What is a Video CDN? And Why Do I Need One?

First and foremost if you want your own Internet TV Channel (OTT platform) you absolutely must have a CDN. A CDN Stands for “Content Distribution Network” and it is a large geographically dispersed network of high speed servers.

There are a few different types of CDN’s. There are standard CDN’s for just delivering websites like a hosting company and then there are video CDN’s that are specifically optimized for delivery high quality video streams and video on demand content.

The Internet is nothing more than a collection of data centers connecting users to the data they want to access. When web servers are located in just one single location it makes it much harder to handle multiple requests for the same data and creates a heavy workload for those servers. To solve this CDN’s were created and load balancer’s deployed. A load balancer looks at the incoming traffic and then disperses it to an available server closest to the users location.

A video CDN has specialized servers that accelerate video delivery though a process called caching, which stores content temporary on several servers through the CDN (servers spread throughout the globe). When a viewer requests to view a video the servers nearest the viewers location delivers the video. This allows the viewer to get the least amount of buffering and the most amount of video playback.

The size of a CDN can vary greatly depending on the many factors including the content volume and the number of viewers serviced.

Without a CDN you can not deliver high quality video simultaneously to multiple (hundreds or thousands ) of viewers. A CDN benefits the viewers greatly because they expect their video to play anywhere, anytime and on any device. When a viewers views content via a CDN they get to enjoy faster streaming rates and much better reliability as well as mobile device detection.

A video CDN must be able to support both VOD and streaming as well as other features that a network owner or OTT operator might need such as: The ability to broadcasts simultaneously to social media, ability to record live broadcasts, ability to create and schedule playlists, ability to offer multiple and adaptive bit-rates, integrate dynamic add insertion and much more.

So in essence a video CDN at its core is the ability to deliver video to thousands of simultaneous viewers of your network across the globe with value added features listed above.

A CDN gives you the ability to deploy your video content in a professional manner that drives customer loyalty and dependability instead of standard hosting which could only server one or two viewers at at a time.

At TvStartup we have our CDN geographically spread in key locations throughout the globe to give your network the dependability and readability that your viewers would expect from a professional internet TV network.

We specialize is video delivery with key features that make owning and operating your own video platform easy. Our “Channel Manager” is our core product built on top of our CDN that allows you to broadcast live, schedule and create playlists, broadcast simultaneously to social media, record live broadcasts automatically and much more. Click here to learn more about our channel manager.


Going Beyond YouTube – Your Internet TV Network

Although YouTube is the most popular streaming platform in the world there are some serious drawbacks to using the platform for your own network including live broadcasts. Many people don’t realize that YouTube is the 3rd most commonly blocked website in the world today. Plus YouTube does not ALLOW white labeling (using your logo and custom branding).

If you are starting your own Internet TV network you need your own powerful and flexible system that can handle all the needs of a network (like scheduling playlists, live broadcast across social platforms, VOD integration and much more). Plus you can not broadcast across platforms like Roku, FireTV, Apple TV, your mobile apps and much more.

Lets discuss some more of the drawbacks of YouTube:

Content rights: When you stream or upload a video to YouTube you give away the rights to your content. Lets review 6C terms in the YouTube terms of use agreement: “by submitting Content to YouTube, you hereby grant YouTube a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform the Content in connection with the Service and YouTube’s (and its successors’ and affiliates’) business.”

Loosing your rights to your content may not be a big deal to someone posting a non professional video, but it is a big deal to those that have time and effort into their video creation.

Ads and Monetization: Dynamic ads insertion is a huge business with more than 40.84 billion by 2022. This is an annual growth rate of 20 percent! However with YouTube your Monetization options are very limited in scope. First YouTube Monetization is tightly controlled and your only option is advertising (you can not do a Netflix subscription model). In addition YouTube advertising rates are very low and you have almost no customization options. As an example you have no control over what ads appear before, during, or after your content.

For a professional service you have several Monetization options; pay-per-view, subscriptions, and dynamic add insertion with each having its own advantages. You can even mix and match these Monetization options for revenue optimization.

Branding and Customization: To maintain a professional image for your network you need to be able to brand it with your own logos and colors. You need the ability to embed your videos anywhere with a easy to understand interface.

YouTube and other social media platforms do not allow this. They also link unrelated content alongside your content. The bottom line is a YouTube channel never has the sense of professionalism to it that it needs to represent your network.

Customer Support: Customer support is non-existent for professional content creators when it comes to free platforms like YouTube. This is completely not acceptable if you are doing a live broadcast on your network.

Conclusion: Your own online TV network is a massive opportunity for you to monetize your video content and reach new audiences from around the globe. However you need a professional platform that can help you manage your video content as well as distribute it to large audiences in a professional way with your own branding. You need the ability to create and schedule playlists, simultaneously broadcast across social media, record live broadcasts and get tech support. Our channel manager does all of this, if you would like to get your network started check it out by clicking here.

For more reading, check out How to Make Money from my YouTube Channel


African Internet TV Market to Top $1 Billion by 2024

A report by Digital TV Research has indicated that Internet TV in Sub-Saharan Africa’s 35 countries will increase almost 5 fold from $223 million in 2018 to over $1 billion by 2024.

This market will continue to be lead by Nigeria and South Africa the report predicts. This means that almost two-thirds of the value of the industry will be held by these two leading countries. With 89 million internet users in sub Saharan Africa half of which are in Nigeria.

The largest contributors to the OTT (internet TV) African market will come from SVOD (subscription video on demand). This is the Netflix style business model that has proven to be so profitable when applied.

Current subscriptions numbers are right at 3 million people subscribing to SVOD content but this number is expected to rise to over 10.21 million by 2024.

This shows that OTT is growing globally and that revenues will continue to rise even as there is stiff competition from traditional TV.

We may be seeing the first signs of other patterns that have come to pass in more developed markets such as the UK and the United States; OTT devices are already outpacing traditional pay-tv services in terms of growth rate and average revenue per user are expected to grow.

This means it might still be quite some time before you see cord-cutting hitting African markets as a movement but the data is clear that eventually Africa will join the cord-cutting.

The biggest challenges for OTT players in Africa has been the lack of internet connectivity and poor internet speeds as well as data costs. However these challenges are continuing to be met daily as ISP’s are beginning to face stiffer competition.

In order to optimize the full potential of video streaming industry in Africa, the telco’s will need to drive down their data costs to match up the paying capacity of the massive user base.

What does this mean for broadcasters and video creators in Africa? This means there has never been a better time to get your own Netflix style platform or online TV network. The momentum is in your favor and you would be wise to follow the data.

We specialize in creating Internet TV platforms and our “Channel Manager” is equipped to be able to create Netflix style VOD categories as well as create and schedule playlists. We even have Netflix style templates for both the web and connected TV devices to help you get started quickly and easily.

If you would like a turn key package visit our internet TV page or check out our channel manager.


9 Great Reasons to Start Your Online TV Network

Imagine your future: You are the owner of your own successful online network and your earning at least $10,000 a month, and all of it is passive income.

You spend your mornings cleaning up and editing your video content that you are inspired to make. You spend your afternoons interacting with your online fans and community and your highly respected in your niche. Your fans respect and cherish your opinions from countries around the world.

Sounds to good to be true?

Well I can tell you for sure its NOT.

In fact this is a reality for many video business owners (and believe me we know cause we work with them everyday).

The people who take their future into their own hands – many of them create Netflix style subscription style networks, because its based on a proven business model, and create their video business around the topic they love.

Some are entertainers, some are course-creators, inspirational speakers, and experts who have decided to start their own network or sell their videos online.

You are probably still wondering if this really can be true, but this reality can be yours….. its within your grasp.

Let me spend a little time showing you why;

There are some foundation reasons why Internet TV networks and Netflix style (subscription) business are spreading and growing like crazy.

Here are 10 of them:

  1. It makes money; Money is the name of the game in any industry and the Netflix style business model (selling videos for a subscription) is the most profitable and recognized business model. The average income for a Netflix style business is over 10,000 a month.

The average income generating from ad insertion can vary but we have personally seen this top 10,000 even 20,000 monthly for many of our customers.

Keep in mind this does not mean you start a Netflix style business or online network and instantly become rich, but it is a foundation to start with that is tried and tested.

  1. Your income Is Passive

Warren Buffet once said “If you can not find a way to make money while you sleep, You will work until you die”. Well thanks to the subscription business and dynamic ad insertions models you can make money while you are sleeping.

If you have subscribers they are going to pay you month in and month out, if you have ad insertion you will get advertising checks every month for those viewing your ads on your channel.

This gives you the income you need so that you can spend each day doing what you like best – creating great video content.

  1. You are recognized as a Expert

If you are a video creator in the online course creation or inspirational speaker you will be recognized as an instant expert in that field. When people see you have a library of video content in any particular niche they look at you as an authority.

  1. Complete Creative Control

This is a big one here…..when you have your own network no one is telling you what you can and can not create. There is no censorship and none telling you what you can’t do. You can create and promote what you want.

  1. Work From Home or Anywhere in The World

Choose anywhere in the world you want to live because the only thing that stopping you is your own creative vision. This is the beauty that video creators that have their own network realize: they can travel anywhere to make the content they want, and their network keeps making them money day in and day out.

  1. You Can Monetize your Social Media

Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Linkedin fans and followers can all be directed to your network or Netflix style site. Your network is no longer bound by a geographical location, so it does not matter where your fans or followers are – you can still monetize them.

  1. Unlimited Customers

There is no limit to the amount of subscribers you can have with a online network because your inventory is digital. In other words….You cant sell out! It does not go out of date or style and you wont run out of seats.

  1. Viewers can View Your Content Anywhere

Desktop, Laptop, Smart TV’s, Roku, FireTV, your own Mobile phone TV aps, tablet etc….. You allow them to watch on whatever device suits them.

This allow you to reach much larger audiences. Roku alone has over 60 million devices sold and Amazon and Apple TV are nearing 30 million. There is a larger audience on internet TV than there is on cable and satellite combine. This means a constant new stream of new viewers and its only growing.

  1. Video is Future Proof

If you are not making videos chances are you will eventually be left behind and your leaving money on the table especially if you are in a professional niche that would benefit from a Netflix style subscription business mode.

The best time to create a online TV network is now. If your ready to get started the first step is to check out our “channel Manager” which is the core of any online TV network. You can do so by clicking here.


4 Tips to Improve Your YouTube Video Performance

Improving your YouTube performance is both key for YouTube and for your own network. Here are a few tips:


  1. Your YouTube Click through rate determines your video performance.

YouTube’s main concern is that their viewers spend as much time as possible consuming their video content. So it is no wonder that much of your success on your video depends on your average click through rate to measure how often viewers will click to watch your video content after seeing an impression (which is tracked every time your video thumbnail is shown to a potential viewer).

YouTube uses this information to determine if it will push your video to others as a suggested video or recommended video in the search results. The better your click-through rate the better chance you have at YouTube pushing your video for you. So as a general rule a great click-through rate equals more discovery.

What does this mean for you? For you it means putting more time into the title, description and thumbnail of your video to make sure its as attractive as possible.


  1. The Watch-Time Rule

The second most important factor in YouTubes algorithm is the average watch time of a video. YouTube wants you to watch more but click less. This is called “Audience Retention” which measures how well your videos keep people watching. The longer they watch the better….Your goal is to keep them engaged for as long as possible.

Here are a few tips:

a. Let viewers know that they made the right choice by clicking your video and put the hook in the first few seconds of the video. Get right to the point and before you even introduce yourself introduce what you will be talking about.

b. Avoid long endings; When the video is over…just end it….Do not just drag the outro on and on. This will really hurt your watch time.

c. Deliver on your Thumbnail. Make sure what you advertised in your thumbnail is what the video is actually about.

d. Suggest another video. In stead of always asking people to like and subscribe make sure you also suggest another video that the audience might be interested in. Getting more viewers to watch more of your video content keeps them more engaged and only helps your stats.

e. Don’t get caught up in video length. Its a myth that the longer videos preform better. Let your video be as long as the content dictates.


  1. YouTube’s future is NICHE

YouTube is getting further and further away from generic entertainment and getting more focused with niche channels and audiences. No longer are the days in which you can gain thousands of subscribers with inconsistent and generic content. The more focused you are the better you will succeed.


  1. Own Your Audience

This is by far the most important of all the tips. You have already worked hard to get an audience on YouTube so now you need to make sure you get to keep what you earned. You have to first understand that you OWN nothing on the YouTube platform…..all of your subscribers belong to YouTube.

Consider this…in 2017 PewDiePie’s (over 70 million subscribers) YouTube channel was shut down temporary over a video that broke YouTube rules. YouTube sent a vary clear message to video creators everywhere – we own your channel and can shut it down when we want.

So if your channel gets demonetized or even worse shut down by YouTube, you instantly loose your entire subscriber base and all of that hard work you did. In a blink of an eye you have no contacts, no leads, no list, not anything.

Beyond just he ability to shut your channel down we have seen how YouTube policy changes, updates and algorithm changes (like minimum watch times, click through rates etc…) can effect a channel revenue and exposure overnight.

To avoid this you need to scale up your video content creation business and start collecting your viewer data like emails and information immediately. Direct them to your website and a email magnet to get them to sign-up. This does two things, provides a safety blanket for yourself and even better provides a way to monetize your audience by contacting them directly.

The next step is to have your own Netflix style site where you can charge subscriptions for additional and more exclusive premium content. This is great for generating leads but also making more money. You may not end up with 100% of your subscribers giving you their email address but you still end up with a strong list of highly interested subscribers.

If you would like to learn how you can get your own Netflix style site check out our Internet TV page here.


YouTuber’s Struggle – Study Shows

The road to YouTube Success is long and hard. Although we have all heard the glamorous stories of 10 year old’s becoming millionaires and rags to riches gamer’s earning millions per year, however its a much different story for the average YouTuber.

In fact Bloomberg recently released a story which shows that 96.5% of YouTubers wont make enough money through advertising to even break past the poverty line. With all of YouTube’s content restrictions and regulations on top of their extremely low revenue sharing its no wonder why so many YouTubers are struggling. In fact YouTube has been removing content from its platform at the requests of its advertisers aggravating many creators and viewers alike.

With YouTube’s lack of earning potential, and tighter restrictions on creativity of video content, has been a very key factor in driving people away from the platform and toward companies like TvStartup.

TvStartup’s platform allow users to create entire business models around their existing video content – viewers can pay subscriptions to access their video content – just like Netflix. This allows content creators to create an entire career outside of YouTube platform. TvStartup acts as a tool to your business instead of trying to control your entire business (something YouTube is famous for).

This is why TvStartup offers video creators add-on platforms like their own Netflix style website with payment management, connected TV app creation (Roku, FireTV, Apple TV, and Smart TV’s) as well as social media broadcasting tools. This gives content creators the assets they need to take complete control of their video business. Audiences are expanding everyday outside of cable and satellite subscription and now video creators can get a piece of the pie without begging YouTube for the crumbs.

YouTube is already loosing viewers due content restrictions, leaving viewers going elsewhere to seek the content that they cant find on YouTube. However viewers are not the only people its loosing – its loosing many content creators.

New research has brought some depressing facts to light about those trying to make a living as a YouTuber. Research done by Mathias Bartl, a professor at Offenburg University of Applied Sciences in Offenburg, Germany, reveals the hardship of YouTubers;

  • – 96.5% of YouTubers make less than poverty
  •  only 3% of the most-watched channels brings in ad revenue of about $16,800 a year
    (and that’s despite the top 3% getting 1.4 million viewers per month on average).
  • The top 1% of YouTubers will get on average from 2.2 million Views to 42.1 million views.

The bottom line is millions of views does not equal lots of money, in fact for the majority, it still equals poverty. YouTuber millionaires are far and few between and the ones that did make it most got big while YouTube was growing and before YouTube’s new content restriction rules.

For those of you that want to start your own network outside of YouTube then your first step is to subscribe to TvStartup’s “Channel Manager”. Its a all-in-one control panel that allows you to upload your videos to a media library, create video categories (like netflix), charge subscriptions, create and schedule playlists, broadcast live and more. You can also choose and expand your audience with their integrated distribution platforms like Roku, FireTV, Apple TV, Smart TV, iPhone app, Android App and more. Click here to learn more about their “Channel Manager”.


How to Have My Own Netflix Style Site

Netflix has one of the most popular and familiar looks when it comes to selling video content subscriptions and is recognized around the globe.

What if you could do the same with your videos and make money doing it? You could concentrate on making content for your audience and have complete control over monetizing it.

This is not a pipe dream this is reality and by learning how to apply Netflix’s business model you can create revenue around the video content you want to make.

Netflix has created a gigantic company around a very simple business model that you can also replicate yourself.

In this blog I am going to explain how you too can start your own video service like Netflix even if you know nothing about building websites or apps.

What You’ll Learn:

  • The 4 components of the Netflix revenue model
  • Why their business model works for all video producers
  • How to create your own Netflix in just a few simple steps

The Netflix Business Model

Netflix is extremely successful. Their company is worth over 100 billion and they have over 100 million subscribers. They have gradually worked their way into the living rooms of millions around the world making them a part of our every day life…so what is it that makes them so successful?

1. Subscriptions

  • Users can easily join via their website
  • They get a Free Trial
  • They get a flat monthly rate
  • They keep paying as long as their satisfied

This has created a dependable income stream for Netflix that they can continue to scale up. It also allow for them to offer these services to their users at low monthly rates. Why? So Netflix can concentrate on growing instead of perusing renewals of customers and their contracts.

All of this combine equals to Netflix a low attrition rate (only about 9% a year cancel) and keeps their customers “addicted” to their platform.

2.  Easy Access

Netflix can be accessed by about anyone in the world anytime. This means they don’t have to be connected to cable or satellite services that is only specific to a certain region. You can access them via the internet through their many apps in about any country. Plus their content is all on-demand so you don’t have to wait for a broadcast schedule.

3. Combination of Original Content and Acquired content

  1. They generate a lot of buzz about their platform from the content they produce which in turn gives them ever increasing subscribers that want to check out their new content. This continuous release of new content is also what keeps their viewers addicted and coming back for more.

4. No Ads

Netflix is completely independent of advertisers which means they don’t depend on advertising dollars to keep them in business. This means advertisers don’t dictate the type of content they produce or promote. This is why many independent content creators on YouTube are failing and struggling.

Why the Netflix style Business Model is Fantastic For All Video Producers:

Because their model can be easily duplicated in any niche or industry. You can use their model to enjoy a profitable business model year in and year out.

So now the next step how do you get your own Netflix style site? And better yet how do you manage the content and the subscriptions?

Here are a few easy steps:

  1. You need to have a subscription to our “Channel Manager”. Our Channel manager allows you to create VOD categories and dynamically name them. You can upload your video content and create a media library. From your media library you can decide all your Video Category names and assign the appropriate videos to each category. You can also create playlists to combine live streaming with VOD. Your Channel Manager subscription will give you everything necessary to manage your Netflix style site.
  1. Next you need to pick your distribution platforms from inside our Channel Manager. For example how will your customers access your subscriptions site? iPhone or Android mobile TV app, Roku, Apple TV, Smart TV, Website??? We have an array of website templates and connected TV templates to choose that you can use for your subscription service.
  1. Set your monthly/quarterly/annual rate you want to charge and the bank account you want your funds deposited into …then start uploading your video content!

In Conclusion:

  • Get a Channel Manager Subscriptions

  • Upload your video content

  • Make your video categories

  • Choose your distribution platforms

If your ready to get started on your own Netflix style site then check out our Channel Manager by clicking here.


Should My Online Network be in 4k?

Although the price of UHD/4k Television sets continues to drop, there is still a scarcity of available UHD/4k video content on the market today – even in 2019 – and is typically reserved for higher-profile events such as the FIFA world cup.

The only exception is when it comes to over-the-top streaming services (Internet TV). The reason is satellite and cable is far more constrained when it comes to the available bandwidth that it takes to deliver UHD content to viewers.

UHD video is double or triple the bandwidth of standards HD and this means organizations that have a fixed infrastructure can not easily adjust to 4k programming. Its like not having to much traffic and not enough lanes for the data to be piped through.

Today Netflix is probably the largest distributor of 4k video content and will continue to add more 4k to its library. In fact all of Netflix originals are shot in 4k even if only a minority of the audience views it in 4k.

However with that being said is 4k the best choice for your online network? The answer really depends. Although Internet TV leads the way in 4k content, this does not mean that the majority of viewers are viewing 4k content….AND although OTT providers do not have the confined fixed infrastructure of cable and satellite they still have to deal with two significant facts:

1. It costs MUCH more in bandwidth to deliver 4k content to their streaming viewers;

In fact Colin Dixon Chief analyst for nScreenMedia says “UHD content doesn’t represent a big cost increase to OTT services, The costs are related to the number of customers, so when you have only a few customers it really doesn’t cost much. The bad news is that the costs will go up as you gain customers.”

2. The majority of viewers do not have the available bandwidth to view UHD content.

With the average connection speed in North America less than 20Mbps and the average 4k video has an average bit rate of 35Mbps (compared to 6 – 5 Mbps for standard HD) its like trying to fit a watermelon down a small pipe….to much buffering.

Besides the two problems mentioned above there are other problems presented by some ISP’s. Most ISP’s don’t bother the average viewer viewing one or two movies a week. However some ISP’s have bandwidth limits, and this can be a serious problem for viewers that want to watch 4k content, as they will quickly reach their bandwidth limit.

On average less than 20% of the market today streams UHD content and that the ISP’s infrastructure would have to change before “Everyone” could partake of 4k content.

Dixon estimates that no more than 20 percent of the current U.S. market that regularly watches streaming services is consuming UHD content. “That market is growing, and if 100 percent of the audience suddenly embraced UHD, the broadband providers would have to build up the pipes,” he said.

So the answer to the question is – Filming all of your new content in 4k is just fine….but for the near future having your network in standard HD will server more viewers, and cost you less money (especially when it comes to live streaming/playlists).

If your looking to start your network then check out our Channel Manger by clicking here. We can easily encode your 4k content to HD automatically when you upload to your account.


Satellite TV, Cable, & Internet TV: Whats the difference?

Satellite and Cable TV is what is considered “Traditional TV” and also known as Linear Television. Linear TV means your TV programs run in a straight line on a schedule. Meaning the viewer must watch a scheduled TV program at the actual time of broadcast.

Although satellite and cable subscriptions have been falling off due to other media alternatives such as Netflix, HULU and other choices, the video industry as a whole has only grown. This is because there are more ways than ever to check out your favorite shows than ever before in history.

Lets first look at the 4 different types of TV:

Cable TV – TV that comes through a cable wire into your home. Common cable providers are AT&T, Comcast, Charter and so on…..

Satellite TV – TV that is beamed down to a dish from a satellite. Providers like Dish and Direct TV are some of the most popular here in the USA.

Broadcast TV – TV that comes through your antenna

Internet TV AKA OTT – TV delivered through the internet to different platforms like the web, Roku, Apple TV and more.

There is basically two ways to get video content into your living room: You can tune in through a satellite, cable or antenna, or it can be streamed through the internet.

Broadcast TV includes Satellite, cable and Antenna reception. Broadcast networks essentially operate by broadcasting video content from a central location. For cable it is broadcast and delivered to your home through a coaxial cable. Satellite it comes from radio waves that you pick up with your satellite dish attached to your home.

Cable and satellite both work by allowing you to “tune in” to specific channels within that signal. The big difference is that cable comes into your home through a wire and satellite through the air.

Internet TV

Internet TV accomplishes the same goal (to put content on your TV) but is delivered through the internet either to your Smart TV (Via a smart TV app) or connect TV device (Roku, FireTV, Apple TV etc…). Internet TV can also be delivered to your mobile phone or desktop either through a app (like YouTube) or a browser.

Pros and Cons for Consumers

For most of us as long as we know how to turn the TV on and get what we want either via internet or Satellite/cable understanding the nuts and bolts isnt as important. Hoover if you are staring your own Online TV network then its great to have an understanding of the Pro’s and Cons.

Cable TV:


  • Quality: No buffering and a dedicated line for video. Video is always high quality.
  • Hundred of channels to choose from with a dedicated program guide.


  • Only available in areas in which cable has been run.
  • Cost is typically high
  • Requires a cable box and can be a mess of wires in the home.

Satellite TV


  • Programming is very similar to cable.
  • Its available nationwide
  • Video quality is generally good.


  • You must have a large box attached to your TV’s
  • You must have a dish attached to your home
  • storms can cause outages.
  • Its generally expensive.

Internet TV


  • Price can be quite a bit lower.
  • You only pay for what you want to watch and many channels are Free.
  • No need for installing anything (no dish or cable wires to run)
  • Many choices to pick from.
  • You can offer VOD (does not have to be Linear)
  • Is available globally


  • Video quality can suffer if connection speeds drop.
  • You may not have access to some of your favorite shows that only broadcast on cable/satellite.

So as a broadcaster the obvious choice today is starting your network via the internet. You can literally start your network for just a few hundred dollars on the internet vs millions it takes to acquire your own satellite or cable channel.

When I first started back in 2004 all we did was satellite channels. However as technology evolved we quickly adapted to helping our satellite customers get their network onto the internet. We had to “mimic” the same type of quality and system that our customers had on satellite and duplicate that onto the internet. This led us to develop our “Channel Manager” which was built from the ground up with TV distribution in mind for our satellite TV clients. Its now available to the general public and if you would like to try it you can check it out here. Our channel manager is the first step in starting your internet TV network.


200% Growth in Samsung Smart TV Apps

Samsung has more than 32 million smart TV’s in households throughout the USA (even more globally). These smart TV’s not only allow for inputs from connected TV devices such as Roku, FireTV, Apple TV and more, but they also come built with access to Samsung TV app store. Samsung TV app store has been growing steadily over the past few years. Years ago Smart TV’s were considered a “Bust” and had very little viewership. However this has changed significantly since 2011.

In fact according to Samsung Ads research shows that since 2011 there has been a 200% growth in launching apps from the Samsung Smart TV. Tom Fochetta, VP of advertising sales at Samsung Ads, tells Video Insider. “Now we are seeing these OTT users launch these apps nearly every other day. It is becoming part of their video content mix; consumers are seamlessly going back and forth between smart TV, a gaming console, smartphone, tablets, and consuming this video through multiple touch-points.”

Samsung also coined the phrase “Total TV Watchers” – A term they call viewers who both watch cable TV and who consume content via the internet (OTT). Samsung found that “Total TV Watchers” would open TV apps on average a 140 times per month and watch on average 11% more video content through the internet than the average viewer.

They actually are making room in their media mix for more media content,” Fochetta says. “It is not a zero-sum game.”

All of this points to the fact that the definitions of TV is changing. Users are now seamlessly switching back and forth from an array of different sources. This means that broadcasters need to transform their media plan and launch their own TV apps on as many connected TV devices and Smart TV platforms as possible. Growth is in all corners but Smart TV’s have finally caught up with users – who now turning to their Smart TV native app store more and more often.

With Smart TV’s in the living room of millions of people both nationwide and globally the audience potential is growing. Its not just a fact of “If” millions more will be tuning in to the apps on smart TV’s its “how soon”. Previously audiences were hesitant to try TV apps or felt intimidated to use them, to access video content. However as Internet TV keeps making more headway more and more people are becoming aware and adapting. Even the older generations are are adapting new viewing habits as technology becomes more accessible and easier to use.

Smart TV’s (also called Hybrid TV’s) are growing across the board (not just Samsung) with all major manufactures. In fact from year to year there is significant increase in market penetration and with each manufacture promoting their own app store its only going to get better for Internet TV network owners.

The global smart TV market is expected to register a growth rate of over 16.52% from now until 2023. With steady growth like this its no wonder your top broadcasters are placing their networks in the reach of smart TV owners.

What this all boils down to for online TV networks owners is more opportunity to reach more people exactly where they want to interact with them – in their living rooms. Many of our customers that have a TV app on Samsung see significant boost to their viewing audience and as the stats suggest this will only get better with time.

If you looking to start your own Internet TV network and have your own TV apps you should check out our Channel Manager by clicking here.


How to License Video Content for Your Internet TV Network

  • What type of licensing?
  • How much does it cost?
  • Where do I go to get licensing?
  • How to License Video Content

When it comes to licensing video content the holy grail is the blanket license. A one time fee, usually a once off or annual fee that covers a broadcast license for hundreds, thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of video content. For some genres this is the norm and for others you have to look hard to find it.

Blanket License

In the music industry especially for Music Videos the best two places to get a blanket license is ASCAP and BMI which can offer blanket licenses to cover hundreds of thousands if not millions of titles. If you indicate you are a start up with no current revenue it really brings down the prices of your license to a few hundred dollars a year. This can give you an immediate start on your own Music Video channel or however you intend to use the licensing.

Keep in mind that they do not provide the music videos but just the license. You will need to obtain the videos yourself.

When it comes to other video content (TV shows, movies and documentaries) blanket licenses can become much more scarce. The main reason is because, unlike the music industry that has a common agreement to license their content through just a few organizations, the video industry has no such agreements uniting them. Because of production costs can run high and popularity from one movie or TV series to the next can vary widely so does the cost to license content.

However that does not mean that no blanket license exists, it just means they don’t exist on the organizational level (meaning one or two organization formed for such purpose). Instead they exist from one production company to another. For example a production house that produces horror movies may offer one license to cover their last 30 movies. Many deals like this exist you just have to look for them.

One of the best ways to find good deals on licensing content is to call video licensing companies (a really good one is GreenLight) or to attend events like the NAB where you can meet with hundreds of production companies and clearance companies.

Creating a License

A license is an agreement between the creator/owner of the video content and one or more distributors.

The license will detail the intended use of the video content (online, broadcast TV, promotional or corporate). The license can be exclusive to your network or non exclusive (used by more than one distributor).

Typically the license is a written consent that spells out the price and length that the distributor has for online broadcasting. There are several different licensing models that we will discuss in this article.

How much Does a License Cost?

When it comes to video content so many factors play a role and there is not one price that fits all. From TV shows to documentaries, movies, and more…the hotter the item and the larger the audience the more it will cost.

However, licensing for online broadcast is typically less expensive. This does give online TV networks owners an advantage.

When Do I Need a License?

Unless its for non-commercial or private study use then you always need permission to broadcast someone else content on your network. However there are several repositories for public domain content with thousands of movies, documentaries and video content that you can immediately insert into your channel.

Please understand the difference between public domain and royalty free. Public domain means the intellectual property rights have expired or forfeited and the general public has the right to rebroadcast with no payment what so ever. Royalty Free is the right to use copyrighted content without the needs to pay royalties or license fees for each use of the content (or per volume sold). However a upfront one time license fee may or may not be necessary.

Creative Commons License 

On the other hand creative commons licenses is one of several public copyright licenses that allow the free distribution of an otherwise copyrighted content or “work”. A creative commons license is generally used when a producer wants to give other people the right to share and use their content (or build upon it).

Here are a few links to some Creative Commons Licenses Repositories:


The content does not even have to be new if you know how to spin it the
right way, in fact that is how the History Channel got started, tons of public domain content from WW2. They added a voice over and made a hit channel all based off old content from the 1940’s.

Fair Use

US copyright law that brief excerpts of copyrighted material may under certain conditions, without the need of payment or permission from the copyright holder, be broadcast by third parties. Typical uses is for NEWS reporting, teaching an research.

Licensing Models: Below are some of the most common forms of licensing you will experience.

Fixed License Fee

The organization can distribute the content for fixed time period within a specific territory. If the content is being broadcast online as a VOD then the licensee is not required to report back to the license granter the success of the program or share any revenue they have received. This is the method Netflix uses to license content.

Revenue Share

The licenses holder shares revenue with the distributor (typically a VOD platform). This is typically a Pay Per View system where a user pays to watch a individual or a series of TV shows, movies or documentaries.

Minimum Guarantee Revenue Share

The licensee agrees to pay a minimum payment (usually upfront) and additional payments should the content perform well or over perform the a set standard in the licensing agreement.

Fixed Pay Per View

This is common to VOD platforms like Hulu – The licensee pays a fixed amount to the owner of the content but on a per view basis – but can offset that expense by making income from advertising.

Stock Videos

Stock video is the perfect choice for documentary-style videos or any other content that features a voiceover. It’s incredibly budget friendly compared to hiring for your own footage and offers an abundance of options from which you can pick. Stock library collections contain professionally shot material taken all over the world, so finding visuals that encapsulate what you have in mind has never been easier!

With high-resolution visuals, stock videos can sometimes be even better than you could produce yourself! So if you’re looking for a creative way to save money, look no further than stock videos to make your next piece of content.

When searching for stock videos, it is essential to be aware of any restrictions or requirements imposed by their video licensing agreement. To ensure that you are adhering to these conditions correctly and avoiding potential problems in the future, pay close attention to each one before using a video.

Some great stock video sites

How to License Video Content

Licensing video content can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. The first step is to identify the content you wish to license and determine what kind of licensing agreement you need. Depending on how the content will be used, different licenses may be applicable, such as public domain works or exclusive use rights under copyright law.

Once you know which type of license applies to your situation, research sources or copyright owner for obtaining the material in question. For example, if you plan on using pre-existing footage, you should explore stock video libraries or other online resources where this type of material can be licensed. If you intend to create new video footage for your own.

You can also look for content aggregators or licensing agencies like VideoElephant, a great company with millions of short-form content you can use for your AVOD platforms or FAST channel.

What happens if I don’t license the content?

Typically if you are a smaller organization nothing happens….however you can get removed from platforms like Roku, FireTV and others for not having the proper license documentation. So its always best to keep your content licensed.

Want more to read? Check out The Genisus of Roku


Be your Own Roku – Brand your own Streaming Box

You can brand your own box with your own logo with your own channel lineups. In essence you can have your own Roku or FireTV box branded for your company. Seems like something that would cost millions, right? Well it does not.

This is the power of the Android TV OS. Android TV is a operating system designed for Smart TV’s and digital media players. It replaces Google TV and features are build with content discovery in mind allowing voice searches and content aggregated from various other media apps and services.

Since Android TV is an operating system that can be licensed it means you can brand your own box build and brand your own menus and splash screens. Meaning your box is completely white labeled and only has the content you want preloaded on it. When a customer turns on the box they see only your logo and content.

You can also add your own channel lineups so that you create in essence your own “cable box” but instead of cable its internet based. The best part is you can do this anywhere in the world with no geographical restrictions like Roku has. When you begin to think international the possibilities really start to open up; You could sell your own cable service anywhere in the world or just your own branded TV channel.

How does it work?

Well in an nutshell there are hundreds of manufactures that make the hardware box (streaming box) that can run the android TV OS. Each manufacture has its own hardware configurations with different processor speeds and memory. Picking the right manufacture will depend on the features you want your branded streaming box to include and how much hard drive space you would like (in case you want to include your own DVR ).

Once your hardware has been selected then you need to have your software created with the menu style you like and the content you would like preloaded on each box. This will give each box the look and feel you want. The manufacture can brand each box with your logo on the outside to give you a complete white-labeled look and feel.

There are several different profit models you can choose to monetize your box. For example you can choose to charge monthly subscriptions, charge local advertisers, sell the box at a profit and several other different strategies.

The bottom line is you can become the cable operator and monetize opportunity that others can’t see. This of course is the beauty of technology.

Our development staff specializes in android TV OS and can help you craft the perfect box. We have also worked with several manufactures and can help you get your streaming box with all the features needed for a cheap as possible. To manage your streaming box we can adapt a special version of our Channel Manager specifically to your needs and even have different tiers (For example Silver, Gold and Platinum subscriber levels)

If you would like your own custom quote then fill out our contact form here.


Massive Growth for Apple TV

Although FireTV leads the pack for active subscriber growth, Apple TV leads in another category; Increase in streaming hours. Apple TV saw a 709% growth in viewing hours in 2018. This is roughly 5 billion hours of video watching. These numbers are tall tale signs that consumers are adopting new viewing habits as they ditch the old traditional cable and satellite TV and learn towards OTT.

Although this is exceptional growth rate Apple TV still lags behind ROKU for total amount of streaming hours (as stated apple leads in percentage of growth rate for streaming hours). However this could change as competition heats up between connected TV companies. Apple TV is considering building an Apple TV streaming stick which would be a cheaper version of their box. This would definitely fuel Apple connected TV growth rate and make apple TV available to consumers who are not willing to spend the 150 dollars for the Apple TV box.

According to Apple they are considering making a sub $100 stick to compete with the cheaper Roku and Firetv devices on the market today. Apple has long struggled in fourth place behind Roku, Chromecast, and Amazon FireTV. With Apple TV price tag of a $149 dollars and their competitors at $30 and $40 dollars you can see why Apple is shifting gears to make a cheaper version of their Apple TV. This is of course all based on early reports that Apple is considering a dongle-style streaming player. As with all new product planning, it may never come to fruition even if Apple aggressively works on creating the device. However just the fact that it is being talked about shows how serious Apple is about competing with the other connected TV devices.

Apple TV represents yet another opportunity for Internet TV network owners. Apple TV has a loyal fan base and having your network available to their viewing audiences could boost your network viewing audience and ad revenues.

There’s a reason that top OTT companies like Netflix, and Hulu are on every distribution platform available – simply because it increases their subscription base. For them this formula is not rocket science; The more platforms – the more audience potential – which equals higher revenue potential. For online network owners (OTT operators) its the same formula to follow in their footsteps. No need to reinvent the wheel here – we know it already works.

As competition heats up between streaming devices, one things can be sure – more and more people will be canceling their satellite and cable subscriptions and adopting new viewing habits. No matter what genre Religious, Entertainment, Ethnic, business etc… connected TV is benefiting both broadcasters and audiences by connecting people to what their most interested in.

However when analyzing social data around Roku and Apple TV, something becomes very clear: younger users are attracted to the lower price of the Roku devices, and although this is something Apple TV wants to enter the market to compete with, older users over the age of 35 seem to be loyal to Apple TV. This gives Apple TV an edge for those wanting to reach a more affluent and older audience.

All of our customers who have networks on Apple TV has seen consistent growth in audience and viewing hours. Its a fantastic distribution outlet for stable growth especially for those wanting tor each an audience over the age of 35.

If your looking to get your own online TV network then check out our channel Manager by clicking here. Its the easiest way to get started with your own internet TV/OTT platform. Its the easiest way to both start and expand your network.


Why is Amazon’s Fire TV Growing Faster Than Roku?

Just when you thought Roku was breaking all the records FireTV comes out of no where to take the lead. FireTV users are growing faster than Roku users according to Amazons fourth quarter results. Amazons success is a great example of how its ecosystem drives customer loyalty. Because of the size of Amazon its no wonder they are starting to outpace all other streaming TV devices.

To be honest there really is not many reasons for a consumer to choose a Fire TV device over a Roku. Roku actually has the edge here because their platform-agnostic approach means it supports a larger array of services and doesn’t play favoritism with any of them.

However for online broadcasters this competition between FireTV, Roku and other streaming devices is nothing but good news. As these giant compete for market space the in-direct result is more and more consumers are canceling their cable and satellite subscriptions and turning to connected TV devices such as FireTV, Roku and Apple TV.

So for the record, YES Amazon FireTV is growing at a faster rate than Roku and other devices….However that does not mean Roku is shrinking. On the other hand that is just a testament to the times we live in. In fact all connected TV platforms are growing with no signs of letting up any time soon. According to Convivas customer base Apple TV saw a 709% growth in viewing hours in 2018.

Overall viewing hours of internet-delivered video across mobile, connected TV’s and desktop screens grew by 114% in 2018 with android being the leader for viewing hours in mobile devices. The future for broadcasters and content producers is clearly internet TV delivered through various connected TV devices and Smart TV’s.

IT makes sense that if you want to distribute your channel to as many viewers as possible then your network needs to be on as many distribution platforms as you can (with FireTV and Roku leading the pack).

If your new to internet TV then it can be a challenge to figuring out how to actually accomplish getting on all these different platforms. Our customers use our Channel Manager to both manage their online TV network (create and schedule playlists, broadcast live, VOD , Social Media broadcasting and more) and add distribution platforms such as FireTV, Roku, Apple TV, Samsung Smart TV and mobile devices.

Although FireTV is growing in active viewers they still lag behind Roku and Apple TV for average time per user spent streaming video content. In other words Roku with less users still has more viewing hours – probably mainly due to the fact that most of the content on Roku is Free non-subscription based (although there are plenty of subscription channels as well).

Amazons FireTV active user growth seems mainly because of their Prime Video service in which 95 million Americans have access too. If your a prime member and want to watch Prime Video the user experience is much better. So users that want to access and pay for premium content typically turn to FireTV.

However FireTV (unlike Roku) is one of the very few connected TV devices that is both supported international as well as has a international following/viewership. With more than 100 countries including United States, Canada, United Kingdom (UK), Germany, Austria, Japan, India, and many many more. This is why so many international broadcasters that want to reach audiences outside of the UK and USA pick the FireTV as their platform.

If you are thinking about owning….or already own a online TV network then your strategy for audience and viewership growth should be in line with viewer trends. Today FireTV is a platform that you just can’t be without or your missing a large piece of the growing connected TV market/audience.

If you would like to get a subscription to our channel manager click here to learn more about it and start your own online TV network.

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