Video Monetization Strategies: Methods for Generating Revenue from Online Audiences | Hacker Noon

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The online video industry has become popular in the past years with many businesses offering a variety of video services on various niches in streaming media. Due to the high potential of the industry in both business and revenue perspective, many organizations are investing in the streaming market. If your business is looking to use on demand or live video content as a primary revenue streaming, knowing how to monetize videos is important. 

A strategic monetization strategy represents lucrative opportunities for today’s independent broadcasters of video services. With traditional satellite networks pushing their own subscription plans and new video streaming services emerging every year, it can feel tough for new businesses to compete and survive in the industry. However, with the right monetization techniques and tools, anyone who creates and hosts videos can generate impressive results and generate more revenue even with a smaller audience.

What is Video Monetization?

Video monetization involves getting paid for granting access to your audience to watch your video content. It involves either your subscribers paying you to watch your videos or sponsors paying to advertise their content in your streaming platform. Even with a plethora of video streaming services available online, audiences would be still willing to pay a premium to access specialized content when marketed the right way. If your audience truly believes that your on demand videos can make their lives better, they will not hesitate to pay for access. 

With that said, let’s talk about different video monetization models. 

Common Online Video Monetization 

If you are looking for ways on how to monetize your video content, there are numerous formats by which you can monetize your videos. Some of the most common revenue generation models are subscription on demand (SVOD), advertisement video on demand (AVOD), and transaction video on demand (TVOD). Each monetization strategy comes with its own advantages and disadvantages depending on the life cycle and revenue goals of your business. 

Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD)

SVOD is one of the commonly used monetization strategies where users pay a recurring fee that is paid either monthly, quarterly or manually to access your video library. Your audience reaps benefits from complete access to a wide variety of content and it is beneficial for your business as well considering the recurring revenue generated. Researches show that over one-third of streaming services use subscriptions as their primary source of monetization. 

Advantages of SVOD

The popularity of subscription streaming services is quickly gaining momentum with over 74% of US homes having at least one subscription like Netflix, Disney +, Amazon Prime, HBO Now, or Hulu. 

Studies show that SVOD is associated with high revenue, too. The ability to access the entire video library for an affordable price than traditional TV networks along with the convenience of viewing content whenever they want is also very convenient and enticing for the audience. SVOD particularly suits video streaming services that feature a wide range of popular content like entertainment, TV shows, originals, movies, and other programs that are powerful enough to entertain your audience in the long term.

Advertising Video on Demand (AVOD)

AVOD is another best way to monetize videos where you offer the content to your audience for free as your operations are supported by third-party ads from sponsors used before, during, or after your videos. Audience size is one of the major factors that determine the probability of your AVOD service. 

The higher number of users you have, the more revenue you can generate from the advertisements you run on your video platform. But, even a small audience can still be profitable if yours is a niche following and can bag in more dollars for your advertising space. 

Advantages of AVOD

AVOD offers a powerful benefit for streaming services as it allows users to access the content library for free and sign up for the services easily. Sponsors will be able to serve your audience with highly personalized and targeted advertisements. This model suits video monetization platforms that have a huge audience base and an impressive number of views.

Transactional Video on Demand (TVOD)

TVOD is the online video monetization model where each piece of content that users want to access or download comes with a price. This business model is all about paying for what you watch. Pay per view is also the format used for live stream monetization. iTunes, YouTube Movies, and Google Movies are some of the popular TVOD services. The business model works just like a DVD store where users pay for the particular DVD they want to rent or buy. Your audience can either buy the video they want to watch or rent it to watch until the rental period expires. 

Advantages of TVOD

TVOD monetization works great when you have unique content to offer to your viewers. It works well when combined with other business models like SVOD if you offer seasonal content to your users. That is why most businesses don’t use it as a primary business model. 

Hybrid Video Monetization

In the competitive streaming space, video streaming businesses cannot rely on a single video monetization model, especially if they want to capture the attention of a diverse audience base. Using a hybrid business model that combines two or more businesses would be the best bet. A strategic combination of SVOD, AVOD, and TVOD business models can help you make a significant amount of revenue.

YouTube is an example of a hybrid VOD service that uses AVOD, TVOD, and SVOD business models all in one. 

While the video streaming giant primarily works on AVOD, it also offers movie rentals on a pay-per-view model, and a premium version which is a subscription model that combines the benefit of monthly subscriptions. 

Advantages of Hybrid Video Monetization

If you have a diverse user base who wants different types of content, hybrid video monetization would suit you the best. By offering more than a single monetization model, you can suit the requirements of users with varied interests and make more money at the same.

Best Strategies to Improve Video Monetization

If you are looking for how to make money streaming online, you need to follow some of the best practices to increase your content viewership and engagement. Getting viewers to pay for your video content requires strategic tactics. Video monetization model success requires the right strategies combined with careful planning. Here are some of the effective tips to improve your monetization efforts. 

Offer Exclusive Content

When you offer content to your audience based on any niche, make sure you offer unique and valuable content that holds the power to captivate your users. Short-form video content can be fun and entertaining and would appeal to users who follow busy schedules. Likewise, long-form content works great in certain situations. Use your content wisely and it would help to generate more revenue.

Avoid Intrusive Monetization Strategies

Your monetization strategy must be integrated into your content. Never ask your users to pay in between watching videos. Place the monetization form at the right places so that they won’t find it intrusive. 

Explore Creative Ways to Make Money

Instead of following a single online video monetization model, explore other creative ways to make money. You can experiment with a freemium model or ask your viewers to pay for full access to unlimited content or reach out to advertisers to sponsor your content.

Provide a Variety of Content

Whether you are relying on ads, charging for a subscription, or offering a pay-per-view model as your video monetization strategy, you must ensure that you have a rich content library. Viewers love binge-watching so your video platform must be updated with fresh content periodically. 

If you choose to monetize via subscription

If you are offering subscription packages to your viewers, make sure you provide flexible pricing and choose a secure payment service provider. 

If you are allowing ads

If you are allowing running advertisements on your video platform, allow ads that play for 5 seconds and that can be skipped. Many viewers when interrupted with a 15-30 second ads that are non-skippable, there are chances that they will never make it to your real content. 

Which is the best way to monetize videos?

When deciding how to monetize video content, it is important to know your audience, your brand message, and general objectives. Each monetization model comes with its own advantages and disadvantages which we have already discussed. Certain types of content require a specific monetization model. For example, live streaming goes well with transactional VOD where viewers can purchase a ticket for an online event. 

When using advertisements in your videos, you must be really careful as it can be frustrating for most users. However, if your content is entertaining and the ads you integrate in your videos align with the type of content you host, they wouldn’t mind watching it. If you have ongoing content to stream, that would engage and entertain your users for a long period, choosing a subscription model can prove to reap great results. The tip is to choose the video monetization platform that aligns with your business needs and goals. 


Choosing the right video monetization model for your streaming business can be quite challenging. However, you can achieve great success by following a well-planned approach in choosing money-making techniques. As there is no one-size-fits-all monetization strategy, you must customize the revenue generation techniques according to your business requirements and objectives.


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