As society navigates through remote learning and online entertainment, this is the best time to sell videos online. The popularity of on-demand videos has reached an all-time high. Although free content is widely available, users are willing to pay for high-quality content. Paid videos are seeing an upsurge as they are found to be more valuable and trustworthy.
This trend of selling videos has become a valuable practice for different types of video content. They include tutorials, online courses, workout classes, and workshops, across many industries.
What is pay-per-view?
Also called Transactional VOD or the rental model, PPV is a way to monetize videos where your viewers pay for what they watch.
Paid sports events (WWE, UFC, boxing), live adventure shows, adult entertainment films are all examples of pay-per-view streaming.
For instance, if your customer decides to watch a live football match on your website, they can pay for it and have access to it for a certain period of time. Once the time ends, their access to the content expires.
The history of pay-per-view streaming
Interestingly, PPV is not a new concept. It came into existence way back in 1948 when the first-ever PPV stream service was made available for the controversial Joe Louis and Jersey Joe Walcott boxing match.
Several decades later, PPV cable channels entered the arena. As the internet evolved, PPV moved to digital platforms and became available to online content creators.
Why is PPV a good video monetization model?
Pay-per-view streaming has helped content creators ranging from entrepreneurs, experts, and trainers from all industries to monetize their content. The benefits of PPV streaming include:
1. Simpler revenue model
You are in control of how much you want to charge your customers per video. For example, if you plan to earn $3,000 from a single PPV video, you know you need to attract 100 viewers and price the video at $30 to reach that amount.
If you manage to attract more customers, that’s more revenue for your business. Moreover, the viewers pay directly to your business. There are no third-parties involved, which means no commission cuts.
2. Better customer predictability
It is easier to determine what customers want in the pay-per-view model. A live streaming sports event, for instance, will have a higher demand than then a previously-released episode. The pay-per-view online streaming of videos helps you to determine the most revenue-generating content. Remember, PPV is not a subscription model, and each broadcast is a source of revenue.
3. Lower bandwidth costs
With PPV, people stream what they pay for. This is different from SVOD where people can watch hundreds of videos after paying their monthly fees.
As people pay for each video, your costs are better controlled. You no longer have to worry about that superuser who streams 14 hours a day at 1080p.
4. Higher ROI
Choosing the right monetization model is not an easy task while deciding how to sell your videos online.
There are 3 ways to monetize your videos – ads, subscriptions, and pay per view.
Ads are a good way to monetize your video streaming services. However, for that to fetch results, you require a massive viewer-base. You also don’t have much control over the bandwidth costs as free content can be viewed by millions of people.
SVOD is a great business model but you still need to plan for users who consume thousands of hours of content in a month.
On the other hand, with PPV, users watch what they pay for. Rarely would a user stream the same movie 10 times. You will have better clarity on the costs and your ROI will be higher.
Each of the three revenue models has its pros and cons. A multi-tiered or a hybrid revenue model can help you generate an additional revenue stream. In essence, by giving the consumer the freedom to choose the package, you can tap into a wider audience to maximize your revenue.
Tips for succeeding with pay-per-view streaming model
Here is how you can succeed with the pay-per-view streaming of online videos.
1. Price it right
How much you charge for your video depends on several factors such as expected demand, length of the video, and operating expenses. Even though higher prices mean lower sales and higher pre-sale revenues, they lead to lower bottom revenues.
Therefore, in the beginning, consider opting for low pricing. You will be able to acquire more customers in a shorter period. However, in the long run, fix a rate that strikes the right balance between being paid adequately for each sale and attracting customers.
2. Offer pre-orders
Offer your target customers a discount for renting a yet-to-be-released movie, a month or more in advance. Also, bundle merchandise and other perks to attract more viewers. You can advertise the event and generate immediate revenues.
3. Offer varied streaming options
For live streaming video, specifically, pay-per-view offers the best way to monetize the event. However, there are many things you can do after it’s over.
For example, make the recording available on-demand so that those who missed it can still pay and watch it at their convenience.
The specific content could include behind-the-scenes, exclusive interviews, post-event commentary (standard in sports) – depending on the production.
Suppose you are flexible about the options you offer. In that case, you will attract more customers and generate more revenue in the long run.
4. Offer bundles
Have a series of videos that can be sold together? Great. Bundle them together and sell them together for a one-time fee.
This works well for videos that are related to each other. Eg: TV shows, movie sequels
Examples of websites that have implemented PPV
YouTube launched its premium on-demand video service almost a decade ago, charging users as little as $2. Although the price differs per movie, they leverage the large customer base (billions of users), which will ultimately fetch them higher revenues. Once you rent a movie on YouTube, you have 30 days to watch it, and you can do so multiple times.
A Japanese-owned service, SKY PerfecTV! allows viewers to receive one-click PPV access to hundreds of channels offering movies, global sporting events, and specialty programming.
One of the largest South Indian entertainment platforms comprises 2000+ movies in Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam, and Tamil. SimplySouth caters to a massive customer base from South India in the UK, UAE, Malaysia, and the US.
Besides purchasing subscriptions, you can also rent a movie if you don’t like to subscribe for the month or year. It is available on iOS and Android devices and Roku, among other OTT platforms.
4. Sky Pacific
The Fiji-based pay-per-view TV service company Sky Pacific was launched in 2005 with 25 channels. The company gradually expanded into Cook Islands, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands, among other places in the Pacific Islands.
Over to you
With Coronavirus disrupting the theatre marketplace, many movie studios are looking to tap into online movie renting and pay-per-view streaming.
With such global and reputed production houses moving to PPV, it shows that the pay-per-view streaming model is here to stay. With everyone home-bound, there is potential for your business to profit from it. Your success depends on the content value you offer to your customers.