vMVPD (Virtual Multichannel Video Programming Distributor)

What is a virtual multichannel video programming distributor (vMVPD)?

A virtual multichannel video programming distributor (vMVPD) delivers live TV channels, and often on-demand content, in a linear manner through an internet connection. This simulates the broadcast television experience, but with the ease and convenience of today’s streaming technology.

Similar to a linear MVPD (such as Spectrum, Comcast or Cox), vMVPDs charge a recurring fee from customers. A unique offer from virtual vMPDs, however, is skinny bundles — a subscription package that consists of various channels at a price lower than that of a MVPD.

vMVPD platforms have grown in popularity over the past few years. Popular services include:

vMVPD vs. SVOD: What’s the difference?

SVODs and vMVPDs have their fair share of similarities. Both systems operate on a subscription-based pricing model, offer video content through an internet connection and are alternatives to traditional cable television.

However, these services differ in the type of content they offer. SVOD services are only able to deliver on-demand content, whereas vMVPDs can also offer live channels. Take Netflix, for instance. The platform features a library of on-demand video content, making it a SVOD service. Sling, on the other hand, offers a variety of live channels — and would therefore be considered a vMVPD.

What are the advantages of vMVPDs?

Why choose a vMVPD? For one, vMVPDs upgrade, rather than replace, the linear television experience. This means viewers can continue to enjoy their favorite broadcast, cable and satellite channels, but with the ease and convenience of an internet connection. Better still, vMVPDs are usually cheaper than a traditional MVPD.

vMVPDs are also useful for advertisers. Because most vMVPD providers offer on-demand content, advertisers are able to choose from more ad delivery options.

Simulmedia offers a wealth of opportunities to enter into the vMVPD space. TV+®, our innovative ad planning, buying, activation and measurement platform allows your campaign to run on linear TV, streaming TV (including CTV) or both – enabling you to find and reach your unduplicated audience wherever they’re watching or streaming. TV+ includes direct integrations with over 250 linear networks, CTV publishers and streaming TV services, as well as partnerships with data providers such as Foursquare, Experian and AppsFlyer, who gather first- and third-party data sets and can track behavior and show  attribution across purchasing platforms.

For vMVPD TV audience targeting, we also partner with data providers who allow us to leverage third-party audience information and ingest first-party audiences, so lookalike audiences are easy to generate for when a campaign goes to scale. As your team learns more about the trends in who engages and converts to customers from your ads, these lookalike audiences are key to finding gaps in audience targets across these subscriber bases.