Take control of your earnings and make more money from your content. Learn from over 25,000 creators who make over $5,000/month. Monetize Your Videos on Your Terms.
You need to launch your own video streaming service if you want to build a stable, reliable income from your content. In this article, we’re going to show you exactly how. Here, you’ll learn:
- How to make more money from your existing content
- How to build a profitable YouTube marketing funnel
- Why you should launch a paid streaming service
- 3 steps to making money without YouTube
YouTube can be a tough place to make a living.
The money you make will always be unreliable and is contingent on the fact that the platform will take at least a 30% to 45% cut of your earnings.
So, it makes sense that you want to rely less on YouTube to make money.
The best way to take control of your earnings and make more money is to launch your own video streaming service.
And we’re here to show you why and how you can do that.
If there is one way to describe YouTube’s AdSense program it’s: unreliable.
YouTube can randomly demonetize your videos because of policy changes or even because of suspected breaches to community guidelines.
Rampant demonetization led to what’s now known as The Adpocalypse; where between 2017 to 2019 creators saw the peak of channels being demonetization that was fuelled by brand safety scares, and new COPPA regulations.
YouTube demonetization can affect anyone regardless of popularity or channel size. Even major creators like Mr. Beast can have their videos mistakenly demonetized.
Every single day, creators have to worry about whether the income they earned last month will be the same next month. Take Sarah BethYoga, for example.
This yoga YouTuber launched her channel back in 2010 and steadily grew a loyal viewership with her approachable spin on yoga.
Despite finding success on the platform, she quickly realized there was a big problem with her earnings: they weren’t reflecting the time and energy she put into her work.
Her income was fluctuating and she was looking for alternatives to making money on YouTube.
Sarah Beth then took a giant leap.
She decided to launch her own video membership site after hearing of fellow creators who were now making 6 figures with their own video membership sites.
Doing so completely transformed her business, it grew 10x bigger! In an interview with Sarah Beth she said:
“YouTube AdSense, you don’t own that, that can go away any day […] as an influencer, I 80/20-ed my revenue streams. I had a lot of streams of revenue that were bringing in different amounts of income […] I had to narrow it down: what are the 20% of the things that are bringing in 80% of my revenue? And my membership site was that thing.”
Why You Should Launch A Paid Streaming Service
By now it’s clear that the downsides of YouTube far outweigh the upsides. The good news is, you have other options….namely, launching your own video streaming site. This will give you:
- A reliable revenue stream.
- Greater overall income.
- More long-term and loyal viewers.
- Control over your audience information (i.e. email addresses, credit card information).
So instead of publishing your content for free and relying only on advertising revenue, you can take control of your income and audience by creating your own video streaming site.
Your video streaming platform could take the form of:
- Paid all-access membership: where you offer a flat rate to be paid over a certain time period (i.e. every month, year, quarter, etc) that includes access to all your premium content.
- Tiered membership: where you offer different membership levels at different price points, with subscribers getting more access the higher the price. (i.e. Basic plan with access to certain content, and a more expensive Premium plan with access to what Basic has and more).
- Pay-per-view access: where your viewers can buy or rent specific content on a one-off basis. This works for both single videos or a collection of videos.
- Hybrid: where you offer both types of membership access (i.e. tiered or all-access) and the ability to buy or rent courses on a one-off basis.
Now you may be thinking
“My audience will never pay to watch my videos!”
“People don’t want more subscriptions.”
“Nobody will pay for content they can get for free elsewhere.”
But, while that might feel true the facts show otherwise.
There are 5 reasons why people pay for content they can get for free.
- Convenient: people are happy to pay for a one-stop shop where they know they’ll find the content they love, instead of fighting through the hundreds of pieces of content in their news feeds or channel guides.
- Familiar: subscription services have become the new normal. Research shows that subscription video on demand is the most popular type of subscription service.
- Perceived as more valuable: research suggests that people who pay for a service frequently in smaller amounts are more likely to engage with it in the future.
- Supportive for their favorite communities: people love to support their favorite creators and will contribute significant amounts of money to help them keep creating.
- Ad-free: people want a seamless experience watching their favorite content, meaning they want it without ads.
So, if you have a content niche and a dedicated following on YouTube, then you’re already well equipped to thrive off of YouTube.
Case Study: Your Book Of Memories
(YBM) is a video streaming service that teaches DIY album-making.
Frances Long, founder of YBM, originally started on YouTube in 2017, and quickly experienced the limited potential of YouTube monetization.
Despite her YouTube channel growing quickly to over 17,000 engaged subscribers, and accumulating over 600,000 views on her channel, YBM was generating a meager $380 a month in YouTube ad revenue.
Frances realized she had to monetize her videos away from YouTube if she wanted to keep doing what she loves and see a fair return of her investment in time and money.
So, in January of 2019, Frances joined Uscreen to transform YBM into a highly profitable, private video streaming service.
And it paid off… With just 3.7% of YBM’s YouTube subscribers converting to the paid streaming service, YBM saw an 855% increase in monthly revenue in just 4 months, without the need to produce any new videos.
YBM also makes use of a lot of Uscreen’s monetization features, namely, she sells her content through both a subscription and on a one-off basis.
You may be wondering what happened to the YBM’s YouTube channel?
Well, instead of relying on YouTube as a video monetization platform, Frances now uses her YouTube channel as a lead generator to her paid streaming service. Afterall, YouTube is a free search engine.
So, you can make use of YouTube for what it is: the perfect place to build a loyal community that you can direct to your paid service.
How To Make Money Beyond YouTube In 3 Steps
Here’s how you can make money off the YouTube platform while still making use of your channel…
Step 1: Turn Your YouTube Channel Into A Powerful Marketing Engine
A good marketer knows that your YouTube channel and video streaming site are 2 different platforms that play different roles.
Your streaming site is your video monetization platform: this is your main source of income where you sell and stream your video content.
Your YouTube channel is your video marketing platform: it’s where you build an online community, get your streaming business discovered and grow your brand awareness.
This means you can use YouTube as a powerful marketing asset that’ll let you:
- Nurture a loyal community around
- your videos.
- Build brand awareness.
- Generate traffic.
- Get more leads.
- Connect the right people with your paid video streaming platform.
Start by growing your reach and nurturing your community on YouTube. You can do this by:
- Creating engaging thumbnails.
- Optimizing your video titles and descriptions for YouTube’s search engine.
- Engaging with your viewers.
- Using YouTube’s community-building features.
In fact, we find that Uscreen customers who have a YouTube following of 500+ subscribers earn more money in a shorter period of time than those who don’t.
So, if you already have a YouTube or social media following of at least that size you’re in a great position to launch a streaming service and turn your channel into a marketing engine!
To do that, you’ll need to adopt the YouTube Marketing Funnel to turn your channel into an effective marketing engine.
A YouTube Marketing Funnel is specifically focused on the customer journey from YouTube to your video streaming site. This funnel is split into 3 stages…
YouTube to VOD Marketing Funnel
For each stage of the funnel you’ll produce specific content that grows your audience, engages them, then pushes your viewers to the next stage:
- TOFU: where people first find out about your content. Your videos need to attract viewers, build brand awareness, and give them a reason to watch future videos.
- MOFU: where people begin to engage with your content, form concrete opinions about your brand, and join your community. Your content needs to educate and be helpful to people, build a relationship with viewers, and give viewers a taste of what your paid service can do for them.
- BOFU: where you promote your paid video on-demand service and convince people to try your premium content. This stage takes place on your video streaming site after viewers have followed a strong call-to-action from your YouTube channel to your video streaming site.
The main goal here is to get a big pool of people at the top of the funnel then push your target audience down the funnel, where they can decide to be paying subscribers to your video streaming site. Speaking of which…
- Top of the funnel: Where new people on YouTube find out about your content.
- Middle of the funnel: Where your YouTube viewers start to engage, learn, and grow to like you.
- Bottom of the funnel: Where your YouTube leads decide whether or not to subscribe to your paid content.
Step 2: Launch Your Video Streaming Platform
Now you’re ready to launch your own video streaming site once you have :
- Existing content: these can be videos you have planned, recorded, edited, and uploaded anywhere online.
- An existing audience: your audience or community can be anyone who is directly linked to your existing content.
- An engaged audience: this is a good indicator that your audience likes and trusts your brand.
Content creators who have experience making YouTube videos can create a premium offering that sets apart their free content from their paid content.
Creators with this Netflix-style business model go on to:
- Earn more money.
- Grow Their audience.
- Have less stress.
- Enjoy more freedom.
In fact, the average income for a content creator is around $5,700 a month. That’s $68,400 a year in comparison to the $12,140 on offer at YouTube.
By far the easiest and most cost-effective way to build your streaming site is by leasing it from a provider, an all-in-one solution that you can use to build a streaming site without writing a single word of code.
A good platform-builder will let you:
- Host your videos on a custom domain.
- Customize your website with a built-in page builder (like our drag and drop page builder).
- Accept online payments with a built-in payment gateway (like with Stripe and/ or Paypal).
- Sell your content the way you like (i.e. subscriptions, pay-per-view, or both.)
- Categorize and filter your content to offer viewers a great browsing experience.
- Create landing pages for your site (and any promotions you’ll offer).
- Own your customer and lead data.
- Manage your members’ subscriptions.
- Grow sales with built-in marketing features.
- Engage with your members.
- Offer extra perks like digital downloads, closed captions, and the ability to add resources like eBooks and PDFs to supplement your video content.
Better still, they come with 24/7 support from an experienced technical team!
We have tools that let you create a unique storefront to represent your brand. You’ll be able to build your streaming site, your way.
Step 3: Create Multiple Revenue Streams
Once you’ve set up your main income stream- the video streaming site- it’s time to start building different revenue streams.
There are several ways you can do this, like having:
- Affiliate partnerships: promoting third-party products on a commission basis.
- Brand partnerships: featuring product placements of your brand partnerships in your videos.
- Merchandising: creating your own line of products to sell to your subscribers.
A combination (or all) of these options will help you build a sustainable income from your video content.
Wrapping It Up…
And that’s it for making money beyond YouTube!
To recap, here are the 2 main takeaways to keep in mind:
- YouTube ad revenue is unreliable, and the platform will take a significant cut off any money you make on it.
- The best way to take control of your income and audience is to launch your own streaming service.
We’re committed to helping creators launch and grow their video streaming sites, and creators make a total of $100 million in revenue per year.