According to Statista, sales by OTT platforms and streaming providers will globally see 11% growth. eMarketer estimates nearly half of the video ads served on video platforms. The most significant chunk of this ad spend happens on YouTube. Marketers report videos to have the best ROI and help in getting better customer retention rates. With videos having the highest penetration rate, you should not miss the opportunity to monetize them. As technology is evolving, the methods of online video monetization have increased. Implementing the right video monetization strategy will maximize the revenue and make the most out of your video content.
Basics on Video Monetization
Video monetization is the process of generating income from the videos you publish online. Creators get paid when someone performs any of the activities described in the ‘How to Monetize Videos’ section while, before, or after watching their videos. The more people watch your videos or take a subscription, the more earning potential you have. Broadcasters can make significant revenue from their videos in a number of ways. This includes ad insertion, incorporating sponsorships, offering paid subscriptions, and more.
YouTube has been the first choice of creators to monetize their content online owing to its vast reach. In 2020, YouTube advertising generated $19.77 billion compared to $15.5 billion in 2019. YouTube has its own monetization guidelines which were recently revised. To get videos monetized, the channel should come under the YouTube Partner Programme.
There are other modes too without the inclusion of any such code. They are specific to the video platform choice you make and they have been discussed in the below section.
How to Monetize Videos
There are multiple ways, some require code, some do not. Some are platform-specific and some are applicable for all. So now let us discuss them one by one.
Own platform or Website
Video services are booming with a growth of 73% between 2018 and 2019. The figures are sharply rising. Building your cloud video platform can bring many benefits to your business. It is also a good start for beginners who are interested in making it from scratch. You can develop the roadmap, freely gate the content, own your audience, and have complete control over the payments. To build an eLearning platform, you can use our guide here. After creating a website or platform, you can decide among several ways discussed in the later section on ‘How to monetize your hosted videos.’
Video Advertisement Network
We know of YouTube, which uses its own partner program to run ads on your videos. Even platforms like Facebook allow you to monetize via their own audience network. With such increased popularity of videos, many publishers now offer their Ad network services for creators. The popular one includes Facebook Audience Network, Primis, AdPlayer.Pro, OpenX, Magnite, Select Media, Verizon Media, and AdMedia.
A sponsored stream is a live event on the internet funded or produced by companies who want to associate their image with you. In recent times, the live stream format has gained immense popularity, with brands using it for lead conversion. Sponsored streaming is highly engaging and has some eye-opening statistics. For example, 40% of live-stream viewers admit the media improves the chances of making a purchase. Companies that go live report a 41% increase in their search traffic.
Merchandise or Video Commerce
We can use video content to market and sell products or services to the target audience. Any product available for sale and purchase is merchandise. These promotional items may include T-shirts, mugs, hoodies and more. This is most popular among YouTube creators, and probably you may have encountered merchandise selling channels.
One of the most common ways for online money making is by using affiliate links. Companies growing customer base generally offer affiliate links to promote. When someone purchases by clicking on that link, you receive a commission from the sale. The commission rates vary from around 4-60% of the sale. You might often see such links in the bio of a video. Popular affiliate programs are Amazon Associates, ShareASale and more. Make sure to use affiliate marketing software to track your campaigns and check results.
The subscription-based video on demand (SVOD) monetization model is one where the users pay a recurring monthly or annual fee to access the video library. Subscribers need to pay upfront in exchange for 24×7 access to a wide video content range. Netflix, HBO Now are some popular subscription-based video platforms.
Video Monetization Tools, Websites, and YouTube Alternatives
There is no doubt that YouTube is considered the first choice as a video monetization site globally. On the other hand, making money on YouTube isn’t as easy as it seems. From February 2018, creators must meet YouTube guidelines to apply for YouTube monetization or have ads on their videos. As of 2021, In the last 12 months, creators must have 4,000 valid public watch hours and 1000 plus subscribers. This rule has put a lot of pressure on new and small creators who flock to YouTube to earn money. YouTube monetization is getting tougher with increasing competition, strict guidelines and legal actions with being a YouTuber. If you find it hard to generate income from YouTube, here are some best YouTube monetization alternatives with better monetization features, security and ease of use.
Patreon is a creator membership platform where subscribers support the content creators through a monthly or annual subscription model. The platform hosts artists, video creators, writers, educators, podcasters, photographers, musicians and more. Those who subscribe to a creator’s work are known as Patrons. In turn, the fans or subscribers get ad-free or exclusive access to events, personalized interaction with creators, and much more.
Patreon generates revenue by charging content creators for hosting their content on the platform. While signing up, creators have the choice of three plans:
- Lite – Patreon chargers 5% of the creator’s monthly income
- Pro – charges 8% of the monthly income
- Premium – charges 12% of the monthly income. This plan gives additional options to sell branded merchandise.
Patreon does not host videos on its platform. This means the video needs to be uploaded on a video hosting platform before posting on Patreon.
Vimeo is a popular alternative to YouTube offering high-quality video streaming solutions. After the launch of Vimeo OTT and Vimeo On Demand, there is a significant influx of YouTubers on the platform to sell videos online. Vimeo offers multiple ways for online video monetization, but it’s not free like YouTube. Instead, monetizing your video content requires a subscription fee that varies with the plan.
2.1- Vimeo OTT: It offers SVOD-based streaming monetization under three paid plans, Starter, Growth and Enterprise. Creators can earn on a monthly or annual basis by live stream monetization and launching subscription services. Some tools available with Vimeo OTT are Integrated CMS, human support, advanced selling options and more. Creators can even blend the TVOD model with Vimeo live pay per view events. Additionally, it includes one-off payments to rent and buy specific titles.
2.2- Vimeo On Demand: You can rent, buy, or subscribe to viewership under this monetization option. You also get complete control over the pricing. 90% of the revenue goes to the creator after transaction costs. Customers can watch via Android, iOS, and other platforms via the Vimeo app. One needs to have at least Vimeo Pro membership for Vimeo On Demand monetization.
Launched in 2005, Dailymotion is a platform to create and share video content, having 300M monthly active users. Dailymotion offers some decent online video monetization options for publishers and advertisers. However, to earn revenue from video monetization or uploaded videos, you have to become a partner. To start with, one needs to reach 1000 views from your channel’s uploaded content.
Many videos on the platform serve in-stream advertisements, i.e., ads that run before, during or after a video. The higher the view count, the more is revenue generation. The video monetization features include Compatible with third-party trackers and multiple ad-servers. It also includes Dailymotion inventory promotion to own buyers and Video monetization on third-party websites, and more. Creators can even earn by embedding Dailymotion videos on their verified websites.
Kaltura MediaSpace is a fully customizable site, serving as a repository of videos. MediaSpace has collaborative communities, channels with contributors, moderators and viewers. Within the MediaSpace instance, content owners can monetize specific titles or channels via SVOD or PPV models. To do so, the InPlayer’s monetization module offers full integration with Kaltura MediaSpace.
At Wistia, you can monetize videos by adding a paywall and content gate. Just get your video on Wistia, pick a paywall platform (Cleeng & InPlayer) and start monetizing. Wistia integrates with both Cleeng and InPlayer paywalls. Cleeng monetization platform offers PPV, subscriptions and passes monetization methods. Using InPlayer, monetize Wistia videos and accept payments by granting access to the videos.
6. IBM Watson Media
Cloud-based IBM video streaming offers solutions to monetize videos and maximize ROI. IBM has a range of monetization options for live streaming and VOD libraries. IBM offers direct monetization methods like PPV and advertising models for premium content, including Google Ad Manager. In addition, there are mix and match monetization methods like ad-friendly sponsorship or accepting donations via Patreon or PayPal.
Monetize your hosted videos on an eLearning website, LMS or Media platform
For EdTech platforms, monetization strategy should be a top priority to get a good ROI. The right content monetization approach will not only attract visitors but also provide revenue. Below are the well-proven video monetization strategies for an eLearning video platform.
Subscription is the most popular way to monetize an eLearning platform. In essence, members will be only able to access your learning content library after opting for a monthly or yearly subscription. In addition, members can be subscribed based on the number of courses available, number of users and more.
A type of subscription model offering members accesses to exclusive content, perks or VIP access. Usually, for premium content, a one-time payment is implemented.
Corporate or Group accounts
This model offers multiple access to users under the same entity (company or college). Often eLearning platforms give bulk discounts based on the number of members listed. Thus, learners from a company are enrolled in a single course, interacting with one another.
In this business model, eLearning platforms offer users free training or limited features but charge for additional features. For example, some offer free courses but to receive a completion certificate, the users will have to pay an amount. Some learning platforms instead provide paid feedback, mentoring or final exams. In such cases platform charges for the things most valuable to a user.
Charging commission from Authors
For hosting a trainer or coach’s premium content on your platform, a commission is set. This charge varies with the course’s popularity, pricing, subject, trainer expertise and more.
Online advertising or Ad-supported learning
At advertising spots, you can even display educational videos or ebooks. These advertisements may distract the visitors from taking your site seriously. Content on such platforms is often free, and the revenue is generated through advertising or affiliate partnerships.
Note: Do keep your premium hosted videos secure from piracy using DRM solutions by platforms like VdoCipher. This will also help you in creating multiple encrypted copies of your videos for global distribution via CDN and different bandwidth supported bitrates.
OTT Platform Video Monetization
In recent years, there has been a massive shift of viewers from traditional broadcasting services to Video On Demand (VOD) platforms and OTT networks. For broadcasters and streamed video content, there are three monetization business models to choose from, namely, SVOD, AVOD and TVOD.
Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD)
With SVOD, users pay a recurring monthly or annual fee to get unlimited access to a platforms video content library. A very popular example of SVOD is Netflix. Users pay monthly to access the complete video content whenever and wherever they choose and when they stop paying, the access is revoked. Therefore, SVOD is one of the most profitable monetization models as these platforms generate recurring revenues as long as users enjoy their video content. In addition, viewers can watch different types of video content without annoying video ads by opting for one easy recurring payment.
In the first quarter of 2021, Netflix had 207.64 million paid subscribers globally, with 73.95 million coming from the United States and Canada. Popular streaming service Hulu reported 42.8 million paid subscribers in the third quarter of 2021 compared to 35.2 million in the previous fiscal year. According to Statista, the revenue from SVOD is projected to cross US$71,506m by 2021.
Transactional Video On Demand (TVOD)
TVOD or transactional video on demand is another method to monetize your videos. In this model, consumers purchase content on pay-per-view or pay-per-video or pay-per-series. In other words, the audience pays upfront for each watched video or digitally downloadable video content. TVOD is offered in two ways. One is by granting users lifetime access to a piece of content with a one-time payment (electronic sell-through (EST)). Other is download to rent (DTR), where customers can access a selection of content for a limited time by paying a smaller fee.
Common examples of TVOD include Google Play, Amazon Prime Video and Apple’s iTunes. Although the TVOD model seems restrictive, it can be highly profitable. In 2020, TVOD had a substantial holding as most films were released through this method due to cinema halls being shut. Recently BookMyShow ventured into the TVOD model with BookMyShow Stream, where users have to only pay for the content they watch. TVOD is designed for a larger audience who is not consistent and interested in only paying for the content they watch. There is no joining fee, and anyone can buy the content.
TVOD platforms generate higher revenue per viewer by timely offering consumers live sports and fresh releases. However, TVOD is not just restricted to entertainment and is now making a way in the education sector. TVOD is a great model for students who want to enrol in individual courses offered by the eLearning platform and learn at their own pace. Udemy, Coursera are some of the popular TVOD eLearning platforms.
Image source: Statista
Advertising Video On Demand (AVOD)
AVOD is free to consumers, unlike SVOD and TVOD monetization models. AVOD is a sponsorship model where the advertisers put their ads in front of the audience. Here, the viewers have to watch ads in order to watch the free video content. Here, YouTube is a classic example. You are often presented with an advert commercial at the beginning or somewhere within the video on YouTube. More the people view or interact with the video adverts, the more profitable they are. In such a case, creators who have a large audience base have more potential to earn money from videos. With more users preferring an ad-free experience and all the ad blockers around, AVOD is considered inferior to other monetization models. As a result, premium content creators rarely use AVOD as it generates lower revenue than SVOD and TVOD
Make Sure You Don’t Lose Your Revenue To Piracy
So far you’ve come across different ways to monetize your videos in this blog. But one thing as crucial as monetizing your videos is protecting them from piracy.
As the video platforms continue to grow, so does the piracy associated with them. Annually platforms lose up to billions of dollars in revenue. So it is quite imperative that you make sure that make certain preparation against piracy. After all, money saved is money earned.
In order to protect your videos from piracy, you need to ensure that your videos have DRM encryption, which saves your videos from any sort of downloads. Thus protecting you from any loss in revenue due to piracy.
This is where Vdocipher plays a big part, we know how much effort a content creator puts into their work. This is what we value and in order to get them the right return for their effort, we make constant efforts on our end to make sure that these videos don’t get downloaded. Our key security features include Hollywood grade video DRM, Dynamic watermarking, and screen recording protection on Android and iOS. On top of it, you can put restrictions on video playback in terms of IP, Geo & Time Based, giving you absolute control over who watches the video, where they watch it and how many times.
What if someone’s YouTube’s channel is rejected for monetization?
In case of rejection, one can re-apply after 30 days of rejection email.
Can videos be uploaded directly from a device on Patreon?
Patreon does not directly host video content on its website. Before posting on Patreon, one needs to upload on video hosting sites like Vdocipher, YouTube or Vimeo.
Which are the most popular AVOD services in America?
According to Statista in the 2nd quarter of 2021, Facebook Watch is the most popular ad-supported VOD. Further leading is Ruku Channel, Peacock, Tubi TV and more.
What are the different methods to monetize live streams?
Pay-Per-View (PPV), play ads, sponsorships, donations, subscription-based model, companion ads or banners.
Ensure highest return on your monetized videos with VdoCipher.
At VdoCipher we maintain the strongest content protection for videos. We also work extremely hard to deliver the best viewer experience. By protecting our users' videos from piracy we ensure that they get the best return on their monetized videos.
I love exploring the nexus between tech, marketing, culture, space, and politics by lying awake at night pondering over the myriad facets of life. In my spare time, I enjoy watching nature documentaries, sci-fi and drama series.