VOD vocabulary for dummies


The abbreviation VOD stands for Video On Demand. This service available on different platforms allows to view audiovisual content via Internet from a computer, smartphone, tablet or television.

The first VOD offer was launched in 2003 by France Telecom and TPS. Then, the number of offers has increased. Acronyms have made their appearance in this field and must be deepened for a better understanding of the market.

OTT, SVOD, DTR, EST, AVOD, so many fuzzy terms that can leave you puzzled. Today, we give you some information about these different video distribution formats.


The term is often misspent and is still nebulous for many actors in the audiovisual and VOD field. This acronym which means Over the Top, is a distribution content service via Internet.

The OTT players as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime are called like that because this technology allows to set video or audio contents directly on the web and mobile platforms […] without having to use the « managé » Network of internet service providers […] but through a classical internet access or a mobile data network.


SVOD (Subscription Video On Demand) is a service that enables to watch all or part of the online video catalogue of a platform (series, movies, cartoons, short films, professional training, coaching or tutorials) with a subscription (on a given period for a monthly or annualy fee for example). In general, the subscription cost has to remain accessible to gamble on a buying reccurence of the consumer. The video catalog’s offer has to be frequently expanded to engage customers loyalty.

To see a platform example offering SVOD and published by Kinow : Tënk

Rental VOD or DTR

The rental VOD, also called DTR (Download to rent) enables to rent a video content in return for a payment at average prices fluctuating from 1€ to 8€.The consumer rents a video for a specific period from 1 to 3 days following the payment. In other words, it’s like a virtual video club on the web which gives every person the possibilty to rent videos directly from home.

To see a platform example offering VOD to rent : Outbuster

One time fee VOD or EST

The EST (Electronic Sell Through) or one time fee VOD is a method of media distribution whereby consumers pay for any kind of videos to download a media file for storage. They can watch the video without any time restrictions on computers, tablets or connected TV. Some services offer the possibilty to watch the movie without being connected. The average price of a video in definitive purchase is between 5 and 15€.

Platform example offering one time fee VOD and published by Kinow : Les Tutos d'Anto

Free VOD or AVOD

AVOD (Advertising Video On Demand) or ad-based VOD is a free model which is similar to the classical television. The customer can see the video after watching one or several advertising. The pioneers in this field are Youtube and Dailymotion. The service is free for the end customer because advertiser is the one who supports the distribution of videos. Platforms like YouTube gather all the advertising revenues and then distribute the fees to the beneficiaries. Other possibilities to watch free or low prices video also exist. As an example, Hulu proposes a Freemium model with a lower monthly subscription price for the customers whom will accept to view the ad.

Examples of platform which proposes AVOD : Hulu and Youtube

Of course, our solution is adapted to those different distribution formats.

Create your own VOD platform