More and more publishers are looking to video as a platform for their premium content, and it’s easy to see why. With improved devices and a 5G network on the horizon, the Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) Complete Forecast predicts that by 2021:
- Video will represent 80 percent of all internet traffic
- There will be nearly 1.9 billion internet video users
- They will be watching 3 trillion minutes of video per month
Naturally, top-tier publishers are considering the best ways to capitalize on this trend, and particularly ways to monetize their own video content and grow their base of subscribers. With videos constantly being shared all over Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, it’s time for publishers to take ownership of those streams and start driving revenue from them.
To effectively monetize video content, publishers need to first analyze their user data: Who is in your audience, and why are they consuming your content? Rather than just creating content for ad revenue, publishers should focus on creating high-quality content that their users will love. To gain even deeper insights, leverage your ad-supported video content to discover which users are consuming which videos. You’ll then be able to create high-demand content for the niches within your audience.
With that in mind, here are some ways publishers are successfully monetizing great video on their sites today:
1. Subscription-Only Video Content
Some publishers have taken the strategic move of making their premium video content available to subscribers only. Tech news site The Information, for example, has a video section that features in-depth interviews with industry leaders and exclusive series, but it’s only available with a paid subscription.
Offer bundled video content as a premium add-on or value-add with subscription packages. Niche content will work best here: If a user has subscribed to a political content package, but data that shows they’ve been watching your site’s sports videos, offer premium sports videos as an add-on. Make the package personalized for them based on what you know about their habits, and ensure those videos are exclusive, unique and unlike anything they’ll get for free.
3. Live Streams
Live events can be incredibly effective at triggering subscriptions if publishers are creative. Use broadly streamed events as an opportunity to offer a different perspective: If a sports event is being run live everywhere, offer exclusive interviews with the athletes and coaches before or after the game. Deliver behind-the-scenes access to artists in advance of big concerts, or before their new single drops. These “backstage passes” can entice new audiences to sign on.
4. Digital Education
Video courses are a huge opportunity. Helpful information for consumers on topics like growing your retirement account can be very popular – especially if you can make them state-specific. Parenting courses taught by psychologists or nutrition courses led by MDs may drum up a lot of interest, as well. To maximize subscriptions, keep availability limited by date (For example, “Course available through December only!”) Both course-only purchases and full library access are good ways to grow subscriptions.
At a time when, more than ever, publishers need their loyal readers to step up to the plate, video offers an exciting way to win in digital. However, publishers have to take ownership of their video, rather than let the social media platforms steal them away. Limit shareable video to short clips or invitations to click through to watch the rest (and subscribe) and harness the power of video content for your own publications. Video can be your key to a larger and more engaged audience.
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