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Starting your TV On Demand service

TV On Demand service

In the past, we only had one option for enjoying TV content: the linear TV broadcast. For decades, linear TV delivered over the air (with antenna) or via cable/satellite TV remained the most dominant platform all over the world, but that is no longer the case today.

Advancements in technology and especially in internet bandwidth has allowed video content, including TV to be broadcasted OTT (over-the-top) strictly via an internet connection. It is expected that by 2022, 32% of all TV owners would be subscribers of at least one TV on-demand service by 2022.

TV on-demand market and OTT video market, in general, is a huge market, and there are huge opportunities we can pursue.

How Does TV On Demand Work?

TV on-demand or video on demand (VOD) allows video content including TV series, movies, and other videos available to users at any time (on demand).

The key concept of TV on demand is that with an interactive app or other interactive platforms, viewers can choose between different videos from a list of content, and then watch it (or stop watching it) instantly.

Also, typically viewers can choose to watch the chosen content on any devices of their choice, whether it’s a smart TV, desktop/laptop computer, or a mobile device. Users can also choose between downloading the content for later viewing or to stream it right away.

To allow video content to be ‘on-demand’, the video must be stored on a video hosting service in an appropriate digital format depending on the hosting service. YouTube is an example of such hosting services, as well as Facebook Live. There are also professional-grade hosting services that allow us to distribute our on-demand videos on our website and other platforms.

When one of the videos is selected by the viewer, it is then delivered over an internet connection, and then decompressed and decoded after it reaches the user’s device to allow playback. Due to this distribution method, viewers can also rewind, fast-forward, and pause the video, which is impossible to do in a traditional TV broadcast.

Starting a TV On-Demand Service

While creating an OTT platform might seem expensive, actually you can start a TV on-demand service without spending a huge amount of capital expenditure. There are now various affordable end-to-end platforms that will provide all the technical groundwork in setting up a VOD service. So, you can focus on creating your video content and monetizing your service.

With Viloud, for example, you can start a live and on-demand TV channel with just $12/month where you’ll get 5 channels and 200 video links.

Starting from Viloud’s PRO plan, you can add 200 video links from platforms like Youtube, Vimeo, or external CDNs. If you want, you can also upload videos directly from your HDD without any fixed limit and stream them with a pay per use model. Check out Viloud’s plans to figure out the right plan according to your needs.

So, you don’t need to purchase expensive encoding hardware for video streaming or purchase additional bandwidth (that is often expensive), you can save time and get your TV on demand channel running within minutes.

Here are the essential steps to launch your own TV on-demand channel.

Step 1: Picking a niche

With how everyone can now start their own YouTube channel or OTT platform, it’s important to focus on a niche so you can target a specific audience. Think of what kinds of content are you going to share with your viewers, for example:

  • Sports: sports channels are obviously a huge market, and although licensing sports events can be extremely expensive, you can produce content like sports commentary, tactical discussions, news, and so on.
  • Children: a massive market, and you can cover various things from toys, education, trends, etc.
  • Entertainment: gossips, TV/movie reviews, etc.

You can either create your own content or purchase/license ready-to-publish content from others. Plan your content schedule carefully while considering your target audience.

Step 2: Picking a platform

You can use YouTube, Facebook, or Twitch to experiment with broadcasting your on-demand content. However, if you want to embed your player on your website and/or create your own app, you will need a video hosting platform.

For the following steps, since they will vary depending on the platform you use, we are going to assume you are using Viloud, as an example.

Step 3: Creating an on-demand channel

After you’ve signed up with Viloud, you get an option to start a channel. Choose the option to create an On-demand instead of Linear channel, then you can customize it with your logo, company color, etc.

Step 4: Adding content

Simply click on the “Add videos now” button and upload your video, you can also create a playlist for your content.

Step 5: Get an embed code

Click the ‘embed’ button on the channels list, and you’ll get the embed code. You can then select your preferred aspect ratio, playback options, and display options.

You can also review the embed code on this screen.

Step 6: Paste the code

You can paste the embed code on your website or app, once you’ve finished adding your content.

Voila! Your new TV on-demand channel is good to go.

End Words

Creating a TV on-demand service is now easier and more affordable than ever, so if you are thinking of starting one, there is no better time.

Content remains the most important factor in determining your channel’s success. Pick a target market and deliver valuable content that is going to be attractive for this target audience, and focus on improving your service.

Nevertheless, using a reliable video hosting platform can significantly help you in dealing with all the technicalities of starting your VOD service, so you can focus on creating your content and marketing your channel.

About Author: Mike Khorev is an SEO expert and marketing consultant.

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