Subscription Video on Demand Paves the Way for New Monetization Options

Published on February 22, 2021

If You Target the Base, the Fans Will Come

The Subscription Video on Demand monetization model is crucial for content creators, as they can tailor content to meet the demands of their existing audience while obtaining new viewers. Content creators are consistently working to get their best ideas out to the masses, but with ever-increasing content creation platforms, there’s more competition than ever before when it comes to attracting and retaining fans. Entertainment options are no longer limited to broadcast and cable, as video and content streaming is more convenient, flexible, and accessible. 

Optimizing video streaming platforms and models by targeting fan bases with creative and captivating content that fits their needs is key to ensuring your content is distributed and creators can monetize. 

subscription video on demand
Source: Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

Getting Started 

Understanding where to target your audience, what content they access, and how they prefer to consume entertainment are important. This ensures your content reaches your target audience while continuously expanding your fan base.

For example, if you’re targeting content consumers in Sub-Saharan Africa, you will need to consider streaming differences and availability. Factors may include limited bandwidth, data availability, and cost. Seventy-five percent of countries in the region remain above the target threshold of two percent income for 1GB of data. Despite these challenges, there are still opportunities for local content creators and celebrities to connect with their fans as the continent has followed the global shift from TV to on-demand viewing. 

Let’s take a look at the different types of on-demand streaming platforms for content distribution. A streaming platform is an on-demand entertainment source for TV shows, movies, and other media. This definition, for many, brings to mind Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and so on. Additionally, it’s important to remember YouTube, Instagram, and others are also platforms where content creators can distribute their videos and media to consumers. 

Going Video on Demand

In the second quarter of 2020, Nielsen reported that the cumulative weekly time spent streaming video increased nearly 75% from 2019. More people are turning to devices and online content to provide them with the entertainment they want, bypassing cable, and broadcast gatekeepers. 

In the Age of Technology, Video on Demand (VOD), has fundamentally changed how people access and view content. Video on Demand is entertainment media streamed directly to the consumer on the internet, outside of cable and broadcast. With VOD, consumers can view the media they want, from anywhere, on any device, whenever they want. As a result, VOD has put consumers ahead in content consumption, allowing them to direct how and when they want their entertainment. While platforms like Hulu and Netflix are examples of VOD, they are not the top ones for content creators, such as influencers, who are reaching more personal and targeted fan bases. 

With VOD, platforms can be lucrative tools for influencers looking to expand their audience and increase their revenue. VOD allows audiences to seek out, subscribe to, and binge the content they want. This means that viewers are able to tailor their interests and expectations for content creators to fulfill. Social influencers can reach their most engaged audiences, which are those choosing to regularly consume and engage with their content. By continuing to create what their viewers want, influencers monetize their fan base.

Types of Video on Demand Streaming Models

There are three basic types of VOD platforms that go beyond basic streaming and help content creators reach their audience while monetizing their creativity: Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD), Transactional Video on Demand (TVOD) and Ad-supported Video on Demand (AVOD). 

SVOD provides users with high-quality, ad-free content, as they pay a small recurring monthly or annual fee to access the content. Once the user has paid for the subscription, they have full access to view the content on the platform for no additional cost. 

TVOD is where a viewer pays for limited access, it’s great for one-time streaming or limited content and provides the benefit for creators to reach potential audiences that are unwilling to pay for a complete subscription upfront. 

When it comes to AVOD, think of watching a YouTube video without a subscription. You have to watch a video ad to continue to your entertainment content. This may create an issue for some content creators, as their consumers may be uninterested in watching ads and choose to skip the content instead of waiting for the ad to pass.

Revenue and Monetization Opportunities with Subscription Video on Demand

The Subscription Video on Demand model is one of the most popular monetization models for content creators and is continuing to grow. In the African region, revenue in the Video Streaming SVOD segment is projected to reach $203 million this year, a small but building number in comparison to the United States at a projected $32,082 million in 2021.

The SVOD model works so well because of something called The Membership Economy by Robbie Kellman Baxter. The Membership Economy focuses on finding super-users and allowing the subscription model to establish a recurring audience without consistent marketing and outreach, as you continue to grow subscribers and earn revenue. 

The Subscription Video on Demand model benefits both the creators and the viewers. Creators are able to rely on a stable, recurring revenue to generate content. Users benefit as they are able to stream their favorite quality videos and entertainment without ads taking up their streaming time. This reliable revenue and entertainment source means that creators can tailor content to meet the demands of their already existing audience and continue to draw in new viewers without having to worry about a stable income stream. Additionally, there are services available that can benefit global users with limited data accessibility following the SVOD model. 

SVOD can also be used in conjunction with TVOD to promote special videos and generate additional revenue for content creators.

subscription video on demand
Source: Image by Luis Quintero on Unsplash

What’s the Best VOD Monetization Option for Creators with Audience in Mind?

Deciding what platform is ideal for your audience is important to get started in creating content and reaching your fan base. Understanding how your audience will respond to the different models can make it easier to decide which VOD model will work best. 

Some platforms will provide quality metrics and analytics that help grow your audience. Others will offer the ability to work with them to create content. In areas of the world with limited access to streaming services via the internet, due to bandwidth limitations and expensive data plans, SVOD is a great opportunity for content creators to reach their audience in a way they can afford. 

Another consideration for deciding which platform and model will work best for content creators is the payout schedule. Different platforms have different payout structures, allocating a set amount of the income generation to the creator, the platform and others involved. Some platforms, like YouTube, have been called out for unfair monetization models previously, also. 

Finding a platform that is fair to the creator’s needs and creations is important for successfully moving forward and allotting the amount of time and energy needed to build a fanbase. Without the revenue to grow ideas, audiences can plateau. 

Ultimately, deciding which model will best reach your audience, monetize content and distribute content is key. Understanding what your audience base needs will ensure your creative videos will continue to reach them while building out your fan base.

Guy Kamgaing, a Los Angeles-based Cameroonian entrepreneur, is the Founder and CEO of StarNews Mobile and a 20-year veteran of the African mobile space. Guy started his career by supplying network equipment to mobile operators and ISPs in Africa and other developing markets. He later entered the Value Added Services space by founding Mobile-XL, a mobile SaaS company, and creating the XL Browser, the first mobile browser using SMS as a content bearer, before data and smartphones became mainstream. He then decided in 2015 to work on the creation of a platform to deliver African content at an affordable price to consumers. He launched StarNews in 2017, and after only 9 months of pilot deployment in Côte d'Ivoire in partnership with the operators MTN and Moov, StarNews Mobile reached over one million subscribers. Guy holds an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management and a mechanical engineering degree from France.

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