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How to Choose a Video Paywall Solution for Live Streaming Monetization in 2021

By Emily Krings

12 Min Read

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Emily Krings

Emily is a strategic content writer and story teller. She specializes in helping businesses create blog content that connects with their audience.

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      As online video becomes more and more popular, broadcasters are getting on board and creating monetizable video content. 

      In recent decades, advertising has been the most common video monetization method on the internet by far. An example of this would be the ads you tend to skip before a YouTube video. According to a Digital TV Research report, advertising revenue will reach $47 billion by 2023

      Unfortunately, viewers don’t enjoy being followed around by advertisements. Many don’t want to have to watch a 30-second ad before a video and they’ve become more inclined to pay for a subscription to eliminate these types of ads. 

      Those who haven’t started paying for a subscription are using ad blockers to avoid having to see these advertisements altogether. Today, ad blockers block around 40% of online ads. That’s a big hit to content publishers, and it’s driving increased adoption of video paywalls. 

      In this post, we will cover everything you need to know about choosing a video paywall. We will start by going through the basics of video monetization before diving into specific paywall use cases. We’ll weigh different options for structuring video monetization, and help you choose the best paywall solutions for your needs.

      Table of Contents

      • What is Video Monetization?
      • What is a Video Paywall?
      • Why Use a Paywall to Monetize Your Video Content?
      • How to Choose a Paywall for Video Monetization
        • Using Your Own Monetization Platform
        • Using an Online Video Platform That Provides a Paywall
      • Final Thoughts

      What is Video Monetization?

      What is Video Monetization?
      Video monetization is the act of getting paid for the videos that you create online. The reach extends well beyond what YouTube offers content creators.

      Video monetization is the process of generating income through video content you create and share online. 

      This can be achieved through a few different methods, including advertising, subscriptions, and pay-per-view transactions. Here’s a bit of information about each video monetization business model.

      1. SVOD

      SVOD, which is short for “subscription video on demand,” charges viewers a subscription fee for access to a library of on-demand content or a series of live events.

      Subscriptions can be monthly, annually, or even quarterly. Netflix is a popular platform that uses this model to monetize its content.

      2. AVOD

      Ad-based monetization (AVOD) is a model that generates revenue from ads paid for by sponsors. YouTube is an example of a streaming platform that uses AVOD very effectively.

      You can work with sponsors directly or you can let an ad network manage the ads and relationships for you.

      As we mentioned, many viewers don’t like ads and use ad-blockers to avoid seeing them. However, server-side ad insertion makes it possible to monetize with ads that are served directly through your video player in a way that slips under the radar or ad-blockers.

      3. TVOD

      Pay-per-view streaming video monetization, which is also called “transactional video on demand” or “TVOD” for short, is a model that allows users to buy content on a pay-per-view basis. 

      Typically, viewers can choose to rent a video for a nominal fee, which grants them access for a set period of time, or buy the video to own access forever.

      While “pay-per-view” was previously more popular for cable networks, it has become more popular for monetizing videos online.

      What is a Video Paywall?

      video paywall
      Video paywalls keep your content hidden until viewers pay for access.

      Paywalls are used for video monetization strategies of online media, but they are not exclusive to video content. You’ll see paywalls everywhere online from newspapers like the New York Times to secure video streaming services.

      A video paywall is necessary for SVOD and TVOD monetization. It restricts free access to digital content by requiring a viewer to purchase the video or pay for a subscription to gain access to the content. 

      When you launch a video paywall for monetization of your content, your business is in full control of your prices. You can keep your paywall low and accessible, or you can charge a high-ticket price for your content. It’s completely up to you. Subscriptions to major platforms like Hulu, Disney+, and Netflix are between $6 and $20/month.

      The future of revenue-generating video is likely a model in which paywalls for video monetization become even more prominent. Here at Dacast, we’ve seen our customers experience significant growth in gross incomes when they started using our multiple currency paywall.

      Why Use a Paywall to Monetize Your Video Content?

      The main reason for using a paywall is to generate revenue without using advertisements. Digital sales and rentals increased by 30% between 2014 and 2018. TVOD revenue in the United States is now roughly $1.6 billion annually

      With the paywall model, users can’t access your content until they have paid for access. This makes video paywalls perfect for events, music shows, sports, conferences, and all sorts of other content. One-time events are perfect for paywall monetization

      Paywalls protect your video business. They keep your income, content, and audience safe from advertisers, legislation, and algorithm changes.

      How to Choose a Paywall for Video Monetization

      There are a variety of video monetization solutions on the market, but these solutions are not all created equal. For example, some have only basic features, and some only support advertising monetization. 

      As a broadcaster that is looking into a paywall, we suggest looking for the following features:

      • White-label paywall + invoicing: Ensure that no other business’s branding is on the paywall or customer receipts. A white-label streaming service will only ever display your business name and logo to customers.
      • Security: Make sure your paywall is secure so that all sensitive information is kept private.
      • Easy to use: Minimize clicks and clutter to maximize conversion rates.
      • Multiple currency support: Your streams are accessible globally. Multi-currency support automatically speaks to users directly, maximizing sales.
      • Multiple language support: Your streams become accessible for people who speak a different language than you. This allows for audience growth and maximum sales.
      • Different monetization options: Support both subscriptions and pay-per-view streaming on the same library of content, with flexible configuration.
      • Promo codes: Offer sales and discounts.
      • Schedule pricing: Offer a discount for early purchases, start charging more after a certain date or schedule a time when sales begin. Use this feature to boost excitement and fear-of-missing-out (FOMO) to drive early purchases.
      • Video preview: Give customers a taste of what they’re purchasing by showing them a teaser of the video content for sale.
      • Terms of service: Monetize on your own terms, by including custom terms of service agreement for purchasers. This allows you to protect yourself against legal threats and ensure you’ve covered all legal requirements.

      Now that we’ve reviewed important features, it’s time to discuss how you can gain access to a paywall for your business. 

      There are two main methods, the first is an external video monetization platform, and the second is by using an online video platform that offers a built-in paywall.

      Each has its own advantages, so let’s examine them both.

      1. Using Your Own Monetization Platform

      video monetization platform
      When you’re picking a video monetization platform, make sure it offers the ability to scale your business in the future.

      One way to access a high-end paywall is to contract with a third-party paywall provider such as:

      1. Cleeng
      2. InPlayer
      3. Piano

      Each of these services offers sophisticated and powerful paywalls with some unique features.

      The Cleeng system, for example, supports pre-registration for live events and Digital Rights Management (DRM) for privacy. Additionally, Cleeng supports selling PDF files or other downloads alongside your video content. 

      Security is a major focus of InPlayer, which is PCI Security Council certified. InPlayer also supports a Facebook paywall option, as well as plugins for popular streaming CMS platforms. Piano’s paywall service is a sophisticated platform that supports billing, communications, and sales tax across multiple jurisdictions.

      Unfortunately, there are a few potential drawbacks to using your own monetization platform, including:

      • Integration between both platforms is most ideal, so the ability to integrate external applications with your online video platform is essential.
      • It may not be compatible with your online video platform. At Dacast, we are compatible with Cleeng and InPlayer (our paywall is based on InPlayer).
      • Using a third-party paywall requires a second subscription (in addition to your OVP).

      2. Using an Online Video Platform That Provides a Paywall

      video paywall for live streaming
      Dacast’s live streaming platform now allows organizations of all types to quickly and easily monetize live streams and video on demand content.

      The other option is to use the paywall that is built into your chosen online video platform. Not every OVP has a built-in paywall, so this is something that you will want to keep in mind as you weigh your options.

      Dacast, for example, has directly integrated the InPlayer paywall into our solutions. Dacast users have access to a powerful paywall for no additional charge.

      This system is fully integrated and supports both the pay-per-view video monetization model and recurring subscriptions.

      One of the best features of Dacast’s InPlayer paywall is multi-currency support. Our internal metrics show that multi-currency support is one of the most popular features for users of the Dacast paywall. This feature allows you to engage your global audience and maximize revenue.

      In addition to the features we mentioned above, some other things to look for when finding an online video player with a suitable built-in paywall include:

      • Credit card and PayPal support: Multiple payment options to make transactions easy for a range of customers.
      • Sales dashboard and audience CRM: Track revenue and content performance, and gather customer contact information.
      • Analytics: Aggregate and analyze viewer location, device usage, country and city, length of viewing time, etc.
      • Group pricing: Charge a single fee for access to a bundle of content.

      Final Thoughts

      Monetizing your video content is one of the most important aspects of a streaming business. You have the option to choose from different models, including AVOD, TVOD, and SVOD.

      Dacast’s live streaming and video hosting platform makes it easy to deliver and monetize online video content. With Dacast, our paywall is very easy to use and you’re always 100% in control of your video content. Through our partnership with InPlayer, we can offer your business a solution that fits your needs.

      Dacast also offers a range of other features, including API access, top-tier CDN delivery, comprehensive analytics, and custom professional services to help you get up and running. 

      If you’re ready to give our video paywall a try, we invite you to take advantage of our 30-day free trial. All you have to do to get started is to create a Dacast account. No credit card required.

      GET STARTED FOR FREE  

      For exclusive offers and regular tips on live streaming, you can also join our LinkedIn group. Finally, do share your questions and feedback in the comment section below. We’ll get back to you!

      Good luck with your sales, and thanks for reading.

      author avatar

      Emily Krings

      Emily is a strategic content writer and story teller. She specializes in helping businesses create blog content that connects with their audience.

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