With Covid bringing our lives to a near standstill, many of us took to the internet in various ways. We connected with our loved ones over video and voice calls, we watched (rather binged) video content. Tons of people started their own YouTube channels and we discussed everything under the sun – recipes, Zumba lessons, learning a new skill, getting a certification etc, and by doing so, video content creators created an income source via live stream monetization.
Did you know the youth literally stopped watching TV on the traditional television set? In fact, they preferred to watch it on their devices. Live streaming of webinars, television content, classes and whatnot; online viewing increased tremendously ever since the entire world literally went on a total lockdown. This has also opened doors for an alternate career for so many of them, all around the world? Let us find out why you must and how do you make money live streaming and why should you do it? Let’s probe in.
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Video monetization is zooming in terms of growth for content broadcasters and brands. It was also seen that viewership on Hulu and Netflix went up by 66%. This offers all those with a video library to monetize their content and create consistent sources of income. From ad-backed content, subscriptions, pay-per-view and on-demand services, monetization is the new standard of profitable media delivery and consumption.
Content creators – be it individuals or live TV channels can generate revenue from videos in several different ways. You can generate income from your video content based on how unique it is, what value it offers your viewers.
Now that you know why you must monetize your live streams let’s jump on to the how – how do you make money live streaming – Here are 5 ways to monetize your live stream content:
1. Running ads during a live stream
2. Transactions/Pay per view
3. Social media platforms – Facebook & YouTube
• Running ads during live stream
We all have watched YouTube videos and of late, we see the free version has too many ads at different junctures of the video – at the beginning of the video, in the middle of the video and at the end. There are banner ads as well – that you might have seen at the bottom of the video. Ads playing on recorded videos are skippable at most times. But when you take the case of live television streaming or live video streaming, the ads that play are not skippable, something like your TV channel and ad breaks.
Ads have always been a revenue source for content and you can also extrapolate this to live video streaming. When you add smaller-length ads to your live stream, it gives the viewer a feeling of watching traditional TV. It has been found that ads that play in the middle of a live stream are effective – viewers tend to watch ads appearing in the middle of the stream at least 90% of the time.
You might need to fulfill some basic requirements to participate in such programs, and you might not have access to the total revenue if you host your content on a platform like YouTube. When it comes to YouTube, they bring in the ads when using their platform to stream. However, this problem is addressed when you choose to host your content on SaaS platforms such as Ventuno, your earnings are entirely yours, and there is no deduction at source.
• Transactions/Pay per view
Remember Google Play Movies – you paid for “renting” a movie and watched it on your device – this is the pay-per-view model. Now when we apply this to live streaming and live stream monetization, you could consider selling “entry tickets” to your stream and this is the pay per view live streaming model which is also referred to as a transaction model of monetization. People who have purchased the ticket can view your content. It creates a sense of exclusivity among your audience. One of the most striking features of this model is that it can be quite lucrative.
This model also removes the dependency on advertising. Ads surely do provide the residual income but they necessitate a massive number of clicks in order to generate a decent amount of money. When you run random ads, viewers tend to get distracted and they might be put off by the number of ads and the type of ads being shown.
By adding in a paywall, you are keeping the content exclusive and also generating revenue from it. Unfortunately, some of the popular video platforms do not have an option of including a paywall, thus making it impossible to generate revenue. SaaS platforms like Ventuno provide creators with an option to add a paywall for their video content – be it live streaming or VOD content – thus enabling revenue generation via pay per view live streaming model or otherwise.
• Social Media Platforms – Facebook & YouTube
One of the more popular live video streaming platforms is Facebook Live. It allows users to broadcast a live video to their friends and followers through your personal profile or official page. Earlier, this feature was a popular means of keeping your audience engaged, give them some content of value and then give the audience a link to click (CTA). Here’s how Facebook offers content creators the option of live stream monetization.
With the feature called “Stars,” Facebook Live video viewers have the option of economically supporting their favorite content creators, that too in real time.
• Stars allow creators to monetize their video content.
• Viewers can buy Stars and send them during the live session via the comment section to show support and so that their comment stands out.
• For every Star received, the video creator gets paid 1 cent.
• This is a revenue-sharing model so once again not a lucrative mode of revenue.
YouTube Memberships allow financial aid to YouTube content creators thereby helping them make videos as a full-time profession. In addition to this, channel members get access to live streams, exclusive content apart from exclusive emojis during live chats. These channel memberships cost the subscriber about $4.99-a-month. While streaming live on YouTube, the Super Chat feature lets you receive ‘tips’ from your viewers as and when they want to contribute. So that is one additional way of monetizing on YouTube while streaming live.
While these social media platforms are great ways to stream live, the revenue coming out of it is pretty bad, it makes sense to earn more with a SaaS platform that will not eat into your earnings.
• Earn through Subscriptions
Think Netflix, and you are reminded of the monthly recurring subscription or a yearly subscription. Now extrapolate this to live streaming events as well. You could have recurrent concerts or online lessons which you could stream live for a dedicated audience (Coursera or SkillShare). This is a sure-shot method of earning with your unique content. People do not shy away from paying for genuine stuff – all you need to do is focus on creating engaging content for your audience. You could also think about repurposing this live streamed content for the future thereby setting up a passive income source too by packaging it as a separate course or by selling it under the VOD category via PPV.
One way of live stream monetization especially if you are looking to give away free content (but you also would like to earn out of it), you could look at sponsorships. You could approach brands that align with your content and ask them to sponsor your videos. You could gain more traction as well as get paid for it while giving the content for free. This could be contractual or one-time, depending on the type of brands you associate with. If your channel has a huge number of subscribers/viewers, you could work out a bigger sponsorship deal but if you are a smaller influencer, it might not be so lucrative for you.
You can approach brands that you love, that align with your niche audience, directly or via websites such as YouTubeConnect, Grapevine that you can sign up to and gain access to a variety of brands to get sponsorship from.
Now that we’ve listed 5 top ways to monetize your live stream content and you know the background to the question – how do you make money live streaming – we can conclude that there is no one option that we can call the most lucrative – out of the 5 we discussed, pay per view live streaming offers a good chance at generating good revenue. But what if you can implement more than one mode of revenue generation. Now that brings us to the question, how do we do this?
What you need to do is look for SaaS platform providers that offer the opportunity of implementing multiple modes of monetization. And you just have to create niche content that keeps your audience hooked to you and your channel. Platforms such as Ventuno act as that bridge that can help you showcase your content to your niche audience and monetize it effectively. There are several features such as built-in marketing tools, in-depth analytics, and monetization tools that you might not find on any other platform. Get in touch with us today and skyrocket in the video creation space!
What are your thoughts on this article? reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to discuss!
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