Video on demand is a service provided by online platforms that allow consumers to view content instantly through internet connected devices such as; laptops/PC, internet connected televisions, console/over-the-top box connected TV’s, tablets and smartphones. For filmmakers there can be some confusion in the breakdown of rights models, but there are three categories to consider when negotiating contracts or revenue streams.
- Transactional VOD (TVOD)
- Includes electronic sell through (EST) / Download to Own (DTO)
- Includes download to rent (DTR)
- Subscription VOD (SVOD)
- Advertisement supported VOD (AVOD)
1. Transactional video on demand (TVOD)
With transactional VOD the customer pays for each individual video on demand program. There are two sub-categotries to TVOD – ‘Electronic Sell Through’ and ‘Download to Rent’.
Example: iTunes, Film4oD, Distrify
- Electronic Sell Through (EST) (sometimes known as “Download to Own” or DTO) is the digital sale of the film for unlimited viewing accessed on demand via the Internet, mobile and cable in perpetuity for unlimited viewing in exchange for a transactional fee. It can be described as an extension of the home video market
- Download to Rent (DTR) is the digital rental of a program that can be accessed via the Internet, mobile and cable on demand for a limited period of time in exchange for a transactional fee.
2. Subscription video on demand (SVOD)
Allows for a digital access of the content in which consumers are charged monthly fees in return for accessing the platforms full library.
Examples: Netflix, Lovefilm
3. Advert-supported video on demand (AVOD)
Viewers are allowed to watch content for free, however they must watch advertisements at various points throughout the film. A portion of the ad revenue is then returned to the content provider.
Example: Youtube, Hulu (US)
These rights can be described differently depending on the territory, however it is important to understand the context of each and how they fall within digital release windows in order to maximise revenue potential.