There couldn’t be a better time to start your membership website! Of course, you already know this and that’s probably the reason why you’re looking for membership site ideas to start with!
Great! Because when it comes to membership website ideas, the options are endless. That’s both a good thing and a bad thing because you literally would have to surf through options the entire day.
In order to make things easy (and to save you some time), we’ve done the hard work ourselves! This read is all about the best membership site ideas (along with a few membership website examples) you should go for in 2021. But before we start discussing that, let’s take a quick look at the basics like we always do.
What Is a Membership Site?
A membership site is a website where you’d be offering your users private/exclusive content for a reasonable price. The payments are carried out on a monthly or an annual basis depending on your pricing model. Interested users can simply signup for your service, pay the amount upfront, and start enjoying your services.
All you need is a good membership site idea and a foundation (membership site platform) to start with.
How Should Your Chosen Membership Website Idea Be?
Your membership site idea is going to take off if it,
Has a strong audience base
Is a skill that’s needed in the future
Is a narrow niche
By saying narrow niche, we mean cutting down the big picture. For example, instead of providing extensive movies & tv shows like Netflix, you can cut down to provide language-specific movie streaming services!
That doesn’t mean a Netflix-like membership site idea is bad – anything is scalable provided you have the right marketing strategy and a few bucks to propel the engine!
Since you’re kind of new to this, we wanted to start off with the most profitable & scalable ones. Once done with the read and knowing the possibilities, you’ll be able to figure out what your membership site idea is going to be!
So, let’s get started, shall we?
5 Best Membership Website Ideas To Make Money
No more small talk – to the big picture straight away!
1. Fitness Enthusiasts
The reason why we came up with the fitness as a membership site idea is because of the huge demand the fitness industry has now!
Let’s be a bit frank here! You might have looked for fitness tips at least once in your lifetime. And you would have ended up reading an article or watching a video on YouTube. But what if there is a dedicated platform for this?
You’d at least visit once to take a look! And that there is a lead that you’ll be converting later!
Now speaking of fitness, this is quite a huge niche. Take a look at this membership website example here,
Carb Manager is a membership website that lets users to signup for premium membership. The goal is to help people lose weight by following the Keto Diet plan. There are lots of competitors as well!
Similarly, you can come up with a membership site idea where you’ll be teaching your audience to build muscle from home using simple workouts. Also, relevant diet food recipes and cooking videos can help you cover more audiences.
Quick Stat: The average amount an individual would spend for fitness in 2021 is an estimated USD 18.30!
And that indeed shows how lucrative this particular industry is! Find out your super special niche under the fitness and see how much you can deliver to your audience under the same.
2. Sports Streaming
Sports! Who wouldn’t love it? We do! You do! And so do the billions of people around the world. Building a sports streaming website with a membership model is an opportunity that’ll help you make huge revenue. And a perfect example of this is Dazn Boxing.
As you can see, Dazn Boxing streams matches of popular boxers around. In fact, during the year 2019. Dazn Boxing witnessed a 121% increase in revenue (from $277.6 million to $614.6 million). Users have to pay a monthly subscription fee in order to view the matches.
Quick Stat: Dazn Boxing witnessed a 25% increase in users when they streamed the Alvarez-Saunders fight.
Similarly, you can stream multiple live sporting events and grow your business. With live streaming software onboard, you can start your sports streaming website in no time!
So, to the next membership website idea!
3. Community Streaming
Another super cool membership website idea is community streaming! A community streaming website is which streams videos and documentaries to a specific community of people. And Alchemiya is a website that does the same!
The website streams movies and dramas about the Muslim world. Users have to pay a specific amount monthly to gain access to the videos.
Do you see how lucrative that is? You can also come up with a monthly subscription-based community streaming website in minutes. Since websites like these use a Netflix-like model, all you need is a Netflix clone streaming solution to start off with!
Let’s move on to the next best membership site idea in our read!
4. Music Streaming
Like video streaming, music streaming is another profitable membership website idea. There’s Spotify, there’s SoundCloud and yours could be next! If you think this stream isn’t lucrative enough, hear this!
“During the year 2020, music streaming revenue crossed over 10 billion US dollars!”
Also, you don’t have to compete with the giants! You can simply start by streaming a particular set of artists or create something like what we saw above – relevant audios for a set of community people with a membership subscription model!
The ideas are limitless! You’ve just got to push boundaries to find your ideal membership website idea!
5. Pet Management & Animals Related Streaming
Before we start to speak about this, if you think this membership site idea is crazy, then you’ve got to take a look at this!
Pet Management Animals Related Streaming
This membership site is purely for horses – training, documentaries, riding, etc. And they’re doing pretty much well already! Also, the popular Discovery TV channel is already offering its audience a paid membership service called Discovery Plus!
So, why not you?
You can create a membership site that teaches about how to handle pets (not only dogs but all animals), how to deal with the most common problems, sickness treatment, food preparation, and more.
During the year 2020 alone, Americans spent approximately $99 billion on their pets. They wouldn’t mind the few extra bucks provided your membership site has really good stuff!
Membership site businesses are sustainable today, thanks to the recurring payment model and the strong OTT direction the world is moving towards. If you’re thinking about it twice, drop it because it’s going to be glory down the road!
Now that you have a handful of membership site ideas and a platform to start with as well, why don’t you start acting on it?
You also know that the same is projected to reach over $1,039.03 billion by 2027, following an impressive CAGR of 29.4% between 2020 and 2027.
You are all convinced that starting an OTT streaming service is a great business idea to not only grow in the future but also claim a good share from this multi-billion-dollar pie.
You recalled that Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Spotify, Disney, and dozens of more biggies are already doing that. Now you wonder if going eye to eye with the giants is even possible. You are giving your idea a second thought.
Well, hold your horses, and think again.
Netflix and Amazon may be superior to most streaming services, but hundreds of other OTT platforms are still doing some great business.
They are niche players who actually have created their own segments by catering to specific groups of consumers. The biggies have never even been their competitors, to be frank.
Take CuriosityStream for instance. It’s a niche VOD streaming service that offers some high-quality documentaries. None of its content is comparable or poses as an alternative to what you consume from Netflix or Amazon Prime. They cater to a specific set of viewers. In spite of this, they had driven more than 100 million users by 2019 itself.
You could argue that CuriosityStream is still a big player; created by one of the founders of Discovery Network. What about a common man/woman with a modest OTT-business idea?
Well, I have one more example of a business that went even deeper to find a micro-niche for success.
Meet NFA Studios, a highly niched subscription-based VOD streaming service that offers unique access to some of the most influential political and religious content. The platform gained 4000+ paying subscribers in just 3 months of the launch. After roughly a year, they reached over 20,000 more users.
You too can break the barriers
You too may be capable of not only starting a niche OTT-business but also enjoying a grand success with the right strategies by your side. Players like CuriosityStream and NFA Studios are just a few of the countless examples. The OTT streaming market is still in its budding phase, and there is ample space to accommodate several more players. We have curated some special tips that you might find useful and be inspired to get going.
But, before that, let’s acquire some subtle understanding of what makes a niche streaming business.
What is niche OTT Business?
Rather than catering to everyone, a niche caters to a specific set of audience. Not everyone likes every content. Different people may have different tastes and preferences when it comes to watching their favorite content. One can address this difference in taste and preferences to create specific taste or preference groups with similar aspects.
For example, some people may like sci-fi movies, while others may be fond of romantic or biopic movies. Many may not like commercial films at all, but possess some deep appreciation for documentaries.
These broader preferences can become your niche, while you can dig even deeper to create micro and Nano-niches. For instance, if the documentary is a niche, you may come up with micro-niches such as science, politics, history, entertainment, or sports documentaries.
A niche can be found by considering any aspect that meets the following two criteria:
It should possess lesser competition than the broader market.
It should have ample demands to set up a viable OTT business model.
A segment with less competition but no demands at all is never a niche. Similarly, a segment with big demands but large competition is also no niche.
For example, magic is a trending segment. It interests a smaller section of the audience but surely is big enough to set up a dedicated OTT streaming platform for teaching or showing magic tricks. Similarly, food lovers make a significant population of this planet. You could set up a food-oriented streaming platform to publish food reviews, food vlogs, food documentaries, cooking lessons, and much more.
Can a niche really help you to tackle with the OTT giants?
But, why tackle them?
A niche sets you apart from popular streaming counterparts that cater to a broader populace. If you can come up with a good niche with decent demands, you need not even face the biggies as your competitors. You could be running a successful OTT streaming platform in parallel to the big names.
Want to watch the latest Netflix Original? Go to Netflix.
Want to watch a good Space Documentary? Go to CuriosityStream.
Interested in real-life US political content? NFA Studios can offer that.
In fact, the big players have solved the biggest hurdle in your cause. They successfully exposed the OTT streaming market and have given a taste of OTT to the people. They have created a demand for the segment you are to explore.
Paraphrasing the words of the founder of a popular niche OTT streaming platform-
Distinctiveness is the way to defeat scale. If you can set yourself apart, you need not go into a content war with anyone. Don’t simply follow the herd. Instead, find out the potential ideas these biggies have missed, or have not explored completely, and try to explore that in your business model.
The OTT giants have an enormous amount of money and offer everything like a Supermarket. Whereas, your niche could be a smaller but distinctive shop with special content.
Examples of some successful niche OTT players
Shudder Horror and Supernatural Genre.
PokerGO– For watching live Poker events.
Crunchyroll: Manga and Anime music and dramas.
CuriosityStream: Award-winning documentaries.
Dust: Streaming platform of an independent studio.
NeTV: Content from film festivals and independent creators.
LebraPlay: Multi-ethnic entertainment content from 13 different regions.
Eros: Hosts more local Indian content than Netflix and Amazon combined.
Passionflix: Selection of classic, romance-themed content with a unique rating system.
MarqueeTV: Referred as Netflix for Arts with content based on interest and hobby.
NFA Studios: Access to legacy and new uncut political speeches from world leaders.
What to survive as a niche OTT player?
As easy as it seems, setting up a niche business model is not a laid-back job; especially in the OTT streaming industry. You might not have to face the streaming giants directly, but hundreds of other niche players in your interested domain may make it difficult to stand out in a niche as well. What’s the secret of those who managed to succeed in this industry?
It’s basically a combination of three fundamental strategies:
Nothing is as important as your content library
You might be serving a smaller segment than the big players, but the quality of the content you serve must beat even the best. It’s the first thing that consumers see and what they want from an OTT platform.
OTT has not only revolutionized the way we used to consume content but also the way content was produced. With OTT content going extremely accessible, independent creators have found their platforms to showcase something that traditional TV or theatre content was unable to display. People want that type of content from their favorite OTT streaming platform.
Focus on four major aspects while building your content library:
Keep evolving with time.
Iterate new learnings in your service.
Develop user experience that people love.
Create content that people have shown their interest in.
For example, if you are serving the Food niche, create unique food-related content that is not offered on any other platform. If your videos are unique, people will welcome them and pay for them. Create in-house content, sponsor other creators, or source from a content distributor, but find some unique content that is not available elsewhere.
Acknowledge customer loyalty
Getting new subscribers for your platform is crucial, but it is even crucial to keep your existing customers happy. It is thrice as difficult to convert a customer for the first time than selling again to an existing customer. More than 70% of your revenue each month will come from renewed subscriptions alone.
If you value customer loyalty and keep your library up-to-date, your existing OTT subscribers are more likely to keep renewing their subscriptions for an average of 5-7 months in a row. Besides, 79% of these happy customers are also likely to recommend your platform to other users in their circle.
Hence, if you have happy customers, not only do they pay for your services, they also bring in more customers to you.
Your pricing can grow or kill your platform
Content pricing strategy is as crucial as content quality and customer loyalty. All three factors are linked directly to each other. Customers may pay a little extra to watch some good, exclusive content, but keeping your prices beyond the reach of your average customers would only invite abandoning of your platform.
Most of the small, niche players keep their prices way lower than the big names to make a good first impression, and these strategies do work in their favor. For example, an average customer pays at least $8.99/month to Netflix, but hardly even care to watch even half the titles that Netflix offers. Whereas a niche platform need not source such a big catalog, thus they can keep their charges lower.
Many platforms choose freemium OTT revenue models to attract as many users. They offer streaming services free of cost to the users and generate revenue from showing Ads. However, they also offer premium alternatives so users who don’t want Ads can enjoy an ad-free experience.
To sum it all
Working under a niche is the easiest way to compete with existing players in the market. A niche OTT platform, with its unique set of content and a few but loyal customers, can do wonders. You just have to be ready for acclimatizing your strategies as per time, prospects, and demand.
For example, you may exhaust all your capital in developing your OTT platform from scratch, or you can choose a much affordable and quicker way of using a turnkey solution like StreamView to build your SVOD platform. The money you save could be used in developing more trending features on top, content licensing, and marketing of your platform. This is just yet another way to not only survive as a niche player but also to thrive by putting in some strategic investments.
StreamHash provides many such turnkey solutions to set up OTT platforms without developing anything from scratch. Literally, anybody with zero coding knowledge can build an audio, video, or live streaming platform using StreamHash scripts.
Boy, 2020 was a crazy year. When COVID-19 lockdowns forced social distancing upon us, countless people also lost their daily jobs down the line. However, something peculiar did happen, too. Video streaming trends skyrocketed to make OTT streaming one of the very few segments that drove big profits during the pandemic.
According to a study, the global video streaming trends grew by 20% in March 2020, and the US was one of the top contributors to this with a 26% boost in the same trend.
Developing countries, where OTT services were growing marginally before the pandemic, experienced a whopping 60% push in the number of OTT subscriptions during the lockdown.
Amazon, Netflix, YouTube, and many other OTT services had to reduce their streaming bitrate in many regions just to cope with added loads on their servers due to high-bandwidth demands.
If you have been running an OTT service of any kind before the pandemic, then you know what I mean. Especially, the subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) platforms came out as a boon to the people observing self-quarantine.
So, what’s your take? Do you think you too can tap into this market? Did your streaming service too saw some unprecedented trends?
The SVOD trends are off the charts. The global video streaming market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 21% from 2021 to 2028. The $50 billion markets will soon touch the $200 billion mark. What is it you are doing to grow your subscription-based OTT business and claiming a share of this multi-billion dollar pie?
As you read along, you will find expert tips to grow your OTT subscription business during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. So stick with me if you want to grow your business, or even if you are looking to start a new OTT streaming business this year.
The impact of COVID-19 on OTT subscriptions
COVID-19 is indeed a curse on global society, but it has also nudged our lives towards the digital revolution. People are increasingly looking for viable ways to not just order products and services online but also access more bundled offerings.
For example, if two businesses are offering the same things, more people are being attracted towards the one that also offers something extra –like a bundle. Take your cell phone service provider for instance. Some service providers are offering bundled subscriptions to multiple OTT streaming services along with their regular post-paid plans.
This new behavior is prodding a shift towards subscription business models across different industries and segments. Consequently, encouraging the businesses to make their subscriptions more flexible and versatile, while also collaborating with other subscription services for creating a prospective bundle.
What else can you do to drive OTT subscriptions?
The basics of every business activity start with pricing, and it is probably the most crucial toolkit in the subscription economy, be it OTT or any other industry. Your pricing strategy must align with your target customers’ needs and values. As an OTT subscription business, you must comprehend the habits of your consumers by building some basic pricing models. Based on this understanding, segment your consumers on relevant criteria such as, users with the basic plan, users who have purchased bundled plans, users with certain devices, etc. This comprehension of your user base will act as a foundation to apply different methods to boost your subscriptions in the following verticals:
1. Encourage first-time subscribers to opt-in for notifications
Notifications are not limited to push messages alone. Email notifications are equally important. Having your subscribers opted-in for communications from your brand can produce incredible results. While email notifications can be used for promotions and important updates, you can rely on push-notifications to engage your users without being intrusive.
Keeping these two channels of communication open can enable you to not only run targeted campaigns but also deliver engaging messages about movies, shows, new uploads, offers, subscription status, reminders, and much more.
2. Device a hassle-free funnel to on-board your new users
While it’s a good thing that you have acquired some new subscribers after some aggressive marketing, but the trickiest part starts from here. You need to work even hard to keep these users subscribed, the stage for which can be devised right from the phase when they get on-board for the first time.
While the existing subscribers already know how to use your platform, new users might easily jump-off if you don’t guide them in the onboarding process. Design an intuitive onboarding funnel that not only encourages users to purchase their first subscription but also guide them towards consuming their first premium content as your subscriber.
The most common way to do it is by offering a free trial to the new users. Now, it’s your choice if you want to collect payment information for auto-billing after the trial period. However, you must definitely collect their email addresses so you have enough data for marketing to these users in case they don’t convert after the trial period.
3. Bring-in multi-device support
Having personalized apps for multiple platforms is certainly a plus point to set you apart from others in the market. Especially after custom streaming devices have become popular in the market, more and more people are using them to watch OTT content.
So, check for the most popular streaming devices in your region, and them into the list of supported devices. To name a few, Mi streaming stick, Amazon fire stick, Roku Streaming stick, NVidia Shield TV, Xbox, Play Station, etc.
Support to these platforms should be in addition to basic platforms –Android, iOS, and WebRTC.
4. Device a personalized content recommendation model
This strategy is specifically for engaging your existing subscribers. Getting new subscribers won’t help if you keep losing your existing subscribers. To keep them engaged, you must work hard to gripping them to an extent where they don’t lose their interest in the platform. What could be a better way to model their user-behaviors and watch history to recommend more relevant content to watch?
Apart from this, users must be allowed to pick from where they left. This also includes showcasing the new episodes of a series that they have been watching. For example, if a user has watched season 1 of XYZ a year ago, recommending the season 2 once it’s available will surely nudge them up. In this way, even if a user has not been subscribed for a long-time, they know that they can always pick it up in the future without any hassle.
Besides, the same model can also be used for recommending related content to watch next.
5. Create multiple subscription plans for different segments
Multiple packages allow you to target different segments of users in a personalized manner. For example, let’s say you are offering only a flagship plan with everything included in it: 4 simultaneous screens, 4K streaming, multi-device support. Here, you might not be able to appeal to the users who don’t need all these features.
Hence, there is a better chance to appeal to more users with an optional, limited, and cheaper plan that allows them to avail themselves only the services or bundles that are viable to them. For instance, you can offer a cheaper mobile-only plan to attract with HD streaming to attract those users who don’t use 4K devices or multiple screens.
Similarly, you can create multiple plans with different combinations for different segments of the users. You can give them the option to upgrade or degrade a plan anytime based on their current needs. Remember, you must customize your bundles differently according to the prospects in different regions. For example, a mobile-only plan can do wonders in a region with limited access to other types of devices, but the same plan might not work in a region where more people have the access to 4K devices and multiple screens.
6. Make referrals rewarding with coupons and vouchers
As a business, you know how difficult it is to identify your prospects and then getting their attention via traditional marketing channels like email. That’s why you must also experiment with unconventional channels like word-of-mouth, and there is no better way to do it than using referrals and rewards.
People are more likely to pay attention if a message comes from a known person. Encouraging that known person with rewards can spread your messages more efficiently. It’s more like getting an insider to talk on behalf of you.
Last, but not least –the quality of everything is crucial
Finally, nothing would work if you can’t keep the quality of your content library and user-experience top-notch. Even the best offers and cheapest subscription plans would not do any good if users don’t like your content, or the platform works like something from the past.
To sort this out- make sure you have a continuous flow of content; exclusive content to be more precise. The subscription business model works like a charm if your users can’t find your content anywhere else. Ensure that your video streaming solution comes with the latest technology stack to support trending features. Besides an intuitive content discovery experience, the streaming platform must come with a competent video player, too. You can only apply these measures if your platform supports such features.
Unable to grow your OTT subscription business in the pandemic?
Perhaps, it’s time to upgrade your video streaming platform to something more advanced. Check out StreamView SVOD platform builder to unlock unique features and monetization channels for your service.
Online consumers, particularly users of Disney + and Netflix are spending dramatically more time browsing these services. Platforms streaming video on demandcontinue to invest in creating their own movies and TV series to cater to their growing user bases as it is becoming increasingly important to understand the changing interest of viewers as the pandemic continues.
As we already know, people are spending more time online during the Coronavirus pandemic. 55% of online video streamers said that they have been viewing videos while 47% of viewers spend more time watching broadcast TV. Whereas, over 42% of viewers said that they have been watching streaming services more during the pandemic. This data also indicates that people have discovered new interests during the pandemic.
The impact of Coronavirus pandemic on viewing habits
Online users seem to escape the continued anxiety around the Coronavirus outbreak by spending more time on online media and increasing the time they spend on digital devices and video streaming platforms. Although each streaming video on demand service attracts viewers looking for different types of content, many have been discovering new genres they never thought they would enjoy. We have gathered together a series of data insights across the video streaming spectrum to understand key patterns of how viewers are responding to the current changes. If you are looking for how to start a video streaming business, analyzing these insights can help you deliver high-quality viewing experiences for your viewers in times of pandemics like these.
Users like it when genres blend
In the initial days of the Coronavirus outbreak, Netflix dominated the video streaming landscape with its own show, Tiger King. The show covers documentary, crime, and cringe comedy which might have contributed to its success. It seems like Netflix users of today want to see more content in diverse categories. Most users prefer watching fantasy content, adventure, documentary, or drama. The Majority of Netflix viewers spend more time on the streaming platform exploring multiple genres. This implies that if you are building a VOD platform, it is important to integrate a diverse range of content in your streaming service to satisfy the varied interest of your audience.
Need for better streaming quality
Sudden increase in the number of viewers can have drastic effects on the quality experience that viewers have. As the traffic increases, the streaming quality must increase as well. To understand how the traffic affects streaming quality, you must understand video streaming and how it works. Video streaming allows viewers to watch videos without actually downloading the media. With the use of content delivery networks, video providers must be able to improve streaming performance and reduce the buffering time according to the incoming traffic.
So how does online streaming work? Just like any other information that is broadcasted over the internet, video streams are broken down to small chunks of data packets. Each data chunk contains a small piece of the file that is sent to the video player of the client device’s browser that interprets the flow of the data. When compared to transmitting text-based content over the content, sending videos calls for a faster method of transmission which gives importance to reliability over speed. Hence the VOD platforms must have the right technology and tools to handle the traffic spikes in the VOD platform.
What are people watching on VOD platforms?
As online viewers are spending more time at their home during the lockdown they would watch more content, and the type of content being streamed will also be altered.
Let’s look into the type of content people are watching and the changing viewer behaviors during the current pandemic.
The interest of viewers in live news content is increasing. As the whole world prepares for the pandemic, people tune in to video streaming platforms to tune into current news. The main topics of focus onVOD platforms are politics, world news, entertainment, technology, science and health, business, and sports. Most news streaming platforms cover multiple sides of sites thus giving the viewers balanced and fair coverage, which is what most viewers are looking for.
In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, religions are embracing online communities and live streaming to connect with the congregation. While the transition was easy for congregations that had embraced digital tools and live streaming, others have struggled to adjust to the digital experience. However, the advanced modern technology and the ease of access toVOD platforms allow making this transition smooth for all.
A decade ago, religious websites were not commonly used by people, but today considering the global lockdown and restrictions to access the church has caused a significant increase in the adoption of religious streaming services by people across the globe. Video streaming statistics show that about one out of five adults consumes Christian online media on a daily basis.
The COVID-19 pandemic has left millions of people around the world adjusting to life indoors. As fitness studios are shut down, most of them are shifting their classes online In response to the pandemic, a variety of video on demand services have emerged to ensure people can continue working out while social distancing. Popular fitness studios across the globe are offering their customers online services instead. If you are planning on how to start a video streaming business, you can consider building a fitness platform if you are already in the fitness industry.
Here is the share of adults who watch more online exercise videos during social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S.
The COVID-19 has changed how sports fans participants engage in sports events online. Some sports leagues have resumed with others to follow as the fans cannot gather in the galleries until the spread of Coronavirus is under control. Sports broadcasts are harnessing the power of technology to connect both online and offline fans to present the sport in a much more attractive and engaging way during and after the pandemic.
The culture has gone virtual in the new norm of COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing which can be seen in the rise in usage of VOD platforms and Facebook and Instagram Lives. The worldwide lockdown has also led to a shift in viewer behavior, specifically in terms of demographics. However, these are testing times for both viewers and video providers alike. In unpredicted circumstances like these, the need for a backup plan, accurate, and reliable data is becoming more important than ever.
Video streaming providers who can react quickly to the streaming needs of their viewers have the unique opportunity to connect with users as they adapt to new scenarios. If you are planning to start a video streaming business, now is the right time as the future of streaming is quite bright. If you are looking for any guidance to get started with your video streaming business, please get in touch with us, our expert team is here to guide you through the entire process.
In this digital world, the importance of integrating videos into your marketing techniques is only projected to rise. Innovative marketers are increasingly using videos and integrating these new ways to engage users to remain relevant and competitive in the industry. In the past decade, there has been a rapid shift from text and visual content to more engaging video content. Businesses who are slow to adapt to their transformation might find themselves dealing with underperforming sites and marketing campaigns. A visitor tends to spend 88% more time on a site with videos than they do with any other type of content.
Businesses can use videos for landing pages, YouTube, emails, training purposes, landing pages, and a lot more. Videos also help brands to introduce themselves to potential customers and build lasting relationships with existing customers and earn new customers.
Live Streaming and VOD
Video streaming is quickly gaining momentum these days with more online audiences embracing streaming like never before especially during the time of COVID-19 pandemic. According to Statista, the Coronavirus outbreak has led to increased digital media consumption in many countries across the globe ac
In recent years there has been a rise in popularity and usage of live streaming apps like Facebook Live, Periscope, Instagram Live, etc. Likewise, video streaming services like Netflix, HBO Now, Disney Plus are gaining momentum as well among viewers who prefer viewing on demand videos. Live streaming probably is an easy way to introduce your brand to the online world. It is a great short-term option that will help you get online and start making money. But considering the longevity of your business, you must consider video on demand (VOD).
According to the type of your business and the demographics of your customers and their preference, any of these content types can be chosen. But, how to choose between VOD vs live streaming. Let’s find out. Once you finish reading this blog, you will have a clear idea about the two and so that you can make a decision fast.
What are on-demand videos?
Video on demand is a way of accessing content from online libraries according to the convenience of users, anywhere, anytime, and on any devices. When traditional broadcast services force users to view content on their schedule, video on demand platformsallow users to access videos at their time.
VOD offers a wide selection of online videos including entertainment, sports, educational programs, movies, TV shows, and feature films. VOD services allow customers to stream content through computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets, smart TV, etc. delivered over the internet.
VOD streaming is not just confined to watching movies and shows on Netflix. You can create on demand videos in any niche like entertainment, sports, religion, education, etc. according to the interest of your audience.
Let’s look into the benefits of video on demand content.
Convenience of access
It is for no reason that video streaming services like Disney+, Netflix, Hulu, and HBO now are gaining popularity among the audience. These video streaming services allow people to view content whenever they like, unlike traditional TV networks. Traditional broadcast services allow people to watch programs on their schedule, whereas the VOD platform allows viewers to watch programs in their own time according to their convenience and choice.
Video on demand content is pre-produced and edited making adequate room for improvements. As making on demand videos take more time in producing and improvising the content, it leads to fewer mistakes as well. VOD allows content creators to improve the videos to a greater degree for delivering a better viewing experience to the audience.
Content varieties to select from
VOD content can be edited to be personalized according to the unique needs of your business before distributing the content. There is always a big space for customizations so that you can bring much-desired variety to your content. You can craft your videos in a way it can go viral than live broadcasts. VOD content is easier to implement if you want to provide the best video quality to your viewers provided that you have a lot of time to create and edit videos.
Ability to leverage editing tools
As on demand videos are pre-made, you can use different editing tools to create and make your videos appealing. You can use creative tools to implement your creative ideas and bring them into life with your videos, which cannot be used in live streaming.
Live streaming or broadcasting your videos live is a modern streaming technology that lets you create, watch, and share live videos as it is shot. Considering the fact that the live streaming industry is projected to hit $70.05 billion by 2021, live videos are growing popular every year with a huge user base that enjoys and supports live streaming.
Unlike VOD content that is pre-produced and edited, live streaming is live, authentic, and unedited. You just need a smartphone and a stable internet connection, and a live streaming platform or an application to broadcast live from. Let’s explore some of the benefits of live broadcasts.
Simple to produce
When compared with VOD content, live videos are much easier to produce and fits into your budget as well. While you might just need a free social media platform to stream from, you might need a more professional setup including a live streaming software to broadcast your live videos with the best quality.
Takes less time to produce
Considering the time to produce a different type of content like blogs, and VOD content, live videos take quite less time to produce. While the time varies when it comes to traditional video production, it might take a couple of hours to create and edit even the simplest vlog. However, if you create live broadcasts that are 5 minutes long, it just takes 5 minutes.
Real time experience
Online audiences want to become a part of brand stories as they happen. This is why live streaming services for businesses are becoming a sensation today. Nothing is better than seeing your favorite brand showcase something right at the moment. Unlike years before, you can easily become part of your customer’s life instantly with live streaming.
Live streaming helps to establish a direct and personal connection with brands and the audience. Through live chat and other engagement tools integrated into live streaming platforms, there is a huge possibility of direct engagement with customers is much more direct and personal than VOD.
If you think about the cost of creating live videos, it is incredibly cheap. In fact, if you are planning to do on a small scale using free social media platforms it’s completely free. Even if you want to do it in a sophisticated professional setup, the cost is quite low making it an affordable option.
When to use video on demand and live streaming
Now that you know about live streaming and streaming video on demand, it’s time to find which is the best option that will help you take your business online to grow your business and generate revenue. VOD makes an effective online asset for your business to deliver more value to your audience for a longer time frame than a live streaming. Whereas, live streaming is an easy way to reach and connect with your audience due to its raw and instantly engaging nature.
Let’s find out when is the best time to use VOD and when you must use live streaming and the advantages of using it together.
When to use VOD
Launching a VOD service works great when you want to provide your target viewers with the convenience of choosing when to watch your content. People use VOD services pretty much every day for various purposes. One of the biggest advantages of streaming video on demand content is that you can produce videos in large batches and create a video library with the content your audience would love. If you want to use VOD to power your marketing activities, you can consider creating VOD service in any niche of your choice.
Corporate training is a good example of when VOD might be a better choice to adopt. You can also use VOD when you are running a business like an online fitness class, or running an online teaching business, or looking for streaming church services, or simply you want your audience to access your pre-made videos.
For example, Fiit is a fitness VOD platform which brings you high quality fitness experiences, regardless of where you are.
With easy integration and security, you can create a video on demand platform that offers the best quality video streams for all types of enterprise solutions.
When to use live streaming
Now that you know the difference between VOD streaming and live streaming and when to use VOD, let’s see when you must use live streaming for your business advantage. Live streaming suits scenarios when you have to establish a personal and authentic connection with your viewers in real-time. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, people would rarely watch a live video again as the second time is not as exciting as the first time. However, the Coronavirus pandemic has changed how people consume live streams.
Online viewers enjoy watching live streams live and again to kill time. Moreover, as most businesses have shut down their services, most of them are shifting their business operations and activities online. As the setup is easy and cheap, more businesses are adapting live broadcasting.
Live streaming or VOD: Deciding factors
Video on demand services set the basics for video streaming for any business, whereas live streaming solutions help to enhance the viewing experience and engagement considerably. Most successful streaming businesses leverage both live streaming and VOD to power their business operations. Use both to create extra layers of value for your business.
An ideal online video streaming business makes use of both types of content. This is how you can utilize both live streaming and video on demand.
Use live streaming to create a premium viewing experience.
Build a foundation of the video library with VOD content.
When your live broadcast ends, you can save the content to repurpose it later and use it for on demand streaming. However, make sure you choose the right type of live streams that have long-term value like interviews with important personalities, Q&A videos, product information, etc. that can be repurposed for future viewing.
Using a combination of both will help you to create a reliable core offering to grow your business, and emotionally connect with your customers for better customer experience and engagement.
Live streaming is the best way to take your business online and reach out to a global target audience for better connectivity and engagement. Whereas, streaming video on demand holds equal significance if you want to ensure better performance of your marketing efforts and build a long term asset which you can count on.
While both live streaming and VOD comes with its own advantages, the best option is to use a combination of both live and on demand streaming for your streaming business that excites your customers, generates more money, and will help you grow your business through the challenges that come on your way. Both live streaming and VOD can be great ways to support your video streaming strategy, it just depends on who your audience is and what you are using your videos for. Regardless of the type of streaming type you choose, the content you create must always be exciting and niche relevant.
Deciding between VOD vs live streamingrequires a detailed analytics of your businesses and its unique requirements. Get in touch with us to know what suits your business the best and how to proceed with business idea execution. We have the expertise of helping businesses to realize their requirements and offering the right video streaming solution that suits them the best.
The OTT (over-the-top) market is one of the largest global media opportunities that successfully delivers the power of TV with the agility and scalability of the global internet. Media brands or content creators in general can extend existing content to a new audience and deepen audience engagement with new video experiences. OTT is changing their viewing habits as well, giving the audience more control over when, where, and how they access the content and also shaking up the existing pricing structure for consuming videos. The convenience, accessibility, affordable price structure, and a lot of other factors contribute to the acceptance and success of OTT platforms.
The COVID 19 pandemic has also contributed to increased use of OTT platforms like Netflix. However, the OTT platforms expect a slight decline in membership and growth after the virus has been contained. According to this report, there is a slight dip in the number of users in May 2020 compared to the previous months. This decline is linked to loosening in restrictions and as users were able to pursue normal activities again. However, this doesn’t apply to all services as the number of users of CBS and Apple TV+ saw an increase in both April and May.
The success of any OTT businessgreatly depends on the business model it follows. So if you are an OTT or video on demand service, which business model you must use for streaming business? By understanding the different types of video monetization models used for OTT service, you can choose the best one suited for your business. So, let’s look into the popular business models leveraged by market leaders.
Types of the Business Model Adopted by OTT Streaming Business
With the introduction of Netflix in the market, the scene was completely changed for the OTT model. Soon enough, a lot of new OTT players, including Amazon Prime, Disney +, YouTube, HBO Now, etc. joined the landscape. Each of these OTT services has a different business model. For example, Netflix is completely based on subscriptions, whereas YouTube business strategy is primarily advertisement based (though it follows a combination of other monetization models, which we will discuss shortly).
The business model of an OTT business is nothing but the strategy they choose to generate revenue. When choosing a business model, conduct detailed market research to analyze the OTT platform revenue model adopted by your competitors to choose the best-suited option for your own business. Digital TV predicts that theglobal OTT revenue will hit $159billion by 2024 which is almost double the revenue from 2019. Considering the figures, OTT is a lucrative industry to make a good amount of revenue provided that you choose the right monetization strategies.
Here are some of the different monetization models for video on demand subscription services that are thriving.
Advertising Video on Demand (AVOD)
Advertisement video on demand is exactly what the name suggests- Viewers get the content for free but along with the advertisements. A prominent example of the AVOD business model is YouTube. We are familiar with how YouTube works and how it makes money- It is advertisements. Advertisements are the fuel for businesses that operate under the AVOD revenue model.
How It Works
AVOD video monetization model allows viewers to watch videos for free but followed by advertisements. OTT ads are classified mainly into three types- Pre-roll, Mid-roll, and Post-roll ads.
Pre-roll – Advertisements that are played during the beginning of the video.
Mid-roll-Advertisements that are played during the middle of a video.
Post-rolls- Advertisements that are played at the end of the video.
These ads can be fully skippable, partially skippable, or even non-skippable according to how the advertisers want them to be. Ads are powerful and advertisers might pay you a good amount of money for streaming their advertisements on your OTT platform provided that you have a good and consistent user base. The pricing of ads varies considerably based on the type of content you stream, the popularity of your platform, the number of users, and user engagement your platform facilitates.
Advantages of AVOD
AVOD offers a powerful benefit for businesses due to its nature. Users can quickly sign up for the services and then access the content library for absolutely free. Advertisers will be able to serve users with highly customized and targeted advertisements.
Is this model best for you?
AVOD revenue model works great for VOD business who have a huge user base and an impressive number of views and engagement. You must keep a check on the cost per thousand impressions (CPM) to make sure you generate a good amount of revenue from the ads you stream at your platform.
Here are some of the key factors you must consider when choosing an AVOD revenue model for your business.
When your content library is relatively small and generic, it is recommended to leverage an ad-based OTT platform revenue model as there is less chance that your audience would be willing for generic content. If your content library mainly consists of how-to or comedy videos, it is the best to monetize through AVOD as this type of content attracts huge viewership in less time and caters to a younger audience who are less likely to subscribe to regular entertainment content.
Video views and engagement
You will only generate as much revenue through ads as much your advertisers are convinced of the reach and engagement of your videos. If you have a massive amount of viewers your advertisers will be willing to pay more. For example, at a CPM of $3, if your OTT platform successfully generates over 5000 daily viewers, you can decently earn $15 every day and amount to $450 a month.
Choice of ad networks
When you want to offer your content library to your audience for free and generate revenue through ads, it is important to choose the best ad network that can offer you the ads that match your content and budget. It is important to leverage an ad strategy that serves your audience the best and offers you the maximum revenue benefits.
Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD)
SVOD is one of the successful business models leveraged by many OTT businesses. Some of the prominent examples are Netflix and Amazon Prime. In this revenue model, viewers can enjoy unlimited content for a subscription fee until the validity allows.
Advantages of SVOD
The popularity of video on demand subscription services is immense. Over74% of US households are subscribed to SVOD services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. Not just the US, the subscription base of SVOD services across the globe is increasing every year.
Industry research shows that SOVD is associated with high revenue as well. The ability to access the entire content library for an affordable price than satellite TV packages along with the convenience of watching whenever they like is also very enticing for users.
How does it work?
Viewers pay a subscription fee, monthly, quarterly, or yearly and gain access to the content library unlimited. Viewers can also play and record the programs according to their convenience on the devices of their choice. Subscriptions are generally auto-renewable and offer users the flexibility to cancel it whenever needed. The subscription VOD model can be easily clubbed with other models to further monetize your content.
Is the model best for you?
Subscription monetization model suits OTT platforms that feature a wide variety of popular content like Movies, TV shows, drama, originals, and other programs that are capable of entertaining the users in the long term. This model is the best for VOD businesses that focus on content, including entertainment, health, fitness, eLearning, or anything engaging with a long term value.
Here are some of the key factors you must consider when choosing the SVOD revenue model for your business.
SVOD works best for VOD businesses that have long-form of recurring content like entertainment series. This can be a large collection of movies, drama series, or even original series that aligns with the interests and viewing habits of users. There will be users who want to binge-watch their favorite series and if your content matches these types of users, the subscription model is your best bet.
SVOD is the best for you when you have adequate resources and tools to position your platform in front of your target audience. If you are not leveraging the right marketing strategies, chances are that your target audience might never hear about your service.
When you choose to be a video on demand subscription service, it is important to integrate the right software and tools to offer smooth services and better experience to your subscribers. You must also have to adopt the best security and encryption integrations on your OTT platform as your users would be paying for their subscriptions on your platform.
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Transactional video on demand popularly called as pay-per-view is a video monetization model where users can pay just for the videos they want to watch. iTunes, Google Movies, and YouTube Movies are some of the popular streaming services that follow this business model.
How it works
It works just like a DVD store where users pay just for the DVD they rent or buy. The model works either on the Electronic sell-through (EST) or Download to own (DTO) basis. Users can either choose to buy the video they want to watch and keep it with them by downloading it to their personal devices or on the OTT platform. Another option is to rent videos to watch it for a specific rental period.
Is this model best for you?
TVOD or pay-per-view works great when you have exclusive content to offer. Mostly, VODbusinesses don’t use TVOD as a sole business model, but it works great when combined with other business models if you just offer seasonal content to your users.
Here are some of the key factors you must consider when choosing a TVOD revenue model for your business.
If you have seasonal content like live streaming in a niche like sports or entertainment, TVOD will work great. It works excellent for entertainment content like sporting events where users get the content for an attractive price compared to other platforms.
Diversity in Offerings
TVOD suits you the best, when your VOD business can either create or acquire a wide range of diverse content so that you can combine different monetization strategies when the seasonal content is not available.
Hybrid Video On Demand
In the highly competitive and fragmented OTT landscape, VOD businesses cannot rely on a single business model. That gives way to the perfect VOD model- a hybrid model that combines two or more business models discussed above. A strategic combination of AVOD, SVOD, and TVOD monetization models can help you make money with your OTT content.
If you want to monetize your content in more than one way, make sure you choose video on demand platform providers who offer the flexibility to use a combination of revenue strategies.
How it works
YouTube is a perfect example of a hybrid monetization model as it combines AVOD, TVOD, and SVOD models, all in one. While its primary monetization strategy is AVOD, YouTube also offers a premium version which is a subscription model and offers content on a pay-per-view model as well.
Is this model best for you?
If you have a diverse audience base and a vast library to cater to them, the hybrid model suits you the best. By offering a combination of different monetization models, you can suit the requirements of different sets of users.
Selecting the best revenue model for VOD businesses can be challenging. By following a strategic approach, you can choose how to make money from your OTT offerings. For any OTT platform, the type of content is a great influence when choosing money making methods. It is recommended to choose a video on demand service provider who offers a couple of monetization options so you can choose your best bet.
There is no best one-size-fits-all business model, you need to customize the monetization model according to your unique business requirements and goals. Do not hesitate to take expert consultation if you’re looking to start VOD business and struggling to pick the best OTT revenue models that suit your needs. Get in touch with us to get expert assistance.