The Most Effective Direct-to-Consumer Video Monetization Strategy

By Chris Smith on March 13, 2018

One of the greatest advantages of going direct-to-consumer is the power to choose how and where you sell and distribute your video. Not to mention that eliminating any distribution middlemen means that ALL revenue your content generates goes straight into your pocket. Cha-ching.

Will you launch a subscription service? Integrate ads? Or sell and rent your videos? It’s up to you. Whether making money is your primary objective, or just a means to an end so that you can continue creating content your audience loves, it’s important to figure out which monetization model aligns best to your business and goals.

Your content and audience are what drives your video business. So, in order to determine the most effective monetization strategy, it’s important to consider your audience and how they consume your content. Where are they watching? And are they willing to invest their time and money?

We created this monetization guide to help you evaluate all your money-making options and determine the best way to maximize your content’s revenue. Get started by asking yourself the following key questions:

1. What’s the goal of distributing content?

It’s important to start by mapping out your goals. If video is your primary business, obviously generating revenue is pretty high on the list of priorities. But different monetization models can help drive other valuable results as well. For example, some content owners choose to keep their content free on certain channels as a way to build their audience. Sometimes making money isn’t the main goal, but an avenue to drive audiences to more profitable outlets ( e.g. e-commerce website or ticket sales).

2. How big is your audience?

The number of eyeballs viewing your content is one of the key factors in choosing an effective monetization model. Does your content have a broad focus and consistently attracts mass audiences (+300K)? Advertising is going to be your best bet. If your content has a narrow focus and attracts a smaller, yet highly engaged, audience then subscription-based monetization will work well for you. If your audience is under the threshold of 150K, it may be too early to go direct-to-consumer.

3. What’s special about your content?

How available is your content? Do you own a library of legacy content that your audience can’t find anywhere else? Are you producing original content on a regular basis? Do you live stream sporting events or interviews? You have to give your viewers a compelling reason to invest their time and/or money in your content. Figure out what sets your content apart, because the more exclusive and unique your content is, the more you can justify charging.

4. How engaged is your audience?

You may have amazing original content, but it doesn’t mean anything if you don’t have any viewers that care to watch it. It’s important to gauge the loyalty of your audience as you decide how you’re going to monetize. If you have an actively engaged audience that has a strong appetite and passion for new content, your viewers will probably be willing to pay a monthly subscription fee. On the other hand, if your audience consists of first-time or occasional viewers, then you’ll be better off using advertising to make money. Maybe your viewers are super passionate about individual titles or series, you’ll probably want to consider a transactional approach that allows viewers to buy or rent what they came to watch.

5. Do you have budget and resources for marketing?

Whatever your monetization strategy is, you won’t make any money if people know that your content exists. Marketing and promotion are often overlooked, but critical to success. It’s the key to building an audience, driving brand awareness and maximizing your business’ revenue. In order to effectively market your services and content directly to consumers, you have to be willing to roll up your sleeves and dedicate the time, resources and budget that’s necessary.

Connect your video with viewers, everywhere.