Pay-Per-View Video Streaming: What It Is and How It Works [2024 Update]

Pay-Per-View Video Streaming_ What It Is and How It Works Image

Pay-per-view video hosting is a great way to monetize your content. With pay-per-view (PPV), your viewers get the option to sample your content without commitment. This alone is a powerful and enticing method to gain new viewers

Whether it is through pay-per-view video platform events, a sports streaming website, or for a media production companybased service, pay-per-view is an attractive, flexible option for viewers.

Professional video streaming platforms make creating, hosting and monetizing PPV events easy and affordable. Because PPV streaming platforms also support live streaming, a professional-grade, on-demand PPV platform will enable seamless content sharing that earns you money without relying on advertisements that are irritating to viewers.

In this article, we’ll walk you through how PPV streaming and hosting works. We’ll detail what to consider when setting up pay-per-view streaming. Finally, we’ll reveal some top tips to help you reach your top PPV broadcasting potential.

Please note that pay-per-view streaming platform technology changes regularly. By updating the post with PPV video hosting steps and adding a pay-per-view platform comparison, this post reflects the most accurate information as of January 2024.

Table of Contents

 • Pay-Per-View Video Streaming: How does PPV work?
• How to Price Pay-Per-View Video Content
• What is Pay-Per-View Video Hosting?
• Pay-Per-View Video Platform Considerations
• Top Pay-Per-View Video Platform Options
• 1. Dacast
• 2. Vimeo OTT
• 3. Kaltura
• 4. Muvi
• How to Create a Pay-Per-View Video Website
• Final Thoughts

What Is Video Monetization?


video monetization platform ppv

Make money with your content using pay-per-view, subscriptions, or ads.

Let’s start by reviewing what video monetization is. The various strategies used for generating income from any video content you produce are called video monetization. Whenever a viewer watches your videos or downloads them, you get paid.

Each pay-per-view hosting provider gives content creators a different percentage of revenue generated from their videos. These numbers can also vary depending on which video monetization models you utilize.

Most professional broadcasters use one of the three following methods

  • TVOD: transactional video-on-demand, also known as pay-per-view
  • SVOD: subscription video-on-demand
  • AVOD: advertising-based video-on-demand

Even though each advertising method contains the term “video-on-demand,” they can also be used for live streams. Each of the three primary video monetization methods serves a different purpose and is valuable for various reasons.

Pay-Per-View (TVOD)

TVOD, “transactional video on demand,” is more commonly known as pay-per-view. With TVOD, the viewer pays directly for the specific content they want to watch on-demand videos.

Pay-per-view is an excellent monetization method when viewers only want to access and pay for any particular content. With pay-per-view, viewers generally have access to that content for a specific time or an exact number of views.

For example, a streaming service that rents video content uses pay-per-view monetization. Or a streaming service selling tickets to a live virtual concert uses a pay-per-view monetization method.

Subscriptions (SVOD)

SVOD formally stands for “subscription video on demand.” With subscription-based monetization methods, viewers purchase access to your video library for a set amount of time.

Subscription and PPV video models run weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually. It is common for subscription services to offer a free trial period to entice viewers to pay for more extended access to your video library.

Advertisements (AVOD)

AVOD, “advertising-based video on demand,” refers to ad-based monetization. You will run ads before, during, or after your videos. Sponsors pay for the advertisements.

On-demand videos allow viewers to watch your content for free without paying you directly. Technically, the viewers pay you by watching the advertisements that run with your content. You can work with an established advertising network or seek independent advertising partnerships.

Similarly, You can use ad-based video monetization on its own. Or you can use ad-based monetization with PPV or subscription-based monetization, creating a hybrid monetization model.

Pay-Per-View Video Streaming: How does PPV work?

Pay Per View Video Streaming

Pay-per-view streaming is very straightforward for both broadcasters and viewers.

Pay-per-view streaming allows you to make money by charging for access to specific content. There are multiple ways to charge for pay-per-view content. For example, you can enable viewers to rent the content for a set number of hours. Or you can allow viewers to buy the content, giving them unlimited access.

With pay-per-view monetization, you don’t have to run advertisements on your content. That allows you greater control over your viewer’s experience.

With pay-per-view monetization, you use an integrated paywall to collect payment. It is a relatively effortless way to generate revenue.

One of the biggest challenges with pay-per-view video hosting is having a well-developed video monetization strategy and selecting the right video hosting provider for your needs.

How to Price Pay-Per-View Video Content

Like live-streaming, there are many different ways to charge for pay-per-view video content hosting on a video platform. The type of content can also impact what you charge.

Access to a Singular Video

If you are trying to charge for access to a specific video, we recommend starting low, setting around $2 for one to two days of admission. You can also upsell, offering one-day access for $2 or unlimited access for $8.

That allows you to make more money from people who don’t want the pressure to access and use your content in a set amount of time, as the case might be with a live stream. Many viewers find it more valuable.

Access to a Special Event

If you are charging for a special one-time event, such as a concert live stream, play, or conference typically held in person, you may want to base what you charge on the in-person event’s price.

Remember that most people expect to pay less for virtual access via live streams.

So if you have an in-person event that you are charging $50 for, you would want to charge $25-$30 for virtual access to the event’s live stream. That way, you can earn while reducing the expense of hosting people while still providing value to your customers.

Access to Educational Content

Educational content has been gaining traction with the masses ever since Covid-19 shut down universities and schools around the globe. In addition, you can sell access to video courses that teach a specific skill.

For educational live streams, your price will depend on the market value for that educational content. Therefore, you should research what others charge for similar courses and price your video course competitively.

General Pricing Guidelines: 

You should follow a few general guidelines regarding pricing and access to pay-per-view content.

  • Make the access longer than the content: If the content is two hours long, give people at least four hours to view the content. Access should be at least double the run time of the video. That way, if a viewer has technical issues regarding the content or gets interpreted and has to return to the content, the access is long enough to allow for that.
  • Be clear about access time: Second, you must be clear about how long someone has access to the content. It should be easy for your viewers to know what they purchase when they can access it, and how long that access will last.
  • Compare pricing: Third, you should research your competitors and make sure that your pricing is competitive and offers a higher value.

You may have to adjust your pricing, and that is okay. However, you must find the right price for your audience and business. That can take some trial and error.

What is Pay-Per-View Video Hosting?

PPV video hosting

PPV video hosting is made possible with the help of professional OVPs.

Pay-per-view streaming enables you to charge users whenever they access your content. That requires the support of a streaming platform with TVOD monetization capabilities. You must invest in professional live streaming solutions for your live streaming events because free video platforms like YouTube are not equipped with pay-per-view hosting tools.

Professional video and audio streaming solutions range from less than $100/month to more than $1000/month. Your choice will depend on your budget, streaming goals, and the features you need to make those goals a reality.

Dacast is an excellent solution for broadcasters that need pay-per-view hosting support. Our platform makes it easy to set up TVOD monetization in a few simple clicks. We also support AVOD and SVOD, so you can modify your monetization strategy if you see fit.

Our platform has many professional video-sharing and hosting tools available. We invite you to check out our streaming platform comparison post to see how Dacast stacks against pay-per-view hosting solutions like Livestream, Brightcove, IBM Cloud Video, and more.

Pay-Per-View Video Platform Considerations

As you compare software options for PPV hosting, there are several things that you should consider: the reliability of the software’s CDN, if they support mobile streaming, how much the software will cost, the content management system used, scalability, privacy, and more. Of course, these considerations include the platform’s support for PPV monetization.

Let’s look at a little more context for some of the primary concerns you’ll need to keep in mind when selecting a pay-per-view video platform.

1. Content Delivery

The best pay-per-view hosting and streaming platform enables your content’s smooth, glitch-free delivery to your global audience. We recommend choosing a streaming service with a high-quality, global content delivery network (CDN).

A CDN uses a server network to distribute your content around a geographic region. Ideally, you’d want a CDN provider with servers around the world.

Dacast, for example, partners with top-tier live streaming CDNs, such as Limelight and Akamai, designed to increase the speed of your content delivery, reduce buffering and maximize streaming quality. In addition, when your viewers request content from a globally connected CDN, it automatically routes them to the closest available server.

2. Mobile Streaming

mobile live streaming

Monetize live stream content, PPV videos, and OTT content with mobile live streaming features.

Another thing you want to consider is whether or not your video hosting software supports mobile streaming so that your viewers can access your content via multiple devices. Most customers prefer a video platform where they can stream pay-per-view live on apps from their smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, and computers.

An all-device HTML5 video player with a fully integrated paywall will do the trick.

One pay-per-view service that masters all device access is HBO GO. It offers access via multiple consumer mobile platforms, including Xbox 360, Smart TVs, Roku, tablets, and more.

That diversity of access contributed to its #1 ranking in domestic pay television service in the United States in 2013 when the trend was on the rise.

Think of the audience you could reach and the money you could make if you utilized an all-device video player like the one offered by Dacast.

3. Fees

The cost of using a pay-per-view hosting provider will depend on the software you select. The software you choose will depend on your internet latency, streaming needs, and the features you’re looking for. Most services use tiered pricing to help you pay for only what you need, although there are other pricing models, such as purchasing and redeeming credits.

The following section will take a closer look at real pricing examples. But first, it’s essential to consider your need for PPV streaming services and how quickly you’d like to scale that need..

4. Video CMS

A PPV streaming service is only as good as its content management system. Accessing your company’s content becomes a barrier limiting your reach if it’s not easy or intuitive. A CMS should make it easy to organize, access, and manage to monetize your content.

5. Scalability 

When a company first sets up pay-per-view video, they need a smaller price tier that lets them experiment and learn to manage its content. Then, as they grow, they need a pay-per-view streaming platform that grows with them. You’ll want to avoid working with a company that locks you into too much service you need before you need it.

6. Free Trial Availability

Reviewing reviews, comparing features, and considering pricing don’t prepare you to implement pay-per-view streaming services. The only thing that can show you whether you have the best pay-per-view video hosting for your organization is to try it out. That’s why it’s critical to consider whether the pay-per-view video platform you’re considering has a free trial period.

Top Pay-Per-View Video Platform Options

Pay-Per-View Video Platform

There are several highly customizable pay-per-view providers with not only streaming but also monetization features.

Finding an online video streaming platform that supports a secure, integrated paywall can be complex. Some professional video platforms only support ad-based monetization or subscriptions. Other video platforms need monetization support.

We’ve gone through some of the top video platforms on the market and pulled out the best pay-per-view hosting options. Let’s look at some of the best pay-per-view video platform options for hosting.

1. Dacast

Dacast is an excellent choice for broadcasters looking for a reliable pay-per-view video platform. Our video-hosting platform uses a secure paywall built into the video player. That way, you and your viewers can rest assured that each transaction is safe.

In addition to pay-per-view, the Dacast platform supports ad-based and subscription-based advertising. That gives broadcasters some flexibility in their monetization options. They even have the option to use a hybrid model that uses multiple monetization options in one.

Some other helpful monetization features from Dacast include promo codes, group pricing,  and currency conversation, helping broadcasters reach various audiences successfully.

Aside from the monetization skills, Dacast is known for its powerful HTML5 video player that is secure, universal, customizable, and easy to embed in any website, app, or workflow. In addition, Dacast partners with powerful CDNs that you can trust to deliver your content worldwide, even video hosting in China, with our ICP license.


Dacast offers multiple plans for professional broadcasters, including:

  • Starter: $39/month (billed annually); ideal for newcomers with 2.4 TB of bandwidth and 500 GB of storage per month
  • Event: $63/month (or $750/year); ideal for organizations that would rather not sign a contract, and want to purchase bandwidth separately to live stream an event; 6 TB of bandwidth upfront, 250 GB of storage; adds monetization paywall; additional data and storage can be added as needed
  • Scale: $165/month (billed annually); includes 24 TB of bandwidth per year, with 2000 GB of storage; adds phone support, an M3U8 online player for live channels, ad insertion, white-label video player, and video API access
  • Custom: Custom-priced; designed for enterprises with high-volume streaming needs

Dacast offers new users 14 days to test drive the software and figure out which service tier meets their needs.

2. Vimeo OTT

Vimeo live Streaming Solution

Vimeo Livestream is a streaming solution that offers live broadcasting as well as video hosting services.

Vimeo is a longtime player in a video streaming game that was originally intended for consumer use. However, Vimeo acquired Livestream in 2017 and now offers premium plans under that branch of the business.

Vimeo OTT is a Livestream offering that supports PPV monetization. This offering is designed for broadcasters that want to create OTT platforms, like Netflix, Hulu, or Disney+.

This platform uses an HTML5 video player, so it is fully capable of all-device streaming. As for content delivery, Vimeo uses Akamai, CloudFront, and others for a multi-CDN approach.


Vimeo offers basic video hosting plans suitable for content creators and startups. These include:

  • Free: $0 per month
  • Starter: $20/seat per month; 60 videos, custom video player, privacy controls.
  • Standard: $33/seat per month; 120 videos, brand kit, teleprompter, AI script generator, marketing integrations, engagement and social analytics.
  • Advanced: $108/seat per month; 500 videos, virtual events and webinars, simulcasting, stream multiple events, CRM integrations.
  • Enterprise: Custom-priced, custom-built plans for advanced, secure, streaming needs.

Vimeo OTT, on the other hand, is a revenue-share-based service that doesn’t charge upfront or subscription fees. Its basic fees are as follows:

  • Starter: $1/subscriber/month OR 10% + 50¢/transaction 
  • Enterprise: Custom-priced

3. Kaltura

Kaltura streaming and business video hosting solution

Kaltura provides the widest range of live streaming video solutions for any company through engaging video tools.

Kaltura is an open-source and customizable video content management platform, meaning users can use APIs to integrate any program they like. That means you can incorporate programs that support pay-per-view and other monetization methods to build a pay-per-view video hosting platform

Kaltura is an excellent option for broadcasters with unique requirements since it has all these customization options.

Like Dacast, Kaltura uses an all-device HTML5 video player. However, users can rely on Kaltura’s many CDN partnerships regarding content delivery.


Kaltura uses a credit-based pricing system. Broadcasters can buy credits for bandwidth and access to features and integrations. The price per credit is reduced when you buy in bulk, but you can also pay as you go.

4. Muvi


Muvi is an OTT video platform that supports pay-per-view streaming. The main functionality of Muvi is building scalable OTT streaming services, comparable to Hulu or Netflix, relatively quickly.

Muvi uses an HTML5 video player, meaning you can reach your viewers on any device, browser, or operating system.


Muvi prices its plans at five levels:

  • Standard plan: $399/month (+ $299/month per app + infra fees), allows 2000 concurrent viewers, 1TB each of bandwidth and storage, and Android and iOS streaming apps.
  • Professional plan: at $1,499 per month (+ $499/month per app + infra fees), increases bandwidth and storage limits further to 2TB each, concurrent users to 10,000, and adds premium support.
  • Enterprise plan: $3,900 per month (+ $499/month per app + infra fees), 50,000 users, 5 TB bandwidth and storage each, and adds a dedicated hosting server.
  • Ultimate plan: Custom pricing, doubles the bandwidth and storage of the Enterprise plan, and adds a dedicated hosting server + auto scaling.

5. Uscreen

Last but not least, Uscreen is another reliable pay-per-view video platform. The platform is known for its wide range of monetization tools. In addition to pay-per-view, Uscreen supports video rentals, subscriptions, free trials, bundles, and lifetime access purchases.

Uscreen’s video player syncs with Stripe, PayPal, and other well-known payment processing tools, making its paywall reliable and trustworthy. Another exciting aspect of Uscreen’s video monetization platform is that it supports affiliate management to pay commissions to people who refer new viewers.

The HTML5 video player on Uscreen is capable of full high-definition streaming, meaning you can deliver high-quality video content to viewers on any device.

As for content delivery, Uscreen uses Akamai primarily, but allows users to bring their own CDN.


Uscreen has three different pricing plans for broadcasting, including:

  • Growth: $199/month + $1.99/paid member
  • Pro: $599/month + $0.99/paid member
  • Plus: Custom pricing 

How to Create a Pay-Per-View Video Website

If none of the options above are clicking, you can always DIY your pay-per-view hosting solution by creating your own cloud platform and pay-per-view website. Do remember, though, that creating your own website is more challenging than signing on to a pay-per-view hosting provider that does the hard work for you.

Creating your website is now simpler and requires less of a financial commitment than it used to in the past. Launching your website might be the next step if you’ve out-gown popular video hosting platforms and want to scale up.

We don’t recommend setting up your pay-per-view hosting website if you’re less experienced and just starting. In that case, selecting a pay-per-view video hosting platform will be the safer bet.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating a pay-per-view website:

  1. Choose the video provider: The first step is to select a video provider that matches your requirements. You should look for scalability options, the level of security they offer, and their charges.
  2. Choose your domain name and website host: Your URL will contain your domain name. First, select one that best represents your brand and vision. Next, research and choose your website hosting service based on its speed and content management capabilities.
  3. Set up WordPress for hosting your PPV videos: That will include integrating your video player and website and adding any necessary plug-ins.
  4. Set up your hosting platform for your PPV videos: The last step is configuring PPV settings. You can now select a currency, upload media, set a price, and fill in any other details for your viewers.

The work’s not done yet. You still have to fill in all the pages on your website and create media content. You can even schedule video streaming for later or release free video clips for viewers to catch their interest.


1. How do I set up pay-per-view video?

To set up pay-per-view video, you need to choose a streaming service that offers pay-per-view or subscription options, such as Dacast. Then, create a new live stream or VOD, enable the paywall or monetization features, and set the duration and price for your content. The exact steps may vary depending on your chosen streaming service.

2. Does Vimeo offer pay-per-view?

Yes, Vimeo offers pay-per-view as part of their Vimeo OTT service. You can set up a paywall for your videos and charge viewers to watch them. Naturally, you could also consider alternatives such as Dacast, Kaltura, and Muvi to see which one offers the most value. 

3. What is the difference between PPV and VOD?

Pay-per-view (PPV) refers to a model where viewers pay to watch a specific piece of content, such as a live event or one-time release. Meanwhile, video-on-demand (VOD) refers to a model where viewers can access a library of content at any time, usually for a subscription fee. 

4. What streaming service has pay-per-view?

Dacast, Vimeo, Kaltura, Muvi, Uscreen, and even YouTube offer pay-per-view options. 

5. How do I create a video paywall?

To create a video paywall, you need to choose a streaming service that offers pay-per-view or subscription options, such as Dacast. Then, you need to create a new live stream or VOD, enable the paywall feature, and set the price for your content. A video paywall can be either hard (requires payment before watching any part of the video) or soft (offers a preview or teaser before asking for payment).

Final Thoughts

Pay-per-view video hosting is an extremely valuable method for monetizing video content without distracting ads that could drive viewers away. With the right platform, streaming video online using the PPV service format is quick, easy and intuitive.

For further information on monetizing using this method, check out our pay-per-view video walkthrough. Furthermore, with a Daast account, your customers can stream PPV with you in minutes.

Did you know you can try Dacast’s professional video hosting tools and PPV features? Take advantage of Dacast’s 14-day risk-free trial. No credit card required.

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Suprita Kochar

Suprita is a social media analyst and a regular content contributor to the Dacast marketing and team.