How and Why to Expand your Online TV Network to Roku?

Traditional TV is dying and the devices that are putting the nail in the coffin are small little boxes that connect to your living room TV set. Roku is a fiercely competitive little device that connects through wifi to the internet and allows you to view video content on you TV including content from YouTube and Netflix.
Besides the usual Netflix and YouTube there are a few thousand other channels to choose from and with a viewing audience that is constantly expanding (well over 60 million ) it has more viewers than most cable operators combined. Roku provides your network with great potential and opportunity to reach new audiences. The possibilities of reaching new audiences with your new Roku channel is not only exciting but easier to do than ever before in history.
Roku’s most important metrics indicate a growing and healthy viewership. In fact streaming hours increased 68% in the fourth quarter of 2018 to over 7.3 billion. However Roku has moved past just promoting its streaming device that connects to your TV.
More viewers are now coming from licenses sources; Specifically Roku’s operating system that is one of the most popular among Smart TV operating systems among consumers. Roku estimated that 25% of smart TV’s sold in the first three quarters of 2018 came with ROKU operating system preinstalled.
Roku’s expansion in the Smart TV world is fantastic for broadcasters because Roku’s continuous exposure and growth is also growing online broadcasters audience base. Roku’s broad audience gives broadcasters in any niche an opportunity to get a large audience and following. This is far more valuable for online network owners because advertisers are wiling to pay a much higher rate for content viewed on the living room TV set verses watching on a mobile device.
The only Smart TV operating system with a greater market share is Samsung however even Roku is perusing deals with them as well. Last year Roku partnered with Samsung to enable Samsung Smart TV viewers to connect and stream content from their Roku Channel.
The ever constant expansion of Roku is exactly why many of our customers choose to expand to Roku as one of their distribution platforms. When our broadcasters choose to expand to Roku we simply integrate it into their Channel Manager account.
Our Channel Manager is the core of any online TV network that we deploy for our customers. It allows our broadcasters to create and schedule playlists, create VOD categories and assign videos to each category (like Netflix) as well as broadcast live and automatically record your live broadcast for inclusion into your playlist or VOD library.
Expanding onto Roku is pretty easy if you have our channel manager and you can broadcast simultaneously not only to your Roku channel but any distribution platform that you have (Amazon FireTV, Apple TV, Samsung Smart TV, iPhone, your website and Android). We also provide a tool so you can re-stream your live broadcast (or playlist) to social media simultaneously.
If you would like to get a subscription to our channel manager you can find out more about it here.


Three Ways Broadcasters are Benefiting from Live Streaming onto Social Media

Many broadcasters are hesitant to embrace social media due to ignorance of its huge potential. For these broadcasters social media visibility is limited to random FaceBook or Twitter posts announcing their upcoming programs. However there are many other broadcasters that see its strength as a broadcasting power house and a medium for audience engagement.

  1. Broadcasters using Social Media for Finding New Voices and Expanding Their Audience:

In certain fields social media broadcasts will outpace more traditional media sources. For example traditional news broadcasting may be overrun by live streams on social media platforms with the average person replacing the journalist with breaking news.

For example, Al Jazeera English has published its own online community named “The Stream”, which exploits the strength of social media to broadcast news in compelling ways. The Stream accumulates discussions, opinions and social media posts from various platforms, to reassemble significant stories of the day for better viewership.

Social media today is no longer here just for building personal relationships, it is used to influence the decisions of millions, build brands and expand a broadcasters reach. Engaging your audience is now just as important as reaching your audience and social media provides both.

Savy broadcasters know the power of a live broadcast is not only in achieving a larger audience and more engagement but also to expose their brand and promote audience to engage their network on other platforms (Roku, FireTV etc…).

According to Richard Weaver, Principal at Weaver Injury Law Firm, “Branding yourself with a logo and a few articles is a good idea, but people want to see something more from you, and this is where live streams can help. They offer rich, tangible content that’s highly desirable and a lot of fun to peruse, not to mention very informative.”

2. Live Streaming Gives a Sense of Urgency

With a live stream you can nudge people to act more swiftly than if they were watching something that was prerecorded. For businesses it can convert viewers into paid customers….For those with their own online TV network a Live broadcast can be the preview and you can urge them to join you on your other platforms which can be monetized with ads.

3. Getting Creative – Combining Social Media and Your Online Network

Some of our customers combined the power of Social Media broadcasts with their own network. For example Creekbox a small town online TV network that specializes in broadcasting high-school sports. They were already successful in their own niche, but got a powerful boost when they began broadcasting their live high-school football games on social media. Not only did their social media fans increase but their Roku, FireTV, and mobile apps saw a significant audience increase as well due to their FaceBook fans download their apps.

They use a tool in our Channel Manager called “re-streamer” which allows our customers to broadcast simultaneously to their own website/network, and Facebook, YouTube and Periscope. Even though they are in a rural community with slower internet connection speeds they only have to send one live feed uploaded to our Channel Manager and we duplicate it automatically to their social media accounts reducing the need for video upload speeds.

Then when they are done with their live broadcast our auto-live recorder places the previous live video into their media library for use as a VOD or to be included in a scheduled playlist at a later time.

No matter which way you look at it, broadcasting live to social media has nothing but upsides with no real downsides. As broadcasters get more and more creative with ways to expand and engage their audiences through live broadcasts its clear social media will be a part of their expansion for years to come.

If you would like to get a subscription to our Channel Manager so that you too can broadcast across social media, create and schedule playlists and much much more then click here to check it out.


My Internet TV Network – How much can I make?

When it comes to Internet TV 3 questions are common for beginners:

      1. Can I make money with my network?
      2. How do I make money?
      3. How much can I make?


Q1 – Yes

Q2. I am going to assume you are already familiar with “Monetization techniques” for internet TV (OTT)…if not click here to read about it. .

Q3. Well that’s what this article is about…read on;

The most common way to make monetize your online network is through DAI which stand for Dynamic Ad Insertion (and for the sake of this article I will mainly concentrate on this method). DAI allows advertisers to swap out creative ads in both linear, live or video-on-demand, content. This is done instead of servicing the same ad to each consumer (like in traditional TV). With online video we can understand more about our audiences and their interests and only serve particular ads to our audience based on those interests.

This means we can have viewers in different locations watching the same stream, but serve them with different ads.

However the rule of thumb for internet advertising remains; channel owners are paid on a CPM basis. CPM which means “cost per metric” really translates to “Cost per thousand”.

Cost Per Thousand means how much is paid per 1000 impressions of an advertisement. This means your viewers have seen an ad 1000 times. This could mean 100 viewers watch an ad 10 times in an evening or that 200 viewers watched the ad 5 times… and for most cases it does not mean that 1000 people had to see the ad. Its impressions or better yet, its views, not viewers.

In the internet TV world CPM’s can vary on a sliding scale:

Smart TV and connected TV”s CPM can be between $8 and $20.

Mobile apps between $6 and $10

Desktop between $2 and $6

As you can see depending on what platform your viewers are watching your content makes a big difference in how much add revenue you can make.

You will want to use DAI for your streams and your VOD’s.

To determine your potential monthly ad revenue of your online network you must predict how many views your content will receive and then calculate that with your CPM. To do this examine your current fan base and understand your average view count for each video on your network and then multiply that by the amount of videos you intend to release each month (to give you an idea of total views).

Once you have that number then use the formula below to calculate revenue:

(CPM(# of views))/1000=Total revenue

Now lets just make a simple scenario;

Lets say your network had 30,000 viewers that each tuned in 10 times during the month, giving you a total view count of 300,000 views for the month…and lets say your getting a $15 CPM cause your on smart TV’s.

So that would be 300,000 X 15 divide by a 1000 = $4,500 in DAI revenue.

However this is not the whole picture….because you must also account for how many impressions you have in an hour instead of accounting for 1 impression per session.

Let me give you another example using the same CPM.

1000 people watching your 1 hour live event (or live stream) with 4 ad avails of 2 mins each per hour.

This means in one hour you have 8 minutes of possible ad time. That would be 4 thirty second ads for each avail. This equals 16 impression per viewer for the hour.

So now your impressions for the hour is 16,000 (impressions multiplied by how many viewers).

So now if you had a CPM of 15 dollars you could figure out what you made for that hour:

16,000 X CPM (15) / 1000 = $240 for that one hour.

This of course varies depending on your fill rate of your avails but should give you an idea of the possibilities.

The bottom line is this: The more people watch, the longer people watch, and the longer your avail times for ad insertion = the more money you make in DAI.

Keep in mind that this was referring to add insertion into a streaming channel (linear) but the same principal applies to VOD. Having pre-rolls and mid-roll ads inserted dynamically into your VOD’s will increase your ad revenue greatly.

Now back to our first example of 30,000 viewers tuning in for the month. Depending on how many impressions each viewer saw (how much time they spent watching your VOD’s and streaming channel) will indicate the actual revenue received. 30,000 viewers could equal $4,500 or it could equal $45,000 depending on all of those variables.

The longer each viewer watches and the more ad avails that are filled (per hour)then your math starts to ad up because now your impressions are much larger.

Now lets talk about subscription verses DAI.

Charging a monthly subscription is a common way to monetize your content. Netflix is an example of how subscription services can really be a viable option.

Typical questions we get is “how much should I charge for my subscription network” ? The best answer I can give you is this; The more niche your network, the more you can charge.

In other words the more targeted your audience the higher you can price your monthly subscription.

Other questions such as; Are there other competitors competing for that same audience? Look at other niche networks,…what are they charging?

Let me give you some make believe samples of “extremer niche”:

    • A ball room dancing channel
    • A golf channel that focuses just on teaching golf techniques
    • Channels that cater to languages not commonly spoken in your home country

It can’t just be a standard channel targeting standard entertainment if you want to charge a subscription. The only exception to this is of course Netflix with has thousands of video titles to choose from.

You have to know your audience and as a channel owner/operator you are the best to know what you can charge and what you can not.

To give you an idea I see our customers charging their viewers between 1.99/month on the low end and as high as $29.99/month on the high end.

Whats great about subscriptions is you are monetizing all of your views the same….no matter if they spend one hour a month watching or 50 hours a month. You can predict your revenue and

growth easily.

You can mix and match by providing a paid/premium version with out advertising and a free version of your channel with ads.

There is not “one answer fits all” when it comes to monetizing your online network…but you should have some idea by now.

Want to take the next step and start your network? Read about our Channel Manager Here.

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