With the popularization and increased adoption of streaming video services, the entertainment industry is witnessing its most significant transformation. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has been keeping viewers confined to their homes and has also turned VOD platforms into new big screens.
With this scenario, globally produced films and series makers are considering exclusive OTT releases to entertain their audience.
Along with the rising demand, the revenue in the VOD market is expected to reach $86,273 million by 2025. With VOD becoming a utility, more entrepreneurs are looking for effective ways to start their streaming services. If you are a new business that is interested in launching a VOD service, read on, we are covering some of the valuable information regarding launching a streaming service.
Here is a guide on how to start a streaming service and run it successfully.
Start Streaming Video Services
Choose a niche to build your content around
When you are launching a video streaming service, start with finding your niche to build your content around. Homing your videos on a specific niche creates an exclusivity that brings better value to your service. It also helps to create a distinction for your streaming service, helping to support your content selection and bring clarity to your branding.
Once you have a deep understanding of the niche, you can frame your videos around audience segments within your target market. Understanding your niche is a game-changer that will help to create a more engaged audience.
Plan your VOD content
Now that you have defined your niche, how you are going to engage your users is another important aspect. Creating content that your target audience likes are the foundation of building a successful streaming service. Before launching your service, consider the following factors:
- Are you going to produce original content or take it from third-party publishers?
- Will your video be single episodes or series?
- Which business model are you planning to adopt?
- Will you be offering your videos free for all users or based on subscriptions?
- What subscription plans are you going to implement?
Choose the ideal video streaming service provider
Choosing the video streaming service provider is the foundation to build and launch a successful streaming business. Features and Customization are some of the important factors you must look for in your solution provider.
The best approach is to use white label VOD software to create enterprise-level streaming services like Netflix in your branding. This way, you can allow users to access your streaming site under your brand to enhance the credibility of your streaming service.
Get licensing for your content
If you are planning to acquire content from anywhere else, it is mandatory to obtain licenses for all different types of videos you want to stream. You can either rent the content like movies directly from content distributors.
Choose distributors who are reputed and are authorized to provide licenses. Another way is to contact the content owner or copyright holder directly and associate with them to acquire desired content. Both are viable options, and you can either choose to do any one of two or combine both approaches.
One of the important aspects to consider when acquiring content licenses is that different types of licenses are available. For example, for some content like an online series, some studios sell the right for entire seasons as a bundle, and some sell only for a single season.
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It can be convenient at times if you can check the popularity of the season once it is aired and think about whether to stream the next season or not. You must also know that some movies or shows might come under exclusive distribution rights, and you will not be able to get licenses for those anymore.
Some content licenses might be restricted to certain regions as well. Hence, consider all these aspects when you are obtaining the license for the content you want to stream.
When planning on how to start a streaming service, there are some important features you must integrate to launch a successful business. Let’s explore the most important features:
Creating an account on your video streaming website must be made as easy as possible for your users. Users must be able to finish the registration process within a few seconds.
- Discover content
Searching and finding the content on your streaming service must be done easily and quickly. Include a smart search to allow your uses to find the content they are looking for.
- Intuitive video player
Integrate inbuilt dynamic video players, enabling video streaming across multiple platforms and screens with high resolution to cater to a massive audience base.
Allow users to create playlists to add their favorite videos to watch later.
Allow users to download videos to local storage so that they can view them offline without an internet connection.
- Watch list
Integrate watch list feature to suggest to users the videos they like to watch. A recommended watch list comes in handy if tailored the right way.
Users must be able to give ratings to the videos they like. According to this feedback, other users can tell how popular each show is.
Consider revenue strategies to make money
The secret to a profitable video streaming service is the business model that powers the entire service. Choosing the right revenue model goes beyond generating revenue. It also decides how you sell to the target audience, catering to all their needs. When it comes to revenue strategies, there are three main revenue models you can adopt. Let’s explore it all.
Earning from advertisements is the most common revenue strategy most video streaming services adopt when they are just launching. Yes, you need a sizable audience and huge viewership to start making a significant amount of money.
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But offering the content for free and placing ads on the videos is a great way to increase your audience base. Once your VOD service expands, you can leverage user segmentation, targeting, and analytics, etc., to efficiently measure and manage your ad campaigns.
Another common revenue model used by major video streaming platforms including Netflix and Prime video is the subscription model. The idea of subscriptions would entice subscribers who like to enjoy an ad-free experience.
The flexibility to unsubscribe anytime also attracts users to this revenue strategy. If you can afford to generate new content continually, you can implement subscriptions where your users pay monthly
The transactional revenue model is another model you can consider where your users give the option to make payments for individual content they like to watch for a specific time or number of viewers. This model works great for new VOD services that want to introduce their content to viewers before introducing subscriptions.
- Hybrid model
Although we said there are three business models, a hybrid blend of any of the above three revenue models can also consider. Choosing a hybrid model can help you cater to different types of audiences and their interests.
Developing a well-designed and full-fledged video streaming can be a smooth process if you plan and choose the right service provider. The end goal must be to create a streaming service that delights your viewers and brings in great profit.
Consider producing originals as well, which is a great hit among consumers, a trend that Netflix has popularized. By offering unique content that your viewers would love and maintaining consistency, you would be successful in the VOD industry within no time.