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Best Ways to Monetize Videos Without YouTube

how to monetize videos

Whether you’re a publisher in the OTT or mass media industry or a creator with an extensive video library, you must be looking for a way to turn all that content into cold, hard cash. But if you’ve done even a tiny bit of research, you’re probably already aware that YouTube is not the best option for video monetization

Why? Isn’t YouTube the biggest video-sharing website in the world with an audience numbering in the billions? 

Yes, it is. But there are many reasons publishers would want to monetize their videos elsewhere:

  • Most businesses have a safety-first approach, and YouTube’s security is lacking.
  • Entering the YouTube Partner Program and becoming eligible to monetize is a time-consuming and tedious process.
  • Getting demonetized on YouTube is a problem for many creators and publishers, making YouTube’s video monetization quite unreliable.
  • The platform lacks in variety of monetization features and takes a steep revenue cut of 45%.

Every publisher knows that the key to a sustainable business model is security and reliability. Unfortunately, YouTube fails to deliver in both cases. So what are your alternatives?

There’s no need to be disheartened, as there are many other, more reliable ways to monetize your videos and generate steady revenue.

In this article, we’re going to guide you through some of the best ways to make money with videos by showcasing three video monetization models you can implement to grow your revenue.

But before we get to that, let’s quickly check what online video monetization is to ensure we’re on the same page.

What Does It Mean to Monetize a Video?

There is no rocket science here. Video monetization entails earning money from making, publishing, and sharing video content on any platform or website.

Publishers can start monetizing videos in many ways, but few of them entail getting paid for creating them. Instead, you will get paid for access to your:

  • Audience
  • Videos
  • Platform

An alternative way to make money with videos would be to rely on donations (we prefer to call them charity). But since we’re trying to create a sustainable business here, that’s not even worth considering! The only way to ensure longevity in the online video world is to have a steady income stream. And the best way to achieve that is by selling access to the three points mentioned above.

Here are some real-world examples of how these techniques work in practice:

  • Access to Audience — Commercials in-between TV shows or ads before a video plays pay for getting their products in front of your viewers’ eyes.
  • Access to Videos — Moviegoers pay for a cinema ticket to view the latest blockbuster on the silver screen, or a user purchases a video online to watch it at will.
  • Access to Platform — Customers pay for a Disney+ subscription to get access to its entire video library, including platform-exclusive shows.

As you can see from the above, you will need to leverage access to succeed in the growingly competitive online video world. That is where the different VOD monetization models come into play.

Let’s see what your options are! 

How to Make Money With Videos: Best Video Monetization Models

TVOD, SVOD, and AVOD services examples

There are three different video monetization models publishers can pick from, and each provides a different viewing experience. All three leverage VOD’s accessibility and offer users the convenience of accessing content at will, and each has its pros and cons.

Let’s inspect the best video monetization models you can use to make money off your videos and what types of businesses they fit best:

SVOD: Subscription Video on Demand

SVOD or subscription video on demand entails users paying a monthly fee for access to your video content. This video monetization model is one of the most flexible and profitable ones in the online video world, and most popular TV streaming services like Netflix and Hulu use it.

In 2020, Netflix alone had more than 190 million paying subscribers, and other large providers like Disney+ are not far behind. This overwhelming boom of the online streaming industry is the primary reason SVOD is currently the most popular video monetization model. The SVOD market’s revenue growth nearly doubled between 2018 and 2020 and was only further facilitated by the 2020 global pandemic. 

graph representing the SVOD market revenue growth between 2018 and 2020
SVOD market’s revenue growth nearly doubled over the last two years.

The above reasons should make it abundantly clear why SVOD is an excellent video monetization model to consider. But if that wasn’t enough to convince you, here are some other benefits of using a subscription-based model:

  • It offers a steady and reliable source of income.
  • SVOD offers an uninterrupted user experience.
  • It gives viewers access to more content than they can realistically manage to watch.
  • It allows publishers to attract a dedicated viewer base by offering platform-exclusive content.

Overall, if you’re a large-scale publisher or an online video provider with enough exclusive content, SVOD is likely the best video monetization model for you.

Who Is It For?ProsCons
Large-Scale Publishers

Online Video and TV Streaming Providers
Reliable Source of Income

High Sustainability

Uninterrupted Viewer Experience

High Value-to-Cost Ratio
Requires Platform-Exclusive Content for User Retention

Requires Large Video Libraries to Warrant Using

TVOD: Transactional Video on Demand

TVOD or transactional video on demand is a pay-per-view system where users must purchase your content to watch it. Publishers can use this video monetization model to hide individual videos or entire series behind a paywall.

Although this way of monetizing your videos might sound pretty lucrative (and it is), it offers the worst user experience. That is why TVOD is best used in hybrid monetization models, i.e., as a supporting instead of a stand-alone model.

Don’t take this the wrong way — there is a suitable market for TVOD out there (just look at the iTunes or Google Play Store) — but the best way to use gated content is in conjunction with another, more affordable model.

Unless you are a digital store or a renowned creator with an already established audience, the best way to grow your brand with TVOD is by using it as a supplement to your free content. 

How can you do that? It’s quite simple. 

Grow your audience through a social video platform through free content, and later use that to sell your premium and exclusive videos.

You could also leverage TVOD to rent your content, but most people will likely find that even less appealing.

Although TVOD is not the ideal choice for building sustainability and ensuring a steady income, it is an excellent supplement to other video monetization models or even a stand-alone way to monetize videos for specific types of businesses.

Who Is It For?ProsCons
Digital Video Stores and Distributors

Established Creators and Brands With Existing Audiences
Excels at Monetizing Exclusive Content

Lucrative for Independent Publishers and Filmmakers

Excellent Addition to Hybrid Monetization Models
The Most Inaccessible Model for Wide Audiences

Not the Best Choice as a Solo Monetization Model

AVOD: Advertising Video on Demand

AVOD or advertising video on demand entails advertisers paying you for showing their ads to your viewers. This monetization model is the go-to choice for most publishers online, and for a good reason!

Out of all three entries on our list, monetizing your videos with ads is the easiest to set up and is the most versatile. That should make it unsurprising that most publishers and creators choose this way to monetize their videos. 

YouTube is the most famous user of the AVOD model, so most of you should already be familiar with how it works — users are served an ad before, during, or after watching a video. For each ad played, the creator earns revenue!

The most significant advantage of such a pay-per-view model is that it offers infinite scalability. However, its biggest strength is its greatest weakness — AVOD provides an interruptive user experience, which might deter some from consuming your content. 

Despite the above flaw, AVOD is still one of the most effective video monetization models available. That should be evident from the fact that digital video ad spend has been steadily growing for the last few years as more and more publishers are leveraging this monetization model to grow their businesses. Between 2018 and 2020, the amount advertisers spend on video ads has increased from $13.4 to $16.7 billion!

chart illustrating US digital video ad spend between 2018 and 2020
US digital video ad spend increased by more than $3 billion over the last two years.

This video monetization strategy has proven incredibly lucrative for large-scale publishers and mass media companies. Some of the world’s largest publishers like Forbes and CBS Sports have been using instream and outstream ads to scale their businesses for years now.

So although AVOD can prove a bit intrusive for users, it’s the best way for new publishers and content creators to enter the world of online video while still being a scalable and effective high-end monetization model.

Who Is It For?ProsCons
Large Online Video Publishers

Mass Media Companies and Outlets
Excellent Scalability

Easy to Get Started With

High Demand Among Advertisers

Provides Reliable and Stable Income
Interruptive User Experience

A Little Less Reliable than SVOD

Video Monetization Beyond YouTube

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to monetize online video content beyond YouTube. In today’s day and age, when so many people are looking for YouTube alternatives, there are many safer and more viable options on the market.

Publishers can now get better and more optimized video monetization services with other platforms or even try out different monetization models. But one challenge remains — choosing the best video monetization model for your business.

SVOD, TVOD, or AVOD — Which One’s Best for You?

The first thing you should ask yourself when deciding how to monetize video content is its role in your business. Are you looking to start a streaming website, or does your website use different types of video content to boost user experience? Do you already have an existing audience, or are you trying to grow a business from scratch? Do you think your audience would be willing to pay for your content or not?

Once you answer these questions, you can start weighing your options. Each of these models suits and fulfills different purposes, so there isn’t necessarily a single best one. But if you are wondering which one’s the most popular currently, we’d have to say it’s SVOD. As many as 44% of streaming services used this monetization model in 2020.

pie chart illustrating the viewership share of streaming services by the type of their monetization model
SVOD is by far the most popular video monetization model in the online streaming market.

However, do note that streaming platforms aren’t the only types of sites that can use video to generate revenue. As we’ve mentioned before, mass media sites and online news outlets often use video as a supporting content format and can monetize it for a significant profit. In such cases, SVOD falls short of AVOD since most users would be unwilling to pay for these services.

So always consider the type of website you have and your business goals before settling for one of these models!

SVOD Is Best When:TVOD Is Best When:AVOD Is Best When:
You have a large content library with plenty of exclusive content.

You want a sustainable and reliable revenue stream.
You use it in a hybrid monetization model.

You already have an established audience you know would pay premium prices for your content. 
You know most of your audience wouldn’t be willing to pay for your content.

You need a scalable monetization solution.

Video is a supporting content format on your site.

You want to start monetizing your videos before accruing a large audience or video library. 

Taking Video Monetization to the Next Level With a Premium AVOD Platform

Whether you wish to stick to a familiar video monetization model or have found that AVOD can fulfill your business needs best, there are many benefits to choosing a premium online video platform over YouTube.

Enterprise video platforms like Brid.TV have everything online publishers need to grow their businesses through the power of video. Aside from state-of-the-art security and privacy features, premium online video platforms take care of all publishers’ hosting, video encoding, and monetization needs.

Brid.TV lets publishers streamline their content management process through our handy video CMS and lets them set up video monetization in just a few clicks. But these quality-of-life improvements aren’t the primary reason publishers should opt for a video monetization platform over YouTube. You should choose a platform like Brid.TV because it can help you earn more!

We at Brid.TV offer various advanced monetization features that can help publishers increase their video ad revenue. Besides supporting all the latest video ad formats, publishers can enjoy everything that the programmatic video advertising technology has to offer, as well as other advanced features like ad pods and video header bidding.

If you wish to leverage video advertising to grow your business, stop hampering your growth by relying on YouTube to monetize your videos. Get in touch with us, and unlock the full potential of video monetization!