Video Monetization Via Pay Per View - Ooyala Interview

I Interviewed Bismarck Lepe, Founder and President of Products for the online video platform Ooyala, about how their solution also allows content providers to make money from their "premium" video content via subscription models and pay-per-video (PPV) models – or what I refer to as, "video for sale.”

I caught up with Bismark after his session at the recent Streaming Media West / Online Video Platform Summit in San Jose, California, where he was speaking on the panel, Defining Online Video Platforms.

As the session preview stated, "There have never been more people publishing online video, and there have never been more online video platform solutions on the market. But with so many choices, it can be confusing to decide what services are right for your online video initiatives.”

Models for Monetizing Online Video

Most often, your online video initiatives will involve revenue generation, and fall somewhere along any of these three revenue models:

  1. Monetization through ad-supported video.
  2. Monetization through video promoting products & services, and;
  3. Monetization through video as the purchased content

Typically most online video platforms (OVPs) are built around the first 2 revenue models. However, the first model typically doesn't work well if your video isn't generating huge amounts of traffic from an audience with a demographic (and purchasing behavior) targeted by key advertisers. The second model is most often used by direct marketers, but typically is meant for either a direct selling mechanism, or for generating buzz through search and social media. So what if you have premium video content (say either a high-quality event, or exclusive information or expertise), that you believe an audience would pay money for? Maybe you have enough content that you can dole out regularly, and get more money regularly from? That's where the 3rd revenue model, monetization through video as the purchased content, comes in.

Ooyala's Support for Subscription/PPV Models

So the question from that is, where do you find an OVP which can support the 3rd revenue model? Well according to Bismark, Ooyala already has it. Yes, we're learning that the Ooyala OVP is already being used by publishers for selling the actual video content itself to their customers.

"We obviously support advertising models. We plug into a number of 3rd party ad networks and ad servers. And coming out of Google, advertising is core to what we do." Says Bismark. "But the reality is that if content providers realize want to maximize the value of what they get from their content, then they also need to look and subscription models and pay-per-stream (aka, pay-per-view) models.”

How is this already being achieved? According to Bismark, a number of their sports content providers are actually using pay-per-stream as a way of monetizing their content. Broadcasters are also starting to look at "authentication systems" on they Ooyala platform. The system is supposed that will allow them to authenticate a user and give that user a steady stream of content throughout their subscription period, be it monthly, annually, etc.

How to Work with a Video-for-Sale Revenue Model

I asked Bismark what recommendations he had for companies that are looking for an OVP that can integrate with a pay-per-stream or subscription model.

"For us [at Ooyala], its about giving us the mezzanine file – i.e., the highest quality file that you have. Then our transcoding engine figures out when, where and how to encode it, to make sure it delivers the best possible for the consumer, independent of the device. It can be on your computer, your TV set, your mobile device; it can be across many different browsers.”

The ReelSEO Ooyala Adventure

It has been some time since we took a deep dive into Ooyala, but as you know, we started off using the Ooyala platform to power our videos. Ooyala has generously offered an extended professional trial account to ReelSEO, and we look forward to trying out and testing the "video-for-sale" features in the weeks to come, where we will report back to you our findings. Stay tuned!

About the Author -
Grant Crowell View All Posts By -

What do you think? ▼
  • http://www.mattkoval.com/ Matt Koval

    Great article, Grant. I'm really looking forward to hearing how #3 will work, and especially curious to know if it will involve a pay per download function. If a customer buys a video, I think they should have the option of downloading it to their computer and really "own" it. That would be great - especially since iTunes won't let indie producers sell video on their platform.

    • http://www.thesailingchannel.tv TheSailingChannel

      I agree with Matt. As a niche producer of professional sailing video content, TheSailingChannel.TV's primary monitetization model is pay-to-dowoad. We use a special PHP cart that connects with Paypal IPN to provide the customer with download file access. Our current OVP does not provide a pay-to-own or pay-to-view option. We are considering offering pay-to-view as an option using similar PHP IPN software. The question here is balancing viewing price with bandwidth and storage costs to make a reasonable return. We've been in the iTunes store as a free video podcast since the beginning. It would be great if Apple would finally let small independent producers participate in the iTunes Store marketplace. Its failure to do that is one of the most undemocratic actions taken by a trend setter on the Internet. That said, we applaud Ooyala for integrating pay-for-view and subscription, and encourage them to add pay-to-own (download) into their OVP.