When choosing an Online Video Platform (OVP) you need to ask yourself the right questions, and more often than not, those questions tend to focus on the wrong things. Instead of hurting your brain and creating long lists of technical requirements, you should focus on the content you have. In the endgame, that’s what you are distributing and if you don’t have the right tools to drive it towards the right audience, you‘ll be left with an overly competent tool that does little for your business.
Let’s face it, OVPs tend to do more or less the same thing, with the difference being on how they do it and with which technology. You upload your content, it is converted and added to your media library. When your content gets watched, your OVP provides a range of playback data and analytics. These are the basic functions and the high-level benefit is clear: you get sophisticated streaming media functionalities with minimal investment and development cost.
Now comes the tricky part, monetization. This is where most OVPs diverge and where your decisions should focus. The first thing you need to think about is your business model and how you want to get revenue from your content, with options like ads running as pre-rolls, mid-rolls or post-roll. In this case, we suggest that you aim for versatility, as the viewer landscape tends to change very quickly. Also, keep in mind that all of these “rolls” aren’t just useful for media companies, as they can be quite interesting to push your own events or other products that you deem fit.
Take software company Atlassian for instance. It uses dynamically inserted advertisements to promote its own company events. “We have about 6,500 video views each week and wanted to harvest those views to help us market our annual user conference,” says Atlassian’s President Jay Simons. “So we added a 15-second spot promoting the conference to about 100 videos, which took about 5 minutes in the back end but would have been totally impractical if we had to do it manually.”
There are other ways to get revenue from your content, like running banners during video exhibition and, if you choose wisely, targeted campaigns for a more effective result by picking parameters like specific devices or making use of user’s geographic location. Using WeCast, the OVP developed by WeTek, your video ads can also be funneled to a targeted audience using the parameters above, adding to the ability to choose the genres or media types (movies or TV shows) in which those “rolls” should take effect.
Also, never underestimate the power of subscription, and this is especially applicable to niche content. If you are offering exclusive or restrict material, maybe this should be the best approach, as you are not stepping on any giant’s toes and might get your revenue from a specific audience you’ve previously prospected. In this case, make sure the OVP you’re choosing has this ability to run subscription cycles and manage them accordingly.
After your content is uploaded and set in place with the desired monetization options, you should turn your focus towards distribution. Considering that the audience consumes content in a completely different fashion than it used to, you should consider solutions that acknowledge the importance of different channels, like smartphones and tablets, in your distribution strategy.
Make sure your videos have the chance to be available over multiple devices, allowing your audience to reach you wherever they are for both continuing and event-specific distribution.
One of the most valued features of an OVP is the ability to deliver the right content to the right user. Never go in expecting that the audience knows exactly what they want, discovery is part of the attractiveness when subscribing to a video service. Even in niche markets, where the funnel gets even narrower, the content might be separated according to different parameters, such as nationality, director or sub-genre, making the experience even more rewarding. Having a good recommendation engine in place is key to client retention, as they will keep coming back and renewing their subscription. It is important for your customers to be aware that your “personal curation” will keep them entertained for as long as they like.
When choosing your OVP, make sure that you take a careful look at their Business Intelligence options, as this kind of module is not something you should take for granted. Some OVPs focus so much on social media that they rely on these kinds of platforms to give users that kind of information.
This simply does not work for operators, as their monetization is made purely by the OVP and its strategic abilities, so make sure you have important functionalities:
- Real-time User Statistics: see where your users are located, the timeframe in which they are most engaged, which devices they are using and the ISPs in play. To make this even better, the OVP should automatically group this data by 10, or better yet, 20 most used cases.
- Data Monitoring: monitor the activity related to your users’ accounts, statistics having to do with your Linear TV and/or Video on Demand (VOD) usage, as well as the impact your specific content assets are having on your service.
- Billing Monitoring: make sure everything related with payments is automatically taken care of from your OVP and that it offers reports beyond that management.
- Prediction: it’s important to be aware of your user churn analytics, as well as user loss prediction, giving you time to draw up a plan and avoid it.
- Marketing Analytics: be aware of your campaign results, either video or banner ads.
- User Experience: always be aware of your customer’s perception concerning platform issues, playback issues and their level of activity.
These are the essentials for any good service management and you may encounter serious difficulties in running your operation if you miss out on any of these points. Here, at WeTek, we have all of this covered with WeCast. By using this platform you will be in complete control of your service and this goes for the overall aspects covered in this article.
If you’re thinking about pricing, we would advise not to think much of it. Proper control of all your content, the channels in which it can be distributed and monetized, as well as the marketing functions a good OVP can provide, are all you need for a valuable asset that can dictate the future of your service.
All the screenshots featured on the page are the demo WeTek’s OVP solution, WeCast, and may vary according to your needs.