The streamer’s choice: SVOD or PPV

Since the emergence of video streaming services, for long there has been an unsettled debate that compares Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD) and Pay Per View (PPV). Many argue in favor of either. Experts have made recommendations about which one suits the nature of different businesses. Yet there isn’t a clear winner.

While PPV or as alternatively called, Transactional Video On Demand (TVOD) helps maximize profit, the subscription model drives user acquisitions. But numbers are only indicative, and not absolute. Although both are quite distinct from each other, many platform owners come to crossroads while deciding to implement an apt revenue model.

While SVOD is about abundance, PPV is about being selective; both from a platform owner’s and a consumer’s point of view. In perspective, on the foreground of business operations, SVOD and PPV are analogous to push and pull supply chain strategy.

A subscription service is offered on a push type supply model, while a PPV streaming service is a pull type supply chain. In PPV, you pay for what you consume and not for what is available. While in an SVOD service, you pay for what you can access, irrespective of whether you eventually consume the content or not.

An SVOD catalog is typically made available on a subscription basis for users to pick and choose from a length of content across multiple genre and formats. The mere size of such a library institutes a sense of abundance and power in the average consumer’s mind. This essentially adds a compounding effect on subscription growth.

A Pay Per View streaming service is more niche in terms of consumer targeting; and it would not be wrong to say that it’s not meant just for the average consumer. PPV enthusiasts are meticulous and self-aware about choices, necessities, and preferences. They spend as and when required.

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Spending 99¢ on the most recent premium content of one’s choice, let’s say around thrice a month seems to make more economic sense than spending $5.99 per month for an ocean of content on a subscription service. This is a good indicator of how to strategize your content monetization.

If you have acquired generic content in bulk, that’s available with quite a few streaming services, it might be a good idea to run it on a subscription basis. But if you have content that’s unique and specific, it can be offered on a transactional model.

A smart way to deal with this dilemma between PPV and SVOD is to prepare an intelligent consumer profile. A precise mapping of consumer preferences to your operational strengths, will get decision makers some clarity.

There is no correct way to monetize your content. It is largely driven by market trends. Although subscription services have strongly grasped the global OTT market, PPV streaming is currently trending in the Eurasia and LATAM region. That’s a good reason for any ambitious streaming business to move with the trend and try a hand at PPV.

Although this decision, in practice lies in the hands of the streaming platform owner, it is essentially dictated by the consumer and the trend that they are influenced by. It’s not a streamer’s choice after all, it’s the viewer’s choice.

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