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March 11, 2024
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 min read

Turning Views into Value: How Content Creators Can Monetize Video Content

In our content-driven digital age, video media reigns supreme, with endless possibilities for creators to transform views into value.

Understanding the Basics of Monetizing Video Content

In our content-driven digital age, video media reigns supreme, with endless possibilities for creators to transform views into value. A lot of people still assume that only creators with over a million subscribers can make real money from their content. But here’s the truth: You don’t even need to hit a thousand subscribers before you can start monetizing your videos and reinvesting that income. Seriously!

Here’s all you need:

  • High-quality videos that resonate with a particular audience (and again, it’s okay if that audience is small)
  • A solid monetization strategy

Chances are you’re already making great videos, so in this guide we’ll delve into some of the most effective strategies for convert your creativity into cash, from ad placements and brand sponsorships to exclusive content and video-on-demand—enabling you to identify the best monetization strategy for you and start earning!

Options for Monetizing Video in 2024

Ad Revenue: Making Money Through Placements and Views

Making money from your videos is straightforward with ad revenue. Social platforms like YouTube pay creators for ads shown on their content. Pretty simple, right? The more views you get, the more you earn—and you can earn big!

It’s important to remember that ad-based monetization is a shared-profit model, meaning that ad revenue is split between the creator and the platform. Creators in the YouTube Partner Program can generally expect to earn roughly 50% of ad revenue, though the exact revenue share depends on a number of factors.

The ad-based model becomes exponentially lucrative as your follower and view count grows, but if you’re just starting out, ads likely won’t be your strongest source of revenue. In fact, before you can enable monetization on YouTube, your channel must have at least 1,000 subscribers and at 4,000 watch hours in the last year (or 10 million public Shorts views in the last 90 days).

Sponsorships and Brand Deals: Partnering for Profit

Sponsorships and brand deals are another option for creators to monetize their video content. Companies are increasingly seeking creators like you to feature their products or promote their brand in your videos. These arrangements can vary from one-time shoutouts to full-fledged partnerships. If you're attracting a sizable audience that aligns with the brand's target demographic, you're in a prime position. However, it's not just about the numbers. Brands value genuine engagement. Demonstrate that you're more than just a content generator—you're a trusted voice, and they'll be eager to invest in your platform.

But again, if you’re just beginning to grow your following, brand partnerships may not yet be an option. Instead, to get started monetizing, you’ll want to consider gated content strategies.

Subscriptions and Pay-Per-View: Gated Content Strategies

The best way to start generating revenue quickly and easily is with gated content, and the two primary ways of gating content are subscriptions and video-on-demand (VOD).

These strategies offer your audience VIP access to your most valuable content. Subscriptions function as memberships, where viewers pay a recurring fee for exclusive content or perks. You set the price, granting monthly or yearly access to your premium content. This approach ensures a consistent stream of income for you while continuously delivering value to your audience.

VOD on the other hand is an even more direct and clear-cut method. It allows viewers to purchase access to individual videos or series. For a one-time-payment, they can view the content (with either temporary or lifetime access), and you earn. It's as straightforward as that!

Whether it's a live event, a tutorial packed with insights, or a captivating series, people are willing to pay for content that captures their interest. Therefore, assess the value of your exclusive content and leverage it to unlock new sources of revenue.

The gated content model is a great option when you’re just beginning to grow, as it allows you to keep a large percentage of profit from each customer transaction. Essentially, you earn based on the true value of your content to your audience. However, to monetize this way on YouTube you still need to meet the YouTube Partner Program threshold and pass their review process.

As an alternative to gating content on YouTube, consider a tool like Viewcastle, which allows you to launch your own exclusive streaming app and set up gated content monetization with no minimum thresholds or added fees. With Viewcastle, each time your viewers make a purchase, you profit the full amount minus a fixed processing fee of $0.99 (or $0.89 on yearly subscriptions).

Crowdfunding and Fan Support: Harnessing Community Contributions

Crowdfunding empowers you to harness the strength of your fanbase to support your content without compromising to advertisers’ demands. Platforms like Patreon and Kickstarter are great ways to directly raise funds from devoted fans. You can easily launch a campaign, highlight exclusive perks and behind-the-scenes access, and witness your supporters eagerly pledging money for your next project.

Always remember, your fans are your essential support system. Demonstrate sincere gratitude, deliver on your commitments, and they will continue to rally behind your vision. It's all about fostering trust and community around your content. When done right, you're not just creating videos; you're fueling a movement driven by people who believe in your work. So, go ahead, launch that campaign, and transform those views into tangible value.

Licensing and Content Syndication: Expanding Your Reach

By licensing your video content, you earn income every time someone seeks to use your work. It's akin to leasing out your video to other businesses or media outlets who may be seeking to enhance their own content or looking for something exceptional that you've already created. They compensate you, and in exchange, they have the rights to use your video for a specified period. The agreement typically includes stipulations regarding the usage parameters, but that's all part of the negotiation process.

Content syndication is a smart move that amplifies your reach. By distributing your video on multiple platforms or with other publishers, you can expand your audience beyond your own followers. This increased visibility can open up potential revenue streams through opportunities like advertising and sponsorships. The best part is, you retain the original video on your channel while it is also shared elsewhere, multiplying your content's earning potential effortlessly. Consider exploring licensing and syndication to leverage your creativity and translate views into significant value.

What’s Your Monetization Strategy?

Your approach to monetization will depend on how big your audience is, who your audience is, and what your goals are. Ads and sponsorships are best for established creators, whereas crowdfunding is a great option if you’re just starting out. But here’s the wildcard: gated content.

The subscription and VOD gated content model has traditionally been limited to large corporate media publishers (like Netflix or Hulu), hardly accessible to small independent creators. Only recently has YouTube begun allowing channels to offer paid subscriptions, and only more recently have tools like Viewcastle given creators a simple way to launch their own platform with full control over gated monetization via subscription and VOD.

It’s never been easier to sustain and grow your own video streaming platform via content monetization. So what are you waiting for? Let’s get started!

Colin Hooper

Leader of product strategy at Viewcastle, driving high-quality outcomes, and fostering excellence and value.