Do You Know The Value Of Our Industry?


One…Hundred…Billion Dollars!

That is the estimated value of the creator economy today!

The most current reports have shown an impressive future for this division of the overall economy.

What is this “creator economy,” you ask?

Well, it is a subset of the global economy that I find specifically interesting. This is because it is made up of the people like those who own OTT TV networks. Not large corporations or the old media guard. These are the individuals and small teams responsible for 100 billion dollars circulating in our economy. If you are in this tribe, keep up the amazing work!

The main contributors of this subset are involved in video creation/distribution. The principal difference between this division from others in the global economy is that the rate of growth this creator subset is experiencing is considerably higher than others. Oh, and the fact is, independently creating/distributing video content is a super fun way to make a living.

Why just dream, you can start a TV network today! Join us for a LIVE demo here!

To those who dream about owning a TV network, enjoy video content production more than a day job, or fancy themselves a future media mogul, now’s the time to get on board. Obviously, this is where you are supposed to be. More importantly, putting it off for another 5-10 years will only hurt one’s position, negating any benefits of a potentially better prepared future entry. Here are the facts supporting this claim:

All had expected the growth of the creator’s economy to slow due to the recent pandemic. It made sense. When people get sick, they miss work and the income associated with it. When money becomes tight, the majority do not contribute to the claimed “non-essentials.” Entertainment and boutique items, for instance. Exactly what makes up our creator’s economy.

But these expectations were set up to fail and showed a silver lining amidst the pandemic storm. The creator’s economy not only kept up its growth but had significantly increased since the fateful year of 2020. 

Apparently, these items are more essential than they first appear.

A decade ago, only a handful of lucky, talented, and well-timed individuals among the common populous broke into stardom. Outside of the usual Hollywood/superstar trajectory’s, that is. This once rare combination of events and people is a thing of the past. Today, with the creator’s economy catching hold, what used to be a handful of people has now grown into millions!

And that’s only counting the full-time “professionals.” There are 25x more who utilize this as a part-time income too.

YouTube alone has over 30 million people who receive at least part-time earnings from their creations. The thing is, the average CPM for an American YouTube channel is between $6-8, while it is around $16-25 for an OTT-based channel like those on Roku or Fire TV. So those earning part-time pay on YouTube could be receiving full-time payment (or more) on an OTT platform for the same amount of work. And the advertising money is only starting to open the flood gates and will continue to do so over the next five years.

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Imagine this… you are doing something you’re passionate about for about 20 hours per week, and making more money than your current job offers for 40 hours of labor. “But wait!” someone might say. “My current place of employment is a sure deal, not a potential one.” Alright, they could stay where they’re at, sure. But it will never be as fulfilling or enjoyable as what this industry has on offer.

If someone is worried about the “potential” part of this rewarding, self-sufficient opportunity, try this. Approach your TV network in a part-time capacity. This is a proven, ample amount of time for someone to establish a channel. Yes, you’ll miss a bit of TV or other extra-curricular activity, but it will prove that what I am talking about is more than just a potential opportunity.

The Timing Could Not Be More Crucial.

Anyone with the aspiration of launching a TV network needs to enter the field as soon as possible. There are a few dire reasons supporting this argument.

First, today’s youth will be a significant part of this economy in the coming years. One form of evidence says that one-third of the children interviewed were already planning to make this a part of their career. That is according to a survey of 1,000 children by the Travel Company. You will not want to compete with that, trust me. But those already established will be in a much stronger position to thrive. And they will be arriving soon. Many in less than a decade.

Second, the advertising dollars spent in this industry are going to quadruple over the next five years. Every major firm involved with ad distribution has already begun initiating the process. Those who establish a TV network now will be among the first to receive the bounty. It seems like I have repeated it a thousand times, but just like Mark Zuckerberg knew, it’s best to get there first.

Should I wait until the pandemic is over to start my network?

Anyone contemplating whether to start a TV network during this period, be aware! There has been a shift in our culture’s paradigm. Contrary to predictions of a pandemic-induced slowing of the OTT market, an unprecedented surge in new viewers has recently happened in the last year and the growth is not slowing down. Big and small networks alike, as you’ve undoubtedly noticed. Why?

While our nation’s new “normal” is still finding its center, remote work and greater time spent segregated indoors does seem to play a part. That has made this particular industry all the more attractive. So yes, there is an increase in supply. Even so, demand continues to drive the creator economy upwards with no sign of slowing.

If I had not already started my network, I would do so now and without hesitation. Right now, a unique opportunity is here for those who take action early.

That said, whether we like it or not, OTT distribution is one of the few industries seeing expedited growth as a result. Thus, positioning itself as one of the smother self-employment paths in this rocky time period. Succeeding in this arena is beyond possible. Simply be prepared to do the work. Should you even consider it work.

This is a highly desired field with a growing influx of participants. Thankfully, there is still a substantial amount of elbow room in the OTT sphere.

Those taking advantage now, while OTT is still young, have the greatest advantages for success down the road.

We can help you launch your TV network! Join us in a live demo here to see how!

Garrett Cunningham

Why Roku’s Big Reversal on Ads?


It’s no secret, video content is the most prolific type of internet data transferred today!

Long gone are the days of not having anything to watch. Take YouTube for instance. Every day, more content is uploaded to that one site than the total content created by the TV networks in their first 40 years of service. With all of this fresh video content, we also see numerous ways to monetize it. Pay per View, subscriptions, crowd-funded, etc. Of course, the most popular way for the majority to bankroll their video productions has been through advertising.

An area that the inventor of Roku has seemingly stood against.

Well, until recently, that is. Why the change? Read on…

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We have seen the Internet TV hardware races heat up and we’ve seen them simmer down. In the lead, the entire time has been Roku, and that is not by accident. Since its launch in 2008, this has easily been the preferred way of connecting one’s TV to the internet.

This story of success comes down to the insight of one man. Anthony Wood. I do not believe it to be hyperbole to call him a visionary. He was an inventor of the original DVR, and from this, he cemented his understanding of supplying video content when the viewer wanted it.

Wood knew what was coming around the corner. Our lives have become increasingly full, and as such, it was necessary for people to watch their shows when their schedule permitted, not according to the notions of the network. The strength behind this novel approach lies in consuming video content that you were otherwise going to miss. Instead, you are guaranteeing yourself the ability to watch what you wanted, rather than just letting it fall by the wayside.

But Wood was not content to stop there…

A few short years after the DVR’s debut in 1999, Anthony cold-called the owners at Netflix. Wood must have made a name for himself as Hastings accepted without batting an eyelash. He figured that the television was where people wanted to watch their content but people were limited to their laptops and phones for all the videos that had captured their attention. Netflix loved the idea…as long as Wood agreed to become an employee. Netflix had been spitballing a similar notion before the meet-up though they never pursued it. And now Anthony Wood was standing right in front of them.

Then YouTube made its techno splash!

Oh, what a splash it was! In 2005, YouTube hit the net with incredible success. The big guys like Amazon & Netflix took note. So much so, they decided that they would be just fine as a streaming service too. Why create the hardware when everyone was just going to be on their computers anyway. Anthony Wood disagreed. This is why I call Wood a visionary. Even when some of the top names in the industry were becoming naysayers, he knew different.

This doesn’t mean the past couple of calendars work was for not. Netflix figured they weren’t in the market for both a hardware and a streaming division, and so they cut the hardware. Officially anyhow. They actually backed Wood & the “Netflix now turned Roku device” because they still knew there was a market in living room TV entertainment. The stats show that individuals consume more content from the comfort of their couch vs. the loneliness of the office chair.

So Netflix became the #1 investor of the Roku device.

As an aside, Anthony wasn’t the most successful of gentlemen at this point. His DVR company, Replay TV, was sorely miss-calculated on two fronts. First, it was way too expensive. Double the cost of its competitors DVR, TiVo. Second, Wood had built a very convenient feature into his DVR. The ability to skip the commercials between the show just recorded. This nifty ability ended up getting the company sued by numerous TV networks. The networks claimed that the device injured their ability to sustain this public service since the networks were supported by Ad revenue. This lawsuit was the fatal blow for Replay TV.

This is just one of many public examples of Wood lacking affinity for advertising.

We can help you launch your TV network! Join us in a live demo here!

Wood learned from these mistakes, as seen with the first Roku device launched in 2008. Its shelf price was at just under 100 bucks. More importantly, Wood learned something of even greater value. The advertisers were not the enemy. So he decided to further incorporate advertising into his business model. This year, Roku leveraged advertising to the tune of 3xs that of the revenue made from its hardware division. Plus, advertising in the digital sphere is going to quadruple in spending over the following decade.

Roku has learned the benefits of working with others within the industry instead of despite them. So much so, they have positioned themselves as the advertisers they once bucked.

You, too, will be able to take advantage of this massive influx of Ad revenue.

There are a couple of elementary requirements you must first meet. The in-depth channel plan we showed you in our recent blog post can help with these. If advertising is your business model, you will be able to succeed following the steps we layout there.

You will need to put in the work when it comes to promoting your channel. Advertisers are just not that interested in showing ads to a few of your die-hard fans or friends. The starting requirement is that you have ten thousand installs of your channel onto your audience’s Roku devices. That number is not as lofty as it might sound. Generally, with the proper promotion and a decent channel, this is obtained in about 3-4 months. You will also need about a thousand or more ad requests per day. Since one viewer can generate up to eight requests an hour, this is also easily obtainable.

The takeaway here is that this can only work if you let people know. Some of this will come organically, sure, but you will definitely need to let your target audience know that your channel exists to get the rest of them.

Anthony Wood understands if you have a distaste for ads. As a matter of fact, most do. In the days when cable ruled, commercials were often spited in everyday conversation. Yet, the commercials just kept coming. Why? Because they got results. And they still do, so regardless of your personal taste, take a page out of Anthony Woods’s playbook. If you are looking for more revenue from your network, take a look at advertising.

You are ready to start your TV channel! Join a live demo today!

Garrett Cunningham

How live streaming is your next big thing!


Roku made a huge announcement the day before yesterday!!!

I am going to give you a quick update on all that has transpired with Roku recently before getting into the meat and potatoes of this post, so read on…

Roku is releasing updates to both its hardware and software, yet the word “update” is a bit of an understatement. They have added or updated a slue of features and improved a number of hardware components. They expect a complete rollout of the new devices to all retail locations by October while the new 10.5 OS is available now. That is important as they will have a full stock of these blazing devices for sale by the time the holiday shopping begins. Nice, right!?!

It has been a turbulent summer for Roku. Investors back and forth speculation on the value of Roku’s stock price, just for example. Amazon’s new entry into the smart TV market is another. But Roku is coming out of this without a scratch.

Granted, we won’t see a true valuation of its stock prices any time soon, due to the majority of Roku’s profitability still lying in the future. That said, a hair shy of 40% annual gains are still easily foreseen for the company. And as for Amazon’s smart TVs, well they just can’t compete with the available Roku TVs on the market. So those going the Amazon TV route will likely be those who have already limited themselves to the Amazon ecosystem.

Already a seasoned live streamer but want on Roku? Join a live demo here!

But with all I could write about with this stellar Roku update, the one thing that stands out for you guys is the emphasis this update has put on live streaming. Just over a year ago, Roku announced a portion of their channel to live and linear TV. They boasted over 100 channels to watch at the time. This seemed like an intriguing move, sure. But within just one year they doubled that number. Now it is not just interesting but a power move.

Without a doubt, live streaming has quickly become a major competitor for screen time.

In the U.S. alone, almost half of the population consumes live-streamed content. Live streaming video on Facebook has more than quadrupled in 2018 alone. Remember, streaming video makes up 80% of all internet traffic and we are not just talking about general entertainment.

Business and marketing experts have taken notice. It is now one of the most powerful marketing tools available. Few things can amplify your message and raise brand awareness like live streaming. Why? Because it allows for direct interaction with your audience. It provides an opportunity to build relationships few other techniques can.

Let’s take a deep dive into the benefits of adding live streaming to your arsenal no matter what type of channel you have.

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Instant Access.

Trust me, you want fan engagement. It’s the new buzzword everyone’s talking about. Live streaming is one of the most effective ways to talk directly to your audience. All in real-time. No matter the niche, from news and events to religious broadcasts, live streams put your viewers at the heart of the action. You are providing them the opportunity to get directly involved with your broadcast through live chat, comments, and feedback.

You can really get around.

Live events have historically been limited by their geographical and physical restrictions. Then live streaming came along to change that. The internet makes your live broadcast available to a global audience. Your location and venue size is now earth! At least, the parts of the earth with internet access. Reach anyone, anywhere– they just need internet access and there are over 2 billion web-capable iPhone and Android users alone.

Meet them where they’re at.

Social media platforms have boomed over the past few years. Now they boast audiences running into billions. Facebook’s 1.4 billion daily active users for instance. YouTube, the birthplace of video, has some 1.3 billion users as well. Did you know that TvStartup makes it easy to re-stream to these platforms simultaneously with your Roku channel? If you are going to live stream, you should use this feature!

Live streams can make you money.

Get viewers excited. The immediate nature of live streaming is perfect for this. Then leverage that excitement by facilitating online purchases, fundraisers, or any other actionable responses you might be looking for. Religious organizations are finding online donations are a popular way for the faithful to feel involved while they’re broadcasting. In the fashion world, trendsetting Burberry live-streamed its biannual London Fashion Week show. Then they made the entire collection available for purchase immediately after to a phenomenal response.

No limits.

Live streams aren’t just a great way to generate buzz around your brand, they also enable you to bring your customers right inside your business. So you’re discussing ideas for a new product line or rebrand, set up the cameras, and let your customers respond directly.

Get instant feedback

Sports and newscasters were understandably among the first to see the benefits of live streaming but the corporate world is catching up fast. The fact is, you can capture and stream anything, anywhere. If you’re talking about your product at an event, live stream it! Or give your customers an insight into how you run your business by taking them on a virtual tour of your workplace. Candid, behind-the-scenes broadcasts are very appealing and the growth of reality TV on a multitude of subjects has shown that almost any subject can engage and motivate viewers.

Everyone’s watching!

In the USA alone, the number of digital video viewers is expected to top 232 million in the next couple of years. Half a billion people are already watching videos on Facebook every single day and networking giant Cisco shows that live video accounts for around 15% percent of all video traffic.

Live streaming is one of the most popular forms of online content today. It shows no sign of slowing, rather, it has been growing steadily over the past few years. We don’t blame you for wanting to get in on live streaming! You won’t regret it.

You see live streaming everywhere, probably even having some favorite streamers of your own. But the thought of starting to live stream can be daunting. We have a few tutorials I would like to point you to that will show you just how easy it can be…here, here, and here!

Are you ready to get your channel going? Join a live demo here!

Garrett Cunningham

3 Rules on How to Plan Your TV Network!


You could start in several places, so where should I start planning my TV channel?

After all, there is much to consider. For the sake of simplicity, I will give you the three main areas of focus. Do not worry. Three is enough. At its foundation, it comes down to these elements; programming strategy, user experience, and effective promotion.

Simple right?

What is essential is that you execute well on all three of these categories. Simultaneously, and as a never-ending process. Your programing strategy is all about the content you provide. User experience is all about how the end-user interacts with your brand. Lastly, effective promotion is all about raising awareness and desire within your viewer base. Potential or otherwise.

Are you ready to launch your channel? So are we! Join a live demo here!

To be clear, this plan will be a living process. Each one supports the others. You will need to execute on all three simultaneously. And doing so will be never-ending. By constantly working on each aspect, you will be ahead of the majority. Even some of the big guys!

What you might find surprising is how many mainstream brands fall short on this simple framework. The best content in the world does not negate a thoughtful user experience. Nor does it make up for no one knowing it exists. Likewise, a pristine-looking channel with never-updated content will not get you very far either.

This framework will give you the groundwork for building a successful Over The Top (OTT) TV business today – and also tomorrow.

You need this if you are building plans for an OTT or internet-based TV channel. Or if you currently have one that is not meeting your expectation.

Your business model is not important, be it free, ad-supported, subscription, or transactional. Nor the size of your company or your content library. The basics outlined here are to enable you to maximize the lifetime value of your audience, regardless.

To prepare, you will analyze the following steps: your types and sources of content. You will have to assess the technical base of the company, and compile a list of end-user devices. Plan your content delivery method, determine how to service your monetization approach, and define the requirements for channel design and layout. Finally, you’ll determine the required statistical data and technical support channels you’ll be utilizing.

What do you need to know to develop a detailed TV Plan?

1. Information about the goals and resources of your project: 

  • What are your goals for the project?
  • Is there any experience with such projects on your team?
  • What equipment do you currently have, if any? What do you still need?
  • How is the existing network organized, if at all?
  • Are your employees trained enough to work within your chosen platform(s)?
  • What is the content and its sources?
  • How many subscribers are expected, and at what stages?
  • How fast will your network grow?

Is an upgrade on existing equipment and network configurations necessary?
What kind of access do you have to the content? That can affect the project perspective, timelines, the type of equipment needed, server capacity, and configuration.

2. List which end-user devices your project utilizes. 

Some components include a Web browser, Roku, Android TV, Apple TV, Mobile and the associated apps (which we can take care of as well), Fire TV, or a Smart TV equipped with your platform of choice. The choice of the device affects the development timelines, final project cost, service quality, and viewer base.

3. Define the delivery goals.

  • Will the service be local or global?
  • In a global case, what CDN provider will be used?
  • Could we offer you our help and expertise?

Your chosen CDN affects the integration process with the platform(s) and the roll-out time so we need to nail these down. If you are interested, we take care of all the CDN issues for our clients. And we have gone to great lengths to ensure that you will never be censored.

4. Select your project monetization methods. Some of these could require additional integration but we can handle them all: 

  • Which payment system(s) will you implement to become profitable?
  • How are you prepared to integrate with content providers?
  • What billing system will you be using?
  • Will you implement any advertising platforms? Which ones?

The monetization method(s) and the technical solutions you choose can affect the timeline and the cost of the project as well. We also handle all of these for our clients, depending on the needs of your selection.

6. Define what elements of corporate identity are needed.

This list of requirements affects the bulk of your promotion and the manner in which end-users will interact with your company. Of course, these affect your project time and cost, as well as, the quality of services for end-users.

7. Determine which user behavior data your system will collect or be interested in obtaining.

The software configuration and system setup time depend on the depth and complexity of statistics. We have many stats built right into the dashboard for our clients and build in further functions will google and other systems.

8. Plan technical support for after your project launch.

After the project is deployed, you’ll need to offer technical support. We assign one of our supervisors to your project to walk you through some implementation. We also offer you the ability to plan regular consultations. Our support should stand as a model for your own.

Ready for the next step in creating your network? Hang out w/ us in a live demo here!

What is the timeline for the planning stage?

I have seen it before. Someone ends up in a state of prolonged paralyzation, usually due to one or two of these questions being open. If you find this is your case, start acting on the areas you have confirmed true to overcome this. You will, in time, find the answers to the unknown variables.

Spend no more time than what is necessary. The time you invest in drawing up a detailed plan will be worth it and as a result, you should provide as much information and answer all relevant questions to your best ability. Just make sure to do so as efficiently as possible. Your OTT channel plan is not the end goal. Your network success is. Strive to move beyond this step as quickly as able.

What A Detailed Plan Will Give You-

A prepared channel project plan will save you time and money. As you launch your video service, it will be your road map. Knowing you are on the right path makes it easier to make the right decisions.

Here is why you need a plan now:

  • A road map This will give you the correct direction to head in with marked main steps for platform deployment and launch;
  • An Equipment List of the necessary equipment and its configuration;
  • A Software List of necessary software components that are required to start the project;
  • Your Budget An estimated budget of the project;
  • Instructions for setting up localization for customers;
  • Instructions for working with statistical and analytical services;
  • Terms of reference for:
    • CDN integration
    • billing and payment systems
    • development of UX/UI, applies to applications
    • registration processes and requirements for your subscribers.

Here is why you need a plan in the future:

A prepared TV Project Plan will help for:

  • The ability to compare the project cost with prices provided by other companies; That said, no one offers more for less than TvStartup!
  • Reduces the cost of the project by delegating this work to those available, without delay and with the least investment of time and money;
  • Work out deployment timelines, prepare the required data, and gather resources.

A detailed project plan will help you to launch your channel.

You will be able to evaluate your needs at every stage. Not to mention your resources, project calculation, and a list of technical specifications for your plan.

That said, there is still a bit of work ahead of you. We will be here every step of the way through. There will be nuance involved in building a successful channel and we cover all of them. The OTT or Over The Top ecosystem is in a constant state of flux or change. Never take short-term risks that will limit your long-term benefits.

Make all your decisions with these elements in mind: Programming strategy, User experience, and Effective promotion. Remember that these are living elements. They are always in motion so your approach to them will need to be as well. Each one supports the other. You can not focus on anyone more than the other and when you change dynamics with one, evaluate the others. Follow this guidance and you will do well.

Ready to take action on your channel plan? Join us in a live demo here!

Garrett Cunningham

The Best Way to Promote Your Roku Channel


Interested in starting your own TV channel? How to get people to watch…

There is no better platform than Roku. The industry leader in the OTT field, Roku boasts a viewership of more than 55 million. In this day and age, the question is not ‘should you start a TV channel?’ but rather ‘how to effectively do so?’. A huge part of this comes down to marketing. The problem is, you love all things media. And nothing about marketing. Hence, this article is being written just for you.

I will lay out some foundational elements that everyone needs to keep in mind. Next, I will explain a couple of paths you can follow based on your budget. There is going to be something in here for everyone, so keep reading.

Are you ready for your own TV channel? Join us in a live demo here!

By choosing to launch on Roku, you are positioning yourself with the top OTT platform in the world. The ad revenue here is boosted as well due to the ad agencies following this colossal audience. If that does not sound awesome, mostly because you do not plan on having commercials, no worries. This platform still has the largest user base out there!

So you have decided to launch a Roku channel.

You still have some work ahead of you though. Long gone are the days where you could start a channel, add catchy content, then watch an audience flock to you. Supply and demand, my friend. No one has time to scroll through 5,000 channels. You will need a marketing plan.

But before you are ready to start promoting, you should have something to promote. So let’s get our ducks in a row, shall we? First, when using TvStartup, all of the storage, programing, and uploading abilities required to operate a TV channel are taken care of for you. That said, you still need to put real thought into your niche, logo, splash, colors, thumbnails, ‘voice’ or style, etc.

All of these not only affect your channel but also how you will promote it. Here is a basic example of how this applies: how a punk-rock channel promotes itself is vastly different from the manner that a classic movie channel would. What could work for one would fall flat or worse with the other.

As an aside…

Please recall all of the articles we have that reference: Niche. If you have dreams of a general content channel, it is all but guaranteed that you will be playing second fiddle to Netflix. And that’s a best-case scenario. It could easily be worse. But hey… it is your dream. I just want you to be successful. And success points to being niche.

I will be frank with you. You have done the work of supplying the content, whether by producing it yourself or contracting it. You are uploading content, creating custom thumbnails, and maintaining your channel. Do not sell yourself short by skimping out on the other half of work. And that work is promotion. It will likely be the deciding factor in your success. Granted, all channels will experience some growth organically. My concern is that you are growing quickly enough to meet your business needs.

Now that we have the preliminaries out of the way, I want to share an astonishing fact. Only 30% of a successful launch depends on the quality of the product. The other 70% depends on the quality of its promotion!

So you have the next big channel…

Your logo is spot on, you have a strong sense of your ‘voice’, and you have the perfect niche. What is the next step? Well, allow me to lay out the three main objectives of all marketing plans. Yes, only three. This might be easier than you thought…

Ready to be in living rooms everywhere? Join us in a live demo here!

Here are your 3 basic objectives of marketing:

1.) Build Awareness– Let people know there’s a new channel out there!

2.) Get them interested-be as clever or straightforward as you like as long as it resonates with your channel brand.

3.) Create desire that results in action– in this case, your mission is to get them to watch your channel.

So now you are armed with your three main objectives. Time to get promoting. We have already decided that it would be a poor choice to just wait for your audience to show up. Instead, we are going to start at the top of our objectives and work our way down. How you do this is far less rigid than a bullet list. A lot of it is going to depend on your brand and budget. Here are a few ways you could start with building awareness:

Money-wise marketing strategies. 

If you are well funded, you will probably choose to go with the first couple of options on this list. The time you will save and just how effective they are, well, really have no comparison. That said, you will still want to be conscious of how you spend. Experience has taught us that you can reach a point of diminishing returns at no fault of your own. The point here is, there is generally a sweet spot. Furthermore, you will need to be proactive in looking for it. 

Targeted advertising. 

Facebook and other platforms with an ad program can be quite valuable. The ads you can create on these platforms could fulfill all three of your objectives sometimes. They will definitely fulfill the first one. And set you up for the second one.

Here is how: Create an ad with a simple call to action. Something like “Launching our new channel, subscribe for a FREE month”. The point is to acquire an email by trading something of value. People will become aware of your brand through these ads, plus, you can start to target those individuals most likely to become loyal viewers. Those are the ones who were interested enough to give you their email.

Roku is there for you! 

And with a native ad platform available to all of its channel owners. Roku takes its platform seriously, believing deeply in its responsibility to channel owners and end-users. Roku aims to make the channel-owning process as streamlined as possible, so you can focus on delivering content. One way they do this is through tools like ‘Publisher Solutions’. This tool is for channel owners to promote their brands. Working with Roku has its inherent bonuses.

A channel marketing platform.  

If you have a budget that would allow it, outsourcing this portion of channel labor could pay in dividends. Sometimes, it’s just best to leave it to the professionals. There are numerous services out there that will get your name out there. A few will even really tailor your message according to your brand. Quite Important in my book. Do you remember the old Sprite commercials? “Image is Everything!”

Street-wise marketing strategies. 

If you’re missing a decent budget, don’t fret. Going guerrilla to promote your Roku app could be your ticket. Just be prepared to trade time for your lack of funds. 

Got Followers? 

If you have a following on social media, it makes sense to start here. If you don’t but know someone who does, that is still second best. Social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, or ‘fill in social media blank’, are perfect for posting channel updates, teasers, and trailers. Even YouTube can fill this role. Consistently promoting your Roku content can help keep you established and significant if done right.

Cross-Over! 

One great technique you should network into your plan is a channel fusion opportunity. Do you remember the social part of social media? Well, you are going to have to incorporate this part now. Your goal here is to find current channels or media with a similar audience as the one you’re targeting. Then let that channel owner or producer know about your channel and offer them something of value.

It could be a fiscal or a social benefit you might offer them, for instance. In exchange, they could offer you a channel a shout-out, host some of your channel trailers or play your splash screen in between some videos in their playlist. Some might even be willing to have you on one of their shows to talk about your channel. 

Go Hang Out- 

Or you can get real social for outstanding results. You will have to visit, sign up, and chat it up with these communities, but networking is an integral part of the business. You might even find a friend. By building real relationships on forums and within online communities of similar interests to your brand, you will be building a customer of the highest valued type. A loyal one. Direct communication has unparalleled effectiveness. One of the reasons door-to-door sales are so effective.

And The Oh-So-Obvious- 

You should have a website. For anyone doing business, a website is a staple. For anyone streaming media through the net, a website is all but required. The ability to interact and respond through a website is critical in the modern age. If someone is looking for information, the first stop will be that company or organization’s website. Now with that out of the way, you can also leverage this location to promote your shows and upcoming events. You can even set up a place for your fans to connect and chat if you wanted to.

Now you can get the audience, get the channel! Join us in a live demo here!

In summary…

You will need to figure out how to get your channel out there. I, for one, have never watched a channel I did not know existed. Kind of obvious, I know. But you need viewers, and they need to know you exist. It is going to cost a bit of time and/or money. Just remember, this is an investment. But then again, isn’t all business.

Garrett Cunningham

Disney+’s Fast Growth Secret? Exposed Here!


Learn the Mouse House Tactics!

I remember when you only had three choices for streaming. Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu. Streaming to your TV was also an enthusiasts entertainment. The majority still used their TV for linear programing or DVD/BlueRay. Sure, the internet of your computer was now mobile. But, it had not translated into many connecting their TV.

That has all changed, of course. The cord-cutting revolution is in full swing, and in the past two years, multiple streaming services have hit the screen. The market is feeling a little crowded while your pocketbook probably seems a tad roomy. As a matter of fact, many are spending close to $50 a month on these services. Compare that to the $10 or so dollars we spent on our service of choice just a few years ago.

Are you ready to take your content to the next level? We are! Join a live demo here!

It was not like we want to spend more on streaming.

Many of us made the switch precisely because of cable’s outrageous costs. So we balance the offerings as they come. What I want to look at is how new channels entering the crowd are finding success.

Disney’s ability to sway new users has been impressive, especially since being one of the most recent services to launch. Hulu in and of itself, is a great service, don’t get me wrong. They have stood the test of time, 13 years to be exact. Yet they only accumulated a rough 25 million subscribers in that period. Then Disney took over and that feeble number doubled. In just 5 months!

As an aside, streaming is still a young technology. A bit over a decade, but its adoption is taking hold. The point is, we have not come close to market saturation, so when I talk about market share, keep this in mind.

Did Disney know something Hulu didn’t? Obviously. So let’s dig a little deeper.

Do you have content ready to go? Join us on a live demo here!

I realize that Disney has a huge advertising budget. And they have a name known all around the world. This does not guarantee success though. Just look at Quibi. It shut down just six months after launching. And not because they didn’t have the budget. Quibi had raised about $1.75 billion, far more than one would actually need to succeed. There were many high-profile investors with names of their own too, including Disney. Their intention was to revolutionize how people consume entertainment. Instead, they faded into obscurity.

So why has Disney plus been so successful?

Niche content. Many had believed that their focus on G & PG-rated films would alienate the adults in the audience. It turns out that focusing on family entertainment was exactly the selling point they needed. A general content provider would be a tough sell as Netflix already does general content better than anyone.

It is also easier for Disney+ to be the default option with a house full of children. And as someone who has had to shelter in place with his family, you won’t need to be concerned about what could be seen by curious eyes.

Turns out, though, being a bit different from the other streaming services was an advantage. Disney+ knew the important niche content. Every general entertainment service that isn’t Netflix is always going to be the second fiddle. But by limiting itself to Disney-branded programming, Disney+ now owns the Family category. That has proven to be a powerful offer to consumers around the globe. In large part, due to the pandemic.

The global video streaming market is expected to reach $102.0971 billion in value by 2023.

That is double the estimated value of streaming last year. Innovations, such as blockchain tech and artificial intelligence are improving this market even further. AI is playing an essential role in all aspects of video production and upload. Various video streaming solution providers use AI to improve the content quality of videos.

While TheWrap shows Netflix holding 20% of the U.S. streaming market, its lead is shrinking. Falling from 29% — a drop of nearly one-third– as more services enter the market. Compare that to Disney+ who has gone from 0 to over 11% in the same year.

We can confidently say that Disney+’s late entry was offset by their ability to differentiate themselves from the rest of the market. Niche content has set them apart, and the numbers are there to back up their success.

Ready to Grow Like Disney+? Join us on a live demo here!

Now take a look at who your competition is. Can you see what sets you apart? What are you offering that’s better or more unique than what is already out there? Figure that out and your success will increase a thousandfold!

Garrett Cunningham

Roku’s Stock Reveals Their Exciting Future


Seeing into the Future…

When Roku went public in 2017, it was at a modest $14 a share. Four years later and that share price jumped to a staggering $420. That is a gain of 235% per year! What does it all mean? Well, let us dive into some of Roku’s market trends. We might be able to discern the future.

Last quarter, Roku celebrated its highest growth rate since its public debut. Its market share growth is due to smart company choices. A few of which we will attempt to highlight. The rewards we see on Wallstreet will only amplify Roku’s position, too. You won’t need to be a trader to see how this affects the future of streaming.

Despite the success, some claim concern over the long-term plan of Roku. Much of this is due to numerous rivals entering the market. I want to elaborate on why those concerns might not be all that concerning.

Do you have content you want to take to the next level? Join us on a live demo here!

We’ve seen this before…

I believe the early days of Microsoft are parallel to Roku today. After all, we are talking about operating systems. Computer and TV respectively. If Roku plays their cards right, they will dominate the TV operating system arena.

In the U.S. and Canada, Roku TVs outsold any other pre-installed smart TV operating system last year. They beat all of the manufacturers, including those with their own operating systems. Companies like Vizio and LG. Even Samsung, who has been leading in this field, until now. Roku’s lead is the first in history, but it does not seem to be the last.

Roku claims its streaming O.S. is on 38% of the U.S. smart TVs. Their claim also boasts a similar percentage of the Canadian market. Even with competition from manufacturers and big tech companies like Amazon, the market is moving toward consolidation. And guess who’s sitting in the position of the de facto TV OS? It is Roku.

Why?

The reason so many smartphone manufacturers license operating systems is simple. It is more cost-effective than building their own. TV manufacturers are coming to the same realization.

Television operating systems are not as complex as those of smartphones, granted. But there are other challenges. For instance, television hardware has significant constraints compared to smartphones. The workarounds and programing wizardry required to squeeze the most out of this limited format should not be taken lightly.

Companies with a smaller share of the market can not justify the cost of maintaining their own operating system. Licensing an OS like Roku is a more economical solution.

As a result, more manufacturers are opting to license Roku. Roku, in turn, continues to add partners to its portfolio. In time, Roku is even likely to flip the large manufacturers.

Steve Louden, Roku CFO, is confident that the market is moving toward one main TV OS. There might be one or two alternatives, and this makes sense. We see the same thing with computer and smartphone operating systems. But Roku is firmly leading this race into the future. A future of a mostly singular TV OS. All signs point to Roku remaining there, too.

Manufacturer loyalty is needed-

Another area of concern voiced by investors is the Roku manufacturing partners. Some have started partnering with Roku competitors, looking to save a buck. Here are two solutions that can prevent this behavior.

For starters, Roku needs to provide more opportunities to increase sales. By working with retailers to gain prime shelf space, it can afford to spend more on marketing. This is because of its strong monetization. It generated $27 per user over four quarters, and half of that period saw a notable pullback in ad spend. As that number increases, Roku can put more money behind its marketing and retail partnerships. All resulting in more beneficial deals for the manufacturers.

Plus, retailers are more hesitant to partner with Amazon due to the direct competition of Amazon’s core business.

Second, Roku will build loyalty as it develops more support in international markets. This is an area Amazon has excelled at for years. The main pain point here is that the Roku TV tuner technology is developed in-house. Tuner requirements also vary from region to region. This takes more time than using an off-the-shelf solution.

Additionally, some countries have additional requirements. Closed-captioning support in the United States, for instance. Because of this, introducing Roku TV into some international markets has been slow. A remedy is in motion, though. Significant international investments have been made over the last couple of years. As the Roku global presence will continue to improve, this dilemma is only a temporary one.

As Roku supports its licensed operating system in more countries, it will win back more from manufacturers. Manufacturers find it more cost-effective to focus exclusively on one operating system anyhow. As long as Roku can provide its OS in every country the manufacturer wants to sell. And the Roku sales record/support put it in the position to do just that.

Owning the television has its advantages…

Roku’s growing share of the smart TV market is also critical. More so than Roku devices that plug into existing TV sets. Monetization is more straightforward for Roku TV users than its device users. A Roku TV will always start up on the Roku home screen. Other TVs will load the last channel or input you left when you turned it off. That means more opportunities to engage users and show ads.

Second, owning the entire TV experience provides additional data points. Data that is not available with the Roku after-market devices. For example, Roku uses audio content recognition in its TVs to determine what shows, movies, and commercials users watch. Both on Roku, and any linear TV the user watches on the set. Local broadcasts and attached cable systems included. That data is valuable for its ad business and content recommendations.

Do you have content you want to take to the next level? Join us on a live demo here!

Being #1

Of course, not much stands in the way of a consumer buying a Roku or smart TV, then adding other devices. Either from Amazon or some other tech company. Still, being the default option has unparalleled value. A title Roku can claim now. Low switching costs will not diminish that. So Roku will add high-value accounts simply by being baked into so many TVs.

Roku will see its share of the smart TV market grow as they expand support internationally. Plus, fewer competitors are finding it economical to maintain their own operating systems. Combined with the above, Roku’s ad system factors into building a positive feedback loop. More ad revenue, more TVs. More TVs, more ad revenue, and so on.

Investors voiced reasonable concerns, but they were concerns Roku had begun addressing years ago. The fruits are coming to bear, so to speak. Every other company, from this vantage point, is just too little, too late.

Garrett Cunningham

The 3 Rules for Better Channel Engagement


How To Get Their Attention!

With so much new content uploaded every day, getting your video to stand out is no easy feat.

In 2021, having great content and uploading quality videos alone won’t get you an audience. You’ll need to concentrate on the other aspects of your channel to pull an audience in.

Fortunately, there is no shortage of tactics at your disposal. In this post, I will share three areas of focus that will help your content get more views. These include:

  1. Titles that matter
  2. Descriptions to be read
  3. Thumbnails that capture

Already got this down? Take your content to the next level on TV. Join us on a live demo!

To kick this off, let’s start with VIDEO TITLES.

Whether you’ve just started making videos or you’ve been video marketing for years, coming up with great video titles can be tricky. A video’s title is more than just a minor detail or an afterthought – it’s a significant factor in whether people decide to click the play button or not. No matter how good your videos are, weak titles make it hard to get views and grow your audience.

That split second when someone glances at your video’s title is usually a make-or-break moment. Will they click the play button, or will they move on?

Stay succinct. If you write a long, rambling title, your content might get ignored. People skim more than they read, and you need to grab a viewer’s attention. A title should be descriptive without taking up any more room than necessary.

Be intriguing. Titles should capture the mind. Aim to touch the viewer’s emotions. Try offering a solution or promise a juicy secret. People won’t pay much attention to a bland or generic title so use powerful language. Even if it checks all the practical boxes, the “intrigue factor” can be the difference between a click or not. Intrigue can be hard to write. But once you get a knack for it, you’ll notice your videos getting more engagement, even if you do nothing else differently.

Stay on-topic. A good title tells viewers what they can expect from a video. It’s clear, direct, and honest. People are busy, and they need a reason to watch your video, so using an unclear or ambiguous title is a bad idea. Similarly, misleading titles leave viewers feeling cheated, which can harm your reputation.

Next up, video DESCRIPTIONS.

The first step to creating a great description is to know what type of content you are creating.

  • Is it designed to be inspirational?
  • To entertain your audience?
  • To educate and teach people something new?
  • Or, maybe it is an awesome new product or service?

Always include a clear value proposition in your descriptions. Why should they watch this content? How will your video benefit them? Try to answer this question in simple terms using the following guidelines:

Tell viewers what to expect. One might think this is obvious, right? But I can not count the times I have clicked for more info, only to find the video’s title restated in the description. That is just lazy. Your efforts represent your content and will often tell viewers if it’s worth their time. Also, if your information doesn’t match what they see, many will stop watching partway through.

Write like a human. Know your audience! Use language that your viewers will understand and relate to. Thankfully, you don’t have to be a wordsmith to write a great description. The goal is to inform them of what they are about to spend time with, not to win a writing award.

Front-load the best information. Always start with a compelling sentence in your video description. These sentences should mention the topic in engaging ways. Don’t simply say “It’s an action movie” or “How to bake a cake.”. Instead, try “A man who overcomes insane opposition” or “How to avoid epic baking fails.”. 

Finally, THUMBNAILS.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I say it can also be worth a million dollars. Because hitting it big on TV at the right moment with the right content can be worth that. But only if you have a thumbnail that pulls people in.

Your thumbnails say a lot about your video, and ultimately, your brand. The most popular accounts have become masters of thumbnails. Why? Because they know the audience will see the thumbnails well before viewing their content.

So always make sure your thumbnails:

  • Accurately portray the content in the video.
  • Draw your audience’s attention.
  • Excites them to watch!

Use faces. Preferably making eye contact. Humans have evolved to detect eye contact, making thumbnails with eye contact more eye-catching, especially if the whites of the eyes are visible. In addition to this, humans communicate in large part by reading emotional cues on the face.

Show emotions. To take this one step further, show strong emotions. By doing so, the viewer will feel that same heightened emotion through empathy. When viewers become emotionally involved, they are more likely to click on your video.

Bright backgrounds and contrast. Bright backgrounds stand out against the generic backgrounds of the host platform. And in relation to other thumbnails. Vibrancy has shown an Eighty-eight percent advantage to thumbnails with a more minimalist color scheme.

A note on text and logos. Make sure to do your research. I have found that text and logos in the thumbnail can be a double-edged sword. It really does depend on the type of content you produce. For instance, branding within the thumbnail is usually beneficial, but not for gaming or beauty videos.

The Recap-

TITLES – DESCRIPTIONS – THUMBNAILS

I hope you noticed that everything we covered deals with engagement BEFORE the viewer even watches the content. Great content is king, but only if it has an audience. So put in the work. Entice them with quality titles, descriptions, and thumbnails. You will ensure that the video you worked so hard on gets the attention it deserves!

Ready to take your content to the next level on TV? Join us on a live demo!

Garrett Cunningham

What’s the KEY to growing your audience?


“The #1 way to succeed in the TV business is often the most neglected.”


Do you know what it is?


Marketing.

That makes sense if you think about it. People have to know your there if you want them to watch you. I mean, this is why Hollywood movie budgets spend more on marketing than the movies themselves.

Now, I get it. I am an artist myself. Marketing can seem bland or intimidating, depending on how you see it. But, ignoring this crucial element will not make it go away.

If you’re ready to take your content to the next level on TV, Join us on a live demo!

People need to know who you are and what you’re about.

It is important to remember that everyone does not need to know you. As a matter of fact, trying to market to everybody is inefficient and costly.

Imagine trying to sell hearing aids to high-schoolers or video games to senior citizens. While sales might be possible, it’s far more likely that you will fail because the target audience is different from the one you invested in.

So WHO does need to know you?

Your Target Audience. As far as who that is, well only you can answer that. So put some serious thought into it.

You might want to pick an age demographic. Or a gender. A class. Culture. It could be some combination or other distinguishable characteristics. It doesn’t matter as long as you end up targeting a large but focused demographic.

Be careful not to target too narrow of a group. Like only females between 28-29 yrs. old born on the last Friday of May. The audience won’t support the project at that point.

Once you have a clear target audience, know who your channel is, and why it’s for them, take the next steps…

If your serious about succeeding in television, you need to let the right people know. Say it with me now: Who you are and what you’re about. Let it guide you in all your endeavors.

We will be covering many aspects of marketing over the coming weeks, but…

…it all starts with BRANDING.

Branding is identity. The root element to who you are and what you’re about, and I guarantee you every successful organization takes it seriously. Here is a sample of that seriousness.

So let’s lay the groundwork for your own branding strategy. It will be one of the highest valued portions of your organization.

The best brand strategy will give your channel awareness, trust, loyalty, and advocacy for your channel. This is the path you want your viewers to move through to grow your audience.

Let us cover the four base areas of your brand.

  • Visuals
  • Copy
  • Delivered Content
  • Interaction

Visuals

Visuals cover all of the graphical elements associated with branding, including your logo, colors, splash screens, and advertisements.

Do not take these lightly. Your logo, for instance, is the main element representing your organization. For better or worse, this visual cue will stay in the minds of everyone familiar with it.

Don’t believe me? What image pops into your mind when I say McDonald’s? What about Nike? Or At&t?

One more thing to keep in mind, a logo is not fancy art. The companys’ above did not take the Mona Lisa as their logo. You want quick memorability. Something easy for the mind to recognize and latch onto.

On second thought, unless you already have a strong handle on logo design, I highly recommend you hire somebody. The apparent simplicity of logo design is deceiving. The science behind it is far too involved to cover in a blog post.

Colors are equally important.

This is not just selecting your favorite color combination. You need to select colors that represent what your channel is about.

Copy

Copy is short for copy-writing, which is every written word related to your brand. Your tagline, descriptions, titles, and other written information all make up this element.

Your tagline is the written counterpart to your logo. As such, you should put the same effort and consideration into the creation of this element.

Many video creators initially neglect their content descriptions and this is a mistake. Your video titles and descriptions are important representations of your brand. Just take a look at the attention given to these details on the most successful YouTube channels.

Delivered Content

Delivered Content is essentially the videos your channel shows. That is the end product your audience receives from you.

It is likely that you already have a handle on this aspect as this is the heart of our biz. If not, well, you should know quality in this area needs to match your brand.

I have seen many skateboarding videos shot on mobile phones appear in huge studio releases. This is because in matches the grittiness of the brand and syncs with the overall tone.

On the other hand, can you imagine a pristine upper class travel program produced on shaky camera footage. I believe that would be rather off-putting.

The bottom line is, your productions should represent your brand and you should not deliver otherwise.

Interaction

Interaction means all of the ways your audience interacts with your brand. Your channel, website, email, chat, phone, comments, purchases, and more are all ways the audience can interact with your brand.

A gritty, street music channel might respond to their audience in a manner that would never fly for a white-collar real-estate channel. The point, once again, is consistency. Your interactions need to always represent your brand. Don’t forget this.

Quick tip. Respond to comments on social media if at all possible. Build up your fans and respond appropriately to criticism. The outcome will be to your benefit. Do you remember the old Sprite commercial “Image is everything”?

Your brand, if properly created, will build your audience naturally.

This means knowing who your brand is and who it’s for. This strategy will be the foundation for your audience growth and success.

It will require thoughtfulness and direction, but in return, will build your organization in ways money will never be able to buy. It will become a part of the mind in the same way as McDonald’s and At&t have for you.

Ready to take your content to the next level and be on Television? Join us on a live demo!

Garrett Cunningham

How to start your own Cable Network


Streaming is the NEW cable.

Cable companies all over the world are shifting focus from traditional cable television to streaming on-demand options. They are no longer pushing pricey cable packages. Now they are offering over-the-top services while they focus on selling broadband instead of cable.

With cable’s shift in focus, content creators should likewise be shifting focus.

If you want your programing on TV, you want to be on these platforms:

  • Roku.
  • Fire TV.
  • Apple TV.
  • Android TV.

These are the new cable boxes. The new outlet for televisions consumption.

So, if you want to be on television, you want to be on the NEW cable.

Ready to take your content to the next level and be on Television?

Join us on a live demo!

Now we know where you want to be. We should talk about how you are going to get there.

There is a hard way, and there is an easy way.

The hard way includes getting a Content Distribution Network or CDN. Then you would have to hire a programmer to create a way to deliver the content from your CDN to everybody’s TV.

Your programmer will have to program this delivery specifically for each platform, as each one is in a different programing language.

You would have to give him your content every time you want to add something to your channel, or he would have to program a management system for you, then teach you how it operates. Honestly, there is more, but I will cut this short as I see your eyes are glazing over.

The Easy Way

TvStartup.com! This is the easy way. For much less than the cost of hiring on a programmer, you can have a turn-key solution. You can be on your choice of all the major “cable boxes” and maintain it all from a single easy-to-manage dashboard. It has never been easier to manage a TV network.

The breakdown

For less than the cost of your living room TV, you can have your own network. Here’s how:

1. Sign up for TvStartup. During this process, you will receive your login as well as set up some specifics: Your channel name, your logo and splash video, and channel descriptions.

2. Get access to the dashboard: Here is where the magic happens. You have easy one or two button clicks to set up and use features like live streaming, schedule programming, and create Video on Demand categories (Just like Netflix).

3. Upload your video content: From your browser or desktop, upload your video library. This will give you the ability to manage your videos within the dashboard. In addition, you can assign your videos custom thumbnails and unique descriptions. The videos are also automatically encoded for you during the uploading process.

4. In addition to the dashboard for channel management, you have direct access to our constantly updated helpdesk and video tutorial library. If you find you need further assistance, no worries because you will have direct access to our support agents directly from your dashboard. Help will always be right at your fingertips!

That’s it! Four easy steps to manage an entire TV network. I told you it’s never been easier.

So, now your probably trying to figure out how long this is going to take. The truth is, it takes less time to set up a network than it probably took you to get your first production out the door. We are talking in less than two weeks. With the proper marketing, you could have a well-known channel in less than a month.

Why? Because there are over 200 Million people streaming video content to their televisions but only around 25,000 public channels. We are talking about less than 0.05 percent competition on the streaming networks. I dare you to compare that to YouTube. They have over 30 MILLION channels!

I do not want you to get the impression that fame will just occur. If you just sat on your channel and did nothing, it is likely that you would get a few downloads due to such limited competition but you would not become famous. But, because you are content creators, I believe you will put in the work to succeed.

I too am a content creator. I know the blood, sweat, and tears that go into production. If you attack the work of operating a network in the same way, you are all but guaranteed to succeed.

Ready to take your content to the next level and be on Television? Join us on a live demo!

Garrett Cunningham

The Streaming Rise & Cables demise of 2021


FOLLOW THE MONEY$$$

This wisdom is universally applied, from financiers to criminal investigators. The video content space is no exception. If you make content or distribute it, look out because the money is moving!

Broadband (AKA Internet TV) has taken cable for the title. Broadband is now the top revenue driver. The cash cow for all the major players. What does this mean for you and me? Well, competing in the streaming market will become more challenging. Entering the market now has benefits that will never come again. In other words…

The time is now!

Unlike anytime before, those channels that capitalize on Internet TV platforms like Roku & Fire TV are leading. We watched the fall come. Last July, we saw Variety put the writing on the wall in permanent marker. The sum of that article? The next five years spell a complete polar shift.

Mark Zuckerberg knew how important it was to get to the marketplace first, do you?

If you understand how important it is to get there first, learn your next step with us on a live demo!


We have finally seen broadband beat out cable, if not completely, basically, at least. A few conglomerates remain fighting the cable fight (I’m looking at you Comcast). And it makes sense. Some money is still in the cable market. But the cold hard truth of it all is that the value of cable will consistently transition into Internet TV and their streaming platforms.

Look at the chart here from Variety:

Compare that with the Nasdaq report on heavy cord-cutting. We see an estimated 31.2 million households cut the cable last year. This puts the total U.S. cable customers well below the user base on either Roku or Fire TV. The latter two are leading Internet television platforms. Mind you, Apple TV and Android TV are not far behind.

Of course, we have known viewership was already greater with these streaming platforms.

But more viewers do not immediately equal more money. Many streaming services are priced considerably lower than cable. A part of the price difference is “justified” by the sheer quantity of channels cable provides. A justification that does not hold up. We have learned quantity does not equal quality.

Here is a quote from former DirectTV/AT&T Audience Network programming chief Chris Long:

“At some point, people will make the decision that I can get everything I want [in streaming]. I no longer need to have 180 channels that I only watch 12 of.”

That ‘point’ Chris Long speaks of is being reached. What was a prophetic vision is quickly being written in history books today. According to a new Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults, cable/satellite viewership has dropped 30% since 2015. That is, in 2015, 76% of adult Americans watched cable or satellite television. Now it is barely over half of that population at 56%. It is not going to get better for cable.

This is the endgame for cable and satellite. The thing is, it’s not leaving a vacuum, like some industries. The cable lifeblood is being sucked out of them by broadband streaming services like Roku and Fire TV. And do not get me wrong, this is great for us consumers. For too long has the monopolies reigned.

Ready to take your content to the next level before the big dogs take over?

Join us on a live demo!

So why is this so important now?

The difference now is that the majority of the cash flow is now on the streaming side. Remember, follow the money. Giants are not easily displaced. The conglomerates are actively taking up positions on the very streaming platforms that have wounded them. Forbes has an article that lays out their resilience amidst this polar shift.

A quick look at history:

We can see many examples given in past technology. Radio was open source before the networks moved in. Television quickly became monopolized following its invention. Cable had scaffolding in place to only allow for an insider buddy system. Even the freest technology we have recently known, the Internet, has been a target by giant corporations. Those who move now will be the only ones to have this early advantage. And what an incredible advantage it is. We will not see it again.

This is incredible news for independent channels. The playing field has been leveled, as much as can be, for our benefit. Many independent channels are positioning themselves now. By doing so, their visibility will be much stronger at the end of this shift. An excellent example is Pewdiepie. Say what you will about his current events. My point will still stand. He was one of the first to capture a specific niche on the YouTube platform. Which niche? Videos of him playing video games. Crazy right. It is so ingrained in culture now that we almost forget someone had to start it.

This is part of the beauty of an open platform like Roku or Fire TV.

Granted, even the big guys can enter the playing field. And are, but if your there first, it will not matter. Do you know how many people are making videos of them playing video games? You can not count them. Did some people enter after and make it worth their while? Yes, but few have been able to compete with whoever got there first.

Now is the time to get started…if you have not already.

This beautiful period in video content creator history is similar to a flower. We are blooming. Right now. Don’t wait. One day(hopefully years upon years later) this too will fade.

Now you understand how important it is to get there first! Take your next step.

Join us on a live demo!

TvStartup

Help! How often do I need to post?


A common concern.

The great news is there is some optimization you can do. Allow me to be upfront with you. Your answer is specific to you and your channel. There is no universal magic number. Just your magic number, and we are going to look for it in this post.

Why is this important?

If you do not know, you might not be ready to answer the question How often do I post? There is a high-level evaluation required to maximize your channel presence.

You will need a decent understanding of your niche. Your audience and your marketing plan. Your business as a whole. Profit, Non-profit, it does not matter. The principles are the same.

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Suppose you have this down.

Now you are ready to optimize. So, why should you know how often to post? Because you want to ensure you are meeting audience expectations. You want to ensure you are running at maximum efficiency. So you plan your release schedule.

So how much content do you need to provide? To answer that question, we first need to do some evaluation of your channel.

Allow me to put two prerequisites before you.

Consider these first when planning a posting schedule. Make sure these two things are taken care of before you commit to any release.

Quality and consistency.

These are your laws. You should always ensure they are satisfied before considering anything else. Quality. And. Consistency.

A caveat to this is if the content is time-sensitive. As s case in point, consider a breaking news report. The reporter bringing this immediate info might not have had time for makeup or a wardrobe change. In this example, an exchange of quality for the immediacy of breaking news could take place.

If the content requires sacrifice or it will lose value, then that must be considered. Also, our scenario above is atypical and not a standard operating procedure. Please remember this.

The quality of your content is what you will stand on.

If it takes you three days to complete a quality video, do not commit to uploading daily videos. If you do, you will either produce lesser quality videos or break your consistency. Obviously, but what goes without saying is still likely to occur when not said.

Consistency is equally important.

You build loyal viewership on this principle. Consistency in the type of content. In the style in which you produce the content. And your release schedule. All build your credibility to be consistent. How upset would you be to find out your favorite TV show will be released, say, sometime between Monday and Friday each week. Would you check that channel often and randomly? No one has time for that.

Always be explicit and transparent with your audience. Tell the audience what you commit to, then keep that commitment to the very best of your ability. In future posts, we will be covering some tactics to help you keep these commitments while still handling life’s curveballs.

Want to reach millions with your content? Come hang out with us on a live demo!


With those two things understood, now evaluate the kind of content you provide.

If you are doing a Fix & Flip real estate show, that could take a while to produce. You might only be able to have seasonal programing on this style of content. And just so you know, a season does not need to be 20+ episodes anymore!

In this case, finish production before ever releasing an episode. This will prevent delays from being pushed into your release schedule. You will also need content to show in the meantime to fill your publishing commitment.

Do you plan on releasing the show weekly? Bi-weekly or monthly? Whenever it may be, you should have content to release according to your committed schedule.

The three-letter networks have seasons for exactly this reason. One program can take months to produce. To avoid a content blackout, they fill the schedule with different content according to how long a show takes to produce. Viewers become loyal because they know when their shows will be available and what’s on offer.

There is much to learn from the network approach to scheduling.

Don’t reinvent the wheel, just modify it.

If you run a cooking channel, daily releases might be within the realm of possibility. Why do I keep mention daily releasing? Because we hear it is a standard commonly used. The more often you release, the higher likelihood of success. Thanks, YouTube.

The truth is, this is not necessarily accurate. Netflix does not release new content daily. Almost daily. But that has not always the case. Of course, much of this is 3rd party too. If your audience is interested in your channel daily, but you can not produce daily content, you should be looking for 3rd party content.

I say “if” your audience is interested because it is quite possible to successfully run a channel that is only viewed once or twice a week by a loyal viewership. Some channels release new content even less frequently while maintaining a loyal fan base. But they follow the two prerequisites I mention above.

How is that possible?

Look, there is more content vying for our attention than ever before. Xbox, Netflix, Amazon, Play-station, mobile apps, YouTube, Tiktok… the list is long. You can not expect to displace these. Especially, at the beginning. If you consistently release quality content once a month, your audience will appreciate your effort. If they value it, they will return when you post next month.

So to answer the question “How often do I post new content?”

First, answer these:

  • How long does it take me to make a quality episode?
  • How often can I produce the content for each episode?
  • Do I have access to 3rd party content to fill any gaps?
  • How often can I use the 3rd party content I have, if any?
  • Have I taken into account my other obligations?
  • How often does my audience consume this type of content?
  • Can I commit to my audience a specific number without breaking their confidence?

Now, after evaluating the above, you have the result. Look at whatever above requires the most time. Decide if any 3rd party content is available for you to release as well. The most content you could commit to is the length of time the longest part above takes divided by the number of 3rd party pieces provided to you. Committing to any more than this will likely reduce rather than add to your channel value.

Some of you see the economics of this intuitively but just needed to be assured. Others might find this approach novel. Either way, this is the truth of the matter. We want you to succeed in the long term. After all, your success is ours as well.

Now you are ready, now get an audience of millions!

Come hang out with us on a live demo!

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Look Pro, Use These Easy Production Tips!


Your how-to channel, documentary, news report, infomercial, and narrative all tell stories.

You need to realize this. Even if your channel is not narrative-based. Television is an audio/visual medium transmitting information. You should look at this information as a story. Transitioning to this mindset is the first tip on upping your production value.

It will change the way you approach every aspect of your process for the better. Read on to see how!

Are you ready to take your content to the next level?

Come hang out with us on a live demo!

Know what you’re saying, Script it.

To some, this could either sound obvious or a waste of time. I realize there are folks on both sides of the spectrum. That said, it can make all the difference between sounding/looking amateur or professional.

I implore you to write down what you want to say to your audience. You should look at your video as a story, no matter the length. You want to make sure it has a proper beginning, a perky middle, and a satisfying end.

In other words, a well-planned project will meet the goals you set. And it prevents meandering. Write an outline if you can not justify a full script. Just write it down.

Location/Wardrobe, Look and feel the part.

If filming a documentary on downtown homelessness, try not to dress it up. If filming practically anything else, you can not let it look like your filming a documentary on downtown homelessness. Make sure you look the part your playing on TV.

Pay attention to your set design as well. Adding a bit of interest in your background can add value for free. A plant. Art Poster. Whatever might be appropriate to the story your telling. A taxidermy duck on the wall would work on your hunting channel. Not so much on your vegan one. Be aware of what you put in the frame and make it visually interesting.

Audio, Make them feel what they see.

If you have never heard it before, I am pleased to inform you that sound is 50% of your video. No, that is not a typo. And, no, I did not say it first. That award goes to George Lucas.

If you had a choice of high-end video and low-end audio or vise versa, always go with vise versa. That is high-end audio and low-end video. Granted, going all out is best, but not realistic.

The point is, the most beautiful image will be destroyed with poor audio. Guaranteed. Watch a movie like Citizen Cane or 12 Angry men. You can not get a camera that shoots such a low-resolution today(not easily anyway). They are still a pleasure. Now watch a modern-day blockbuster without sound. I bet you will not finish it.

Wonderful news. High-quality sound can be achieved for a fraction of the price of a high-quality picture. I am talking anywhere from under $60-$200. And it counts for %50 of your finished product. Boost your audio before boosting your video.

Cover your bases, Multiple camera angles.

This is an easy way to boost any production value. It just requires a little thought. The easiest way to do this is to shoot with multiple cameras. That way, you can cut between different angles in one shot. But, if on a budget, you probably only have one camera. Even if you have more than one camera, I would still shoot every scene at least twice. Your editor will thank you. If you do your own editing, you will thank yourself.

The goal here is to create more interest in your final product. I use the word interest here in this post as a synonym for your production value. I do this because of how interrelated these concepts are. By cutting from one angle to another, you are re-stimulating the viewers’ minds. This technique is almost mandatory in this day and age. Thank you, MTV.

Make sure that the angles you are shooting from contrast each other. Moving the camera a foot or two is not going to work. If you only move the camera slightly, it will look jumpy when you edit the two angles together. Not cinematic. You should not jar the audience(unless you are doing horror) but stimulate them.

The angle should be at least 60 degrees different from the other camera angles without going beyond 180 degrees. If you go beyond that, when you edit between the angels, your subject will flip the direction they face on the screen. This will only confuse the audience. Here is more information on the subject matter.

Do you make pro content but need to expand your platform?

Come hang out with us on a live demo!

Basic PRO-duction checklist:

  • Am I thinking of the story being told?
  • Did I script or outline it?
  • Does location/wardrobe represent the story?
  • Is my audio the best I can make it?
  • Do I give the viewers more than one angle to view the scene?

Stay tuned for more posts that build on this subject.

We realize that you are a professional and want your channel to properly represent that. When starting out, you’ll be hard-pressed to have a better foundation than presented here.

If it’s not your first rodeo, this should still be a checklist that gets all of its boxes checked. And I mean, every time. Your channel deserves the best it can be. This will always be based on your production value. Stay tuned for more to grow your PRO-duction checklist. We anticipate seeing you bring great things to the world!

Now you are ready to take your content to the next level!

Come hang out with us on a live demo!

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Your Channel Must be ‘Niche’ or Die


I’m going to make a bold statement…

The success of your channel will depend on how niche your content is.

I might sound extreme. Many of you have a goal centered around achieving a large audience. Very large in some cases. So when I say niche, some will buck. It seems counterintuitive. I get it.

The truth is, the only way to get a real audience is by being niche. I will lay down the facts as to why this is true. Then I will show you the steps you need to take to make your channel niche. You will see drastic results after doing these things. Guaranteed.

Already have your niche content and are ready for the next step?

Come hang out with us on a live demo!


For those still unsure as to what niche content is, let me explain.

Niche content is centered around a theme. And it should be tight. A segment of a topic or genre. The more focused, the more niche. Generally, the more niche, the better. Of course, it is possible to be too niche.

Dedicating your channel content around the feeding habits of mealworms? That’s too niche. Remember that you will need to come out with new content every week or two at the minimum.

On the other hand, a channel on ‘everything mealworms’ could easily work. Even a channel on insects could still be niche enough.

Why would you do this?

Honestly, many people naturally do this. They are passionate about a specific subject and enjoy making content associated with it. Believe it or not, it’s rare for someone to have an interest they alone have. There will be like-minded viewers.

But having a niche limits your audience, right?

Well, of course. But we are starting with a pool of about 7 and 1/2 billion people. That global audience consumes about a billion hours of content daily on YouTube alone. If we counted all the streaming platforms and their hours, it would be astronomical.

Remember, if you are interested in a subject, likely so are numerous others.

So why does being niche equal success?

Because there are boatloads of channels. What will make yours different enough to be seen amidst the crowd? Your niche.

This will be what sets you apart, allowing other like-minded individuals to find you. Niche is what makes you unique.

This means you need to make sure the greatest portion of your content is focused on a theme. Do not just upload random videos and hope for the best.

Every video needs to have a purpose and be made with intent.

A single concept. Entertainment is not a theme. Your focus should be tighter than a genre such as comedy or drama. These are still too general. You need to focus on a topic, or subtopic, and style.

Lighthearted SFX films. Serious indy projects. Intense boxing coverage. Engaging painting tutorials. New pop music. Your topic should be steadfast but your style can swing a bit. That’s fine.

The point is for you to create a consistent experience. This assures your audience that they know what they’re getting. Doing this ensures they will be back.

You must give viewers a reason to choose you over the rest.

First, you must know who your audience is. Produce the right video content for your target audience, then you will have their loyalty. It is far better for you to have 1000 loyal viewers rather than a million mildly entertained ones.

Loyal viewers are willing to shell out 10 dollars a month. Mildly entertained comes a dime a dozen. Basic math tells you that’s not worth a cent.

After you decide on your niche, start connecting with your audience.

Be proactive, especially in the beginning. This way, you can start tailoring content to what they like.

This does not mean you are relinquishing your creative control to your viewership. They are watching you because you are doing something they connect with. You are figuring out what part of your style/content is connecting the most.

I’ve recently seen an example of a lady who owns a channel solely to teach scrapbooking. She gained 17,000 subscribers in under two years.

If your niche is ready and you need a platform, Come hang out with us on a live demo!

Steps for creating a niche channel:

  • Pick a niche. Making your channel unique.
  • Identify your interested audience.
  • Create content with your niche audience in mind.

This is the basic formula. There is a lot more to running your channel. We will be covering all the angles you will need to be mindful of in the future. Things like marketing, monetizing, production…the list is long.

The list is also useless until you can distinguish yourself from everyone else. Your niche is the first major decision you should make concerning production. Everything else branches from here.

The channels that set themselves apart will succeed.

The channels creating content that can not be seen elsewhere. The channel with a loyal viewership. These are the channels not shaken despite whoever is wading in the pool. Remember, your niche is the foundation of your channel.

We would love to explain more info in person, Come hang out with us on a live demo!

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Beyond Ads: Better Ways Channels Make Money


People love your channel! They keep coming back for more.

You’re obviously giving them ‘high value’ content. You don’t want to ruin that. You have no interest in muddying their experience with pesky ads. Yet, you deserve compensation. I know the ad fad has set the standard for monetization. The thing is, it’s not the only way. Actually, it’s not even the most profitable way to monetize a channel.


Do you have content and need an audience? Come hang out with us on a live demo to get one.


I want to show you some alternative ways you can make money with your channel.

Quite a few actually. But before I do, check out why these are better options than annoying ads.

According to this article by Shopify, all the top earners on YouTube make money from merchandise. I have seen this make up a huge percentage of their earnings. Combine merchandise with sponsorships, and you’ll see ads contribute a significantly lesser amount than the mainstream makes it seem.

Michael Johnston helps us understand how little ads contribute to these top creators, “…the average CPM that can be expected from YouTube videos is between $0.50 and $5.00. That means that for every 1 million views of your videos, you can expect to make between $500 and $5,000.” This is on a million views. Not an easily achieved task.

It’s important to note that television streaming like Roku pays significantly higher dividend’s but you’ll still need a bigger-sized audience to be profitable.

On the other hand, selling ad space on your channel directly to businesses can reap huge benefits. Even with a smaller audience. Plus, you get 100% of the revenue. Combine that with selling ‘Air Time’ and you have a couple of high-value commodities. That’s an advantage of owning a channel on a television platform like Roku and Fire TV.

Or you take control and sell your own products and services. Susan Solovic says, “Discovering the right blend of informative content to promotional content within a video can pay big dividends for your small business. Further, as I said above, establishing your position as an industry or product authority is always to your benefit.”

Do you need a channel to monetize?

Join us on a Live Demo here.

First and foremost, get your website in order.

If you don’t have one, get one. If you have one, make sure it is up to date. You do not want people going to your website and saying “I’m getting a teenage-scam-hack vibe here”. You’re a professional and your website should be too.

A website will be to your channel what a bank is to your money. It’s the central way you’ll interact with your audience. You better make it shine! This is an integral component of the ways you will make money. Please understand, your channel is a traffic stream. You provide high-value content. They come to view it, then you have them continue that stream to your website. Back and forth in a symbiotic relationship. You’ll see.

Since we have already touched on it, I’ll start with ‘merch’. Merchandise is incredibly valuable. To you, and your audience.

And this is not new. When I was in my high school years, I had a band. We were decent enough to fill local venues. Do you know how much money we would make on ticket sales? Nothing, that went to the venue. We made money from a table in the back selling our shirts, CDs, and stickers.

Yeah, I said CDs. That’s not the point whipper-snapper. The point is ‘merch’ is profitable. Do not neglect it. You don’t want to go through setting up your own online shop? Check out turnkey options like Shopify.

Do you have a channel that relates to some physically creative talent of yours?

You could promote an Etsy store page at the start of an applicable video. Your sports channel is perfect for promoting your handmade fishing flys, hand-made skate decks, or inked-up court shoes. A classic movie buff who also makes replicas? Perfect. If you create fan posters or resale memorabilia, this is right up your alley.

You don’t even have to create the stuff you sell your audience. If you got the line on channel-related gear, affiliate links are available to you. It is, after all, part of the lifeblood that we call the Internet.

Alright, maybe you aren’t a salesperson.

Your channel is your product. Well, that’s what your selling then. The best way to do this is through subscriptions. Just ask Netflix. I have seen this most successful with channels that provide niche content. Yes, Netflix has a niche, it’s called Netflix Originals. Just in case you forgot the distant past of 2013, House of Cards was a Netflix Original. You see, they made many transitions to stay afloat. From delivering blockbusters to your door to streaming them online. The thing that cemented them though, was ‘Netflix Originals’. Niche content that can be seen nowhere else. If you have that, you need subscriptions.

Of course, you might have content that goes beyond niche. Subscriptions are not your only option. Crowdfunding can yield huge results. A fanatical fan base contribution could far exceed what you might ask of them on a month-to-month basis. This is better done after you have the fan base obviously.

If you don’t have the fan base yet, do not despair.

A channel focused on something another business is invested in makes that business is a potential sponsor. If a business gives you sponsorship out the gate, they will likely get a better deal than one coming in after you’ve grown. We will have an entire article on working with businesses so keep an eye out for that. Also, keep in mind that sponsors can be video-specific or for the whole channel.

Do you remember telethons? They still occur, I guess, but not like they used to. Nowadays, we call it Live Streaming, and man it is lucrative. Dedicated platforms are the most profitable for earnings and can run directly to your channel and other platforms. If your content is better live than otherwise, this is the best way to go.

We actually have even more ways to make great money from your channel but that will have to wait. There is no contest, if you have an avenue beyond ads, you need to follow it. I encourage you to look at your channel and see if these ideas could work for you. Your results will be faster and more profitable.

So present yourself as an authority and maximize your revenue. Implement these ideas into your monetization strategy and start making real money today.

Do you need a channel to monetize?

Join us on a Live Demo here.

We break down the details of how to quickly start and grow your own TV Channel from scratch.

TvStartup

Need Video Content? Read this.


“Where can I get content?”

Getty Images

People ask me this all the time.

It’s an important question. How important? Well, there’s a guy you might have heard of named Bill Gates. In the ancient era of 1996, he wrote an essay about the Internet. The title of this essay was ‘Content is King’. Talk about vision. 25 years later and that title has never been truer.

Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting.

Bill Gates

Do you have content and need an audience?
Come hang out with us on a live demo to get one.


With no breaks, it would take you almost 21 days to watch all the content uploaded to YouTube in the past minute. Yes, I said minute. This is a staggering thought. It also leads me right into giving you a hot tip. If you need content, someone is probably making it.

Do you want to make your own content? Keep an eye out, we’ll be posting a ton of useful info for you too.

I actually have multiple tips for where you can acquire content. We will be covering them all, but I thought it would be erroneous to leave YouTube out. As with almost everything, there is a right way and a wrong way of doing this. We’ll explain that as well.

You can find content on everything.

From tutorials on the different soil compositions to intergalactic space narratives. And everything in between. I know a guy who is creating content on raising/training homing pigeons. So there is no shortage of content being made. Many of these people need a better outlet. If you own a channel, are business savvy, and have the vision, these people need you. They know how to create and you can provide a better outlet. Match made in heaven.

There are a few websites geared at providing you content.

Sometimes they will have exactly what you are looking for. You should check out the list below and see what’s available. Some of these sites have free content and that might work for you. A few are working the middle range that could be right up your alley. Others can be downright pricey but have what you need. It all depends on your channel model. Your channel could be geared for the higher-end stuff or something more niche. It’s up to you. In no particular order, here they are:

Be aware that some of the above sites require a bit of data entry. Have your business info on hand if you plan exhausting the list.


Are you ready to share content with a global audience? Join us on a Live Demo here.


Are you looking for something original and never before seen?

I recommend your local university. Most colleges and universities have a group of film buffs. It could be formally from film/theater classes or otherwise. It’s no secret, the college-age demographic is making content. You can be sure to find unique content this way. Plus, by getting into direct contact with them, you might convince them to make exactly what your channel needs.


Another option for collecting content is through a post. Whether in a local ad, online ad, or in a topic-related forum. Sometimes it just makes sense for creators to find you instead. This works better if you are flexible with what is submitted. It can also require a lot of your time. You’ll have to curate the content you don’t want along with the content you do.

If you are looking to easily find something specific, nothing beats Google/YouTube. Most searches will yield a video result. Of course, this is just the beginning…

Social media is meant to be social, right?

Even though it can seem like a one-way street, it’s not. Do not be afraid to approach these people. That’s right. They’re just people, like you and me. They’re likely popular, and many are incredibly talented. But they’re still human.

That’s fine, you’re human too! So let’s put the social back in media and start networking. Get out there. If you see someone’s work and think “This is a great fit for my channel”, hit them up. My mother always said it never hurts to ask. Of course, she told me ‘no’ more than any other human being on the planet. But she was right. So the moral is, ASK!


The first thing I want to point out is that getting in touch with a creator on YouTube is not the easiest. To this day, the best approach I have seen is this.


There are a ton of other sharing sites but the approach is similar.

If you find someone you want to work with, interact with their content. Subscribe. Like. Whatever is called for. Give constructive feedback and make your presence valuable. Remember, this does not mean spamming with smiley faces and hollow comments like “Awesome” or “Great job”. By interacting with their content, you are making yourself familiar. That way, when you do reach out, you’re not just some stranger asking for something.

Then it’s time to actually reach out. I recommend you try Twitter first. It’s hard to get through email so if direct messaging is available, go with that. Instagram or discord might also be an option. Either way, when you reach out, be genuine. Every quality relationship goes both ways. You should have something of value to offer them and you’re going to want to make that clear.

The amount of content being made is mind-blowing.

The key is getting that right content in front of the right viewers. You obviously understand that. That’s why you are here. Some techniques will do better than others, depending on what type of channel you have. The thing is, they will all produce results if you follow through with them. It is time. Go get that content, your channel is waiting.

If you don’t have a channel to show off all this content, have questions, or are interested in learning how to start your own TV network, come hang out with us on a Live Demo.

TvStartup

Thriving in the Ad-pocalypse!


Rising above Demonetization.

Demonetizationthe process wherein content creators are denied paid advertisements in their content, thus denying them revenue and reducing their income from a given platform.

AdpocalypseThe current era of unprecedented demonetization of content creators due to extreme and often unwarranted policy’s.

Say what you will, the Adpocalypse is here.

On second thought, don’t say what you will. You might end your current revenue stream. Your content creations are at risk after all. “Hold on one second” you say. “Can this take place with my channel?” Surely not… right?

I can almost guarantee you that is exactly what David Hoffman thought. He’s a 78-year-old YouTuber who re-purposes content from his decades-long film career. His content was demonetized seemingly out of the blue. The kicker here is, he never received a straight answer as to why. It turns out he had not violated any of YouTube’s many requirements and policies. Months later, his monetization was reinstated but the damage was done. He ultimately lost 1/3 of his income during the demonetization period. It boiled down to an error within the algorithm.

These platform’s flawed demonetization algorithm’s are not helping the situation. To this day, creators are being demonetized for seemingly no legitimate reason.

Come hang out with us on live demo to get more information on platforms that do not use demonetization as a punishment!


The machines are here. Broad, brawly algorithms, bearing authority as “judge and jury” over your content.

There is a fallout taking place. A sort of potential 1984, big brother vibe.


Policy and regulation at it’s ‘not so finest’. Let take a look at some of these in more detail.

Often, you can simply have a title, thumbnail, or description that’s the reason for your videos getting demonetized. Other times, it is likely something in your video that is against the Advertiser-Friendly Content Guidelines. Penalties for profanity is common as per their advertiser guidelines. Even if you aren’t a potty-mouth, you’re in danger. We all slip up sometimes!

If you want to earn revenue and are a channel focused on controversial or disliked topics, you’re out of luck. You don’t have much choice; either look for an alternative source of income or change the topics you cover. Speaking of problematic topics, you can’t really do reaction videos. This is due to murky interpretation of fair use policy, which is why it often gets demonetized.

Politics are always controversial, regardless of what you think, so it pushes creators to avoid the topic altogether to be able to monetize on these platforms.


I know, you see that juicy green monetization icon so you believe your safe. You’re wrong. These platforms have policy and algorithm evolution’s daily, so everything is subject to change. It’s not uncommon for YouTube to go back into old creators’ videos and demonetize them. Even years after their initial upload.

To make matters worse, YouTube is failing to make any recognizable improvement since the adpocalypse began in 2017. To the contrary — YouTube has been the subject to much ridicule . The most frequent complaints aimed at the platform are related to:

  • Unequal enforcement of their policies.
  • Flawed recommendation algorithm.
  • Unfair treatment of some of their creators.
  • Targeted censorship.
  • Unsubstantiated demonetization.
  • Abuse of the DMCA claim system.

Many advertisers are leaving these platforms, which is leading to an even greater shortfall of monetization opportunities.

You need to ask yourself these questions when creating content for a platform that uses demonetizes as a punishment:

  • Do I understand the insecurities of earning revenue from this platform?
  • Am I willing to give up potential income for my hard work?
  • Can I accept the possibility of seeing my career in content creation end?

Remember, on these kind of platforms

You can be demonetized without warning. It can be for saying something others disagree with. For speaking on sensitive subjects. Even by using content the algorithms think you don’t have rights to. You can lose your ad revenue even though you’re within U.S. copyright and intellectual law, simply due to a faulty algorithm. On top of all of this, your ability to dispute the decision to demonetize your channel is laughable.

Just to start monetizing on some of these platforms, you must be up for a certain number of years, have a specific number of viewers, or meet other ever increasing requirements.

By choosing to not go with a platform that punishes with demonetization, you need to still make sure these needs met:

  • The platform should not hinder your ability to monetize.
  • It will keep you up and running despite opposition.
  • It will not accidentally discipline you for content that falls with in the United States copyright and intellectual property laws.
  • The platform should be completely transparent and accessible regarding your content.

If you are looking for a platform that will not demonetize your channel, come hang out on a live demo with us here…

Now you’re armed with the knowledge in order to not only survive, but thrive in this Adpocalypse. If you create content and value your efforts, ensure you are compensated for it. You don’t have to live with such insecurity. You don’t have to cower quietly if fear of violating some opaque rule or regulation. I have a few more techniques I would like to share with you. You can have your own network. Then you will not have to answer to anyone. Come hang out with us on a live demo to start protecting all your hard work, check out the link below.

Get an in-depth look at how you can use our turn-key platform to launch your own TV channel. Directly engage with viewers on today’s most popular TV platforms.

TvStartup

What’s the Secret to Viral Content?


In a sea of content, it’s easy to drown.

This is a hard truth we content creators face every day. And we do. With steely determination and hope glimmering in our eyes. Why? Because we know there are anomalies. Pieces of content that not only skim atop the digital ocean, but rather defy gravity, floating high above the rest. This type of content has gone ‘viral’.

The first step towards going viral is to have your own channel to publish content through online.

If you don’t yet have your own online channel, attend one of our Live Demos to see how you can launch your own channel and set yourself up for publishing your content to a large audience.

Once you have your channel launched, you can now endeavor to publish your content using the steps covered below to give it an edge for higher-engagement and going ‘viral’.

“Viral” is a strong term made even stronger by recent events in online trends. Let’s define it so we can identify the area we need to focus on. I’m going to skip the culturally acceptable standard which is Wikipedia. You can find that later if needed. The heart of the meaning is this: Viral Content is a communication that becomes popular by being shared rapidly and widely across different communication channels by a large audience.

This is the viral process. It is what separates the anomalies in the sky from the vast ocean in our analogy.

Sharing is obviously the key here.

Major sharing. But what prompts such a response from the audience? We are talking about some seriously motivating factors here. Well friend’s, we’ve got the answers and we’ve backed it up with science. Science rocks!

When creating content with the potential to go viral, your goal is to initiate a response in the audience. Like the person watching your video for example. And nothing gets people to respond better than…

…their emotions.

Looking for more ways to take your video content to the next level?

Check out our Live Demo to see how you can easily create your own independent online TV network.



Emotion is king!

When trying to get people to act, emotion is king. On top of that, emotions have been shown to be contagious. When we care, we share. We can use this to our advantage.

In a 2011 paper in Psychological Science, Berger argues the most important factor in content transmission is physiological arousal: Emotions that increase arousal, like anxiety and amusement, will be more effective than low-arousal emotions like sadness and contentment. Particularly positive emotions.

“People share things they have strong emotional reactions to, especially strong positive reactions.”

Rosanna Guadagno, a social psychologist at the University of Texas in Dallas, told the Times.

Frac.tl conducted a study listing the top 10 emotions that are most likely to become viral:

  • Amusement
  • Interest
  • Surprise
  • Happiness
  • Delight
  • Pleasure
  • Joy
  • Hope
  • Affection
  • Excitement

Of course, negative emotion can work too. We see this constantly displayed by the nightly news.

  • Fear: Content that warns and increases awareness has more chances to become viral.
  • Sadness: A sad video can become viral because people empathize with a certain story and want others to empathize as well to increase awareness or show admiration.
  • Anger: Content that makes people angry is more likely to be shared as people are inclined to express their outrage on a given topic and want others to join their ranks.
  • Disgust: Disgusting pieces can play either the “so bad it’s good” humorous game or the “warning, this is bad” game.

I love the fact that positive emotions share better than negative ones!

Novelty

This is the new and unique. You know, shiny things! Novelty is a powerful motivator to get people to act as you are about to find out.

I live in Texas. Driving to another city is often filled with mundane views. Fields and livestock mostly. For miles. It’s not story worthy in the slightest. But lets say you were with me on one of these trips. We are driving a particularly long stretch, listening to some music, as you stare out the window. Suddenly, among a heard of cattle huddled by the fence line, you notice a bright blue cow. Yes, a bright blue cow!

Imagine the result’s of such an event. You would not simply let that pass on by. You would shoot up, crane your neck, and yell to get my attention. Now I’m trying to see what the commotion is about. You would convince me to turn around. There would be picture taking and phone calls to friends. Even telling the gas station attendant on our next stop. Viral content evokes the same kind of response.

Neuroscience researchers found some time ago that we have a region in the mid-brain responsible for this behavior, regulating motivation and reward processing by managing our dopamine levels. This area is what responds to novelty in our lives.

In other words, when your brain stumbles upon a new idea or piece of content it floods you with dopamine, making you feel rewarded and compelled to search for more. Even an old topic can have a new or unique light shine upon it. If you want people to share your content, make sure its a “blue cow” and not a brown one.

Curiosity

No matter how relevant your content is, people will only spend their time on content that catches their attention. This means you must be intriguing. This is not about tricking your audience. Consider what knowledge your audiences wants but does not have. Make sure to create useful, quality content containing this knowledge. Then tell them that your content has this knowledge in a compelling way. Your guaranteed to pique their curiosity.

People share content that fills the gap between what they know and what they want to know. This is why “How To” videos do so well. Fiction can also fill a knowledge gap. Whether its a humorous perspective or a horrifying experience. So offer your audience the chance of filling this gap with your content. They will feel motivated to share it with others who can learn it too.

Likewise, use this aspect to create catchy headlines. Some company’s will create 30 or more headlines and pick the one that that invokes the most curiosity. While I don’t think you necessarily need to do this, it does underline it’s importance. You should not neglect this.

Now, a re-cap. Make sure to ask yourself these questions when creating your next piece of content:

First and foremost, remember, emotion is king. Think about the emotions it will invoke.

  • Are they the kind of emotions that will encourage others to share your content?
  • Is there something you can change to strengthen the emotion?
  • Or alter it into a more shareable emotion?

What about the content’s novelty? Utilize the novelty of your content to really get them interested!

  • Is your content a “blue” or brown cow?
  • Is your perspective new or unique? Can you strengthen that?
  • Is there new information on the topic?
  • If its old content, can you modernize it? (Remember when DiCaprio stared in ‘Romeo & Juliette’?)

Check your content for the knowledge gaps you’ll be filling for your audience.

  • What knowledge will your audience walk away with after consuming your content?
  • Are you providing useful, relevant and actionable content in an intriguing way?
  • Are you hanging that knowledge like a carrot in your headline?

A note on quality.

This was quite a few years ago so I can promise you that it’s even more important today. According to The Wall Street Journal, 9 of the top 10 most viral videos on YouTube in 2012 were created by professional producers. If you’re just starting out and don’t have a big budget, don’t stress too much. We’ll have more posts providing awesome budget friendly tips and tricks to “up” your production value, so stay tuned for notifications!

Now you have the keys.

If you create content with the audience’s emotions, novelty, and curiosity in mind, you will be creating the kind of content that is ready to go viral. If you want more information on building an audience to share your content with and the best tools to get your content to them, follow the link below.

Come hang out with us on our live demo!

Come hang out with us on our Live Demo!

You’ll get an in-depth look at how you can use our turn-key platform to launch your own TV channel and directly engage with viewers on today’s most popular TV platforms.

TvStartup

Can Your TV Channel Be Censored?


Are video creators at risk of losing their audiences due to censorship?

In recent times, the topic of online censorship has become increasingly important for the success of video creators.

Historically, censorship has commonly been used to suppress certain views and ideas that are considered offensive to the ones censoring, regardless of the validity of the information. Added to this are new and ever-changing terms and conditions for copyright rule, and content polices on various online platforms, and a perfect storm is created for video creators trying to and succeed in the online space.

Starting your own independent channel takes you beyond these limitations. Click here to see more on how TvStartup is helping video creators launch and control their own independent channels.

Widespread censorship by media conglomerates can be seen as having an increasingly negative impact on the ability for online content creators to build, maintain, grow, and monetize their online audiences.

YouTubers and Social Media influencers alike have found that the platforms on which they have built their audiences are at high risk of being taken offline overnight. Video creators have found their video channels unexpectedly demonetized, access to their accounts frozen, and even deleted with little or sometimes even no warning.

Copyright strikes driven by new AI technologies have also fueled concern and panic among creators of every genre, fearing that the audiences they have spent years of hard work building up are at surprisingly high risk of being destroyed at a moments notice.

You need to protect your content NOW!

Blocks spelling out free speech censorship

It’s quite clear how your viewership and ability to monetize can be threatened by these factors.

Major tech companies can slow even outright stop your online growth if you are relying solely on their platforms for service.  What’s even more frightening is how this can happen to anyone, for even minor offenses. In fact, many content creators have already been kicked off of platforms like Youtube, Twitter, Vimeo, Twitch, and many more. Erasing entire audiences and sometimes even year’s worth of hard work!

This can happen at any time to anyone sometimes even without warning. As at any given time, large social media and web hosting companies can
de-platform you as they did to Parler. They can change the definition of what is acceptable and what isn’t at any time, basically what’s okay today may not be okay tomorrow.

This is why it’s critical to maintain as much control over your content as possible, especially in today’s social environment.

That’s why you need to have your own website, Roku channel, and any other media distribution service that YOU as the creator have control of so that no one can censor your content, demonetize your videos, or limit your ability to reach and grow your audience. 

censorship against person
.

Another consideration is that even if you keep your content socially, politically, and religiously acceptable, countries can completely prevent popular sites like YouTube from displaying your content to viewers in their country, irregardless of your content’s subject matter. This effectively separates you from your audience. 

The solution? You need your own media outlet, where you maintain full control over your own platform independently as a creator.

To learn more about how to launch your own independent video platform, click here to schedule a free live demo.

Censorship and the future

Most recently, censorship and compliance to terms or copyright rules is often driven by A.I., meaning you can be silenced without a real person ever being involved, all without any notice or explanation.

The way this kind of censorship works is quite interesting, processing massive amounts of data through pre-defined filters and often believed to leave much room for error. Information is processed in real-time making it possible for media companies to censor vast amounts of data at light speed. To make this worse, there are very few legal protections to prevent this from directly impacting your channel or online audience without recourse.

However, if you have your own independent website or TV channel you can prevent the headaches of dealing with these ever-changing limitations and decide what content is acceptable and what isn’t on your own channel.

A.I. or artificial intelligence will be much more aggressive in the future, and most A.I. auditors are controlled by media conglomerates. These algorithms can stop anyone or any company that starts to gain traction and reach large audiences. They can also be seen to have a two-fold purpose to squash any future competition and ensure popularized content has the most views. 

censorship against content

At TvStartup we don’t believe in limiting the ability of content creators to reach their audiences in any way.

We maintain our own infrastructure and don’t have to rely on 3rd party infrastructure controlled by large conglomerates like Amazon Web Services. Moreover, will have a commitment to creators to not audit content based on any political, religious, social, or educational biases.

Don’t get silenced.

Start your own independent channel to take control of your content today!

Click here to learn more on how you can gain FULL control of your content.

TvStartup

How To Write A Press Release For Your Channel


Thinking about launching an internet TV channel? Did you know that a press release could get your channel in front of thousands of new viewers? A press release is a great way to launch your channel. The best part is that it doesn’t cost much to get started.

Want to get started with your own channel?

Attend our Live Demo to find out how it works
(Click here to Schedule).

What is a press release?

A press release is a formal presentation delivered to the news media to provide information,  making a statement or an announcement about an upcoming event, product launch, etc, A press release can often come in many different formats however today we are going to focus on a more traditional format that is usually made up of nine structural elements, including a letterhead, contact information, headline, sub-headline, dateline, introduction, body, boilerplate, and a close. Press releases can be given to members of the news media physically on paper and electronically.

First of all, a press release should be used to bring attention to an upcoming event or change in your channel, bringing attention to your channel it’s-self.

So lets write your first Press Release.

Start with the Letterhead this could be your channel logo or your channel name.

Then include your Media contact information this is for the media to contact your public relations person.

Now you’re ready to start on the Headline your headline should be clear, concise, and to the point. It should also describe the content of the press release this will keep you from sounding like “click-bait”

Then you should write a Sub-Headline that explains the headline DO NOT just repeat the headline this is important because it helps build up interest in your body copy. It should also be italicized.

You should use a Dateline to indicate when and where the news is taking place

Next is your introduction this is where you give the reader a reason to read your body copy you want to introduce your reader to the information in the press release. This is a great place to include a prominent quote. Don’t be tempted to put background information about your channel in your introduction, you want to keep this under 3 paragraphs.

The Body of your press release should explain the who, what, when, where, and why of the events, promos, and news within your press release. Always start your body copy with quotes if you have them, you want to make this as easy as possible for journalists to just copy and paste your paragraphs, quotes, details, etc, this makes it easy for journalists to utilize your material. The body copy can be as long as you want as long as ALL of the content is relevant to the news you want to promote

Next, you should add a Boilerplate. A boilerplate is like an about paragraph for your channel use it to give a short description of what you do and what your channel is about.

Now go ahead and Close your press release with this ###. We created a free template to help you create your own press release more easily:

Claim your free template here to get started.

Still not sure how an internet TV channel works?

Utilizing the material in a press release can benefit journalists because press releases help decrease costs and improve the quantity of material a journalist can output in a given amount of time. Because the material is already written, press releases save journalists time, not only in writing a story, but also the time and money it would have taken to capture the news firsthand.

 Press releases tend to be biased towards the organization which ordered them. In the digital age, people want to get their information instantly which puts pressure on the news media to output as much material as possible. This type of pressure is bad for our news industry but GREAT for you! Simply because most news sources just copy and paste your release into the news. This means journalists will heavily rely on your press release to create stories. 

So just to recap a great press release should consist of

  • Letterhead or logo
  • Media contact information
  • Headline
  • Sub-Headline (Explaining the headline)
  • Dateline
  • Introduction
  • Body
  • Boilerplate
  • Close
With all of this information, you are now ready to write your press release. Go ahead and get started with this free template.
If you don’t have a channel yet no worries just click here to schedule a free live demo.
TvStartup

New Ways YouTubers are Earning Big Bucks


A relatively recent phenomenon has been the rise in unlikely YouTube stars, as more people find unique ways to make money on this ever-growing platform. Over a billion videos are watched every day on YouTube, which has 2 billion logged-in monthly users and is on pace to earn $5.5 billion this year in US ad revenue alone. This staggering rise is consistent with a larger trend, which TvStartup founder Brock Fisher has described as the end of cable and satellite and the rise of OTT television. 

TvStartup  appreciates that successful internet TV means giving viewers flexibility in where, when, and how they engage with content. Many YouTube producers are similarly recognizing

the opportunities on this platform. This realization, combined with seeing people become YouTube stars and millionaires, are a couple of the reasons YouTube has become an increasingly popular way for people to share their talents, skills, hobbies, and just about anything else you can think of. 

In 2019, Ryan Kaji, an eight-year-old with a channel focused on him unboxing toys, earned $26 million; Dude Perfect, five guys that do stunts and try to break world records earned $20 million; and Preston, who has a channel where he plays video games and does pranks, earned $14 million. 

Clearly, the platform gives YouTubers access to billions of viewers and a variety of ways to make money. While many questioned whether YouTube could be effectively monetized, there are quite a few people that have figured out how to do this. Here are some of the ways that the most lucrative YouTubers are earning big bucks on and off of YouTube: 

Ad Revenue

Brock Fisher of TvStartup recently noted that “advertisers are waking up to the possibilities of OTT,” and some of the most lucrative YouTube channels are powerful evidence of this. Ad revenue is a classic means for earning revenue, but as more people have turned to this platform and as the Adsense models have become more strategic and effective, YouTube producers are seeing this as an increasingly effective way to monetize their content. With a cost per thousand (CPM) model, producers make anywhere from 50 cents to $2 per 1000 views. This is done primarily through YouTube’s Adsense Programs, where ads are placed in videos and then earn revenue. As these models have become more advanced, both YouTubers and advertisers have found them increasingly frustrating because of the many restrictions placed by youtube. . 

For less than 1% of YouTubers this is a lucrative revenue source for producers, however for most YouTubers it does not even pay the bills. However there are ways to make even more from ads. TvStartup  helps YouTubers earn revenue in addition to YouTube Adsense, as it offers different advertisers that typically pay more than Youtube. What this means for producers is that they can make money from YouTube ads and make money by working with OTT companies like TvStartup to develop internet tv channels that go directly into people’s homes. This gives producers an additional ad revenue source, and often one that pays at a higher rate than YouTube Adsense. 

Sponsorships

Responding to the sheer volume of viewers that some YouTubers have, many corporations have begun sponsoring YouTuber producers to get more eyes on their products and to have their products associated with the latest YouTube phenomenons. Obviously, the key to these sponsorships is having a big following. For example, Anastasia Radzinskaya, who has $59 million subscribers, has landed six-figure sponsorships with both Legoland and Dannon. 

As TvStartUp has appreciated, the key is having high volumes of viewers. Once you’ve got that, there are opportunities to build the right revenue model. This is why their team works with individual producers to create a custom internet tv platform, as it allows the flexibility that each team needs to meet their goals. 

Selling Merchandise

As YouTube producers develop engaged audiences and dedicated fans, they’ve also found that selling merchandise is a lucrative revenue source. Whether it’s shirts, hats, stickers, or bags with their name or an entire product line, plenty of YouTubers have turned to merchandise as a way to make money off of their YouTube fame. Jeffree Star, who earned $17 million last year, has a makeup line that has eight-digit annual revenues. Similarly, Markiplier, who has a high-end line of clothing for gamers, makes millions from these sales alone. 

Viewer Donations

This is a less common revenue source and one that isn’t a good fit for all producers. However, those YouTubers with particularly engaged audiences and dedicated fans can earn substantial revenue from viewer donations. Patreon is a popular way for YouTubers to set this up, and the company takes a 5% commission on any donations. The average fan donation is around $7, so with the right volume of viewers and a particularly committed following, this can be an effective model. 

Affiliate Income

Similar to sponsorships, some YouTubers work with affiliates to earn more money. When doing this, they’ll review or promote a product to viewers and then share a link to the product. The producer will get a certain portion of any sales that are done through their unique link. While producers can work with a variety of affiliates at once, it’s important to be strategic about these partnerships and to ensure that they are consistent with the channel’s brand and content. 

The second-most visited online search engine, with billions of views per day, YouTube clearly offers producers access to high volumes of viewers and advertisers. It also offers a compelling proof-point about increased consumer use of online streaming platforms, and the number of YouTubers making millions offers clear models of creative and unique ways to monetize this free streaming. 

TV Startup has long understood the potential in OTT services and has been a leader in the industry. Their full-service internet tv web and app systems offer producers more ways to build their channel, create positive user experiences, and implement an effective revenue model. Additionally, they have industry-leading personalization options and technology. To learn more about taking advantage of the major shifts in the way that people consume content and that producers make money off of content, contact TvStartup

TvStartup

Best Ways To Train Remote Employees


This day in age, the remote or work-from-home culture is growing. With a global economy as well as a demand for experienced employees that may not live close by, many businesses are choosing to hire workers in multiple locations. A phenomenon that is especially growing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, as more and more employees step away from offices, the need to properly train remotely becomes a priority. And, turning to digital methods of training has been the answer. 

At TvStartup, we are dedicated to helping organizations leverage all the tools they have available to them. Let’s take a look at the disadvantages and advantages of commonly used multi-location training strategies as well as how TV screens and private channels are changing the game. 

Training Online 

Online digital meeting spaces used for multi-location training are nothing new. Companies like Skype and Zoom have been around for a while. The advantages of these online meeting places are plenty, however, where these methods lack, it is that they do not allow playlists to access later and they take up phone or computer screen use. Luckily, TV Startup is prepared with another option.  

TV Screen Training 

An easy way to train people in multiple locations at the same time is the use of a TV screen and a private channel. This option offers both the advantage of live training as well as pre-recorded video playlists. Further, multiple people can join at a time, screen sharing is a breeze, and it solves the issue of using the computer or phone screen. When attending a meeting on the TV, employees can take notes or practice while learning.  Learn more amazing abilities on our internet TV page.  

What Is A Roku Private Channel 

Setting up a private Roku channel is a great option for remote employee training that is reliable and cost-effective. With channel manager options, companies can schedule, stream 24/7, provide on-demand, even personalized training. For example, RE/MAX just announced they “will distribute the Roku Players to employees for training purposes. The Roku Player is a low-cost ($29 – $79) HD streaming media player, and with a TvStartup account anyone can create a public or private channel.” 

As employees increasingly need the ability to work from anywhere in the world, TV screens will become a vital tool. Instead of investing time and energy in trying to understand how to set up a TV network on your own, let TVStartup help you. We provide a complete set-up to launch Roku channels as well as capabilities to scale your network.  Click here for a live demo. 

TvStartup

How to Monetize Your Video Collection


If you’re a video creator tired of fighting YouTube’s and Twitch’s monetization rules or if you find your videos being demonetized, then it may be time to take your catalog into your own hands. Content like yours doesn’t have to be constantly fighting the algorithms for a place on the “Up Next” sidebar when you can deliver videos straight to your viewer’s phones, laptops, or living rooms through your own branded channel.

In 2019, the number of connected TV’s and streaming devices in households exceeded 1 billion. More than 50% of the U.S. population has a TV-connected device in their homes like a Firestick, Roku, Apple TV, or Smart TV. Because of the variety of places viewers are able to get the content they want wherever they want it, it’s even more important for you to stop relying on the major streaming platforms for distribution and monetization. Partners like TV Startup are helping creators deliver their videos on demand across the most popular platforms, devices, and social media sites and since it’s your own channel, you get to keep more of your own revenue the channel generates. 

Top Three Ways TV Startup Monetizes Your Branded Channel

Subscription Fees

Graduate School of Stanford Business reported that subscription business models are growing 100% each year and further predicting that everything we buy in the future will come with a monthly plan. But if the only subscription your content gets is from smashing a button on YouTube, then you are losing up to 45% of your potential revenue from ads. Through your own Video On Demand Channel, you can generate and earn more revenue by following the successful models of Netflix and Disney+ by setting a subscription fee your audience is willing to pay to keep your content coming to them. 

Ad-Injection Revenue

If the subscription model isn’t the right fit for your content and your audience, then including non-intrusive overlays of ads within the video is an excellent way to keep your content free while still generating revenue. Earlier this year, Google revealed YouTube is a $15 billion-a-year-business. That’s a lot of money made off other people’s work! Injecting ads into videos is not unique to YouTube and TV Startup offers this same effective business model to keep your content free while giving you more of the revenue share. 

Ad Sales and Creation

Another option to keep your content free is by offering pre-roll and mid-roll advertisements which are effective ways to create revenue while keeping your content free of banner ads. Since it’s your channel, you have the opportunity to create and sell ads to companies with whom you want to specifically align your brand. TvStartup can effectively deliver targeted advertisements before or during your videos while giving you more say with who you are sharing your audience.

As easy as TvStartup makes it to reach the estimated 63 million cord-cutters who are now only reachable through connected TV and other digital channels, you can launch your video collection to millions of people worldwide. You no longer need to rely on the status quo of video streaming to promote your work when you can let TvStartup help you reach audiences around the world the same way they have helped numerous independent video creators, artists, businesses, churches, and more. Click here to schedule a live demo. 

TvStartup

Top 3 OTT White Label Services


With cord-cutting on the rise, over-the-top (c) white label services are making their mark on the digital landscape by changing the way content creators distribute and monetize their videos. OTT white label services allow content creators to control the user experience while growing their audience by vastly improving their reach. Let’s look at the top 3 OTT white label services on the market today.

1 TV Startup

TV Startup offers excellent flexibility so you can have complete control over how your content is presented and monetized. They offer the ability to utilize scheduled playlists for always-on live TV broadcasting, the creation of Netflix-style video on demand (VOD), and live streaming that automatically archives your footage for future distribution purposes. You can even restream your content to social media platforms to access your entire audience from a single content management system.

In terms of monetization, TV Startup delivers on the promise of giving you total control over your content. You can use dynamic ad insertion (DAI), subscription-based access, pay-per-view, or any combination of the above to turn your passion into a lucrative career. Thanks to their analytics tools, it’s easy to maximize your earnings potential and audience growth with TV Startup’s OTT service.

TV Startup offers setup and monthly pricing with the ability to save money by taking advantage of their bundling options for bringing your content to practically any platform. TV Startup offers the best in terms of control over your content and ease of use.

2 IBM Video Streaming

IBM is a giant in the tech industry with a storied history dating back to the early days of the industry itself. The IBM Video Streaming service provides a cloud platform for streaming, hosting videos, and performing analytics.

As you would expect from a tech giant, their service is quite full-featured with things like mobile compatibility, customizable channel pages, and archived broadcasts. Their analytics features are great, but IBM’s Video Streaming service can be a bear to work with thanks to its bloated feature set.

IBM offers a 30-day free trial for its video streaming platform, but it’s more of a training wheels session than anything with its limitations of only 5 concurrent viewers and no ability to test ads during this period. Their pricing structure is fairly rigid and doesn’t allow for any real customization.

3 Muvi

An excellent service, Muvi offers live streaming, video on demand, and audio streaming services. Despite its name, Muvi focuses a little bit more on audio services, but their video services are also quite customizable and feature-packed.

Muvi offers a wide range of monetization tools similar to TV Startup which gives content creators great flexibility when it comes to how they want users to access their product. On the downside, Muvi is definitely not cheap.

Their basic plan starts at $399/month with additional fees tacked on. This plan only allows for 2000 concurrent viewers with higher viewer counts locked behind much more expensive tiers. To access unlimited concurrent users, it’s going to cost a minimum of $8900/month. Their services are great, but their prices can be a bitter pill to swallow for many.

Conclusion

Going OTT is a great way to cut out the middle-man and take complete control over your content distribution and monetization. You can start your own Internet TV network through the use of white label services.

TV Startup offers flexibility and end-to-end control over your content. See for yourself how it works by scheduling a live TV Startup demo. Get in touch with the TV Startup experts today to learn more.

TvStartup

Everything is Content but What is Good Content?


It’s hard to find someone who hasn’t heard the phrase “content is king”, but what exactly does that mean? The origin of the phrase can be traced back to none other than the technology luminary Mr. Bill Gates who said, “Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting.”

Penned as the opening statement of Bill Gates’ 1996 essay titled “Content is King”, these words have proven true over the years while remaining just as relevant today as the day he wrote them. In his essay, Gates detailed his vision for the future of the Internet. The success of the Internet, according to Gates, would hinge upon the creation of content to fill its depths with something for everyone.

Those of us lucky enough to be alive today can attest to the importance of content and the potential value it can provide to organizations and consumers alike.

What Exactly IS Content?

Pulling from the well of Bill Gates’ essay again, he says in it, “When it comes to an interactive network such as the Internet, the definition of ‘content’ becomes very wide.” In loose terms, everything is or can be made into content. But just because anything can be content doesn’t mean all content is equally valuable.

You could throw together a 24/7 live stream of your daily life, but unless you’re Kim Kardashian, no one is going to want to sit around watching you run errands. Likewise, a stream of your cat napping all day is unlikely to gain much attention. However, these ideas and others like them aren’t inherently bad ideas for content. The hardest part of creating content is creating good content and even “bad” ideas can turn into good content with the proper approach.

But What is Good Content?

Content should be thought of as something that provides entertainment, information, or (ideally) both simultaneously. The most important consideration to make when creating good content is your audience. It’s impossible to make something interesting, informative, or fun without keeping the audience in mind throughout the entire content creation process.

Perhaps more importantly, you should consider whether the content provides value to your audience in some way. Time is an incredibly precious commodity and it should be treated as such. If you create your content with the value of your audience’s time in mind, you’re much more likely to create something that is actually worth their time.

This doesn’t mean good content is something made solely for the sake of the audience though. In fact, creating something that you personally have a passion for is a great way to boost the quality of your content. If you are intimately familiar with any facet of life, industry, or bizarrely specific subculture, that might be the best topic to center your content around.

It may not seem at first that there is a massive audience out there waiting for you to put out a 20-part series on the intricacies of flute making in the 12th Century. However, if you have a passion and deep knowledge of a topic, you can make it into something millions of people would want to watch.

Good content isn’t all about flashy marketing or high budgets. The History Channel got its start by using archived, public domain footage and simply adding narration on top of it to create hundreds of hours of content with very low production costs. Using public domain footage and other low-budget practices like how artist Lil Dicky made a rap video by asking people to allow him to film inside their mansions for free are excellent methods for creating great content on a low budget.

Good content is about creating something that you would find interesting or entertaining. Creating content that entertains while also informing is a surefire way to create something people will want to spend time watching.

Find the Right Home for Your Content

You handle the content. Let TV Startup help take care of the rest. Start your own Internet TV network and avoid expensive cable providers by going over-the-top (OTT). Launch your own Netflix-style service or get your channel on smart TVs, Roku, mobile devices, Apple TV, and more services across the globe.

See for yourself how it works by scheduling a live demo. We work hard to enable great video content creators like yourself to focus on creating amazing content while pocketing the money your hard work deserves. Get in touch with us today to learn more.

TvStartup

Why Cord Cutting Isn’t Stopping


It wasn’t too long ago when there were only a handful of TV channels and most of those wouldn’t even broadcast all day. Back in the “good ol’ days”, people didn’t have much in the way of choice when it came to watching television. You would sign up to whichever cable provider was in your area and pay whatever price they asked of you for spotty service and limited channel options.

This business model worked for cable providers because their customers had little if any choice in the matter. However, nothing lasts forever and when new options like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, and many others started sprouting up, people realized the big TV providers had been scalping them for years. These TV providers have proven too big and cumbersome to make sweeping changes and, as a result, they are steadily going the way of the dinosaurs.

Cable customers are cutting the cord at an accelerating rate over the past few years with a total 5.5 million subscribers terminating their contracts with TV providers last year alone—a 70% increase from 2018’s 3.2 million cord-cutters. Simultaneously, more households are becoming “cord nevers” (people who have never subscribed to TV providers and use on-demand services or the internet instead) than ever before.

We got to this place today where cable customers are leaving their providers in droves due to a large number of reasons that have made alternative TV options enticing and practical. Let’s look at two of the biggest factors that make cord-cutting viable and, more importantly, appealing to so many people.

Reason 1: The Internet

Sure, the Internet has been around for quite some time at this point, but it’s only recently that high-speed internet connections were made available and reasonably affordable to such a huge number of people. Modern-day internet is many orders of magnitude faster than yesteryear’s dial-up.

Fiber optic is becoming more common by the day with internet providers using this new technology to provide gigabytes per second connection speeds. Dial-up, on the other hand, caps out at a maximum theoretical speed of 56 kbps. That means modern internet speeds are roughly 18,000 times faster than dial-up. Soak in that number for a second while I catch my breath.

In other words, a gigabit internet connection can download a feature-length film with a file size of 800 MB in less than 10 seconds while it would take a dial-up connection roughly 9 DAYS to download the same file. You would have a hard time finding people willing to wait 9 days for a Netflix movie to load, but modern high-speed internet allows users to instantly access and stream content with virtually zero delay.

Reason 2: Cha-Ching

TV provider bills are notoriously expensive thanks to their use of fairly skeevy business practices. It’s amazing how you can sign up for a cable TV provider at the advertised $50/month and end up paying easily over $150 after additional fees are tacked on and the introductory rates come to an end.

More people are realizing every day that they can enjoy most if not all of the same content they love to watch through their TV providers on cheaper alternative options. It’s not hard to see why someone would want to switch from paying $150+ each month for TV service to a selection of services they handpicked that costs them less than the introductory prices offered by the cable companies.

The writing is on the wall for cable companies, but TV production companies are actually in a better place than ever thanks to new cable alternatives. With new content continuously popping up on Netflix and Hulu, just to name a couple, audiences have a wide breadth of entertainment choices.

How You Can Take Advantage of Cord Cutting

Consumers are rapidly shifting away from the prehistoric business models of TV providers and taking back control of their entertainment options and wallets. With big cable TV spiraling the drain, it might seem like an awful time to invest in a TV production company. However, the end of cable TV does not mean the demand for quality TV content has come to an end as well.

Luckily, there are options for content creators and production companies that don’t involve the monolithic cable companies of yesteryear. Believe it or not, you can start your own Internet TV network and avoid expensive cable providers by going over-the-top (OTT). Launch your own Netflix-style service or get your channel on smart TVs, Roku, mobile devices, Apple TV, and more services across the globe.
See for yourself how it works by scheduling a live demo. We work hard to enable great video content creators like yourself to pocket the money your hard work deserves. Get in touch with us today to learn more.

TvStartup

How to Monetize Your Video Content


Creating quality video content is a mountain of work.

First, there’s coming up with original content. Then there’s writing a solid script, filming, recording audio, re-recording because someone decided to mow their lawn in the middle of your take, creating thumbnails, editing it all together into a snappy, informative, and entertaining video, and then compiling, gazing forlornly out at the sky, uploading, responding to comments… 

I’m getting a bit weary just thinking about it…

Expecting to make a little bit of money off of all your hard work is nothing to be ashamed of. Figuring out how to make money from your videos is another mountain to climb all on its own.

To aid you in your ascent up that mountain, we’ve mapped the route ahead with a brief rundown on methods for monetizing video content.

Monetization Method #1: Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate advertising is one of the most common methods for turning your videos into dollar signs. There are tons of affiliate programs out there, but one of the most popular to setup is the Amazon Associates program.

Amazon isn’t the only game in town, there are tons of affiliate programs out there. Finding the right one for your brand and audience might take a bit of time, but you can always just plug into Google the name of the product you think would fit your audience well along with the word “affiliate”.

Monetization Method #2: Ad Revenue

Media sharing sites like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch all have opportunities for leveraging your community of viewers to make some cash off the ads they watch. YouTube and Twitch.tv both have live-streaming capabilities that allow you to charge monthly subscriptions to your audience to bring in some money outside of advertising as well.

YouTube’s requirements for joining its YouTube Partner Program have recently become a little more difficult to meet. Similarly, Twitch requires that you meet specific requirements to earn ad revenue and to get access to their subscription system.

Getting your viewership to the levels needed to make money this way can take some time.

Monetization Method #3: Crowdfunding

Asking your audience to chip in some money from time to time is a possible avenue for generating revenue from your video content. Services like Patreon are particularly popular as it is set up as a monthly payment for which you can create multiple tiers with special offers to entice your audience to break open their wallets for you.

There’s also Kickstarter which allows you to create a campaign to receive funding for specific projects such as creating a video that indisputably proves kidney beans are inferior to black beans once and for all.

Monetization Method #4: Create Your Own Network

Believe it or not, you can start your own Internet TV network and avoid expensive cable providers by going over-the-top (OTT). Launch your own Netflix-style service or get your channel on smart TVs, Roku, mobile devices, Apple TV, and more services across the globe.

Launching your own branded channel allows you to expand your audience beyond the limits of YouTube into the living rooms of new viewers. Going OTT opens up new monetization options:

A: Ad Injection

Automated ad injection uses AI to match relevant ad content to your channel’s audience. Since most of your audience is watching your content on their TV sets, you get paid more money per view. The more your audience grows, the more ad revenue you earn automatically.

B: Subscriptions

You can also monetize your videos by going the Netflix route and charging a monthly subscription for access to your growing collection of video content.

C: Pay Per View

If subscriptions aren’t your style, allow your audience to pay for your content one video at a time by using a pay-per-view monetization model.

D: All of the Above

Or you can even select the answer “D” and do all of the above. Going OTT gives you more control over your channel and its monetization.
See for yourself how it works by scheduling a live demo. We work hard to enable great video content creators like yourself to pocket the money your hard work deserves. Get in touch with us today to learn more.

Garrett Cunningham

7 Hot Tips For Marketing Your Roku Channel


Many channel publishers launch their channel on Roku and then leave it up to Roku to grow their channel. While that is perfectly fine for many – and Roku will grow your channel – for some they want a quicker approach.

Yes Channels will grow organically as the platform grows and more people find it; and yes EVERY channel will experience growth BUT it takes TIME. Roku is expected to hit 100 million active account by 2025, so as far as they eye can see – there is nothing but upward growth.

However there are many ways in which you can be proactive and scale your channel faster.

Here are a few strategies that can help:

  1. Advertise on Roku

Roku has an EXCELLENT platform for fast tracking your viewership. Its called “Roku Solutions for Publishers” . Roku allows channel owners to buy advertising to target viewers where it matters most.

A few key points:

  • Publishers can advertise to consumers when they are first setting up their devices.
  • Uniquely grow your audience by targeting display and video ads on consumers Roku device (very effective).
  • Promote your channel on Roku’s remote control app.

Roku has a self serve link – meaning that it works kind of like google ad-words. You can sign up and start buying ads on your own. You can get started or learn more by visiting Roku’s publisher solutions by clicking here.

2. Facebook

Facebook has hundreds of millions of users – more than any other social platform. Since most Roku viewers also have Facebook accounts it only makes since to interact with them there. Create a Facebook page just for your Roku channel. This will allow you to run Facebook campaigns directly for your Roku channel.

You can also post an occasional video – but be sure not to post to many – the whole concept is to get people to go to your Roku channel, and watch it there – not keep coming to your Roku Facebook page to watch it.

Try announcements like this:

“Check out our new video from XYZ exclusively on [your channel]”. Make sure you include your Roku Add Channel link.

OR

“We Just added 7 new videos to [your channel]! Come check it out …Only on ROKU”.

Make sure you keep your updates consistent and short and sweet. Recommend your page to as many as you can and open up communication with channel viewers. The more you interact the more viewers you will get.

3. Website

If your channel features interesting content that people use google to search for then you need to have a website for your channel. Using google people looking for that type of content will discover your website and ultimately your channel. Your website should have links to add your Roku channel to their Roku device. The more niche your channel is the more you really need a website. Plus there are so many opportunities using your website to grow a mailing list of viewers (which leads me to my next point).

4. Mailing List

Your mailing list can be a STRONG factor in growing your Roku channel. Keeping viewers informed of whats in your production pipeline or whats new on your channel is important. Keeping viewers informed of upcoming live events can keep viewers engaged. The more the viewers are engaged the more revenue your channel earns.

5. Phone Apps

If you have a Tvstartup account and have elected to get one of our iPhone or Android apps you can use these apps to promote your channel through “push notifications”. Every one of your viewers that has the app can get notified every time you decide to release a new video OR for whatever reason you deem fit. We have all at one time or another received push notifications on our mobile phone whatever the reason…News updates, sports scores, YouTube, weather reports, Amber Alerts and so forth. Why not use this to get more viewers engaged in your channel?

To learn more about our mobile apps for iPhone and Android click here.

7. YouTube

YouTube is not your competitor to Roku. Roku’s viewership is living room entertainment. YouTube’s viewership is mobile phone entertainment. When people want to watch movies or real professional content most of the time they do so on their living room TV sets. Lets face it there is no signs of large screen TV sales slowing down.

However Youtube can be a great place to promote your Roku channel. The key is not to release all of your content onto YouTube. You want your viewers to open your channel on Roku where you have a much better rate of return on your investment (YouTube SUCKS for monetizing videos).

The idea is to give them teasers on YouTube and send them to your Roku channel for the full list of content.

7. Roku Channel Guides

If you search for “Roku channel guide” you will get a list of third party companies that publish whats on Roku. Hundreds of thousands of Roku viewers use this as a resource to find out what on and when. You should publish your channel and channel content to these guides. Do not underestimate the amount of viewers these guides could bring your channel for FREE. If you have good content it will peak their interest and result in more viewers ……simply by just listing your channel in these guides. These guides will also allow you too publish your channel url so that viewers can easily add your channel to their Roku channel lineup.

Obviously these are not the only ways to promote your channel. However as technology grows so do the ways to promote your content grow. However this should give you a foundation of how to continuously drive more and more new viewers to your channel.

If your not a current customer and would like to get your own Roku channel, sign up for a live demo to see how our turn key packages work by clicking here.

TvStartup

Small Production Companies Take Advantage of Cord Cutting


Households around the country are cutting ties with cable and satellite TV. In fact its increasing faster than originally predicted. Experts are now saying that by the end of 2022 the number of cord cutting households will total more than a quarter of U.S. Households (according to a study done by eMarketer).

In 2019 over 22 million US households have already given up the traditional satellite and cable pay service making up of 17.3% of all U.S. Households according to the study. The number of cord-cutters is predicted to continually climb at a steady rate in the upcoming years. In fact by 2023 it is expected to reach 34.9 million households.

This may be bad news for pay and cable TV providers however its fantastic news if you are a small video production company. The opportunities provided to small broadcasters looking for an audience is like a “dream come true”.

Cord-cutters are not stooping or changing their viewing habits, but rather adapting to newer technologies. In other words they are still consuming video content, but they are finding new sources of video content that is more economical or more tailered to their exact viewing niche or interests.

There are also those that are we call generation Z (born after 1998) who will never pay a subscription fee to a cable or satellite operator because they were raised on online content. So the trend is set – Cable and satellite pay subscription will suffer a slow death, and online television will continue to rise.

Many small broadcasters and production companies are taking advantage of the cord cutting by maximizing the leverage that online TV brings. Never before in history has there been access to such large audiences for such a small investment. Its the best way to leverage production against large production and media conglomerates.

With companies like TvStartup a small production company or business can start their own online TV network for a fraction of the price it would of cost a decade ago. They give broadcasters the ability to broadcast live, create VOD experiences with categories similar to NetFlix, create playlists, schedule playlists and even simulcast to social media.

Verizon predicted the video tidal wave would begin in 2021 and last for several years. Smart broadcasters are positioning themselves to not only ride the wave but to cash in on it with technologies like ad injection. Ad injection is where advertisers can inject ads into your channel automatically through an algorithm. This allows broadcasters to automatically monetize their content library without selling advertising or needing a sales team.

If you would like to learn more you can schedule a live demo with a TvStartup Specialists by clicking here.

TvStartup

Busting Myths about Live Streaming an Event


Today live streaming is one of the luxuries we enjoy in a modern society and technology makes it easier than ever before due to the internet.

You may of heard that live streaming is expensive or that it might cause the attendance of your church to drop and several other rumors, however is it true?

With new Live streaming available today on Facebook and Periscope you need to understand the power of live streaming and how it can transform your live event.

Here are a few myths we busted when it comes to live streaming.

1) Only Livestream if its for a Large Event.

You do not have to be a media conglomerate to enjoy the benefits that live streaming bring to your event or church service. No matter the size of your event ( a small concert, business event, sermons, and more) you can increase its value through live streaming.

Livestreaming today increases the exposure of your event due to social media and the large online presence of viewers that now tune to the internet for video content. Especially if you have the ability to simultaneously broadcast to FaceBook, Periscope, and YouTube. This allows your followers and friends to check it out as well. Overall livestreaming can up the value of your small event significantly.

2) Livestreaming will decrease in person attendance

Why would someone attend in person if they can watch it online? This is the common fear that many have when it comes to streaming online. However the opposite is true. According to Digitell, 30% of the people that watch an online event will attend the even in person the next year. Enormous events like Coachella have actually seen this take place. It use to take them 3 days to sell out their event, but after they started livestreaming the previous years festival through YouTube it only took them 3 hours to sell out!!

3) Its Expensive and to Technical

This is a common fear that many have; that they will need a technical guru to get their live event streaming online. However with tools like TvStartup’s “Channel Manager” you have all the tools in one place with tech support to get you up quickly. Just one online toolbox and that’s all you need. You can be up and running for around a $100.

4) Nobody is Going to Watch

If you have any presence at all on social media, then it is highly unlikely that no one is going to watch. If you are consistent and are clear when you will be going live, social media is almost a guaranteed success to help you draw in an audience.

According to Facebook Live, users who watch live videos will watch 3 times as long and comment 10 times more than a recorded video. That is much more engagement than a standard post.

A few strategies to keep in mind to increase the amount of views is to give your viewers a behind the scene look for loyal fans, partner with others that have large followings in social media and invite them in as a special speaker, and include a Question and Answer series during the live broadcast to get more people involved.

5) When the Event is Over the Value of the Video drops

Whats fantastic about live video is that when its done you have a VOD to include on your Internet TV network and your social media pages. You can also re-purpose it for marketing and teaser videos.

A study done by Unruly showed that even a recorded video increased purchase intent by 97% and brand associate by more than 135%. Also it will help increase actual attendance of you next live broadcast.

Now that you understand that power of livestreaming its time that you learn how to do it. Sign up for our “Channel Manager” and get our online tool box to start your live broadcasts today. You can broadcast live (as well as simultaneously broadcast across social media) create and schedule playlist, automatically record your live broadcasts and more. To learn more click here.

TvStartup

5 Tips to Increase Your Networks Paid Subscriptions


The subscription model also known as the “Netflix” style business model is known as the most profitable business model when it comes to monetizing your online TV networks video content. If you take a look at companies like Netflix, Amazon and Spotify you can see where they are headed – millions and millions more subscribers to be added.

When you first start your network it can be a challenge to compete to add subscribers, however with our years of experience we can give you some tips that will speed things up for you.

  1. Understand the Importance of Free Trials                                                     

Understand that a chunk of your potential audience is undecided about trying your platform and offering a free trial is just the little nudge that they need to get them started. The hack that you need to use is to make sure they enter their credit card “before” the free trial begins so that making the transition from a free trial to a paid member is a smooth one (and they don’t bounce).

  1. Offer Bonus Content                                                                                

You have a better chance at keeping loyal subscribers if you can lure them in with some bonus content other than your standard subscription offer. Consumers love the idea that they are getting a great deal so use that to your advantage. Examples would be deleted scenes, bloopers, cast interviews and more. You can mix it up as well by offering bonus content with regular content at some discounted rate. The idea here is to make them feel special and that your viewers are getting more than just the standard deal.

  1. Cater to as Many Devices as Possible

There is a reason that Netflix and Amazon have an app on every device, because they want to make it easy for their customers to subscribe. The easier you make it the more subscribers you will have. If you only offer subscription to your online network or video library on the web then you are missing out on thousands of more subscribers. Roku, FireTV, iPhone app, Android app, Apple TV, Smart TV’s and more are all devices that people use on a daily basis to watch video content.

You have to understand that today the majority of consumers in the developed world have a smart TV or some connected TV device as well as a smart phone. If your not on their favorite device then you are not going to get the paying subscription.

  1. Price Accordingly

Its best to start off low and then raise prices gradually as your network grows. This will give you an idea of what people are watching on your platform and what they are not. Once you can identify popular content you can charge a premium or on a pay-per-view basis. For pay-per-view make sure you offer discounts for your subscribers and higher prices for non paying subscribers.

Make sure you keep checking what your competitors are doing and what they are charging their subscribers. This will give you a great idea of what the competition is doing and you don’t want to be to high or to low.

If you are doing international content then you want to price your subscription with locally pricing. For example in the US you can be $9.99 but in the UK or Europe you could be at 9.99 or  £ 9.99

In other words you do not need to convert to the currency, just price it locally for that market.

  1. Have a Great Analytic tool

Bringing in new subscribers is about understanding what your audience wants. You need great analytic to help you track what people are watching, who is watching it, when they are watching it and where people are watching it. With great analytic you can adjust your offers geographically or adjust pricing that fits better with certain age groups.

Conclusion:

Great content, great promotions, great analytic, great bonus content, a understanding of the local market, and making your channel availability across as many devices as possible all equal success in bringing in new subscribers.

You also need a partner that is well versed in the video world. T

his is exactly what we do at Tvstartup. Our core product is our “Channel Manager” and it has everything you need to run a successful subscription online video network (with great analytics). If you would like to get started check out our channel manager by clicking here.

TvStartup

Avoid Video Buffering with Adaptive Streaming


What is Adaptive streaming? Or more accurately “Adaptive Bit-rate”? Sometimes we are sorry when we ask technical questions because we get our ears filled with answers like “HLS, DASH, codecs” and things that might seem to technical for us to ponder. However in this article I am going to try to steer clear of technical terms as much as possible and instead explain the benefits Adaptive streaming and how it can benefit your OTT platform.

In a nut shell adaptive bit rate is technology designed to deliver the highest quality video to your viewers with the least amount of video load time or “buffering”.

However the best way to describe what adaptive streaming is, is probably to explain what adaptive bit rate is NOT. Namely progressive streaming.

What is Progressive streaming?

Progressive streaming is when your video files are delivered to your viewers all in the same resolution no matter what device they are using. The device has to stretch or squish the video to make it display properly on the device. However no matter what device is playing the video the video remains the same. In other words if the video is a 720p at bit rate of 4Mbps no matter what device is playing it and no matter what internet connection speed your viewers has, the video remains the same.

As you can see from the picture above that the video file remains the same through the journey from the servers to your viewers.

Why progressive streaming is a problem

There are two main problems with this type of streaming. The first is video quality. A video that is 1280 by 720 will never display correctly on a screen meant for 1920 by 1080. It will be stretched to fit the screen and you will see some pixelation.

The next problem is video buffering and this is the main concern because when a video buffers viewers tune out. With progressive streaming nothing can be done to stop the buffering if the connection speed of the viewer is not fast enough to view the video. The video player will keep pausing as it tries to receive the data quick enough to display the video. This is a very common scenario.

How Adaptive Solves the Problem

Adaptive solves both problems of quality and buffering. When our CDN deploys adaptive bitrate it does so by creating a different resolution of video for each screen size. You can see from the diagram below the different videos created. In this scenario adaptive bitrate is configured with four outputs (1080,720,480,and 250)

In this example you can see video resolution is matched to screen size but when a drop in internet speed is detected adaptive bit rate will then send a lower resolution which also is a lower bitrate.

As you can see to avoid buffering a lower resolution is sent to the viewer when our servers detect a drop in internet speed.

However the real power of adaptive bit rate is that it “adapts”. Meaning that if the connection speed is to improve again it will then send to the viewer a video stream of higher resolution. This ensures that your viewer always has the best quality video with the least amount or zero buffering. In other words it always adapting to the viewers environment to ensure they can continue watching the best quality video their connection speed can handle.

If you would like to add adaptive bitrate to your Internet TV network or OTT platform you can do so from your “channel manager” account. If you do not have an account with us yet you can learn more about how to start your own OTT platform or network using ourChannel Manager” by clicking here.

TvStartup

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.

TvStartup

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.

 

TvStartup

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.

TvStartup

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.

TvStartup

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.

TvStartup

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”.

TvStartup

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.

TvStartup

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.

TvStartup

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:

Pros:

  • 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.

Cons:

  • 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

Pros

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

Cons:

  • 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

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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.

TvStartup

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.

TvStartup

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?

When it comes to licensing video content the holly 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 a company that specializes in Rights clearances (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.

On the other hand creative commons license 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 Repositories:

https://creativecommons.org

http://www.openculture.com/free-documentaries-online

http://freedocumentaries.org

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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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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