In this paper, CdO thin films are used for the first time as transparent anodes for organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). Highly conductive and transparent CdO thin films have been grown on glass and on single-crystal MgO(100) by low pressure metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) at 400°C, and were implemented in small-molecule OLED fabrication. Device response and applications potential have been investigated and compared with those of commercial ITO-based control devices. It is found that as-deposited CdO thin films are capable of injecting holes into such devices, rendering them promising anode materials for OLEDs. A maximum luminance of 32,000 cd/m2 and an external forward quantum efficiency of 1.4 %, with a turn-on voltage of 3.2 V are achieved on MgO(100)/CdO-based devices.