Lots of people make videos. But far fewer are able to effectively monetize them and bring in any notable amount of money.
But you can.
It’s a crowded market out there. Billions of videos are available and more being released all the time. 300 hours of new videos are uploaded to YouTube every minute. To make money, you need to stand out. And that starts with choosing the right monetization strategy.
There are many ways you can monetize your videos. We’ve chosen seven of the most effective methods for you here. You can probably guess what a few of them are—but some of them are bound to surprise you.
1. Create Your Own Netflix
Netflix is one of the most well-known video on demand (VOD) services. But there are tons of other VOD services out there—some are as big as Netflix and Hulu, others are niche as KweliTV and RIVNow.
Imagine having your own streaming service just for your videos.
Makes you feel pretty powerful, doesn’t it?
Having your own streaming video service adds some serious cool factor to your videos, but it also gives you needed flexibility for making the most of your monetization.
You could create multiple videos for entertainment or educational purpose. You can cover different topics so your service appeals to a wider audience, or you can cover niche topics to create an online community. You could sell single videos that cover individual topics. You could post videos once a month. Or every day. Or in big batches.
That flexibility extends to payment, as well. Have people pay for single videos. Or sets. Or as a subscription so they can watch as much video as possible.
You can implement the distribution and monetization options that work best for your audience. And that goes a long way toward generating a loyal group of followers that want to pay for your content.
2. Launch an OTT Video App
A streaming video on demand service is a great way to monetize your videos. But because it’s almost exclusively accessed through a browser, it can be a bit limiting. Many people prefer to watch videos on their TV.
That’s where an over-the-top (OTT) video app comes in. Any app or service that doesn’t come from a traditional telecommunications provider can be considered OTT. In this discussion, though, what’s important is that they come as apps, not as browser-based sites.
That means your videos can be served to anything that can download apps—like smart TVs, iPads, and phones. Getting video from a browser is always easy, but tapping an app icon is even easier, and viewers can watching in a few seconds.
Again, the pricing is very flexible; your viewers can pay by the video, by the course, by the month, or any other way you can think of.
With how easy it is to get started, it’s tough to pass up OTT apps; they look very professional and let your viewers access your videos however they want. That flexibility, as I mentioned earlier, is key to building loyalty.
And if you’re into artistic filmmaking, it could be the best way to monetize your videos.
Selling stock footage isn’t like selling video via SVoD or OTT—much of the content delivered via those methods is educational or entertaining. Stock video covers common topics, like cityscapes or sports, and is specifically made to not be too specific.
Of course, that makes it difficult to stand out. Especially if you want your videos to outshine the thousands of others that have already been made on the same topic. You can always branch out to a new area, but if there’s little demand there, you won’t make much money.
Your best bet is to create very high-quality videos in a niche that you know is going to be popular. Start by searching stock video sites like Shutterstock Video and Adobe Stock to see which types of videos show up often.
You can try to compete directly with those videos or identify a niche that’s related but hasn’t yet been covered. For example, if you see that videos of gardens are in high demand, but that most focus on summer gardens you could start making videos of gardens in the fall. Or a specific type of garden, like herb gardens or tea gardens.
While you can start filming as many different stock videos ideas as possible, it’s a good idea to start with a small niche so you can build up your content and your reputation, then expand from there.
It’s important to reiterate that your videos need to be of very high quality if you’re going to sell them for stock footage. You’ll be competing with very high-level videographers in this market.
Your video monetization strategy doesn’t have to involve directly selling videos. You can use your videos to support another money-making tactic, like blogging. Some bloggers earn money through ad networks, paid ad placements, sponsorships, or product sales . . . but they still need to get people to their website.
And what better way to get people to your website than with great videos? People love videos—in fact, studies have shown that just about every subgroup that you might be targeting, from executives to consumers, prefers video to text.
By releasing great video content that gets people to your site, you’ll be capturing an audience for your actual monetization pitch. You don’t need to be selling something extremely popular or have millions of viewers. Even very niche websites can use video to generate traffic.
When people think about monetizing videos, they’re likely to think of YouTube first. And with good cause—YouTube has made internet sensations out of content creators, and 30 million people watch videos there every day.
Who doesn’t want to see their name next to the likes of Daniel Middleton, Lily Singh, and Evan Fong?
YouTube’s monetization system is simple: ads are displayed in or near your video, and if they generate revenue, you get part of it. How much? It’s hard to tell. You might get a couple cents for an ad click, or you could get a dollar or two per thousand views. There are a lot of factors involved: the type of ads, the type of monetization you’re using, your product/service niche, and others.
But one thing remains true no matter what your videos are about: you’re going to need a huge number of views. YouTube won’t enable monetization until you have 4,000 hours of video watched in the past 12 months and 1,000 subscribers. That’s not easy.
And even if you do cross that threshold, you’ll still need thousands, if not millions, of views to score you any appreciable payout (if you want to make a million dollars, you might need somewhere around a billion views).
Can it work? Yes.
Is it easy? No.
While SmugMug is generally thought of as a place to host and sell photos, you can also use it for videos. Most of what you’ll find there is stock footage, though you could likely host many types of video.
What makes SmugMug stand out from other options is the bevy of useful tools integrated into the platform. You can use it to build your own site where people can buy your videos, and there are built-in commerce tools to help you sell your content. You can even sell physical products with their tools.
And when you sell via SmugMug, you get to keep 85% of the profits. That’s a solid margin.
There are lots of great promotion options, like coupons, package deals, SEO-friendly tools. You can use your own custom domain. In short, you can create a full-featured site that helps you market and sell your videos.
This is likely a good option for professionals—you’ll want a very large catalog to take advantage of these tools. And if you also sell photography, you’re even better suited for this platform.
You might be surprised to find Twitch on a list of the best ways to monetize your videos. Most people think that Twitch is all about streaming video games. That’s certainly a big part of it, but there are plenty of other things it’s used for, too.
You can find shows about cooking, board gaming, positivity, cats, anime, drawing, painting, glass blowing, and anything else you can think of. Whatever it is that you’re thinking about making videos about, there’s probably a community on Twitch that would love to have you.
Of course, there’s one major difference here: Twitch is all about live streaming (with one exception, which we’ll talk about in a moment). That means you won’t be recording and then posting. You’ll be doing it all live.
Live streaming, while related to recorded video distribution, is notably different. You won’t have to edit and go through post-production. You won’t have to worry about pricing out each individual video or a course. There’s no e-commerce to deal with. All of the monetization is done through Twitch, where people can subscribe to your channel.
Of course, that means you’ll need to get subscribers. Getting Twitch subscribers isn’t like getting more people to your stock video site. Your content will need to be useful and entertaining, and you’ll need to create a lot of it to get people interested.
There are unique considerations on Twitch, like hosting, emotes, and extensions. Don’t know what those are? You’ll have to find out if you’re going to make money on Twitch.
It’s also worth noting that Twitch does support some video-on-demand. You’ll be able to save full episodes of your stream for up to 60 days (depending on how well your channel is doing), and highlights can be saved indefinitely. That doesn’t compare to your own SVoD channel, but it’s something.
Monetize Your Videos – Choose the Monetization Strategy That’s Right for You
These seven ways to monetize your videos cover a wide spectrum of strategies, from creating your own Netflix to streaming on Twitch (and everything in between). But there are plenty of other monetization strategies out there.
Think about the type of content that you’re creating and what you want to do with it. Who is your audience? Where do they look for content online? What will make your videos stand out to them?
Let your goals and interests guide your monetization.
No matter what you decide to do, stick with it. All of these strategies take time to really start earning money—you might actually be losing money when you start. But with perseverance, they’ll pay off.
The cast and crew of TOP OF THE LAKE: CHINA GIRL accepting the AACTA Award for Best Television Drama Series at the 7th AACTA Awards.
The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) today launched AACTA PITCH, a national pitching competition that aims to discover Australia’s next world-class scripted series for television or web.
With the audience demand and consumption for new, original drama and comedy at an all-time high, this is one of the most exciting times for emerging Australian content creators. Identifying and nurturing the best and most exciting new series ideas, AACTA PITCH will provide meaningful support for creatives as they start their journey to the world stage. AACTA encourages people from all backgrounds and levels of experience to enter.
A shortlist of up to eight finalists will be selected to participate in the final AACTA PITCH event in August, staged at Event Cinemas Bondi Junction in Sydney.
Finalists will have the opportunity to screen their trailer or proof of concept and pitch their series in front of a live audience, including a judging panel of esteemed figures from the worlds of television, online, production, development and commissioning. Finalists from interstate will be provided with flights and accommodation to attend and participate in the AACTA PITCH event.
The 2018 AACTA PITCH judging panel includes:
Mike Cowap, Senior Producer Scripted and Unscripted at Princess Pictures;
Carly Heaton, Drama Development Executive at Foxtel;
Lee Naimo, Online Investment Manager at Screen Australia; and
Shay Spencer, Drama Development Manager at Jungle
Finalists will be pitching for the chance to win a $5,000 cash prize as well as invaluable feedback and mentorship opportunities from AACTA, participating production companies, development executives and screen craft practitioners. The AACTA PITCH winner will also receive post-production support from Spectrum Films to the value of $5,000 and tickets to the 8th AACTA Awards presented by Foxtel Industry Luncheon and Awards Ceremony. All shortlisted finalists will receive a year’s AFI | AACTA membership.
“With more and more original and innovative content becoming widely available through streaming, online and traditional television broadcasting, this is an exciting time for our emerging Australian creatives, many of whom have ideas for great series waiting to be discovered,” said AFI | AACTA CEO Damian Trewhella. “We are excited to provide these new Australian voices with a platform to shine through AACTA PITCH. This is an incredible opportunity for these creatives to present their ideas to some of our industry’s key content commissioners and producers, network build and hone their vitally important pitching skills.”
AACTA PITCH entries are now open. Entrants are required to pitch a scripted series by providing a pilot or proof of concept. An entry fee of $50 applies. AACTA welcomes everyone with an idea for a series to enter, and encourages series concepts from creators and teams from diverse and under-represented backgrounds.
Visitors at this year’s Cine Gear Expo got a “master class” on evaluating lenses at the FUJINON/FUJIFILM Optics Learning Centre (Stage 18, Booth S206). Leading lens repair and rental house optic experts put the FUJINON Premier, Cabrio and MK lenses through their paces, teaching attendees how they use Lens Projection to test and evaluate lenses. Representatives from ARRI RENTAL, Keslow Camera and Duclos Lenses were some of the featured technicians in Fujifilm’s lens projection room.
The MK Series of lenses are designed for E-Mount cameras and boast advanced optical performance, ultra-compact and lightweight design, as well as superb cost performance. With a combined focal length range of 18mm-135mm in the Super 35mm format, the MK18-55mmT2.9 and MK50-135mmT2.9 cover the most frequently used range utilised by emerging cinematographers. The series offers fast lenses with T2.9 speed across the entire zoom range, enabling a shallow depth-of-field.
Thanks to the extreme popularity of the FUJINON MK zooms, third party providers have introduced a range of solutions to benefit MK lens owners and broaden their compatibility. One of the most popular accessories are additional camera mounts – MK Series lenses come standard with an E-Mount. Showcased in the Cine Gear booth will be the Duclos Lenses’ FZ mount, which allows the lens to work with the popular Sony F5 and F55 cameras. Also shown were MTF’s Micro Four Thirds (M4/3) mount for the MK series. This mount allows for use on Panasonic, JVC, and other manufacturers’ cameras. Heden, SLR Magic, Chrosziel, Bright Tangerine and Zacuto also showed their latest accessories for the MK lenses.
The new Duclos 1.7x expander enables FUJINON Cabrio and Premier Series Super 35mm zooms to be used on the latest larger sensor cameras, such as Sony’s Venice, RED’s Vista Vision 8K, and ARRI Alexa LF.
The Electronic Imaging Division highlighted the new video-capable FUJIFILM X-H1 camera and the new MKX cinema lenses for X Mount, the FUJINON MKX18-55mmT2.9 and FUJINON MKX50-135mmT2.9, at Cine Gear 2018. These product offerings provide the ideal compact combination for both video reproduction and still photography.
The full family of mirrorless FUJIFILM X Series and GFX camera systems, featuring the video-capableX-H1 camera, new MKX cinema lenses, and GFX 50S medium format mirrorless camera, were also showcased within the booth. Additionally, FUJIFILM technicians were on hand to conduct a complimentary “Check and Clean” program for of attendees with X Series or GFX system products.
Lens flares – love them, hate them, risk looking too much like J.J. Abrams with them.
Despite the Abrams-induced overuse, however, lens flares are a cool effect that can give everything from eye-catching naturalism to a lusted-after retro sheen to a shot. But how to capture them perfectly in the editing room? This video tutorial takes you through the RocketStock Lucent Warm pack, which captures incredible flares without sacrificing locations or killing time on set. Check it out.
This week I’ll be in Las Vegas for NAB 2018 and Adobe is going to be broadcasting the presentations LIVE! Be sure to follow us on Twitter or Instagram for the links! If you are at the show, be sure to stop by the Adobe booth!
LIVE Presentations: Monday & Tuesday at 2PM! PST
VIDEO COPILOT SUPER NAB SALE: We are also having the annual NAB sale, so if you were thinking about upgrading your toolbox save 25% while your’re at it!
We want to talk today about the costs of setting up a video company and how much money do you need to setup a video production company. It’s one of the main questions I get asked, so I’d like to cover it here.
With your talent of being able to be an all-around videographer, you can definitely take it to the next level, having your own video production business. With this, you will be able to provide a full service for your clients’ needs, and have enough flexibility to be able to grow your brand over time.
Even better, as a company (a brand), which could more easily be marketable rather than going as an individual in the video production scene.
The Costs of Starting a Video Production Company
When starting out in business, many people tend to initially think about the finances. ‘How much money do I need to be able to start my company?’, and as someone who is deciding to set up your own video production business, the question still remains the same.
You may have seen some other video production companies who have a fixed office in the city, have a lot of production equipment, and a lot of staff to do every part of the video production process. They may also be able to fly out to any location requested by their clients, things that seem like really high expenses, that you may not initially be able to have the capital for just yet.
Given that you haven’t yet been able to gain some revenue for your business, of course, you will have to think about the initial capital to put out. And, fortunately, I have been able to put a few things in here that will be able to help you calculate how much you will need for your video production company, and help identify what your priorities are for your company.
In addition, setting up a corporation would also entail that you set up the legal documents necessary, and have the declared positions for your company.
Every location is going to be different, so it’s pointless me trying to advise on legal situations like this. For example, in some countries, you would have to have at least 5 shareholders, with a distribution of shares, totally up to 100%. And, frequently, the distribution of shares is also dependent on how much each shareholder contributes to the overall capital.
In whatever way you decide to legalize your company, there would be corresponding expenses for registration, licensing and permits, and insurance. These are non-negotiable expenses that need to be taken care of immediately.
Perhaps, this is the only non-negotiable kind of expense, because the next few things for consideration have a varying range, depending on what your priorities are. Much thought have to be put into these, as they become your basis for a lot of decision making.
Ultimately, remember that in most countries, you can just remain a sole proprietor (or the equivalent in your location) and this will keep most of your costs down for running a business. Of course, as you grow and the company scales up, you may need to become an LLC for legal reasons.
Just know that your initial costs in setting up a video production company don’t have to be astronomically high.
2. Where you choose to work
Mentioned in another article I have written, do you want to set up a home office, or have a physical location for your production company? My article provides a detailed list to consider when deciding between one and the other, and it is highly dependent on what kind of setup you would like to have.
There is not right or wrong answer, but whatever decision you make will also impact your initial capitalization for your company. The decision of renting a location would involve obvious initial upfront costs, which would be a whole lot more than just working from an office at your home (for example).
And you would also have to think about the monthly overhead expenses, later on when you continue with the business. These are fixed expenses, along with the utilities, that need to be paid for.
3. Your location – The Extras
When you start shop, and decide to have a physical location for your business, you will then have to also think about the office materials that are necessary for your business.
Some things to consider:
Do you need to invest in renovation to fix up the location,
Purchase some work tables for you and your crew to be working on,
computers to be used in the course of work, and
software to be purchased for editing and general business use
Other office equipment costs like large TV monitors, printers, etc etc etc.
Many of these items can be purchased brand new or as second hand. It will also depend on your priorities on what to purchase initially, what to purchase eventually when you have met some milestones, and what to discard completely?
If you’re going to be expecting to have your clients frequently at your office for meetings or shoots, then you need to consider presenting a good impression by spending money on your surroundings.
4. Video equipment
Aside from setting up your office space, you have to think about your assets, and these are your video equipment.
laptops for working and editing,
editing and production software,
hard drives & memory cards,
Etc etc etc.
They may be a necessary expense because you need to be working with all of these to ensure that your business is able to produce something exceptional. Depending on your priorities, you can of course choose rent some of this equipment.
When you purchase this equipment, they don’t necessarily have to be a part of your initial investment. But, if you decide to rent, then you are adding expense onto the video project expenses of your clients. This has pros and cons, of course, and it’s worth looking into all your options before you make any firm decisions.
5. Hiring people: employees or freelancers?
Next up, how are you viewing the people you work with? Are they going to be considered freelancers that you hire, or are you willing to commit to having these people as a permanent part of the team?
These choices affect your initial expenses as well, because having permanent, in-house employees is a very, very different concept than having remote working freelancers.
Here are some of the key considerations here:
You will have to think about your office size and setup with a view to accommodating employees physically,
to the extent of how many tables you may potentially have to set up for them, and how big an office space is necessary for your entire pool of employees to work in.
Employee benefits and health care that they will be entitled to.
When it comes to employee benefits, the minimum you have to address is that required by the government in your area, but some companies tend to think a little more outside the box because they want to ensure that they are able to retain the best talent they can get their hands-on.
Many companies have a game room for time outs, so having a video console and a comfortable space set up is necessary, or foosball machines may work as well. Naturally, this is something to consider further down the road as you get bigger and expand somewhat.
Other companies include having transportation benefits with an allowance of a certain amount, and company cellphones, to ensure that all employees are contactable during work hours.
6. Advertising and Branding
As mentioned earlier, you want to think about the kind of company you want to set up, and that would also entail some brand knowledge and management.
Some people decide to have external companies to help them create a good marketing plan and brand identification that sets them apart from the rest of the group.
Finally, where is the money going to be coming from?
A good practice in business is to be able to have at least 6 months’ worth of buffer for overhead expenses when you initially set up your company to be assured that you are not dangerously running close to going into debt in the first year of business.
This is because you are expecting to still be building up your business in the initial months, and may not be able to meet the revenue targets to say that your business is profitable. So, as listed here, you have to think about the rent, the office materials, and the employees and their salaries.
Do you already have enough capital to set up these things, or would you need to look into getting a loan? This is also necessary, because it contributes to your overall business plan. You have to be able to compute how much you need, and then also figure out how much additional capital may be needed to be set aside, to ensure you are able to pay the interest and principal loan amount that was borrowed.
How much money do you need to setup a video production company – In Conclusion
Given this checklist of things to consider, and knowing what your priorities will be, you will be able to zone in on how you would like to set up your business.
The investment may actually be very small, with only licenses needed to be paid for, as the other items are only project expenses.
Alternatively, if you have the startup capital required, you could go all-in on renting a fantastic space, purchasing all equipment necessary, hiring a great team of regular employees, and have expensive professional consultants to help out with your branding. This, naturally, on the more expensive side of the initial investment spectrum for your video business.
Whatever you choose, we wish you good luck! We hope this article has helped you understand how much money do you need to setup a video production company.
Have you started your video company already? What was your biggest expense? Let us know in the comments below.
Cheat stop motion? Sounds too good to be true, but it’s easier than you think. In this short video tutorial, Josh Thom explains how you can simply turn your video into seamless stop motion in Premiere Pro by simply using the Posterize Time effect. Load up your video, and off you go.
Panavision’s Millennium DXL28K camera makes its Cine Gear Expo debut on June 1-2 at The Studios at Paramount in Los Angeles. The premier, large-format camera with a new post-centric firmware upgrade will be showcased at the Panavision booth (#S102) in Stage 17, along with four new large-format lens sets, a DXL-inspired accessories kit for RED DSMC2 cameras, and a preview of custom advancements in filter technology.
“Millennium DXL2 is the cornerstone of an ever-evolving ecosystem that is designed to improve creative control across every department,” says Michael Cioni, senior vice president of Innovation at Panavision and Light Iron. “By combining the company’s expertise in optics, filters, color science, and post production with strategic partner integrations, we are able to offer filmmakers an entirely fresh image and workflow that is only available within DXL’s ecosystem.”
DXL2 incorporates technological advancements based on professional input from acclaimed cinematographers, camera assistants, and post production groups. The camera offers 16 stops of dynamic range with unmatched shadow detail, a native ISO setting of 1600, and 12-bit ProRes XQ up to 120fps. New to the DXL2 is version 1.0 of a directly editable (D2E) workflow. D2E gives DITs wireless LUT and CDL look control and records all color metadata into camera-generated proxy files for instant and render-free dailies.
DXL2, which is available to rent worldwide, also incorporates an updated color profile, Light Iron Color 2 (LiColor2). This latest color science provides cinematographers and DITs with a film-inspired tonal look that makes the DXL2 feel more cinematic and less digital.
Panavision, renowned for its full line of top-quality optics, will also showcase the company’s large-format spherical and anamorphic lenses. Four new large-format lens sets will be on display, giving Expo attendees the unique opportunity to preview upcoming, innovative glass options:
Primo X is the first cinema lens specially designed for use on drones and gimbals. They are fully sealed, weather proof, and counterbalanced to be aerodynamic, and able to easily maintain a proper center of gravity. Primo X lenses come in two primes – 14mm (T3.1) and 24mm (T1.6) – and one 24-70mm zoom (T2.8). Available in 2019.
H Series is a traditionally designed spherical lens set with a glamorous, rounded, soft roll-off, giving a pleasing tonal quality to the skin. Created with true vintage glass and coating, these lenses offer slightly elevated blacks for softer contrast. High speeds separate subject and background with a smooth edge transition, allowing subject to appear naturally placed within the depth of the image. Available now.
Ultra Vista is a series of large-format anamorphic optics. Using a custom 1.6x squeeze, Ultra Vista covers the full height of the 8K sensor in the DXL and presents an ultra-widescreen 2.76:1 aspect ratio along with a classic elliptical bokeh and Panavision horizontal flare. Available in 2019.
PanaSpeed is a large-format update of the classic Primo look. At T1.4, PanaSpeed will be the fastest large-format lens option available on the market. Available in Q3 2018.
Panavision will also be unveiling cinema’s first dynamically adjustable liquid crystal neutral density (LCND) filter. LCND instantly adjusts up to six individual stops with a single click or ramp – a significant departure from traditional approaches to front-of-lens filters, which require carrying a set and manually swapping individual NDs based on changing light. LCND starts at 0.3 and goes through 0.6, 0.9, 1.2, 1.5, to 1.8. Available in 2019.
Following up on the success of DXL1 and DXL2, Panavision is launching the latest in its cinema line-up by showcasing the newly created DXL-M accessory kit. Designed to work with RED DSMC2 cameras, DXL-M marries the quality and performance of DXL with the smaller size and weight of the DSMC2. DXL-M brings popular features of DXL to RED MONSTRO, GEMINI, and HELIUM sensors, such as the DXL menu system (via an app for the iPhone), LiColor2, motorized lenses, wireless timecode (ACN), and the Primo HDR viewfinder. Available in Q4 2018.