What Is the Difference Between Pay-Per-View and Video on Demand?

What Is the Difference Between Pay-Per-View and Video on Demand?

The entertainment industry is changing rather quickly. Television and streaming are not an exception. There are many new movies, tv-series, and shows coming out every day. Years ago, we didn’t have a lot of choices, and we were able to watch only what was on the TV without the option to rewatch favorite moments or catch missed episodes. But now, two features facilitate this and have new content to watch all the time — pay-per-view and video on demand. But do you know the difference between them?

What is pay-per-view?

The name of this service is pretty much self-explanatory. Usually, it is an option you can add to your regular TV subscription, and you can watch different content on pay per view mechanism. So, if you watch a particular show that, in most cases, is a one-time event, you will have to pay the fee that your provider determines. 

Pay-per-view events became very popular during Muhammad Ali’s career when most of his games were broadcasted as PPV events. Nowadays, the most popular PPV events are sport competitions usually not shown on the TV channels covered by your regular subscription. The price you will have to pay very much will depend on the event itself, your location, and your provider. 

But what if you don’t have a TV subscription and are using just a smart TV for streaming? Watching PPV events on FireStick, for example, is very easy. The Pay-per-view industry is so big that they will not miss such great opportunities as providing their service on smart TVs. So, if you are a sports fan and have a FireStick, you won’t have to miss any boxing match. 

What is a video on demand? 

Video on demand is also a paid service. It allows you to watch content that has already been broadcast or on the big screens but is now available as an on-demand one. It is very convenient because you can watch a movie, for example, whenever you want to. You also have more control over it, like pausing it or going back to a favorite moment. 

Whenever you buy a video on demand, this content will remain available for you for as much as you would like to or only for a limited amount of time, depending on your provider’s terms. Usually, the VOD content is movies that were recently available only in the cinemas or TV shows from different channels and streaming services that might not be broadcasted on the channels you have. 

Streaming services are considered video-on-demand services. But hybrid ones like Amazon Prime also offer on-demand content and the one included in your subscription. The price is most of the time detrimental to the type of content you would like to watch — is it a movie or TV show, is it a new one, is it a trendy one, etc. and if you would like to have the content available for unlimited time.

Pay-per-view vs. Video on demand

So, what is the difference between those two services? There are a couple of differences between pay-per-view events and videos on demand, and here are the main ones:

  • Pay-per-view events are shows that are happening live. So, you will be able to watch the event only while it is happening and not rewatch it at a later phase. 
  • Pay-per-view events are paid only if you actually watch them. Where streaming services offering videos on demand will still charge even if you don’t watch all the shows or even don’t use them for a month.
  • Videos on demand can be watched and rewatched most of the time as much as you would like. 
  • Videos on demand prices might change for each different piece of content and over time, but pay-per-view videos are offered at a fixed price. 


PPV and VOD are paid services but used for two very different purposes. If you would like to watch a live match or consent, you will have to check the pay-per-view options, but if you would like to watch the new James Bond or Matrix movie, then the video-on-demand service is for you. The two services are a great way to spend some time enjoying something that you love, so don’t hesitate and enjoy watching

Written by Mia

Hey Everyone! This is Mia Shannon from Taxes. I'm 28 years old a professional blogger and writer. I've been blogging and writing for 10 years. Here I talk about various topics such as Fashion, Beauty, Health & Fitness, Lifestyle, and Home Hacks, etc. Read my latest stories.

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