What is TVOD?: The Ultimate Guide to Transactional Video on Demand

By Emily KringsNov 23, 2022

Pay-per-view video has been around since before the days of streaming. It may be surprising to learn that this “old school” video monetization method has not only survived but thrived alongside video streaming subscriptions, which typically give viewers more bang for their buck.

In fact, transactional video on demand (TVOD) revenue is expected to reach $8.89 billion by the end of this year and $12.89 billion by 2027.

In this article, we will discuss all things TVOD. We will start by exploring what TVOD is before exploring how the model works and how you can set up a TVOD service of your own. To wrap things up, we will discuss a couple of monetization models that can be used as alternatives to TVOD.

Table of Contents

What is TVOD?

Transactional video on demand, or “TVOD” for short, is a video monetization model that requires viewers to pay for access to specific pieces of content. This monetization model is more commonly known as “pay-per-view” since buyers pay for each viewing experience.

There are two ways to structure TVOD streaming services. Some providers allow viewers to rent videos for a set period of time, and others allow them to purchase the videos for lifetime access.

Since viewers pay for individual pieces of content, this monetization model is a viable option for media businesses and creators who are starting with a smaller library of content. 

Although TVOD specifically pertains to on-demand video, the general concept can be applied to live streaming. This is commonly referred to as “ticketing” since the structure is similar to what would be used to charge admission for an in-person event.

How Does the TVOD Model Work?

The TVOD video monetization model is very straightforward: viewers purchase access to videos that they want to watch.

Think of how people watched movies before streaming was around. They could buy a DVD or VHS to keep, or they could rent one from Blockbuster or Redbox. 

TVOD uses the same model, but the videos are delivered over the internet rather than with a DVD or VHS tape.

TVOD Use Cases

TVOD is typically used to monetize premium content or to provide an alternative buying option to a subscription. It is very commonly used in the entertainment industry, allowing people to purchase movies or episodes of a series. 

TVOD can also be used for training programs and other educational content. For example, if you offer technical training for career advancement or continuing education, you can charge a one-time fee to access the video seminar. 

This model can also be applied to any industry where there is value in having access to a rerun of a live event, television special, and so forth.

TVOD Examples

Amazon accidentally exposed an internal server packed with Prime Video  viewing habits | TechCrunch

Amazon’s Prime Video is a great example of a modern streaming platform that has had success with the TVOD monetization model. Prime Video offers some titles as part of a subscription package and other titles that are only available with pay-per-view.

Some other streaming services that use a TVOD model include YouTube Premium, Apple TV, Google Play Movies & TV, and Redbox.

The Basics of Setting up a TVOD Service 

With the support of the right tools, setting up a TVOD service is pretty straightforward. Here are a few things to consider as you set up your TVOD service.

Where to Host a TVOD Service

Creating a TVOD service requires the support of an online video platform (OVP) that is equipped with TVOD-specific monetization tools. You’ll need a platform that is equipped with paywalls and comprehensive VOD purchasing technology.

Some other features to look for in an OVP include:

We recommend taking advantage of free trials of online video platforms to figure out which solution best aligns with your goals.

 → Try Maestro for Free 

How to Determine the Pay-Per-View Price

There is no exact science to determining the pay-per-view price for your TVOD service. However, taking a look at what your successful competitors are doing will give you a good idea of what people are willing to pay.

Typically, there is typically a price for rentals and a price for purchases. Take this title from Prime Video, for example.

As you can see, the rental is about half the price of buying the movie. 

Sometimes there is the option to pay more for HD streaming. Of course, this is typically only applicable in more advanced streaming services setups, but if you’re looking to create a service that is as powerful as the major media giants, this is something to consider. 

Keep in mind that these figures are just examples. If you feel that your content is worth more or that your audience would only be willing to pay less, set your prices accordingly.

Other Video Monetization Models

While we’re on the topic of TVOD, there are two other monetization models that are worth calling. These include AVOD and SVOD.

AVOD is short for ad-based video on demand. With this video monetization model, the viewer is served ads that are paid for by sponsors. This streaming monetization model has been made popular by YouTube. AVOD is great for those who want to lower the barrier to entry on their content since it doesn’t require viewers to make a purchase.

SVOD is short for subscription video on demand. With SVOD, viewers pay a subscription fee for unlimited access to a library of content. Typically, these subscriptions are monthly or annual. Netflix is a great example of a successful service that uses SVOD.

TVOD on Maestro


If you’re looking for an online video platform to create and monetize a video streaming service, look no further. Maestro offers all the tools you need to build a custom streaming destination, complete with flexible monetization support, total brand control, tools for interactivity, and more.

The best part is that you can go from customization to launch in less than a day. No coding or build time required. 

Sign up for Maestro to launch your TVOD service in no time at all!

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