How to Start a Video Streaming Business
Have you been contemplating how to start a video streaming business? You’ve come to the right place. In 2023, the video market is booming.
In fact, according to Statista, the market volume of the video streaming industry is projected to reach $137 billion in 2027. This equates to an annual revenue growth rate of 9.48% between 2023 and 2027.
This blog will provide an introduction to how to start a video streaming business specific to your goals. First, we’ll look at a few of the different business models out there. Then, we’ll cover key business video functionality and how to access it.
Are you ready to learn how to start a video streaming business? With that outline in mind, let’s dive right in.
How to start a video streaming business: Business Models
Let’s begin by discussing some possible business models. Not surprisingly, there are countless ways to build a business around online video.
The most obvious example is direct sales. However, you can also use video to market products, share events, and much more. Overall, 89% of marketers use video live streaming to push their products.
Let’s take a look at some of the business models out there in today’s market.
Image via G2
The term OTT refers to Over-The-Top video. These days, it generally refers to content delivery online—and especially premium content.
One example of an OTT video comes from IDF1, a French television station that broadcasts sports, entertainment, and news.
Using the Dacast platform, IDF1 has created a free app that allows users to watch content on mobile devices. This integration allows engineers and employees at the IDF1 TV studio to upload, manage, and deliver live broadcasts to mobile viewers.
All of this extra functionality works alongside existing distribution channels with minimal extra effort. Broadcasters can monetize their content via advertising, subscriptions, or pay-per-view transactions easily.
For another example of the OTT business model, check out the TV station BVN.
When deciding how to start a video streaming business, you might also consider reselling. Reselling involves businesses purchasing access to live streaming and VOD hosting services. Then, the business resells this functionality (often with value-added services) to others.
One example of this business model is Striv.TV. Founded in 2012, Striv.TV works with more than 85 high schools in Nebraska to provide live streaming solutions for events and sports. Striv.TV uses the Da
Dacast video API to integrate video streaming and storage into their existing workflow.
Striv.TV customer schools can log into a customized dashboard to upload and manage content, as well as access analytics. From the perspective of end-users, it’s transparent that Striv.TV is using the reseller business model.
The third major area in which video businesses are succeeding relates to education. Nowadays, educational videos are extremely popular for those seeking to increase their skills. This could be learning a new language, learning to code, practicing yoga or other physical exercises, and more.
One example of the education business model comes from MorningCME. MorningCME is a Continuing Medical Education provider that uses Dacast content management video API to stream live and on-demand classes. Medical professionals can watch these videos and gain credits toward maintaining their professional certifications.
MorningCME hosts and delivers its video broadcasts via the Dacast online video platform. However, this process is fully transparent to users. Dacast branding doesn’t appear anywhere. This is the benefit of using a white-label service. White-label broadcasting allows you to use custom branding on your videos, streams, and services.
In this way, MorningCME can add custom branding to its live streams and VOD content. Then, this content reaches all their viewers on their unique devices, wherever they are. The Dacast API makes this process possible, a process we’ve discussed before.
Sports and entertainment
Not surprisingly, the sports and entertainment category is always popular. More than 30 percent of fans now stream sports to their phones or tablets. Additionally, one-time events like sports are perfect for pay-per-view monetization. In fact, this industry represents another major business opportunity. For example, Dacast user CDFL has long used our services to stream and monetize football games.
Conferences, live music, and other events
Finally, let’s touch briefly on other live events. This category is a massive one. In general, events of all kinds make very popular live streams. And you don’t need to worry about video streaming solutions decreasing in-person attendance. In fact, research shows that the opposite is actually true. Sixty-seven percent of live video viewers are more likely to buy a ticket to a concert or event after watching a live video of that event or a similar one.
The importance of API access and SDKs
Image via Agility CMS
Next, let’s shift gears and look at some of the key video features for business users. If you’re considering how to start a video streaming business, these features are essential in most cases.
First, let’s discuss APIs. The term API stands for Application Programming Interface. An API allows you to code customized solutions for your video needs.
According to Streaming Media, “The video workflow and distribution environment is incredibly complex, and the way to build a best-of-breed system or even just gain finer control over tasks—especially when delivering video at scale—is by API.”
Today, most businesses are migrating to API-based workflows for online video. Even if you’re not sure how to use an API, or how to make use of it, you can take our word for it. Video APIs are essential for most video businesses today. You’ll thank us later for taking this trend into account!
You should also look for video SDKs when you’re starting a video business. SDKs, or Software Development Kits, make it easy to build custom apps for given platforms (like iOS, Android, or Roku).
Building mobile apps has the potential to grow your monetization base hugely. In 2022, the daily time users spent on their mobile phones went up by 39% compared to the three previous years and is projected to increase even further in 2023.
White-label service, white-label platforms
Image via 4D Contact
The second key element of a business-grade video platform is white-label service. In the video business, “white label” refers to a service that doesn’t include any branding except your own.
For example, when you use the Dacast video player, there is no logo included and no mention of Dacast at all. The only logo present is your own—if you choose to use it!
There is also a second, advanced level to white-label service. This is the ability to create a white-label platform. This is the functionality that resellers use to flip Dacast solutions and offer live streaming and VOD hosting to their own clients.
All our broadcasters can use custom branding on the entire Dacast video streaming platform. This way, their users won’t see the Dacast logo or name anywhere. This enables professional reselling and custom branding at every level.
Powerful CDN delivery
Last but not least, the final element when deciding how to start a video streaming business is a CDN. A CDN, or Content Delivery Network, is a global network of servers that help distribute video and other digital content around the world.
Image via Cloudkul
CDN businesses are specialists in getting data to a given destination quickly. It doesn’t matter whether that destination is in rural Ohio, New York City, Johannesburg, or Shanghai. Specialist load-distribution software helps to ensure that content delivered via a CDN has minimal buffering, latency, and other quality issues.
New businesses do have the option of working with a live streaming CDN directly. However, direct CDN contracts can be confusing and expensive. Costs are to be predicted, as they’re based on usage and a wide array of other factors.
This approach affords you all the benefits of using a CDN, with none of the downsides of going at it alone. Pricing is simple and predictable, and the platform is easy to use and customizable.
How to Make Your Video Streaming Business Successful
Starting a video streaming business can be challenging. Here are a few boxes you’ll need to tick to make sure it stays up and running.
- Have a business plan: Make sure your business plan outlines important items such as your goals, financial projections, target market, marketing strategy, and revenue streams.
- Have enough content: This depends on the streaming business you want to start. You can either create your content or buy the rights to existing content you’d like to stream.
- Build a website: This is where you’ll stream your content officially, and your customers can access everything from there. Make sure your site is mobile friendly for maximum reach.
- Choose monetization methods(s): Choose how you want your business to make money. This includes advertising, subscription, pay-per-view etc.
- Have the right infrastructure: This includes having a high-speed internet connection, secure payment processing, and reliable servers.
1. How do I start a streaming business?
Here are important steps to consider when starting a streaming business.
- Determine the business type you’ll want to build around your online videos.
- Get API and SDK to help you build custom applications for different platforms.
- Get a white-label video hosting service that allows you to use your own brand items.
- Set up a CDN to distribute your videos globally.
2. Are any streaming services profitable?
A live streaming company can be capital intensive and may not result in profits right away. However, profitability depends on your business structure and audience.
This determines how your business will make money, and ultimately, profit. For instance, streaming platforms like YouTube and Vimeo make their income through ads, sponsorships, and subscriptions.
3. What is the most profitable video streaming service?
For B2B businesses, LinkedIn Live is one of the most popular streaming services used by marketing professionals in 2023. According to recent statistics, 93% of B2B content marketers use LinkedIn Live to host live streams.
And given that a LinkedIn audience is twice as likely to make a purchase as any other internet user, it may be among the most profitable video streaming services for B2B businesses.
4. How do video streaming services make money?
Video streaming services can make money in many ways. These include, but are not limited to:
- Sponsorships from brands
- Running advertisements on videos hosted using your platform
- User subscription or membership signup
- Charging payments per content views
- Charging people to view or join your live streams like an admission fee
- Selling recorded videos to other broadcasters
5. What is video streaming marketing?
This is a process that involves delivering live content to your target audience through various livestream hosting channels. It’s a popular tool that marketers use to create a virtual shopping experience for their online audiences.
It’s not limited to direct promotion only. It also includes other lead-scoring activities, such as webinars, product launches, and virtual events.
We hope this article has helped enlighten you on how to start a video streaming business. As we’ve discussed above, a key element involves choosing an online video platform that’s right for you.
Not yet streaming with Dacast and interested to learn more? You can read all about our live streaming pricing plans to see which is the best fit for your business.
That said, a great way to take the next step is with a 14-day free trial (no credit card required) to the Dacast platform. Our powerful, scalable, easy-to-use streaming solutions can power the core of your video streaming business. Just click below to sign up and start streaming live today: