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How to Monetize Video With a Successful Video Monetization Strategy

10 minutes read
How to Monetize Video With a Successful Video Monetization Strategy

What Does "Monetizing a Video" Mean?

You probably already know that monetizing a video simply means making money off of it. However, there's a lot more to it than just uploading a video, hitting publish, and leaning back while you watch the dollars pile up.

In reality, monetizing video on demand (VOD) content is as in-depth as you choose to make it, especially if you upgrade from free hosting platforms like YouTube or Vimeo and embrace the customization options of a premium video hosting platform like Flowplayer.

Before we dive into what a video hosting platform offers, let's take a general look at the different options you have for monetizing your videos.

3 Different Types of Video Monetization

Consider this: You encounter different business models for video monetization daily. Every time you pull up a YouTube video on your phone, sit back on the couch to watch a Netflix show or rent a movie from Prime Video, you're engaging with the three most popular ways for content creators to make money from their videos.

The takeaway is, you can apply the same strategies in your own video monetization efforts. Here are your best options!

1) Advertisements (AVOD)

Advertising is a mainstay for monetizing video content. Broadcast television has thrived on advertising revenue for decades, and more recently, online video platforms like YouTube and Hulu have continued this proud tradition.

Unlike television advertisements, which are video commercials of pre-defined lengths, online video ads offer a lot more flexibility. They include:

  • Short video ads (prerolls, midrolls, and post-rolls) that play before, during, or after your video
  • Overlay ads (popup banner ads) that display text or images in front of the video at predetermined times

Note that these ads can be skippable or non-skippable, and can appear for the amount of time you choose, as long as you're working with a platform that gives you control over these options.

Best use cases

The best thing about ads is that they allow you to monetize lots of eyeballs quickly and easily. It's even better if you have a niche audience that advertisers in your space want to get their products in front of.

Use ads if you don't have anything else to sell yet, or if you're trying to maximize exposure to your content by keeping it available to the public (while still making money off of it).

2) Subscriptions (SVOD)

Another excellent option for video monetization is the paid subscription. Cable television had a monopoly on this for years, but now we're seeing all kinds of subscription models in the business world, from Adobe Creative Cloud to Blue Apron to HBO Max. The fee is most often monthly or annually.

Why is this such a great model for your business to consider? Charging a regular fee ensures reliable revenue. At the same time, your subscribers get access to a library of quality content for that fee, which can be an enticing value proposition that only gets better over time as you continue to add more content.

Best use cases

If you're a media or entertainment company, you can copy the Netflix model and charge for access to a library of videos. If you're in a space like teaching or coaching, the membership site model is tried and true – simply charge a monthly or yearly fee in exchange for access to informative videos that only members can see!

3) Pay-Per-View (TVOD)

Pay-per-view is a simple transaction: if someone wants to see your video content (either live or pre-recorded), they pay you a one-time fee. It's just like renting a movie.

Events like boxing or wrestling may have popularized the concept of pay-per-view. However, it's still a viable way to make money from all kinds of one-off video presentations shared online, such as special events, seminars, concerts, film debuts, classes, and exclusive or premium content.

Best use cases

The pay-per-view model is perfect if you're going to host virtual events, offer a training session, or put on a webinar. The best thing about it is you can record a single video and turn it into a recurring revenue stream: anytime someone pays the one-time fee to see it, you make residual income.

On the other hand, it usually takes several marketing touches to get someone to buy from you, so to make the pay-per-view model work for you rather than a subscription model, you may need to set the video at a premium price point.

Video on Demand: AVOD vs. SVOD vs. TVOD

The content we've discussed in this post so far is known as video on demand, or VOD. These are videos that audiences can access whenever they want, on whatever device they want. Most of these videos are the subset of VOD known as OTT (over-the-top), which refers to content that's available over the internet.

Here are the primary categories of VOD monetization:

  • AVOD: Advertising-based video on demand
  • SVOD: Subscription video on demand
  • TVOD: Transactional video on demand

Do these look familiar? They should! They're the primary ways to monetize video content that we talked about earlier.

Now, let's add one more to the list: free video on demand, or FVOD.

FVOD refers to video programming that you offer totally free of charge. Depending on who you ask, AVOD can be considered a subset of FVOD – the idea is that AVOD is still free for the user, as long as they watch the occasional advertisement.

With these VOD categories in mind, let's take a look at some general strategies for the best strategies to monetize VOD content!

How to Monetize Video on Demand (VOD)

Larger enterprises recognize that video is an essential asset in today's digital landscape. And the reality is, sites like YouTube may be a decent place to get exposure for your video content, but they're lackluster when it comes to monetization.

The reason comes down to control. YouTube dictates what your revenue split will be (currently a 45/55 revenue share split), hamstrings your creative decisions, and can stop monetizing your videos on a whim. No matter what kind of content you create, building a major pillar of business on a platform that has all the control is a dangerous game.

So, what can you do instead?

Start Your Own VOD Platform

We recommend starting your own VOD platform or membership site. This is the online destination where your audience can access your videos, and you have total control over how to make money from it. Your platform can be AVOD, SVOD, TVOD, or a combination of the three that makes the most sense for your business!

Some businesses will still use a platform like YouTube for SEO purposes, to help build awareness of their offerings and funnel new users to their own site. This is a good way to maximize reach and exposure without giving away all of your power to Google!

Launch an App

Another way to monetize your VOD business is by launching your own OTT app on smart TV platforms like Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, and Amazon Fire TV. You should also consider native apps for iOS and Android to maximize your reach.

The priority for you will depend on which platform is the most active user base for your audience.

Review the Analytics

As you establish your video library and experiment with different methods to reach your target audience, you should regularly review your analytics to see what's working.

There's a lot of essential information you can discover about viewer engagement on your videos:

  • Plays over time
  • Play rate
  • Average percentage watched
  • Complete rate
  • Average time watched
  • Plays by device type

This valuable data can guide your content production efforts by revealing which topics are most popular and helping you diagnose any issues that cause people to quit your videos early.

Similarly, you can check your advertising analytics to optimize your videos for a higher ad revenue per thousand impressions.

How to Monetize Live Streams

So far, we've focused on how to manage pre-recorded VOD content, but live streams are another huge opportunity for businesses! Prominent social media platforms know this, which is why you can now "go live" on platforms like Facebook Live, YouTube Live, Twitch, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.

Whether you're live streaming on one of these social media sites or using a dedicated video hosting platform to get the word out, live video is a great way to boost engagement!

When it comes to monetization, there are many ways to make money off of live streams. Many of them overlap with the monetization methods for VOD content, but here are a few that are particularly useful with live streaming.

Pay-Per-View "Tickets"

One of the most effective ways to monetize a live stream is to treat it like you would any in-person event. This means charging attendees for a virtual "ticket" to claim their "seat" at your live event. Remember that there's additional value for people who may have the opportunity to interact with you during the live stream, so it's possible to charge a premium for live event tickets.

Best of all, you can turn the recording of your live event into a future profit center as a pay-per-view VOD asset.


With a strong brand identity, your company can find relevant sponsors to promote on your live stream. Similar to advertising, sponsors are paying you for the privilege of getting in front of your audience. These deals are usually more direct and formal than advertising, and can also be more lucrative.

Tips and Donations

If your content resonates with an audience, many people are willing to give you a tip or donation as a thank you. This can be a win-win. For example, sites like YouTube have implemented features like Superchat where the donation calls attention to their live chat comment, increasing the chances that the host will engage with them. This may be a good place to start for monetization when your live stream audience is small and you're still finding your groove.

As you'll see, Flowplayer has a number of helpful features to make live streaming more effective and profitable.

Video Monetization on Flowplayer

If you're excited to have your business take advantage of this new frontier in video content and monetization, it's worth taking a look at Flowplayer as a video hosting platform.

Many of the strategies we've discussed in this post are achievable with Flowplayer, especially when it comes to advertising. This tool helps you monetize your videos with ads and keep 100% of the revenue you generate! Our platform is compatible with virtually any ad server or network you can think of, including support for Google DFP, Google IMA, SpotX, and Adx.

Ultimately, the biggest benefit of getting your video hosted on Flowplayer is that you have full control over both the content and the monetization – and there's a world of analytics at your fingertips to help you get the most value out of every video you publish.

Here are a few other notable advertising features in Flowplayer:

  • Ad scheduling. Pick the type of ad and define the position of your ad break in the video. Simply link the ad schedule with the video player for a video.
  • In-depth analytics. Dive deep into important video metrics, from play rate to average time watched.
  • Supports all standard ad formats. Works with VAST and VPAID, as well as standard ad servers, flowplayer also supports header bidding.
  • The ultra lightweight player can increase fillrate by reducing loading errors.

Like we mentioned before, if you're interested in live streaming, Enterprise customers get a range of useful live stream features, including access to real-time live streaming analytics! If you think Flowplayer could help your business with video hosting, click here to learn more.

How to Monetize Video Conclusion

In this post, we talked about the importance of video content for businesses, looked at some of the very best ways to monetize your videos, and covered some of the features available in quality premium video hosting platforms like Flowplayer.

Video is only getting more relevant, so there's never been a better time to dial in your company's approach to video. If you're ready to take full control over your company's video assets and maximize every video's money-making potential, why not try Flowplayer risk-free for 14 days?

Whatever you decide is best for your company, we wish you the best of luck on your video monetization journey!