If I ask you when was the last time you watched a video, it has to be today. Tell me if I’m wrong.
The consumption of digital videos has dramatically increased, thanks to the pandemic. With people being forced to stay home, they have no other option but to find entertainment online.
In 2019, people were spending almost 84 minutes per day watching videos online. The number is expected to grow 100 minutes per day in 2021.
So, is this the right time to sell videos online?
Oh, there hasn’t been a better time than this.
Today, consumers prefer video content that they can choose and stream on-demand instead of watching it on cable TV. OTT video subscription platforms like Netflix, HBO Max, and YouTube are quite popular among consumers ( and those platforms are valued in billions).
The SVOD market is growing, and this is your cue to launch your video subscription business.
In this guide, I’ll show you how to start a video subscription service from scratch and use it to generate revenue from your video content.
Table of Contents:
A video subscription service, also known as SVOD, is a business model where viewers pay to watch premium videos.
SVOD — short for “subscription video on demand” — service provides unlimited access to the video content on the platform. Users pay for a subscription that can range from monthly to annually.
Remember, Netflix? It works on the same subscription model.
You pay a certain subscription fee to watch any of the shows from the large collection of videos at your convenience.
So far, it has worked in their favor, and they are earning revenues in billions every year!
The SVOD market has an expected growth rate of 4.1% in the next few years. Consumers today are willing to pay to watch premium content online.
It’s evident from the fact that Netflix has around 200 million subscribers, and they are currently worth $230 billion.
Here are the 4 benefits of starting a video subscription business:
1. Make money
In recent years, the popularity of video on demand has reached an all-time high.
Yes, there’s a wide availability of free content. Despite that, users are willing to pay to watch videos online. Why?
For starters, paid videos are deemed more trustworthy, valuable, and of high quality.
Now, there are a few general types of content that work best for SVOD.
Online Education and e-Learning
With remote learning becoming the norm, tutors and professors create content and make it available on their video-on-demand platform.
MasterClass teaches many different skills from famous personalities with new classes added every month. People are teaching and receiving information in a completely new manner.
No doubt, we are all too keen to watch films and television series on SVOD entertainment platforms.
But you can use your SVOD platform for much broader content. Since the pandemic, people have been maintaining social distancing. This has led them to attend music fests or sports events virtually.
People are streaming open mic nights, concerts, and more on their smart TVs. Many platforms such as Hotstar and Hulu are offering live streaming along with VOD content.
Since the Coronavirus outbreak, there has been a massive lifestyle change. People are becoming more health-conscious and consuming a lot of workout videos.
Personal trainers, fitness influencers, and gyms can create workout videos that viewers can do from the comfort of their homes.
One good example is YogaWorks At Home.
2. Grow Loyal Customer Base
You can grow a loyal customer base if you continue to provide relevant and quality content to your audience.
This loyal fan base does not hesitate to refer your platform to their friends, family members, and colleagues.
Simply said, it can help expand the viewership of an event from a few hundred to thousands.
It helps reach audiences on an unprecedented scale interested in paying a fee to get access to your premium videos.
3. Have Direct Access to Your User Data
The best part of an SVOD platform is that you can collect data about your viewers and convert those data into insights.
For instance, you can have a complete report on average watch times, most-watched videos, user location, etc.
This information helps you better strategize your marketing efforts. You can look into the type of content most liked by your viewers and create more of such engaging videos. This ultimately leads to increased revenue and maximum ROI.
4. Better Control of Your Business
When you upload your videos on third-party platforms like YouTube, it can be challenging to yield a profit.
They use a video monetization scheme called AVOD (or advertising video on demand). Users can access your content for free but have to spend time watching ads.
The more the views, the more advertisers pay.
But here’s the main twist. YouTube takes a major chunk of your ad revenue (usually 45%). While it’s true that many independent creators have gained popularity through YouTube, it isn’t the only way around.
With the increasing number of video streaming platforms, you can now choose where to sell your videos.
Do you want to upload your content on third-party applications like YouTube or create your own video subscription website?
The choice is yours.
Earlier, the video content was primarily focused on short cute dog clips or skateboarding action. But it all came with a short life span and was monetized only with ads.
But today, SVOD platforms are growing — they are estimated to grow to $156.9 billion by 2024. Almost one in every two households is streaming premium content on their smart TVs, mobile phones, or laptops.
Netflix is one of the most popular SVOD services in the world. But there are many more such examples.
To sell videos online in any industry, you can use the SVOD model to enjoy the perks of a profitable online video business.
Let’s look at some of the examples.
Simply South is a successful SVOD service that provides specialized offerings only for South Indian viewers. It is the most prominent South Indian Movie & Entertainment Platform online that caters to a huge subscriber base from South India in the US, UK, US, UAE, and Malaysia.
It has a library base comprising over 2000 movies in Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalam. Moreover, you can watch movies in 1080p HD with English subtitles on various devices — Roku, TV, Android and iOS devices, and more.
Established in 2012, Peloton is a good example of a video subscription services business in the fitness niche.
With over 5 million subscribers worldwide, it has established a name for itself. Alongside selling exercise equipment, Peloton now also provides stationary bike spinning classes online.
Viewers can access the service for $12.99 per month and browse through thousands of classes — with or without equipment — on their phones, tablets, TVs, and the web.
Peloton offers a 90-day free trial to its new users instead of 14 or 30 days, which is the usual free trial period.
CuriosityStream offers an on-demand video streaming service for content related to space, history, science, and nature.
This video subscription website was launched in 2015 and stores thousands of documentaries, including some of the award-winning docuseries. It has educational content for both adults and students ranging from K-12 to higher secondary.
The subscription cost for CuriosityStream HD is $2.99 a month and $11.99 a year.
Up Faith & Family is another excellent video streaming service that offers ad-free content. It purely offers faith-friendly entertainment. You can access exclusive series and movies and past seasons of UPtv original hits — available only on UP Faith & Family.
It has a library of over 1,000 uplifting family movies, music specials, Christain movies, and more. The best part is that they regularly update their content on a weekly basis. You can subscribe to their SVOD service at the cost of $5.99 a month and can access it on smartphones, TVs, and tablets.
So if you are still wondering if people will pay to watch videos online, the answer is yes. Many businesses and independent creators are learning how to sell streaming videos online by distributing their content through a video subscription platform or OTT (over-the-top) platform.
Truth be told, creating and selling videos online is easier than ever before.
Wouldn’t you want to grab that market opportunity? Follow these steps to launch your video subscription service and start generating revenue.
i. Pick Your Niche
Catering to as many viewers as possible sounds amazing on the surface. But you end up competing with many pre-established video creators or companies — those who have already created a name for themselves.
You’ll have a hard time standing out among a sea of similar video content creators.
So, how do you survive in a big market?
You simply need to find a niche market to target. See how SimplySouth targets South Indians who have settled outside India. They get access to all the latest movie releases in India at the comfort of their home.
Or, how Joy Joy World has created content targeting certain ages of children. This might limit you to a specific section of viewers. But that specificity will lead to your success as it will help attract the right customers.
You can further create a dedicated community for your SVOD service business.
All in all, choosing the right niche market elevates your chance of earning recognition as a unique brand — thereby improving your marketing ROI.
ii. Understand Your Target Audience
Creating videos is a great way to capture your audience’s attention.
In fact, it is scientifically proven that the brain processes visuals more quickly than text.
But the trick here is: unless your video resonates with your specific audience, it is of no value to you. That’s why you need to understand your audience first so that all your videos are created keeping that audience in mind.
The intended audience impacts several elements of video creation.
You need to ask yourself the following questions about your audience:
Have I defined your core audience profile? (If not, that’s the first thing you should do now)
What are my target audience’s interests?
What are my target audience’s pain points?
Once you have all the answers, you will easily be able to identify the following elements that will help you craft your video well.
• The tone and style of the video
• Having a clear message
• Determining where to distribute your videos
iii. Plan and Produce Your Video Content
The next step is to decide what type of content you will create and how you are going to create it.
Understanding your target audience’s interest will help you define your content plan. The idea is to create content that will help inform, engage, and entertain the people in your niche.
It could be short-form or long-form videos. Similarly, you can create one-off episodes like documentaries or have a full-fledged series.
It’s equally important to decide the timeline of your content. Will you deliver new videos daily, weekly, or monthly?
Consistency is the key. Regularly update your library so that even your old subscribers are enticed to renew their subscription after it expires.
There is not just one right way to produce your content. You will have full control of your business — so feel free to experiment and see what engages your audiences more.
iv. Create Your Video Subscription Website and App
Generally, there are two ways to go about it.
Option 1: Build Your Own Website
You could always choose to hire developers and build the website and OTT app yourself.
But you will need a good amount of time, money, and expertise in website/app development.
That’s not it. Even if you have the money and decide to build the apps in-house, it requires a great deal of care.
You will need a whole team of front-end and back-end developers, product managers, Android developers, Smart TV developers, and few more other roles to fill. So that they can maintain your app and keep adding new features.
Option 2: Leveraging a SaaS Video Streaming Platform
To start a video subscription service, you need a reliable platform.
Hiring a developer and building the streaming website or app in-house takes serious money and time. However, this challenge can be easily overcome by choosing a SaaS platform provider like Ventuno that can get you started with a video streaming website immediately.
With Ventuno, you can instantly launch your streaming website, mobile apps (Android, iOS), and OTT apps (Roku, Apple TV, FireTV, Android TV, and Samsung TV).
The platform should offer all the features that you are looking for, provide great support, and, most importantly, is inexpensive.
This way, you can focus on creating content rather than worrying about website/app development.
While choosing how to create your video streaming website, you also need to consider pricing. The two main types of costs include development and maintenance costs.
In the case of in-house hiring, the development cost can be costly. You would need to reserve a considerable amount of money just to pay salaries to your developers, product managers, and others.
Of course, you can decide to outsource it. But again, it’s going to cost you anywhere between $15000 to $100,000.
Besides, maintenance can be a costly affair. You will need a team of at least five testers and developers to remove bugs and keep it running smoothly.
In case of using a SaaS platform —
Development cost is comparatively low. You only have to pay a certain fee to subscribe to their service, whether monthly, quarterly or annually.
Most SaaS platforms like Ventuno don’t even charge a setup fee for launching your video subscription platform or OTT apps.
This subscription fee can range from $500 per month to $5000 per month, depending on your business needs.
At the same time, you won’t need a separate team of developers to maintain your website. Instead, you can operate your website right from a single dashboard.
v. Optimize Website and Apps for Maximum Profitability
Once you have created your video streaming website and apps, you need to optimize the website by organizing the playlists, shows, menus, and categories.
You need a powerful CMS ( Content Management System ) where you can maintain control of all your content. This is where you upload your videos and organize your content into different playlists, shows, and categories.
Some of the things you can do with Ventuno’s all-inclusive platform:
• Easily upload your content and metadata from MRSS feeds or your computer
• Complete flexibility on watermark placement (in text or image format) in the video
• Select an auto-generated thumbnail for your video or import one
• Deliver video in in multiple bit-rates (240p, 360p, 720p, 1080p, 4K) for superior experience
Apart from that, you also need to have your website copy optimized for SEO purposes and keep your content sorted.
Your subscribers can benefit from your organized content library. If they get frustrated with discovery, it might lead to churn. That’s the last thing you need when you are trying to figure out how to sell videos online.
For starters, you can categorize them and add tags so that they can be easily searchable through relevant keywords.
vi. Launch Your Video Subscription Service
If you want to sell content online, you need to finally launch your video subscription service.
Before the launch, you should try to create a buzz to get the initial user base excited or curious about your launch day.
Remember, this first set of users will help you identify any gap between your content and their interest and, eventually, optimize for a larger audience.
vii. Promote Your Video Subscription Service
After the launch, you need to get your content seen by your audience.
When promoting your content and brand, social media can be a great place to start. Create your brand presence on various social media platforms and keep your followers engaged. It helps with free publicity.
Another way to market your SVOD service is by running paid ads on Google, Facebook, and Instagram. These platforms provide data about your audience to understand their likes and create content around those topics.
You can even use newsletters to target your subscribers and followers. You can send them updates about the launch and your new or most popular shows on your platform.
viii. Analyze and Improve Your Video Subscription Service
If you want to deliver on your goal, you need to constantly improve your video performance and attract subscribers.
But how do you know what your subscribers really want?
With a reliable video selling platform, you can collect and analyze data to make strategic decisions to improve video performance.
With a platform like Ventuno, you can get a complete overview of your entire video business in your dashboard. It provides video creators like you with many crucial metrics to maximize profitability.
Some of these metrics include video engagement, revenue, purchases, users, watch time, and much more.
• What is a video subscription service?
Subscription video on demand (SVOD) is a service where users get unlimited access to a wide range of programs for a certain recurring fee. The users get full control over the subscriptions and can pause, fast forward, rewind, and stop the show as preferred.
• How do I create a video subscription service?
Simply follow these steps:
1. Find a niche
2. Understand your target audience
i. Plan and produce your video content
1. Choose a hosting platform for your website & app
2. Optimize website and apps for maximum profitability
3. Launch your video subscription service
ii. Promote your video subscription service
iii. Analyze and improve your video subscription service
• How to sell educational videos online?
How to sell videos online
1. Identify your niche
2. Leverage Ventuno to build your video streaming platform
3. Plan and build a video content library
4. Set a price for a subscription business plan
5. Launch your business.
• How do I charge viewers to watch my video online?
Monetize your videos in all possible ways.
AVOD: Sell ads, such as video commercials, display banners, sponsored content, and more, on both your live and VOD content.
SVOD: Give your subscribers unlimited access to a wide range of programs for a certain recurring fee amount.
TVOD: Sell or rent video content to your audience for a one-time fee.
While large streaming services like Netflix may dominate the market, there is still a lot of scope for independent video content creators.
With the ever-rising demand for video content, you don’t want to be left behind.
To successfully launch your SVOD service, you must develop a strong brand presence. Start with building an attractive website and market it to the right set of your audience.
I’ll repeat it…this is the perfect time to start your video subscription service and generate revenue.
What are your thoughts on this article? or reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to discuss!
Looking to launch your streaming service?