How to Start your Online TV Channel in 2021

When was the last time you watched cable or satellite TV? 

If it were a long time ago, then you are not alone. 

Traditional TV is on the decline. 

Table of Contents :

1. Why should you launch your Online TV Channel

2. How to start your Online TV Channel

The culprit? Online TV, among other things.

OTT video segment’s revenue is projected to reach 221 Billion USD by the end of 2025! And the number of users is expected to reach 2.9 Billion by 2025.

ott video revenue

Clearly, viewers are spending more time watching TV online. 

So, if you are a content creator, you should be looking at launching your online TV channel.  

If you want to start a brand new internet TV channel or move your existing TV channel online, it’s not as difficult as you think!

You DON’T need to hire a team of developers or outsource your online TV channel development to someone else.

With the help of OTT SaaS platforms, you can get-set-go in a ridiculously shorter time while reducing your overall costs for the launch. Yes, it is indeed that simple! 

So, let’s look at some actionable tips and strategies that can help you get kickstarted on the journey to create the next top online TV channel. 

Why Should you Launch your Online TV Channel?

Not convinced yet? 

latido music

Latido Music – built using one of our templates

Here are a few reasons why you should launch your online TV channel in 2021:

1. TV is Doomed, and OTT is the Future

Ask any millennial, Gen Z, and even a boomer, and they would agree that TV is on the decline. The concept of viewing traditional TV channels doesn’t appeal to most of us anymore.

The ease of having online TV channels in our pockets, combined with the flexibility of viewing content whenever and wherever is what appeals to most of us.

This is why most broadcasters are moving to OTT these days.

For consumers, OTT TV channels are definitely a winner!  

2. Launch and Maintain your Internet TV Channel at Lower Costs

You’d agree that creating and launching a traditional TV channel would take massive initial investment. 

You would need to pay for the license, uplinking and downlinking, content delivery, carriage fees, and the list goes on. This would easily amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars each month ( at the very minimum). And, not to mention the additional costs you would have to incur if you plan to go international!

Compare that to an online OTT TV channel. The costs for launching and scaling on OTT would seem like peanuts. None of the above-mentioned charges will come into play. OTT SaaS platforms such as Ventuno only charge a fixed monthly fee for the platform and a variable fee based on your usage. 

3. Connect with your Customers Better

There would be a massive gap between you and your viewers in the traditional TV channel setup. This would be because of all the middlemen involved. 

For example, in the case of a cable TV channel, your customer base would be mostly owned by the local cable TV operators. You wouldn’t have any information about your customer base.

Lack of information about your customer base would restrict you from personalizing your content based on their interests. Think how powerful personalization is in the case of Netflix! 

But, with an online TV channel, you can understand and connect with your audience much better. You’ll get in-depth statistics about your customer base. More data about your audience will help you promote your online TV channel well. 

Through an online TV channel, you’ll also have customers’ contact information such as email addresses so that you can send them newsletters. This will help you nurture your customer base and retain them for a long time.

Another great perk of connecting directly with your customer base is that you can directly get paid by your users by integrating a payment gateway with your online TV channel. You wouldn’t be dependent on middlemen to receive timely payments.

4. Personalize Content to Best Suit your Audience

We live in a world of information and media overload. In this chaos, personalized content is what stands out. 

Personalization is not possible in traditional TV channels. Thanks to OTT platforms, you can offer ultra-personalized content to your viewers, keeping them hooked to your channel.

For example, in platforms such as Netflix and YouTube, you would find the entire content explicitly personalized based on your interests. 

If you’d notice, these recommendations are usually based on your tastes, watch history, location, and even gender. Personalizing online TV content this way will keep your users coming back for more. 

OTT personalization

Image source

5. Have a Wider Reach

It goes without saying that with an internet TV channel, you can have a much broader reach. 

You can be present across all possible countries and devices. There are no additional costs to expanding your business outside your country. 

These days, people are consuming content on their mobile and smart-TV devices. You can launch native apps for all these platforms and be present where your users are!

6. Tons of Monetization Options

Lastly, monetization is one of the main advantages of going Over-The-Top (OTT). You get tons of monetization options such as monetization using ads, subscriptions, or pay-per-view.

You can even combine these 3 models and offer a hybrid option to your users. For example, you can have three sections on your website and apps – one for free content, one for subscription content, and one for rentals. 

How to Start your Online TV Channel?

Now that you are convinced about launching your online TV channel, let’s look at the steps to get you started with the process. So, roll up your sleeves and start taking notes!

1. Pick the Perfect Niche for your Online TV Channel

If you are starting a brand new online TV channel, then picking a niche is the first step, to begin with. Going niche means that you create content for a specific set of audiences. 

For example, instead of creating an online TV channel for people from all age groups, you can create a channel that is specific for kids. You can go even more niche by creating an online TV channel that caters to kids in the age group of 5 to 10 years.

joy joy world

Joy Joy world – built using one of our templates 

Instead of launching a generic movie streaming service that is dime a dozen, start a movie streaming service catering to a niche audience. Simply South is one such streaming service, built for Indians living abroad who don’t have many options.

Simply South Android

But, why should you pick a niche for your online TV channel? 

Picking a niche has many advantages:

  • You’ll have fewer or no competitors in that market.
  • Marketing to your specific niche audience will get you better returns.
  • You can have a better connection with your viewers.
  • You can increase your subscription rates.
  • You can easily rise to be the number one TV channel in your niche and thus dominate the market.

For instance, the PageantsLive internet channel is exclusively for streaming beauty pageants online. That’s a very specific niche to be in!

One of the major things to consider while picking your niche is market demand. 

Use your ninja research skills to dive deep into the market you are considering for your channel. With research, you can validate the niche you have picked. 

If you are clueless about where to begin, you can start by picking a niche that overlaps your passion, skills, and market demands.

2. Research Competitors in the Same Niche

Once you have picked your niche or already have a traditional TV channel, you should start by researching your competitors.

Your research should include both popular video streaming platforms as well as the newer niche internet TV channels. 

This step is important as this will give you a fair idea about the current state of the market, the latest trends. 

If you dig deep, you can also find gaps that exist in the market.

For researching your competitors, get their free trials or subscriptions, and analyze their content. Look at their top-performing content and its popularity. 

You should also look at the viewers’ comments, feedback, and reviews. Understand the kind of engagement they are receiving. 

This will give you a fair idea about what types and format of content will get you the most engagement for your online TV channel.

3. Choose a SaaS OTT Platform

The next step is to think about the platform for your online TV channel. You need a platform to launch, manage, and monetize your online TV channel. 

If you want to reduce the time-to-launch and the overhead costs, then you should go with a SaaS OTT platform.

What’s that, you ask? 

Think of it like WordPress for videos. Just like how you use WordPress templates to launch your blog, you can use the templates to quickly launch your streaming website and apps. 

Just like how you get an admin panel to manage your blog on WordPress, you get a dashboard to upload content, create your website and apps, monetize them, and view analytics. 

You don’t need to pay a huge upfront fee and can use these platforms by paying month-on-month. They are easier and cheaper to get started with compared to developing everything from scratch. 

Why pick a SaaS OTT platform?

  • Developing your streaming platform in-house will lead to increased costs. You’d have to hire an entire team of developers adept in different technologies and manage them. 
  • Outsourcing your platform development is not a great idea as you’ll again need to hire in-house developers for post-launch support for your online TV channel.

SaaS platforms like Ventuno already have most of the features you are looking for. You can customize ready-to-use templates and build your website and apps quickly. You get a complete platform for you to manage your entire operations – right from uploading, organizing, monetizing, and analyzing your content. 

You’ll be able to concentrate on creating top-notch quality content, marketing your channel, and nurturing your customers instead of getting caught up with the technicalities.

Next, how do you pick the best SaaS OTT platform for your online TV channel? 

To help you with that, here are a few features of an OTT platform that are a must-have:

  1. Robust CMS to upload videos and add the necessary metadata to them.
  2. Manage videos and playlists by organizing them based on different categories.
  3. Increase your online TV channel’s visibility by offering it on different devices and OTT mediums. For example, you may want to launch your channel in the following formats – website, Android app, iOS app, Android TV, Apple TV, Roku, Samsung TV, and similar more.
  4. Different monetization options for your videos through Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD), Transaction Video On Demand (TVOD), and Advertising-based Video on Demand (AVOD) options.
  5. Adding live TV and live events to your online TV channel.
  6. Manage ad campaigns and related metrics from the platform.
  7. View details about your subscribers and viewers.
  8. And view in-depth analytics about the performance of your internet TV channel.

In short, you shouldn’t simply pick a service provider who will develop the apps and website for you. Because post this, you’ll be on your own to manage all of the above things.

Instead, you should pick a platform that helps you manage everything from a central place with minimum possible maintenance and increased efficiency.

Ventuno is one such excellent OTT platform that helps you manage everything under one roof so that you can focus on the growth of the channel by increasing your reach. 

Using Ventuno, you can easily customize and monetize your online TV channel to fit your exact business needs. You’ll be able to launch your channel online and on multiple platforms within a shorter time.

4. Plan and Create Content

+Now that you have your niche and OTT platform ready, here comes the real meat – your content. 

You can either use your existing content, create new content for your online TV channel, or purchase content from content providers. Creating exclusive content for your online channel will help attract your existing audience to the online platform.

Based on your research, you can start producing high-quality content. Or, you can consider curating content from elsewhere. Either way, ensure that the content appeals to your target audience.

You should try to clarify the type and format of content you want to put up on your online TV channel. 

Do you want it to be long-form or short-form? Do you want your content to be free, paid, or a mix of both?

This step will be highly dependent on research. If you get stuck, feel free to go more in-depth with your research. 

Try to look at what your audience would be interested in. You can also conduct surveys and run test advertisements to get an even better idea of the types of content you should create. 

Try to hit the sweet spot between what is unique about your channel and what your audience is looking for. This will ensure maximum profitability and will also help you stand out.

5. Organize/ Manage Content

The ability to filter and sift through bucketloads of content is one of the main factors that makes OTT video streaming popular. 

It gives consumers the convenience of picking the content of their choice and watching it whenever they want.

This is why organizing your online TV channel content is super-important.  Here are a few things you should consider:

  • Think about the structure of your content. In which order would you want your viewers to watch your content?
  • Divide your content into categories and subcategories. Provide access to all these categories from your homepage.
  • You can group similar content together and put it up as a series.
  • You can also organize your content for free and paid.
  • Ensure that you put up your best, featured content on your homepage or landing page. 

Ventuno helps you manage all this. You can organize your content into different shows, playlists, categories, seasons, languages, and more.

Your online TV channel would be super-easy to customize and manage. With just a few clicks, you’ll be able to organize all your videos into playlists.

AIT

Africa Independent Television

6. Promote your Online TV Channel

No matter how good your internet TV channel is, you wouldn’t be able to monetize it well unless you promote it. 

The market research you did before will help you a lot with this step. You should start by identifying the platforms and channels where your target audience is more likely to hang out. 

For example, if you are targeting Gen Z viewers, then channels such as Instagram and Snapchat would work best.

Once you have identified such channels, you can start implementing various marketing strategies to prep up for your launch. You should aim to create maximum buzz for your online TV channel launch.

You can experiment with different marketing strategies such as social media advertising, print advertising, influencer marketing, and PR to gain followers even before the launch.

If you have an existing channel, you can specifically target your existing customers as they are more likely to convert.

You can market your big launch with teasers and trailers of your upcoming online TV channel content.

prime video

Prime Video 

 

7. Launch and Monetize your Online TV Channel

Finally, it’s time to launch your online TV channel. Apart from your website, you can also launch your mobile apps (iOS, Android), and OTT apps (Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Samsung TV, and LG TV)

Using Ventuno, you can easily manage the launch on all these platforms. 

You have three options for the launch: 

  • Use our default templates, import your logo, color, text, etc and launch quickly 
  • customize the templates according to your requirements
  • Ask us to implement your own design 

You would need our help for options 2 and 3 while you don’t need much of our help with the first option. 

Reach out to us and we can showcase the different templates that we have. You can then decide if you want to customize them or not. 

ventuno endpoints

At this point in time, you should plan how you want to monetize your online TV channel. You can aim at bringing in the big bucks by monetizing it using one of the following ways:

  1. SVOD – Where you charge a monthly subscription fee for your viewers to view your content. A perfect example of this would be Netflix.
  2. AVOD – Here, you can set up video ads or banner ads on the videos of your choice. So, when viewers see the ads, you get paid. YouTube ad monetization is the best example of AVOD.
  3. TVOD – Here, you charge the viewers on a pay-per-view basis. An example of this would be the movies on YouTube that can be purchased for a one-time price.

8. Use Analytics to Gain In-Depth Insights and Exponentially Grow your Online TV Channel

Fortunately, we live in a data-driven world where analytics and data help us to make more informed decisions. 

When you use a SaaS OTT platform like Ventuno, you’ll stay on top of your game with the kind of analytics you’d be feeding on.

You can view in-depth analytics to understand the video views, revenue, users, devices, location, completion rate, and more. 

Through these insights into your weekly/monthly stats and data on viewership, you’ll be able to grow your online TV channel month after month. 

ventuno analytics

You can essentially gain analytics about your top-performing pieces of content and those that are not resonating well with your viewers. You can get a more refined view of your target audience and their demographics.

You can use these analytics to find the right people to target and market your web channel. And, you can also use these analytics to create more engaging and targeted content for your viewers.

Conclusion 

There you have it! 

A step-by-step guide to getting you started on the path to creating a winning online TV channel!

Launching a TV channel on the internet cannot get any simpler. 

All you need is a niche, excellent research skills, and an easy-to-use OTT platform. You can create content, launch your channel, and start monetizing it within a short time.

 

 

Start your online OTT channel with Ventuno

    

Anusha Sriram

Made with in Chennai

Anusha Sriram