Content Creator Independence: Part 2

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By Zac Stockton / IRIS.TV

You’re a content producer on YouTube with a large amount of content and viewers, but you aren’t making enough ad revenue. And now you’ve decided to leave YouTube and go to an independent model.  Now, on an independent model you have to pay for online video hosting and organize advertising to offset costs.

As a YouTube channel, almost all of your content costs go to production and promotion. Moving away from YouTube means a new business model with two different points: content and monetization.

Video Content Production

Being a content creator on YouTube can be a leisurely activity.  With a YouTube channel, it’s possible to have a small amount of content that draws viewers infrequently. Uploading and storing videos is free, with the opportunity to display ads and give portion of the revenue to YouTube.

Being independent is a fast turn into professional territory. On the content side, you need enough original, exclusive content so that your value proposition is immediately clear to your viewers. At its best, content like yours cannot be found anywhere else and the amount of content is seemingly endless to visitors. Television networks hope that people tune in and never tune off; your bet should be the same.

Monetizing your Videos

Content that appeals to a fervent niche that’s willing to spend money and time on your site can help create a steady ad stream. A steady audience can help guide ad buys and may lead to upfront sales that can be priced higher than fill from ad networks.

Most likely, you’ll decide on advertising to this base as your main source of revenue. At IRIS.TV, we focus on using recommendations to increase ad inventory for publishers. Without inventory and a steady number of views, publishers will have trouble gaining revenue through advertisements. Unless your fan base numbers within the tens of millions – or they are paying for a video subscription service – you’ll want to serve enough content with ads in order to pay infrastructure and production costs.

To get the most out of your advertisements, investing in an analytics product that gives you the ability to breakdown your audience by location and demographic will help guide ad sales.  A professional online video service, like Viddler, should provide you all the analytics you need to better understand your viewers.  A large video ad buy can net more per CPM than an ad network, and allows you to better control your image as a brand.

Going independent is an incredible increase in work where your company has to create two new departments for business development and technology. But no matter how much planning, it’s still a roll of the dice.


About the Author

Zac Stockton is the Product Manager for IRIS.TV.  Based in Los Angeles, IRIS.TV creates a personalized TV-experience for publishers through cross-platform recommendation software and analytics.

One Response to “Content Creator Independence: Part 2”

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  1. So basically, if you have a LARGE amount of capital, going independent might be better in the long run, but if your horizon is shorter term or you don't have much capital, youtube is the way to go?

    Thank you for the article!