Video on demand and live streaming both have pros and cons, but they have different uses and can complement each other to provide more flexibility to viewers.

Your company depends on making connections with your customers and clients. You may already know the importance of creating engaging video content to share within your channels, but by 2022, Cisco estimates that 82% of internet traffic will be video. Are you using the right formats to support customers who expect live, interactive video, but also to be able to view that content whenever they want?

Both live streaming and video on demand (VOD) have strengths and weaknesses. The Cisco report also indicates that VOD traffic will double by 2022 and live video will account for 17% of internet traffic.

Here are a few important reasons why you need both and how to get started with a multifunctional video delivery solution.

Benefits of live streaming

Live streaming is becoming more of a requirement from brands, and consumers are starting to expect this content. They interact with brands more and more on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, all of which now offer live streaming channels. Sometimes a live stream may be the first interaction a consumer has with your brand.

And it’s easy to see the benefits of this medium — connections are made in real-time, and there’s something genuine about being able to talk to people live, unedited. Audiences like that, and it drives their trust and loyalty.

But even when used internally, live streaming has many benefits for your company. It can save money on training costs because multiple employees can be onboarded at once, for example. And it can be more affordable than VOD. You can also opt to hold a conference or session via live stream instead of an in-person meeting, which can also provide cost savings. You can always repurpose your live stream content afterward as VOD, too — another big benefit for your company.

VOD provides more flexibility

VOD is just as important as live streaming. When you create on-demand videos, you’re giving your audience the flexibility to watch that content whenever it’s most convenient for them. This helps reach a wider audience, including those who can’t tune in to a live broadcast or who typically don’t engage with live streams.

VOD in general is just as popular as live streaming today, if not more so. Think of all the on-demand providers now ubiquitous in American homes — Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, HBO, YouTube, and more. People have been shifting away from watching their favorite television shows on live cable and instead prefer to watch whenever they want to watch.

On-demand videos can also be higher quality with higher production value, and they can be planned out and edited before they’re released. You have more control over the content when it’s not being broadcast live.

Why you need both

Each of these formats has its benefits. But when you create both types of videos, you offer customers the benefits of live connections while also giving them flexibility. You can let your audience know about an upcoming live stream and also communicate that the recording will be available after the fact. While a live stream creates urgency, VOD provides options, and both are essential to a successful 2020 video strategy.

Your array of videos will have different audiences with different needs. For example, an award show can be streamed live but also syndicated via an OTT channel. Your educational resources will get more traffic and interest if they’re offered as a live session and then available on-demand afterward.

Offering both VOD and live streaming gives you more opportunities and greater possibilities to connect and engage.

Using the right platform

To launch a video strategy that includes both live streams and VOD, you need to use tools that will set you apart from the competition and appeal to your audiences. The Centricity Media Box module from CloudHesive, which is powered by AWS Media Services, stands out from other live stream solutions in that it gives you more customization options when you’re turning live streams into VOD format.

Media Box gives you options for access control, like digital rights management (DRM), and the solution is cloud-based to help you cut costs. It also provides OTT programming and broadcast streaming services, giving you ahead-of-the-competition functionality and reporting and analytics features that will help you keep improving.

Get in touch with the team at CloudHesive to learn more about how AWS and video services will help you offer both VOD and live streaming to your audience in a more effective way.