Content distributed online may be streamed or downloaded, and often consists of books, films and television programs, music, software, and video games. Streaming involves downloading and using content at a user's request, or 'on-demand', rather than allowing a user to store it permanently. In contrast, fully downloading content to a hard drive or other form of storage media may allow offline access in the future.
Specialist networks known as content delivery networks help distribute content over the Internet by ensuring both high availability and high performance. Alternative technologies for content delivery include peer-to-peer file sharing technologies. Alternatively, content delivery platforms create and syndicate content remotely, acting like hosted content management systems.
Unrelated to the above, the term 'Digital distribution' is also used in film distribution to describe distribution of content through physical digital media, in opposition to distribution by analog media such as photographic film and magnetic tape (see digital cinema).