Live Streaming Vs Video On Demand Top Benefits, Uses, And Option

Ashely John
9 min readJun 30, 2020

Today, many video streaming businesses offer their services as both on demand and live content. While we are all familiar with OTT content on demand content like the one’s Netflix streams, we are not very familiar with subscribing to live video content unless it is related to sports or similar entertainment. However, most of us would be familiar with live broadcasts offered by Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. Both video on demand and live streaming offer different types of brand recognition benefits like an increased pool of customers and user engagement. The main question is how to leverage video on demand and live streaming for business purposes to make sure you have made the right choice for your business.

In this blog, we will be learning in-depth what is the difference between video on demand and streaming live and the significance of both for your business.

What are on demand videos?

On demand videos are pretty much like the traditional system of creating and sharing content. Make a video clip, upload it on a video platform, and make it available for your viewers to watch it. VOD streaming has transformed the way videos are viewed and broadcasted.

VOD services are trending these days as more people are embracing online streaming like never before, especially in the times of the current COVID-19 pandemic. On demand videos are basically the opposite of live streaming which gives users the opportunities to view videos whenever convenient for them from any Internet-connected devices. VOD streaming is more than just binge-watching shows on Netflix. The convenience of viewing educational and entertainment content virtually from anywhere according to the convenience of users is the beauty of streaming video on demand.

Here are some of the benefits of video on demand models.

More production time and fewer mistakes

As on demand videos are pre-produced, there is always room for improvisations. More time in production means fewer mistakes. Though the production process might take more time, it allows content creators to polish their work for the best results.

You get post-production time

Post-production is where the magic of editing happens. That is where the raw videos created by content creators get transformed into great tales.

Usage of creative tools

As on demand streaming videos offer editing opportunities, you can use more creative tools than live streaming. The length of the production and space for post-production gives video creators enough time to plan and execute their creative ideas. Creators can use relevant digital tools that won’t work with live streaming videos.

Popularity and convenience

VOD streaming platforms like Netflix, Disney +, HBO Now, etc. are more popular than traditional TV services due to the convenience. People can watch videos whenever they want to, not when the programming schedule allows it.

Variety and suitability

Video on demand content can be edited and perfected according to your requirements before the distribution. This makes it easier for you to craft your videos in a way it can even go viral than live streaming. There is room for improvisations and adding different effects to bring in much-desired variety to your content.

When you can tolerate the delay in publishing and live broadcast is not necessary, VOD is the best option. VOD is easier to implement if you have enough time and want to provide better video quality for users.

Live streaming

Live streaming is a new way of digital communication, reaching your audience, content promotion, and consumption. It is rapidly growing in popularity and considering its vast user base which continues to grow every day. Beyond just the vast user base and other marketing benefits, live streaming is a good way to drive revenue for your business. And the streaming market is projected to grow to $70.05 billion by 2021. Broadcasting live videos to your customers is an easy and fun thing to do at the same time. However, businesses need to have a live streaming strategy that aligns with their business objectives.

Now, let’s look into the benefits offered by live streaming to both content creators and audiences.

Low barrier to entry

Unlike other marketing tools, live streaming doesn’t demand any big setup and budget. Most of the time, you can stream from your smartphone and just need an internet connection and a social media profile to reach out to people. This setup might not give you the best results if you re live streaming for business purposes. But in general, this is how live streaming video works in a pinch.

Time effectiveness

By the very nature of live streaming, there is no post-production involved. Even if mistakes are there in your live broadcast, the real-timeliness will cover the flaws and make it more authentic. There might be planning involved in live streaming, but a little pre-production is involved. Once the live stream ends, there is no work around it unless you want to repurpose the content for future use.

Real-time interaction

Businesses can have a real-time interaction with their audience during a live video. Even if you are broadcasting out to multiple channels at once, a live streaming channel can enable interaction on multiple channels simultaneously.


There is no space for editing with live broadcasts. That is how live streaming video works. What the audience sees is what the presenter points their camera at. Try watching the stream in real-time and engage with the event as it unfolds, this immediacy is one of the significant aspects of live streaming.

Cost reduction

Some businesses use live broadcasts as part of their training programs for new employees. Everyone receives the same product training simultaneously regardless of their location, thereby saving the business’s budget. When hosting a live event, the cost of travel, security, and other things must be considered. Choosing to live stream an event can save a lot of money in the long run, and achieving the best results like better reach and increased user engagement.

When to leverage video on demand and live streaming

Now that you know the difference between streaming and live streaming, let’s look at the best option that will help you take your business online and start making money. Live streaming is an easy way to carry your offline service to the online world, but when you consider the longevity of your brand, you will also have to integrate video on demand. VOD also makes an effective online asset for your brand to deliver more value to your users for much longer than the short duration of a live stream. But when considering VOD vs live streaming, the best solution is using a combination of both. Let’s see when is the best time to use video on demand and when to use live streaming and the benefits of using them both together.

When to leverage video on demand?

Streaming video on demand is when you want to offer your users with the convenience of choosing when to watch videos. People use VOD service pretty much every day. Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney plus, Hulu, etc. are examples of popular VOD services. VOD streaming provides better flexibility to your users. It allows them to enjoy videos anywhere, anytime, and on any devices.

One major advantage of VOD streaming is that you can produce videos in large batches, upload them, and create an accessible video library with appealing content your customers will love. This will give you an incredible amount of flexibility. As a business that wants to leverage VOD to power your marketing activities, you can create VOD services in any niche you operate in.

Take Beachbody on Demand, for instance, it is a subscription VOD service like Netflix that streams hundreds of beach body workout workouts and tools required to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

These classes might happen both live and in person, but they work excellent when converted to on demand videos. The return on investment of VOD streaming is much better. While these membership VOD streaming platforms are simpler and cheaper to run fueled by evergreen content that has the potential to earn over a long period of time. This is how to use video on demand for generating significant revenue. In VOD, you just need to do the work once and create a valuable resource that can bring in recurring money.

If you need more flexibility in creating content, publishing, and selling your videos, it is better to use video on demand instead of live streaming.

When to leverage live streaming

Now that you know how to use video on demand, it’s time to look into when to use live streaming. Live streaming typically suits situations where you need to establish a personal and authentic connection with your audience in real-time. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, people would rarely visit an event that they watched again. Watching a live show, the second time is rarely as exciting as the first time. However, the current pandemic has shifted how people see live videos.

People prefer watching an event that was streamed live again to kill time. Moreover, as all businesses have shut down their services, most of them are shifting online. For example, Fitness instructors who used to take regular classes in their studio have taken their studio sessions online to reach their clients directly into their homes. As the setup is quite simple and cheap, more businesses are leveraging live streaming. Chances are that you probably have access to the basic setup required for live streaming.

  • A smartphone or a digital camera
  • A solid internet connection
  • Social media live streaming platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Zoom, and Instagram.

If you need to create a more professional live streaming offering that you can properly monetize, you might need a live streaming solution. Another benefit of live videos is that it can be easily achieved to form a video catalog of on demand videos where users can watch the content you have streamed in the past.

When to use both video on demand and live streaming

We have understood the difference between streaming and live streaming and when to use each of them. Now, a successful online streaming brand uses both VOD and live streaming to power its operations.

This is how you can use on demand streaming and live content.

  • You create a base for your brand with a library of video on demand content.
  • You can use live broadcasts to create a premium viewing experience for your audience base.

Using both streaming video on demand and live streaming is an ideal way to make extra layers of value for your brand. It is also helpful to create a reliable core offering to power your business and emotionally connect with your customers for better user experience and engagement.

Here is how you can embrace the best of both on demand streaming and live streaming.

Live streaming pre-recorded videos

One of the best ways to make use of on demand videos is to stream them live. You can successfully live stream the edited version of the content if it is relevant to your audience.

Repurpose live videos for on demand viewing

When the live broadcast is over, creators can upload the videos to the platform of their choice and use it as on demand videos. Live streaming videos like Q&A videos and live interviews are the best to be repurposed for future viewing.


Live streaming is a great way to take your business online and reach out to a global audience for better engagement. However, video on demand also holds equal significance if you want to ensure better performance of your business and build a long term asset on which you can count on. The best way is to use a combination of both live streaming and VOD to create a comprehensive streaming business that wows your customers, generates more revenue and will help you move through whatever crisis comes next.

No matter what you choose, understanding the requirements of your audience is a good start for future engagement. The content you create must be always relevant to the niche and exciting to your audience.