How to Choose a Video Paywall Solution for Live Streaming Monetization in 2022

By Emily Krings

15 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 TV Technology report, global OTT revenue totaled $106 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $210 billion by 2026

    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 platform for professional video hosting. 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 for Paywall Video Hosting
    • Final Thoughts

    What is Video Monetization?

    paywall video hosting
    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. What happens when a video is monetized is that the broadcaster (you) has a strategy in place to earn money as users watch it. 

    This can be achieved a few ways, including advertising, subscriptions, and pay-per-view transactions. Each video monetization business model has strengths and weaknesses, and most content creators use a combination of strategies.

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

    Have you ever followed a link to an article or video you wanted to watch, only to hit a webpage asking you to pay for access to the content? That’s a video paywall. It’s a “wall” between you and the content you want to view and the only way through it is to pay.

    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. 

    A video paywall for monetization gives your business 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, and all include different tiers of access. Hulu in particular has a number of add-ons where users can unlock more and more content for an increased subscription cost.

    The future of revenue-generating video is likely a model in which paywall platforms for video monetization become even more prominent. Viewers simply don’t like the experience of advertising and have demonstrated they are willing to pay directly for the video content they want to watch online.

    Here at Dacast, we’ve seen our customers experience significant growth in gross incomes when they started using our multiple currency paywall. Dacast makes it easy to customize your paywall and easily integrate payment solutions, making the process easy not only for you but also for your audience.

    Why Use a Paywall to Monetize Your Video Content?

    Paywalls solve the problem of how to generate revenue without using advertisements. As long as advertisers have been creating ads, people have been trying to avoid seeing them. By adding a paywall to your website, you are letting viewers come directly to you for the content they want. 

    In 2020, digital sales and rentals peaked as the market of people seeking in-home entertainment exploded. In the US, digital entertainment was a $30 billion industry in 2020. But this isn’t a new trend. Digital sales and rentals increased by 30% between 2014 and 2018, as sales volumes for more “traditional” media like physical discs have steadily declined. TVOD revenue in the United States is projected to reach $13.5 billion by 2026.

    With the paywall model, users can’t access your content until they have paid for access. This makes video paywalls for video hosting perfect for:

    • Hybrid Events – A hybrid event is when people can choose to participate in an event either virtually or in-person. The paywall asks as the ticket-taker and allows access.
    • Music Shows – Virtual concerts might never completely replace in-person concerts, but they can give musicians more opportunities to perform and increase access. An in-person concert has a limit to the number of people that can fit in the building and watch it. A video paywall makes it possible to sell tickets to an unlimited number of viewers.
    • Sports – Sports are a little different than concerts in that viewers are more accustomed to paying for virtual access for events. Instead of having to buy a hefty cable package and endure the commercials, a paywall is an upgrade.
    • Business Conferences – Traveling for a weekend business conference isn’t always feasible or desirable. A virtual business conference makes it easier and cost effective to get more participants and potentially more speakers as well. A conference is a great candidate for a hybrid event as well. If you’re already going to hold the event in person, why not offer tickets to an exponentially greater number of viewers using a paywall?
    • One-Time Events – Holding a one-time event in person means you have one chance to sell access to one room full of people. Setting up a paywall and offering the content virtually gives you the ability to sell an unlimited number of tickets over a longer period of time.

    If creating and broadcasting content is an important part of your business, hosting video behind a paywall is the best way to keep complete control over how and where your content is being viewed. Using a video streaming platform with a paywall integration helps protect your business from the whims of another company’s algorithms. It protects you when legislation or advertisers would become an obstacle on a free video platform like Youtube.

    How to Choose a Paywall Platform 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 video paywall platform, 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 platform 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.
    • 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 live stream 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 paywall solution
    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 platform is to contract with a third-party paywall provider such as:

    1. Cleeng – Cleeng 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. 
    2. InPlayer – 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.
    3. Piano – Piano’s paywall service is a sophisticated platform that supports billing, communications, and sales tax across multiple jurisdictions.

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

    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 video paywall requires a second subscription (in addition to your OVP).

    2. Using an Online Video Platform for Paywall Video Hosting

    video paywall platform
    Dacast’s OVP now allows organizations of all types to quickly and easily use paywalls for live streams and video-on-demand content.

    The other option is to use the video paywall that is built into your chosen online platform. Not every live streaming platform 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 video 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 video 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, or some combination that works best for your company.

    Dacast’s live streaming and video hosting platform makes it easy to deliver and monetize online video content. With Dacast, our video 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 platform for hosting a try, we invite you to take advantage of our 14-day free trial. All you have to do to get started is to create a Dacast account. No credit card is required.

    Get Started For Free

    For exclusive offers and regular tips on live streaming, you can also join our LinkedIn group. If you have a success story about using paywalls to monetize your content, we’d love to hear from you in the comments below. Or if you have any other questions about paywall live stream, please reach out to us. 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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