VOD App Development: 3 Must-Have Features to Consider

By The Zype Team on May 07, 2021

If you are considering VOD app development, the timing is just right. On-demand and live streaming markets are still in the high-growth stage. So you too can tap into the new revenue pools.

In Q3 2020, Sling TV — a popular VOD platform — added over 200,000 new subscribers bringing the total tally to 2.46 million. At the same time, its parent company, Dish TV, lost some 87,000 cable TV customers. 

Dish TV isn’t the only traditional telecom player whose revenue is being eroded by OTT and VOD competitors. Nearly every US cable TV company is losing over 14,000 subscribers per day. 

What this data tells us is this: consumers are increasingly switching to digital viewing. Media companies that are capitalizing on this trend are or soon will be among the market leaders. 


Source: eMarketer 

VOD App Development 101 

To build a VOD app you no longer need to hire a development team. Instead, you can opt for a no-code or low-code OTT platform to launch a native smart TV, web, or mobile VOD app. 

OTT and VOD app development platforms enable you to:

  • Convert existing media content and websites into on-demand video
  • Build and launch native VOD apps across channels 
  • Rapidly prototype new apps using pre-made UI/UX elements and templates 
  • Host and manage all video content from one location 

All you have to do is analyze your audience viewing preferences and create a prioritized list of VOD app features for development. 

We already did some groundwork for you and lined up three must-have features for a VOD application. 

1. Content Discovery and Recommendation Engine

VOD apps such as Netflix, Hulu, and AppleTV have mastered the art of “stickiness”. They drive subscription renewals and upgrades by keeping the customers engaged with new relevant content through personalized recommendations. 

On average, 55% of Netflix subscribers stay with the service for three years — a figure much higher than the competition.  


Source: Second Measure 

To achieve similar customer retention rates choose a VOD app builder with the following features:

  • Centralized metadata management 
  • “Watch next” recommendations 
  • Personalized content recommendation engine 

2. Cross-Device Synchronization 

Smart TV may seem like the prime platform for a VOD app. But data suggests that consumers favor cross-device viewing experience and use multiple services on different devices. 


Source: Inmobi 

Do a quick survey to prioritize your main devices and then implement a respective device management strategy. Incorporate the following features:

  • Content synchronization 
  • Cross-device subscriber analytics (for better ad targeting) 
  • Number of supported devices 
  • Device per account limits 
  • Other account restrictions (to prevent password sharing) 

If you are using MAZ, you can do all of the above from one interface. Our platform also provides advanced analytics capabilities for audience segmentation and targeting across devices and sessions. 

3. Offline Viewing 

Apart from using different devices, most consumers also prefer to save videos for offline viewing. Here’s why you should provide viewers with this option:

  • High mobile viewership rates mean that a lot of people rely on mobile data to watch videos. Oftentimes, that translates to higher latency and low video speed due to poor network coverage. Yet, most consumers will get frustrated with your app, not the telecom provider. That could translate to higher churn rates. 
  • Offline video viewing is an untapped monetization opportunity. Disney+ and Hulu were among the first VOD players to make their video catalog fully available offline. Why? To reduce customer churn and increase engagement as a first.  But also, to harness an untapped revenue pool — offline video content. By attaching dynamic ads to each download AVOD providers can delight viewers when the connectivity is poor or non-existent — on the plane, during commuting, or vacations abroad — and still claim ad revenues. 

Develop a Video on Demand App Today

The VOD market (and its sub-niches OTT, SWOD, and AVOD) is poised for growth in the short-term perspective. Despite strong competition, there’s still room for new entrants. New, low-code VOD app development platforms such as MAZ have also dramatically increased the technological barrier to product development. 

Get in touch with MAZ to see how we can help grow your business!

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