< Back to Glossary

Broadcast Video on Demand (BVOD)

What is Broadcast Video on Demand (BVOD)?

Broadcast Video on Demand (BVOD) is a media distribution model where users access online and on-demand video content from traditional, free-to-air TV broadcasters. This content is often available for free in exchange for viewing advertisements.


Why is BVOD important?

Consumer adoption of BVOD models exploded in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia during the pandemic. BVOD gives viewers online and on-demand access to free-to-air broadcast television channels that use public airways to transmit programming. BVOD offers the same top-quality professional programming as traditional linear TV, but using any device, from any location, and at any time, rather than on a set schedule like linear TV. As more people start using Connect TV (CTV) devices rather than a television antenna to access free-to-air broadcast channels, BVOD is tapping into the growing digital landscape. Worldwide, CTV ownership is expected to exceed 50% of homes by 2026, according to Strategy Analytics.

The term BVOD hasn’t yet gained traction in the United States and it remains to be seen if it will catch on in America’s complex media market. But in countries like the United Kingdom and Australia, ad-funded BVOD is grabbing an increasing amount of the Advertising Video on Demand (AVOD) market. BVOD viewership grew by 39.5% in 2020 in Australia and continued to grow in 2021.


How does BVOD work?

BVOD is professionally produced and distributed on-demand

As content that comes straight from traditional broadcasters, Broadcast Video on Demand is created by professional network producers. While BVOD falls under the AVOD umbrella, BVOD platforms do not include user-generated content such as on social media sites like YouTube and Facebook.

BVOD platforms were initially designed for catch-up TV as a way for viewers to watch programs after the original linear TV broadcast was over. Today, viewers have more flexible and technologically advanced ways to consume BVOD content. BVOD content is distributed on-demand, meaning content is accessible at the viewer’s convenience. This differs from streaming live TV, which is only available at a certain time on a set programming schedule. BVOD platforms often offer live-streamed TV in addition to Video on Demand (VOD) content. BVOD content is available online through over-the-top services (OTT), which distribute content to users via the internet, and from a range of devices including laptops, mobile phones, and CTVs.


Download our white paper

BVOD platforms are funded by advertisements

While Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) platforms are funded by subscriptions and Transactional Video on Demand (TVOD) platforms by individual transactions, BVOD platforms are a type of AVOD service monetized by advertisements. BVOD services are often free with commercial advertisements presented before, during, or after video content. Ads are generally unskippable, interactive, and actionable, enabling viewers to click and connect directly with a brand.

Because BVOD content is offered on-demand and online, BVOD advertising benefits from hyper-specific targeting capabilities, increased reach, improved brand safety, as well as enhanced tracking, measurement, and flexibility. BVOD advertising is less expensive than traditional linear TV advertising, yet because BVOD ads are shown alongside the same reputable, respected content, BVOD advertising often enjoys good view-through rates and results in a better ROI. Perhaps one of the largest advantages of BVOD advertising is its ability to reach today’s new generation of viewers who primarily use the internet to watch programs and do not have conventional linear TV.

BVOD platforms license and produce content

As a free or low-cost service with a low barrier to entry, BVOD platforms need high-quality, compelling content to attract customers, keep them engaged, and prevent churn. To be sure, a lack of new content is one of the most common reasons that customers leave a service.

While the largest VOD services and their traditional TV network affiliates have the resources to produce their own BVOD content, many platforms acquire content by licensing it from traditional broadcast companies. In content licensing agreements between content sellers and content distributors, content sellers typically receive a share of the total advertising revenue generated by the content.

BVOD platforms depend on big data

As competition in the BVOD market increases, the most successful content sellers and distributors in the media industry will use insights from big data to better understand consumer trends, identify the most profitable opportunities, and optimize revenue.

BVOD media services leverage software to collect a wealth of data, normalize that data across multiple distribution platforms, and identify content that has the strongest impact on advertising revenue. Content sellers and distributors can harness user data (demographics, behaviors, and preferences); content data (popularity, consumption, and engagement), and financial data (cash flow, budgets, payment contracts, etc.). Insights enable accurate content valuation, prediction of content performance, and optimization of licensing agreements. Software tools also power automated workflows and real-time business decision-making.


3 BVOD examples you should know

BBC iPlayer

Launched in 2007, BBC iPlayer is a BVOD service from the national broadcaster British Broadcasting Corporation in the United Kingdom. One of the most commonly used examples of a BVOD platform, BBC iPlayer offers users free access to video on demand and streaming content on various BBC channels. However, unlike other BVOD platforms, iPlayer doesn’t feature commercial ads as it is a public broadcaster.


In 2009, CTV Television Network became the first Canadian television network to offer its programming online in high definition. CTV is Canada’s largest privately owned television network and is now a division of Bell Media. CTV offers Canadian viewers free access to TV shows and movies in exchange for viewing advertisements.


Launched in 2017, 7plus is a BVOD service run by the Seven Network, a major Australian commercial free-to-air television network. 7plus offers free, ad-funded access to the Seven Network suite of channels and a number of other online channels. Users access the 7plus service on a variety of devices and platforms.


Optimize BVOD revenue with Revedia

SymphonyAI Media provides software that combines workflow and process automation with AI-driven insights to dramatically improve productivity for organizations that license and distribute video on-demand content.

Our Revedia platform helps content sellers and distributors accurately measure content performance, drive user engagement, and maximize the value of their content libraries throughout the licensing revenue lifecycle.

Latest Insights

Media Executives' Priorities for 2024: A Visual Guide
07.18.2024 Infographic

Media Executives’ Priorities for 2024: A Visual Guide

Media Square Icon Svg
Webinar highlights Maximize Profits with AI-Powered Content Analytics
07.10.2024 Video

Live demo: Revedia and Media Copilot

Media Square Icon Svg
What is a View? Underlining the Urgent Need for OTT Data Standardization
06.17.2024 Blog

What is a View?

Media Square Icon Svg