Video use in education can be “highly effective“—and highly lucrative for producers. With revenues from OTT video expected to surpass $20 billion within the next year, there’s never been a better time to get into the industry. Given that trend, this article will present information about the best way to monetize video for education, in particular, through the use of an Online Video Platform (OVP).
Setting aside the meteoric rise of OTT (Over The Top) video, there are other great reasons to invest in educational content. Globally, the number of students enrolled in higher education has more than doubled since the year 2000. That’s not even including primary and secondary education, which accounts for another 1.3 billion students globally.
Most of these students are “digital natives” who’ve grown up learning from YouTube videos. They’re comfortable with multimedia education. In fact, they expect it! Here at DaCast, we’ve seen a steady rise in the use of video for education since 2008.
Benefits of monetizing video for education
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of monetization. The major one, of course, is making money. The continued profitability and growth of online video demonstrates the robustness of this business model.
Since people can continue to purchase videos after they’ve first been broadcast, video monetization is the gift that keeps on giving. Educational videos, especially those that are evergreen, can continue to generate revenue for a long time.
Educational video monetization also makes life easier for your teachers or instructors. It reduces the amount of time they need to spend in the classroom conducting lectures. That frees up time for questions and dialogue via the “flipped classroom” model.
For students, video learning makes content available at any time and any location. Learning can occur at their own pace. There’s also evidence that paid content encourages buyers to value the content contained within more highly, which can lead to more engagement with the material.
Best ways to monetize video
Let’s now start diving into the nitty-gritty of monetization. The first question we’ll answer is about the best practices to monetize video. There are three main models used to sell online video, all of which will work for either live streams or on-demand video.
Transactional monetization / Pay-Per-View / TVOD
The names are a dead giveaway here. Transactional video monetization is when the viewer pays a single fee for each video (or collection/playlist of videos) they’d like to watch. The transactional model is easy to understand and use. It’s a great option, especially when students are looking for bite-sized chunks of learning, or individual courses.
Subscriptions monetization / SVOD
Subscriptions, as the name implies, involve paying a regular (often monthly) fee in exchange for access to a library of content. Netflix is the most popular example of this. In an educational context, subscriptions may offer a better deal for students willing to cram and study a variety of courses at the same time. It may also provide more reliable income for producers, since future income can be predicted to some degree.
Advertising monetization / AVOD
The final common method of monetization is advertising. This can take the place of in-video ads or ads on the web pages that host the videos. Advertising depends on a large number of people watching your content. We’ve also seen the rise of ad-blockers cutting down on advertising revenue.
Here at DaCast, we’ve found advertising to be an inferior monetization method. However, we still support in-video advertising via VAST or other common API-based methods.
Selecting an OVP to monetize your educational videos
So you know that you want monetization—great! Let’s talk about your online video platform selection—but first, let’s define the term.
An online video platform (often abbreviated to OVP) is a tool for managing your online video. First and foremost, an OVP helps you store and deliver video. That means it provides the storage, servers, and infrastructure for live streaming or video on-demand. Other OVP features that may be especially important for educational users include white label, integrated paywalls, and video APIs.
We’ll discuss those in a bit more detail, but first let’s look at how to set up video monetization via an OVP.
How to set up video monetization
Getting video monetization up and running is relatively simple. For these examples, we’ll look at how this works when you’re using our streaming solution.
How to get started will differ depending on whether you’re monetizing pre-recorded videos or live streams that will occur in the future. For pre-recorded content (commonly called Video On-Demand, or VOD) you’ll need to upload your files to your online video platform (e.g., DaCast). If you’re live streaming, you’ll have nothing to upload yet—but you can create your “live channel” in advance.
Then, in the settings for your video or live channel, you can enable monetization. When you do so, a series of input boxes and drop-down menus will allow you to select the monetization method and price. If you’re setting up a subscription, you’ll also need to select all the other content that will be accessible for subscribers.
An OVP makes this process easy. It should only take you a few minutes to set up a pay-per-view live stream and begin collecting income.
White label / custom branding
Let’s take a look at a few other features that will be useful in an online video platform, especially for educational videos. First up is white label service. “White label” means that videos curated via this online video platform will not include the logo of the OVP. In fact, it’ll be easy for you to insert your own logo.
This is in contrast to B2C video platforms like YouTube, which include the YouTube logo in every video player, embed, and so on.
Most B2B OVPs enable some form of white-label service. However, be aware that many only provide white label service to higher-tier accounts. Here at DaCast, even our entry-level accounts are white-label and allow you to use custom branding on your videos.
Integrated paywall with clear instructions
The next great feature to look for in an OVP is a simple, integrated paywall. An integrated paywall means that video purchases occur in the video window itself. Customers enter their payment information, which is safely encrypted and transmitted to the bank. Payments are approved, and then access to the video is opened up.
This has a number of advantages. First, it helps with security by reducing the chances that a freely-accessible video behind a paywall will be embedded into other domains. (DaCast also has other security features to prevent unauthorized embedding of videos). Second, it makes the process very seamless. Compared to purchasing access on a separate page and going from there to your video content, an integrated paywall removes the navigation step. It also makes everything crystal clear for viewers: enter payment info, then watch video.
APIs for easy integration and customization
The final, important feature that we’ll take a look at here is video API. API stands for Application Programming Interface. An API is like a standardized language that allows you to custom-design applications and services that interact with your OVP.
For example, an API allows you to integrate your OVP with an existing Online Learning Platform, such as Blackboard or Canvas. It can also help you do other technical tasks such as:
- Create a dedicated video portal for your educational videos
- Design a mobile app to allow users to access your content
- Create a video-recording solution for professors that automatically uploads or streams content to your account
- Integrate advertising into your videos, and
- Customize your video player.
As we’ve covered in this article, education is a great field to maximize on the still growing video content industry. We only expect this trend to continue in coming years. The appetite for great educational video will continue to grow, which makes monetizing educational videos a good business to be in.
I hope that the features we’ve reviewed here will help you find the right streaming solution for you. Remember, look for a variety of monetization options, an integrated paywall, white-label service, and an integrated API. A service that ticks all these boxes will likely work perfectly for your needs!
Ultimately, we hope that this information about monetization and OVP features will help you get your own educational videos up and running. Any questions, comments, or ideas? Let us know in the comment section below. We love to hear from our readers! For regular live streaming tips, and exclusive offers, we also invite you to join our LinkedIn group.
If you’re not yet streaming with us, we’d love for you to give our platform a try! If you’re interested, you can simply click the button below to sign up for our 30-day free trial (no credit card required). That way, you can test out all our platform’s features for yourself!
Thanks for reading and, as always, good luck with your live streams!
By Max Wilbert.