Difference Between PPV and VOD

Television has been the oldest means of information and entertainment. It is a crucial platform to spread awareness among the mass. Television features have evolved and revolutionized over the years. The services are available by two main features that are the PPV or the VOD.


The main difference between PPV and VOD is that PPV services are bought by customers to watch live events or sports match while VOD services are bought by viewers of daily recorded content like movies, series, or TV shows. PPV is not customizable while VOC offers control and personalization.


PPV stands for Pay Per View. As the name suggests, the viewers need to pay based on each event watched. Closed-circuit TVs introduced PPV. PPV gained popularity during Muhammad Ali’s boxing career. It works on cable lines. It was introduced to entertain and spread information among the mass.

VOD stands for Video on Demand. It was introduced to bring flexibility, personalization, customization, and individuality to the watching experience. It operates on a digital cable subscription. After watching, the viewers can re-watch within 24-48 hours. It is used by renowned companies like Netflix, Spotify, Disney, YouTube, Hulu, and many more.

Comparison Table Between PPV and VOD

Parameters of comparisonPPVVOD
Full form PPV stands for Pay Per ViewVOC stands for Video on Demand
RequirementsIt works on cable lines It works on Digital cable subscription Program options
Type of contentIt aired sporting events, live matches or concerts, or live seminars, conventions, or training programsIt provides a choice between pre-recorded shows, movies, series, documentaries, and online learning and training programs and materials
Nature of contentPPV exclusively provides events or shows present on the electronic program guideVOC provides movies or programs watch allowance at any time after the purchase
ApplicationThough an outdated feature, WWE Network still uses PPV. ESPN is the sole distributor of PPV Companies like Netflix, Hulu, Disney, HBO Max, YouTube, Spotify use VOD services. Also, airlines use VOD services for in-flight entertainment

What is PPV?

Pay per view commonly called PPV is a television service that the viewers can buy to watch events. These events have a specific timing such as sports matches of boxing, martial arts, wrestling, or concerts. Initially, Pay-Per-View was a closed-circuit television and was popular by the name of theatre television.

The first Pay-Per-View feature was on a Zenith Phonevision system in the United States. The service became popular in 1972 in California on cable televisions. The first PPV on cable television was the telecast of a professional boxing match between Floyd Patterson vs Ingemar Johansson. But it was the fights of Muhammad Ali which created the popularity of the PPV feature.

The match between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz, in August 2016, broke the record of the highest watched event of over 1.65 million views on PPV feature. The PPV invention aimed to telecast events to a huge community with the least expenditure of money.

The spread of media and information among the mass was the goal of PPV. PPV has become a traditional feature in the television industry. Still, media service providers like WWE Network have included PPV features during streaming and ESPN is the sole distributor.

What is VOD?

Video On Demand is commonly known as VOD is a media service by which viewers can access videos or shows even without a playback device. VOD feature breaks the stereotypes of conventional broadcasting systems. The feature was first tried in 1992 by Bell Atlantic. Though Japan had proposed the VOD service in 1986 it gained popularity after 2000.

VOC requires a set-top box or internet-connected devices to telecast content. VOD services are run by DCT (Discrete cosine transform) and ADSL (asymmetric digital subscribe line). VOD features at residential areas include cable modems while those at commercial areas or with a wider community use WAN for streaming.

VOD can be further classified into six types based on the service each provides. They are Transactional Video on Demand (TVOD), Premium video on demand (PVOD), Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD), Near video on demand (NVOD), Push Video on Demand (PVOD), and Advertising Video on Demand (AVOD).

VOD can be centralized and associated with peer-to-peer file-sharing software to stream videos without internet neutralities. Services like Spotify and Netflix ate renowned users of peer-to-peer (P2P) software. Companies like Netflix, Hulu, Disney, HBO Max, YouTube, Spotify use VOD services. Also, airlines use VOD services for in-flight entertainment.

Main Differences Between PPV and VOD

  1. PPV stands for Pay-Per-View while VOD stands for Video on Demand.
  2. PPV feature is used to telecast live events, shows, or matches especially sports to a huge community while the VOD feature can be used by an individual for a personal view of pre-recorded movies, series, or shows.
  3. PPV has a fixed schedule for the start of the show and offers no customization while the VOD feature allows viewers to watch at any time with their ease and therefore promotes personalization and customization.
  4. PPV viewers pay according to the number of events watched while VOD viewers need pay in terms of a monthly scheme.
  5. PPV features have conventional cable lines for streaming media while VOD uses DCT, ADSL, P2P, and WAN technologies.


Television plays a significant role in entertainment, awareness, and educational spread. It is the only device that connects people from different age groups together. The two features of television are PPV and VOD. The two features might seem similar but have huge differences.

The PPV focuses on the promotion of media to a huge audience. It is popularly operated to air sports events while VOD focuses on the promotion of media to individuals based on their preference. It provides control to the viewers and is popularly operated to air movies, series, documentaries, or other shows.

PPV does not provide the power of selection of TV content as per the convenience of the viewers while VOC exclusively provides that opportunity. Most of the shows and movies currently use the VOD feature.


  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/5337420/
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308596120300938
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