OVPs allow users to upload content to playlists to create series. That’s great for streaming different series of content and keeping it well-organized.
7. Embed Your Video Player
After you’ve uploaded your content to your OVP, it’s time to embed your video player on the website you developed in step 3.
JS embed code is more universally compatible with the full-screen feature. The JS embed code is also a requirement for the URL referral restriction feature to work. The iframe embed code is more compatible with some website hosts, including WordPress and Wix.
Copy your chosen embed code and insert it into your website. Find the place on your site where you’d like to embed the video player. Next, open the HTML editor, and paste the embed code you copied from your OVP.
Preview the changes to make sure the code is working properly.
Using domain restriction or signed embed codes, you can also share videos privately to ensure that your videos are only accessible on websites you own.
Test your embedded video players on your new VOD platform to ensure everything is ready to go when your viewers access the content.
8. Promote Your VOD Website
If everything runs smoothly during your test runs, it is time to promote your VOD website. Your promotion methods will depend on the purpose of your content.
For internal content, your “promotion” will be sharing the link to your website with the members of your team that need to see it.
However, if you’re monetizing your on-demand website and making it a VOD streaming service, you’ll want to put more time and energy into marketing and advertising your site.
9. Monetize Your Content
Begin by identifying the monetization model you want to use. Remember, you can always choose more than one for different content categories.
Here’s a quick overview of your options:
- Subscription-based VOD: The model that Netflix and Hulu follow. Your users will pay monthly or yearly and get access to all the content available in their region, but only for the subscription duration.
- Advertisement-based VOD: Here, your content is free for streaming, and you earn through ads that are played before and during the video. Facebook Watch uses this method to generate revenue.
- Transactional VOD: In this option, you charge users, just one, for a specific piece or series of content. It’s similar to buying or renting a DVD from a store. Udemy follows this monetization strategy.
Dacast – A Leading Online Video Platform for Building VOD Websites
When building a VOD website, a feature-rich online video platform (OVP) will help streamline the process.
You now know what VOD is and how valuable it is. You also know how beneficial it can be for your business. Now you need a feature-rich online video platform (OVP) to set you up for VOD streaming success.
With the high demand and value of VOD streaming, you need a dedicated, professional service. Using a free streaming platform won’t suffice. The performance will likely be a bottleneck and you likely won’t receive important features such as video monetization.
You need a dedicated video streaming platform like Dacast. With Dacast, you can host and live-stream your own video and create your own VOD platform. Dacast also allows you to easily upload, transcode and organize all your video content. Further, Dacast makes it easy for content owners to analyze what’s performing well and what’s not. This allows businesses to continually tweak and improve their VOD content for maximum results.
Want to explore more options for online video platforms? Look at our online video platform comparison post to review the top options available.
Video streaming is a powerful tool for modern businesses. But, at the same time, knowing how and where to start can be intimidating. After all, video-on-demand platforms aren’t easy to operate without experience.
That’s why we’ve covered all the details that you should know about selecting a video-on-demand platform and building a VOD website for your business.
Dacast has been named the best SMB video platform for two years running. In addition to the features discussed in this article, Dacast includes various powerful tools for monetization, analytics, and more.
We also offer professional services to help you get your business VOD platform up and running. In addition, you can check out our live streaming pricing plans to learn more.
With that in mind, So, are you ready to give the Dacast streaming solutions a try? If so, click the link below to get free streaming for 14 days. You can be ready to stream live video in a matter of minutes. No credit card is required.
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Thanks for reading, and happy broadcasting!