As the year 2020 kicks off, YouTube and Google are still at the epicenter of content creation, SEO, and video content marketing. People congregate to this one public video service, sharing ideas with the rest of the world. It turned out to be the easiest and most efficient way to reach target audiences. Businesses, small and large, have utilized YouTube to launch their projects, expose their brands, and, naturally, monetize.
For the past several years, though, video content trends have been changing. Specific formats began to take precedence; primarily, live videos, live feeds, streaming, and so on. Following those changes, YouTube became the heart of the online video community.
In the past, Google and YouTube were always under fire for not adequately supporting video creators when something went wrong — regardless of whether it’s related to copyright claims or similar issues. Luckily, that changed slightly in 2019, with YouTube offering a bit more support in an attempt to appease such an enormous user base. Additionally, a few years ago, various major companies opted to pull out from advertising on YouTube.
Brands like AT&T, Verizon, the pharmaceutical company GSK, Pepsi, Walmart, Johnson & Johnson, and a car rental firm Enterprise have all pulled advertising from this video-sharing website, some of which happened recently. For instance, Verizon’s ads were featured alongside videos from the Egyptian cleric Wagdi Ghoneim (banned from the U.S. over extremism). AT&T and Hasbro have pulled their ads from YouTube to protect their brands from offensive content.
Let’s have a quick look at some of the best and most effective ways of monetizing your video content beyond YouTube:
Before we go any further, we invite you to take the following steps before implementing any alternative strategies to YouTube monetization.
YouTube is powerful, but it’s not what it used to be. The trouble stems from the misconception that YouTube channels guarantee a steady income. Making money on YouTube is possible, of course, but Google’s public video service has become highly competitive in all content categories (humor, gaming, music, science, movies — you name it).
That incredible variety of content gives users more choice than ever. Sadly, it also fuels the widespread misconception that there’s a specific recipe for success on YouTube. But the reality is that the number of people making money strictly from YouTube has dwindled over the years. Also, there is no specific strategy that guarantees success on the platform.
Example: millennials are the biggest target audience, and video games are what people watch the most. Knowing this information, no matter how accurate and vital it may be, won’t be enough to establish a profitable YouTube channel. The journey toward profiting is challenging, especially if you keep getting demonetized on YouTube. Albeit if you really have your heart set on that particular dream, making a top-class YouTube gaming channel is not impossible.
Far be it for me to discourage people from expressing their own opinions and ideas on YouTube, I must warn you that monetizing videos on YouTube isn’t the best way to make big bucks. Google’s AdSense program is an excellent start, for sure. But experienced YouTubers (video creators, marketers, entrepreneurs) are making money beyond the YouTube platform.
On top of that, big brands and businesses often bring an already successful and recognizable brand or persona to the channel. Smaller businesses and video creators, though, might be better off seeking a solution to video monetization elsewhere.
Remember — killing off your YouTube channel is by no means the answer, especially if you already have a huge audience. However, what matters is the content you dish out. You can no longer easily sway viewers with the usual video marketing schemes. Audiences refuse to swallow the same old crap, which emphasizes the content creators and their creative minds. In other words, all video content has to have a strong personal touch so that it can resonate with audiences.
At present, most YouTube channel owners resort to one potent workaround: diversifying income. Integrating your channel with Google AdSense to monetize YouTube videos is the common first step. However, the platform frequently changes the rules and regulations regarding particular content, and that can potentially hurt your channel. Diversifying income denotes that you have and operate a YouTube channel but also use other monetization strategies to support yourself. In fact, you can even disable monetization on your channel and still make money elsewhere. After all, Google may decide to alter monetization policies at any time.
Bear in mind that there are many tried and tested solutions and YouTube monetization alternatives. So when you make something good enough to get people talking and sharing across various social networks, you should know that Google’s AdSense program isn’t the only way to capitalize on your work and monetize your videos. You can make additional income whether your YouTube channel takes off or not.
So let’s talk about some of those methods:
What it’s about: With the growth of YouTube, more and more users began monetizing their channels. However, Google kept altering its monetization policies way too often and usually right out of the blue. That has led to a significant number of channel owners seeking out alternative monetization solutions.
Patreon was one of the first safe havens. Any YouTube channel owner who had a substantial number of subscribers sought refuge on Patreon. The reason is that Patreon provides ample support for creators who deliver content regularly (think video or vlog series, regular podcasts, etc.).
The primary principle behind this particular monetization platform is offering the public the option to support the content creators they enjoy watching. Users can freely select the monthly amount they want to donate to their favorite creators. Patreon provides Lite, Pro, and Premium subscription plans (with a commission of 5%, 8%, and 12%, respectively).
Good or bad? One of the downsides of Patreon is potential difficulties sorting and categorizing the content you’d like to deliver to users (that relates to highly specific and less popular content categories in particular).
On the other hand, Patreon has an excellent subscription model — the service doesn’t charge upfront. It also accepts PayPal and credit cards (whatever you prefer).
Overall, it’s one of the best ways for content fans to connect with content creators. Also, a word of caution here: Patreon is a unique service with few alternatives. So if your business depends on it and it goes under for whatever reason, you might have trouble finding a replacement.
What’s it about: We’re trying to be as objective as possible here, so I’m sure you’ll indulge us with this harmless little self-promo. Brid.TV is a cross-device online video player platform that allows small and large businesses to upload, encode, and monetize videos however they see fit.
The beauty of our platform is that it gives a tremendous number of features for a modest price. It has superb in-house video analytics that help you optimize and improve monetization.
If you want to become a Brid partner, your site needs to have at least 5,000 daily video views (ad calls). What’s more, the exchange system takes approximately 2–3 weeks before inventory and fill rate are ramped up for your account.
We handle payouts for publishers via PayPal and Bank Transfer (can be arranged). Brid.TV now has cool additions like Twitter integration, carousel units, unique outstream ad units, ad pods, and other fantastic solutions for customized ad strategies.
Good or bad? The platform offers a pretty solid start for your website and will give you an excellent opportunity to earn from your video content as quickly and as seamlessly as possible. Once your site is approved, Brid.TV monetizes 100% of your ad inventory and shares revenue with you on a 70%–30% basis. Publishers get 70%, while Brid.TV gets a 30% cut.
What it’s about: This well-known video platform is aimed at business video hosting. Wistia rose to prominence rather quickly with its straightforwardness. That’s right — it’s a fairly easy-to-get-into video platform that allows you to embed videos on your site. Business owners who want to publish video content seamlessly have complete control of branding, social sharing, CTAs, and more. Similar to Brid.TV, it’s one of the few video platforms that have extensive video analytics.
Good or bad? Wistia is a fine choice since it lets you monetize videos quickly. It tells you how long a user watched your videos, their location, and other video viewing details that can help you greatly when adjusting your marketing strategy. All of their video content is protected by high-end encryption, so safety is pretty high on these guys’ list. While Wistia remains an excellent choice for huge businesses only looking to migrate and monetize elsewhere, it may not be the best platform for small video creators.
What it’s about: It’s funny how powerful a brand name can be. When someone says “Vimeo,” people usually instantly know that everyone’s talking about an alternative to YouTube. In this case, it isn’t just about excellent marketing; it’s also about a high-quality product. And that’s just what it is — a service that offers high-quality video streaming solutions for top-class videos. Bear in mind that such quality entails a different pricing model to YouTube’s (you can interpret it as a more expensive kind of deal). However, you can view content with considerably fewer visual distractions.
Good or bad? Vimeo is a fantastic option. It’s not identical to YouTube in terms of content categorization and UI, but it’s easy to get into. The platform features OTT (on-demand branding), which is undoubtedly something you’re going to need going forward into 2020. The downside is that you’ll be somewhat limited when uploading videos (500 MB per week). Naturally, for more uploads, you’re going to have to switch to a premium plan (includes a monthly fee).
What it’s about: As a public video service, Dailymotion is likely the most similar YouTube alternative. If you’re looking to migrate your video content, this platform is a gratifying solution. You might encounter some drawbacks, but, generally, Dailymotion is a safe and reliable platform for creating and sharing content. The service also offers decent monetization options.
Good or bad: The primary advantage of Dailymotion is that it’s intuitive. You won’t have any trouble navigating it, and it’s similar to what channel owners and users are used to on YouTube. On top of that, it offers pro-level video quality. So yeah, we wholeheartedly recommend this one.
What it’s about: Instagram, which is still the world’s most popular social media platform, took the world by storm. The next step was introducing its streaming service, IGTV. Unlike the usual Instagram video format (short videos, no longer than one minute), IGTV lets users submit considerably lengthier, vertical videos. In other words, videos meant to be watched on smartphones. As of last year, this service allows videos with both horizontal and vertical orientation.
Good or bad: Okay, monetization is still in the testing phase, but the feature is on its way. Instagram IGTV is one of the best choices for any content creator specializing in short videos. The platform was devised to give people easy access to quality content and quickly. You don’t have to type in URLs, just search what you want to watch, and it’s going to appear. Simple, right?
Now, if you are already an Instagram user, you can access IGTV for free immediately. One of the most prominent benefits here is that you’ll be able to follow a variety of truly amazing channels. Browsing through the feed is easy, and content is filtered based on your preferences, of course. If you’re using a mobile device, you can upload videos that are up to 15 minutes long (650 MB tops). On desktop, however, you can upload videos even up to 60 minutes in length (3.6 GB tops)!
What it’s about: When Amazon acquired Twitch for $970 million back in 2014, this public streaming service had already accumulated approximately 550,000 concurrent viewers and almost two million monthly broadcasters. More importantly, it had 55 million monthly active users. That wasn’t just a turning point for Twitch but also a huge influence on the video industry. People were beginning to work toward shifting to streaming, live events, and live coverage. That, of course, meant that marketers and business owners were shifting their gaze toward live videos rather than pre-recorded ones. Right now, the platform has an average of 46 billion minutes watched per month, and there’s an average of 3.7 million unique Twitch broadcasters monthly.
Good or bad?: You probably already know by now that if you’re out to make live videos, Twitch is the place to be. It’s a perfect choice for esports and gaming in general, streaming, various talk shows, and similar formats content. Twitch is also known for broadcasting numerous live music videos (festivals, concerts, and similar). The only disadvantage here is that it’s not the best choice for posting pre-recorded videos, as it’s mostly for streaming.