26 January, 2021

Live Streaming Vs Video on Demand: Top Benefits, Uses and Options


Video producers don’t need guides or surveys to prove to them the video is booming as a medium of advertising– the effects are seen everywhere.

The websites that host content, or that allow creators to stream it live, are getting crowded. The sheer number of content creators publishing on a daily basis is increasing, and growth is expected to last — Cisco predicts that demand traffic towards on-demand streaming is set to double by 2022. That same year, over 17% of global internet traffic will be accounted for by live video alone.

Live Streaming vs Video on Demand: What is the Difference?

Live streaming and video on demand are not the same concepts. In answer to the question “what is live streaming”, it means delivering content to viewers in real-time and allowing them to interact through comments, likes and other reactions.

If you’re wondering what is VOD (Video on Demand), it is the opposite of live streaming in many ways. It enables viewers to access already uploaded video content at any time and anywhere. It’s nearly always accessible unlike live streaming, which is theoretically accessible only when it is being streamed.

When Is The Best Time to Use Live Streaming?

live streaming

For many first-time video users, it appears that there’s no immediate winner in the VOD vs live streaming showdown. Live and on-demand streaming have their fortes; certain events are ideal playing grounds for live streaming because they tend to be engaging in and of themselves. Here are some:

Concerts or Award Shows

Live streaming enables wider participation without people being physically present; it allows greater coverage and engagement.


Much like television, live streaming makes these events available to the masses albeit in real-time, to make the excitement of watching something live more genuine.


Live streaming allows virtual events or conferences to be hosted without the need of a physical audience. This allows for more participation without sacrificing detailed planning.

What are the Benefits of Live Streaming?

Users consume content on your time

With live streaming platform, businesses can get to set their own schedules, engaging their users at the right time. For as long as the live stream runs, all eyes will be glued right there at once. Additionally, businesses can create the necessary hype before a live stream, ticket entries or generally increase excitement.

It’s not overcrowded yet

Live streaming is only just coming into the fray, which means the landscape isn’t as cluttered yet. This allows new businesses to break through to their audiences relatively easily, and leverage the benefits of live streaming before others catch up.

It reaches highly targeted niches

Quite like events, live streaming can be made to target selective niches. This creates an atmosphere of exclusivity and keeps selected audience demographics highly engaged. This is especially useful if businesses find that some sections aren’t as engaged as others– live streams can be used to reach out to them.

It’s cost-effective

Compared to streaming video on demand, live streaming is cost-effective. The stream is real-time, so there isn’t a need for post-processing and editing, which significantly reduces costs. Live streams can be conducted from anywhere, including people’s homes and private work spaces, so the costs of hiring a studio and necessary staff don’t exist.

When Should One Use Video on Demand?

video on demand

The primary difference between VOD and live streaming is that VOD can be accessed at any time, for however long the content is up and available. Here are some uses:

Educational Streaming

VOD helps education institutions make lectures and slideshows available online for students. It also enables seminars, webinars and orientations. These can be watched when the student sees fit, or based on a deadline specified by the instructor.

Press Events

Press events can make use of pre-recorded videos to be played on-demand at multiple events. This prevents the need for busy speakers to attend every event. 

Entertainment Shows

Making entertainment shows available on-demand allows viewers to watch it when they can.

What are the Benefits of Video on Demand?

More convenient for audiences

The freedom to watch videos when convenient racks up a more loyal following that is spread out over time rather than collected in a few hours.

Better connectivity

Video on demand isn’t as susceptible to weaker internet connections as live streaming does. This makes it more likely to penetrate low bandwidth areas better.

Freedom for creators

Creators can experiment with post-processing, filming techniques and distribution platforms– freedom that live streaming does not allow. 

More targeting options

VOD penetrates more areas than live streaming because they can be distributed on a wider variety of platforms.

Why Shouldn’t Live Streaming and VOD be Mutually Exclusive?

When the answer to “what is live streaming and VOD” comes out in the open, it becomes clear that the two shouldn’t be exclusive of each other.

Many businesses choose a hybrid of the two to engage with their viewers as best as possible.

  • They use live streaming to create real-time engagement with their audience, disseminate information and increase brand recall.
  • They also record these live videos and upload them later as a VOD content piece, so that people can return to watch it, albeit at a later stage.
  • Some also pre-record content to be streamed live at a scheduled time, which is beneficial when social distancing regulations are strict.


VPlayed is a live streaming and on demand solution all rolled into one. It is customisable from end to end and offers buffer-free live streaming on a variety of devices.

Both live streaming and VOD are beneficial today, so growing businesses must invest in all-in-one platforms for efficient content delivery.

Live streaming vs VOD
Nimisha Karnam
Nimisha Karnam

Nimisha is a content marketing strategist who is an avid reader and incorporates tech trends in the most effective way to the audience. In leisure time you can spot her watching Netflix or exploring new adventures.

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