Pay-Per-View Video Streaming: What it Is and How it Works [2022 Update]

By Suprita Kochar

20 Min Read

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Suprita Kochar

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

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    Broadcasting video content with a professional streaming solution is easier and more affordable than ever. Many video streaming platforms offer the ability to monetize your content, which is a great incentive for people who are on the fence about getting into professional broadcasting. 

    One popular way to monetize content is to use ads and promote products. But there are downsides to this approach. Ads can unpredictably interrupt the content and you don’t always have control over exactly what that ad is for. While this approach works for some, many broadcasters prefer to generate revenue in ways that don’t compromise the aesthetic and viewing experience of their users. 

    Streaming through a pay-per-view video platform provides an alternative method to generate revenue from your video content that is more professional and provides a more enjoyable user experience.

    In this post, we’ll take a look at how pay per view video hosting works. We’ll walk you through a few things to consider when setting up pay per view streaming on your video content and cover some additional information on how a pay-per-view streaming platform can help you reach your broadcasting goals.

    To wrap things up, we will take a look at a few of the top pay-per-view video platform options on the market.

    Please note that pay-per-view 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 March 2022.

    Table of Contents

    • What is Video Monetization?
    • 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
    • Conclusion

    What is Video Monetization?

    video monetization platform ppv
    Make money with your content using pay-per-view, subscriptions, or ads.

    Before we get started, let’s review video monetization. Video monetization refers to the tools you use to make money on your video content.

    There are three popular video monetization models available to professional broadcasters: SVOD, TVOD, and AVOD. Each of these is valuable for different reasons, and naturally, they serve different purposes in the world of broadcasting.

    1. Pay-Per-View (TVOD)

    TVOD—short for “transactional video on demand”— is most commonly known as pay-per-view, which is what we’ll talk about in this post. As the name suggests, viewers pay for any content that they want to watch. Customers might frame content like this as a “pay to watch” video.

    Many streaming services give viewers the option to buy or rent video content. When they buy it, it’s theirs to watch as many times as they’d like. When they rent it, it is only available for a limited amount of time.

    2. Subscriptions (SVOD)

    SVOD is a subscription-based method that allows viewers to have unlimited access to a video library for as long as their subscription lasts. Subscriptions are typically monthly, annually, or quarterly.

    Many subscriptions start with a free trial period that lets viewers test out the platform and review the library of videos.

    3. Advertisements (AVOD)

    AVOD refers to ad-based monetization, which is a model that serves ads on your content. Ads are funded by sponsors, so rather than paying out of pocket, your viewers pay for the content with a minute or so of their time.

    Ad-based video monetization can be paired with either of the other two models for 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 video hosting allows you to add a revenue channel for your videos by charging for access to specific pieces of content. You can set up pay-per-view streaming services so your viewers can either buy or rent access to your video content.

    Unlike ad-based monetization, the pay-per-view method allows broadcasters to maintain total control over their viewers’ experience without ads interrupting your content.

    Earning revenue via pay-per-view through an integrated paywall is surprisingly easy. In fact, it’s generally even easier than monetization through ads. The challenge in pay-per-view video hosting, for new broadcasters, mostly comes down to logistics and having a well-thought-out video monetization strategy.

    For example, new broadcasters may be unsure about feasible pricing and timing for monetized video content. Spending a little time experimenting with how pay per view works for your company can help you zero in on your exact needs.

    How to Price Pay-Per-View Video Content

    When it comes to pricing your pay-per-view video content, we recommend you start pricing at around $2 for one to two days of access for a specific video. From there, you can increase prices and offer tiered services, if you so choose. 

    There is tons of room for up-selling on a pay-per-view video platform. For example, you can offer one-day access for $2 or unlimited access for $8. Some viewers will opt for the $8 access simply because it gives them more bang for their buck, regardless of how long they originally wanted access to your content.

    These starting price points are obviously just general guidelines. Prices may vary drastically in terms of your particular content, operating costs, viewership, and streaming goals.

    Here are a few more things to consider when choosing your price and access duration:

    • Be clear on the timing of your content. For example, avoid offering an hour of access for a two-hour video. This will cause frustration when access for your viewers ends halfway through the stream.
    • Guarantee slightly longer access than the length of a given video. We recommend either a full day of access or at least double the run time of the video. This allows your viewers to account for unexpected interruptions or any technical issues that may arise.
    • Compare competitor (or similar content) prices, if available. First, try to find examples of what others in your industry charge. Then, consider setting a slightly better price point for your own content. 

    You may have to adjust your prices a couple of times to get it right, and that’s absolutely okay. Figuring out pricing for your content is such an individualized journey, and you truly have to do what makes sense for both your viewers and your business.

    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 video hosting enables you to charge users every time they access your content. This requires the support of a streaming platform with TVOD monetization capabilities. You will need to invest in a professional solution because free platforms like YouTube are not equipped with pay per view hosting tools.

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

    Dacast is a great 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 have the flexibility to modify your monetization strategy if you see fit.

    Our platform is one of many professional video hosting tools available. We invite you to check out our streaming platform comparison post to see how Dacast stacks up against competitors 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 are in addition to the platform’s support for PPV monetization.

    Let’s take a look at a little more context for some of the major considerations you’ll need to take when selecting a pay per view video platform.

    1. Content Delivery

    You’ll also want to ensure global access to your content. We recommend choosing a streaming service that uses 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 the top-tier live streaming CDNs, such as Limelight and Akamai, that are designed to increase the speed of your content delivery, reduce buffering and maximize streaming quality. 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 PPV 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. These days, most customers prefer a 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. 

    This diversity of access has contributed to its #1 ranking in domestic pay television service in the United States back in 2013 when this trend was just 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 service will depend on the software you select. Most services use tiered pricing to help you pay for only what you need, although there are other pricing models as well such as a system of purchasing and redeeming credits.

    The next section will take a closer look at real pricing examples. It’s important to consider what your actual need for PPV streaming services is right now, 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. If it’s not easy or intuitive to access your company’s content, that becomes a barrier that limits your reach. A CMS should make it easy to organize, access, and manage monetizing your content as well.

    5. Scalability 

    In the beginning when a company is first learning how to set up pay per view video, they need a smaller price tier that lets them experiment and learn to manage their content. 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 that you need before you need it.

    6. Free Trial Availability

    Reading reviews, comparing features, and thinking about pricing simply doesn’t prepare you to implement pay per view streaming services. The only thing that can really show you whether you have the best pay per view video hosting for your organization is to actually try it out. That’s why it’s so critical to consider whether the PPV platform you consider 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 platform that supports pay-per-view video streaming can be difficult. Some professional platforms only support ad-based monetization or subscriptions. Other platforms lack monetization support altogether.

    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 take a look at some of the best pay-per-view platform options for hosting.

    1. Dacast

    Dacast is a great choice for broadcasters who are looking for a reliable pay-per-view platform. Our platform uses a secure paywall that is built into the video player. This way, both 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. This 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 useful monetization features from Dacast include promo codes, group pricing,  and currency conversation. This helps broadcasters to successfully reach a variety of audiences.

    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. Dacast is partnered with powerful CDNs that you can trust to deliver your content all around the world, even video hosting in China with our ICP license.


    Dacast offers four plans for professional broadcasters, including:

    • Starter: $39/month (billed annually); ideal for newcomers with 1,000 TB of bandwidth and 50 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, 50 GB of storage; additional data and storage can be added as needed
    • Scale: $188/month (billed annually); includes 24 TB of bandwidth per year, with 1 TB of storage; add phone support, monetization paywall, 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 your needs.

    2. Vimeo OTT

    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 that are suitable for content creators and startups. These include:

    • Basic: 30-day free trial
    • Starters: $1 per subscriber, per month; Free access to your web app (TVOD and SVOD), web payments, Pay as you go, Bandwidth is included
    • Growth: Starting at $500/month, billed annually; $1/subscriber per month, unlimited live events, Live pay-per-view, Live DVR player, 1 Vimeo Premium license, Livestream analytics, 60TB bandwidth, 200 upload hours
    • Enterprise: Custom-priced, custom-built plans for advanced streaming needs

    All plans are billed annually. The Plus plan can be billed monthly at an increased rate of $12/month.

    3. Kaltura

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

    Kaltura is a great option for broadcasters with unique requirements since it has all of these customization options.

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


    Kaltura uses a credit-based pricing system. Broadcasters can buy credits to spend on bandwidth and access to features and integrations. Price per credit is reduced when you buy in bulk, but there is also the option to 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 easily. 

    Muvi uses an HTML5 video player, which means that you can reach your viewers on any type of device, browser, or operating system.


    Muvi prices its plans at the following five levels:

    • Standard plan: $399/month (+ $299/month per app + infra fees), allows 2000 concurrent viewers, 1TB each of bandwidth and storage, and API access.
    • Professional plan: at $1,499 per month (+ $499/month per app + infra fees) increases limits further and adds premium support.
    • Enterprise plan: $3,900 per month (+ $499/month per app + infra fees) adds a dedicated server with auto-scaling.
    • Ultimate plan: $8,900/month (+ $499/month per app + infra fees) doubles the bandwidth and storage of the enterprise plan and adds your own CDN and unlimited API calls.
    • Black plan: this is a custom solution and includes everything in the Ultimate plan plus premium services and project management.

    5. Uscreen

    Last but not least, Uscreen is another reliable pay-per-view video platform.  This 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 which makes its paywall reliable and trustworthy. Another interesting aspect of Uscreen’s monetization 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, which means that you can deliver high-quality video content to viewers on any device. 

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


    Uscreen has three different pricing plans for broadcasting, including:

    • Basic:  $79/month + $0.50/subscriber
    • Growth: $159/month + $0.50/subscriber
    • Uscreenplus: Customizable plans for enterprise users with greater needs


    Pay-per-view video hosting is valuable for broadcasters who want to monetize their video content without distracting ads. It is generally quite easy to set up with the help of comprehensive PPV hosting software.

    For further information on the process of setting up this monetization method, we recommend checking out our pay-per-view video walkthrough. Once you have a Dacast account, your customers can be streaming PPV in a matter of minutes.

    To test Dacast’s pay-per-view video hosting tools and other amazing PPV features, we encourage you to take advantage of our 30-day risk-free trial. All you have to do is sign up today. No credit card required. This way, you can try out all the Dacast features to see if it’s a good fit for you.

    Get Started For Free


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    Suprita Kochar

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

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