How Do Video on Demand Sites Get Their Content?

How Do Video on Demand Sites Get Their Content?

Curating content for users is a complex task. It involves continual collaborations with content providers, analytics to assess your content traction and being ahead of the content curve. In the Over the Counter (OTC) race, first-mover advantage is everything.

If you’re looking for ways to source content for a Video on Demand (VOD) site of your own, you’ve reached the right place. With this handy little guide, you can sketch out a scientific content strategy that will help you curate your offerings by making sure they are relevant. If you are a first-time entrepreneur and are yet to finalise your technology, consider opting for a turnkey framework that will allow you to get going with your business within a few days. Opting for a ready framework is far less expensive than building your own technology, and you’ll save so much more time. Consider something like Streamhash, an impressive turnkey technology being used by numerous video tech startups today.

Once you’ve finalised your technology, on to content curation:

Create Content Partnerships & Licensing:

Regardless of whether you’re looking to charge a fixed member subscription, feature advertisements to monetise your platform, or offer differentiated packages for various segments, your content must be worth the price. Subscribers seek new content all the time, and as a broadcaster, you need to be on your toes, negotiating deals with content providers.

How Does Licensing Work?

So, how does licensing work? As far as VOD goes, licensing involves two parties; you (the broadcaster) and the content provider. The agreement that you chalk out will essentially give you permission to stream the movie, TV show or documentary of the content owner on your platform. It will be legally binding, and its terms could change with every renewal, as your relationship with the content provider evolves.

Let’s take an example to make this clearer. Say that you are seeking a TV show from an owner. The owner may give you permission to broadcast the entire show on your platform for one, two, three or even more years. And perhaps, when the agreement ends, the contract will be renewed if you and the owner find the proposition lucrative. Sometimes, content owners sign contracts for the same content with multiple VOD services. These are known as nonexclusive agreements, and are far less expensive than exclusive ones.

How Important is Exclusivity?

As the VOD market sees a plethora of players trying to get their foot in the game, content exclusivity has become a primary differentiator amongst content providers. An exclusive content agreement between a content owner and broadcaster may be fixed for a specific number of years, or in perpetuity, depending on the nature of the content. These are massive investments, and done after a huge amount of thought. That said, exclusive content can draw a larger number of subscribers to your platform in the long run.

Use Data Analytics:

If you want to become big in the game, you must invest in analytics. Of course, basic analytics come built-in with technology frameworks like Streamhash, but consider using advanced analytical tools as you scale your business. Here’s why. Content is expensive to procure, more so if it is exclusive to your platform. That’s why it is important to know what your users will like.

How Netflix Has Mastered Data Analytics:

Let’s talk about Netflix here before we go on any further. Netflix has set one of the best examples in data mining and analytics for content procurement. It has myriad trackers in place to gauge a user’s behaviour. If you’re watching Fuller House, for example, Netflix can place a finger on the number of episodes you’ve watched, where in the last episode you paused and how long you took to move on to the next episode. By drawing behavioural trends amongst users, they gauge overall engagement, and use this data to help them decide whether they should renew a show for a new season, invest in a brand-new show that is built for a similar segment or move away from the user segment entirely.

Netflix, And The House of Cards

In 2011, made an unprecedented move in the content space. It beat premium television networks like HBO and AMC to clinch two seasons, with thirteen episodes each, of The House of Cards. The deal was worth over $100 million. Steep? Of course, but Netflix knew what it was taking on.

The company had considered a few things before inking the deal. Firstly, it knew that many viewers had watched the movie, The Social Network, right through to the end. Secondly, it knew that the British version of The House of Cards had been lapped by audiences. And finally, Netflix had drawn a link between common users who had watched the British version, and who had also watched movies featuring Kevin Spacey, or those directed by David Fincher. It was almost like a digital Venn diagram that Netflix had captured, housing a certain volume of users in each circle.

Once the agreement was formalised, Netflix employed a phenomenal promotional strategy. It crafted 10 different cuts of the trailer for The House of Cards, each tailored for a different audience. Viewers whose consumption included many Kevin Spacey movies saw a trailer that included him, viewers who watched movies centred on women, were given a trailer featuring women. The show brought in 3 million new subscribers to Netflix, almost enough to cover the total cost of the show. Plus, it significantly improved the retention rate of existing users.

Outplay Television

VOD is today, what television was ten years ago. Users favour on-demand consumption. Today, you don’t have users hurrying home from work in time to catch a movie premiere. It doesn’t happen. We spoke about how Netflix outbid HBO and AMC for The House of Cards earlier. Yet, that was just one example. The company also picked up exclusive rights for Fuller House back in 2016. In world markets, VOD players are bidding to showcase movie premieres on their platforms before television networks. So, the potential of VOD extends across television and film.

In 2016, Disney signed an exclusivity deal with Netflix, allowing the latter to broadcast all its latest movies on its platform. Fresh Disney content was withheld from television and rival VOD players such as Amazon Prime and Hulu.

The advantage with VOD is that it also offers a more premium experience than television, with its custom-targeted ads and fluidity across devices. Picking a technology like Streamhash can help you tweak the appearance of your site through an admin panel and built-in customisation features.

Pick a Content Collaboration Format

Your monetisation model may not be a replica of Netflix’s model. Perhaps you plan on charging customers per offering, or provide packages with varied offerings in each. If your revenue model is skewed towards an à la carte proposition, it would make better sense to enter a revenue sharing deal with a content provider. On the other hand, if you are thinking of offering standard packages like Netflix, a fixed license fee could work well. Here are three types of content licensing deals you could consider:

  1. Fixed License Fee: Here, you, as a broadcaster, pay a fixed sum for an agreed tenure and geography. The success of the content is irrelevant to the content provider, and it is up to you to recover the investment through sales.
  2. Revenue Share: In this case, you and the content owner split a percentage of the revenue received from content sales on your platform.
  3. Minimum Guarantee with Revenue Share: This is like a revenue share model, but you, as a broadcaster, must promise to pay a minimum fee to content owners even before revenue starts rolling in. If your platform exceeds a predetermined expectation, you pay the excess money collected to the content owner. This model is extremely popular.

Create Your Own Content

Both Netflix and Amazon Prime have created their own original content to lure viewers onto their platforms. Netflix has created popular shows like Fuller House and The Ranch, and Amazon Prime has been recognized for its original series, including Mozart in the Jungle and Red Oaks. Creating original content is more cost-effective than procuring resale content from content owners. You also have the added advantage of applying data mining tools to create content suited to your audiences. As a content creator, you have tighter control over your offerings.

An effective content strategy can catapult your platform to the big league. Leverage content partnerships to get you there.

How Can I Make an Affordable, Yet Scalable Video Streaming Website?

How Can I Make an Affordable, Yet Scalable Video Streaming Website?

So, you’ve decided that this is the year. This year, you’re going to listen to the little voice in your head telling you to take the plunge, to ride the video streaming wave. And why not? With the whole world online, there’s a tremendous market spread across the globe, waiting to lap up all sorts of video content. Contrary to popular belief, setting up your own video streaming website isn’t complicated; it’s actually quite simple. And we’re here to tell you how.

When you build a video streaming site, the first thing that will cross your mind will probably be to build it yourself. And while this is a possibility, most often, it isn’t very feasible. The investment involved in creating your own framework is astronomical and piecing together a tech team isn’t easy. Researching frameworks and building a site from scratch can be complicated and cumbersome, and if you’re not savvy for technology, it may also prove to be rather mundane. While you’re evaluating the way forward, it’s worth considering three key factors: the technology you’re employing, the scalability of your architecture and the kind of streaming solution you’re using. The good news is that someone has already done it for you, by building a turnkey product that can be set up in less than 2 hours.

Meet Streamhash, an avant-garde technology that allows you to build your streaming site on a turnkey framework. Built exclusively for entrepreneurs looking to penetrate the video streaming niche, Streamhash is ideal if you are working on a budget and a timeline. It saves you the time and the trouble of hiring and training developers and coaching designers. Plus, you get an instant tube site clone for one-fifth the price, which can lower your launch costs 100-fold. Budget and timeline, check and check. As for Streamhash’s business model? Well, it channels its time, expertise and capital into effectively developing a world-class turnkey product and then sells its license to various domains.

With Streamhash, you’ll discover a plethora of unique features that allow your website to stand apart. Take the responsive design, for instance. The Streamhash web platform and its admin dashboard provide an immersive experience, suitable across devices and screen sizes. Essentially, one size design fits all. The fluidity of the design means that a user gets a visually optimised experience whether he is using his desktop, his tablet or his mobile.

It’s also worth browsing through Streamhash’s vault of thoughtfully designed themes. Most often, they can transform the appearance of your app, in just a click. There are myriad other features, such as an inbuilt SEO-optimisation feature, a purposeful admin panel, and an array of ways in which you can upload a video on to your site. In addition, there are two designated servers for your site: a Nginx one for video streaming, and an Apache one for web pages.

When you use Streamhash, you’ll find that the feature that stands out the most, is most certainly, its script. Its superior turnkey video sharing script allows you to organise videos under a variety of categories quickly and easily.

When it comes to live streaming, Real Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP) technology has been a popular choice amongst streamers for years now. RTMP is a free, open source extension module for the Nginx web server whose functionality supports both live streaming and video on demand. It’s also a technology that Streamhash rests on. There are other technologies in the market that can offer you a similar proposition, such as Wowza Streaming Engine, Adobe Flash Media Server and Red5 Streaming Server, but they are far, far more expensive. RTMP is a versatile, cost-effective platform employed by several technology bigwigs. Look at Facebook. In December 2015, the company started using RTMP playback to lower the latency during live broadcasts, and the format has picked up momentum since then.

Most live streaming protocols aside from RTMP deliver a higher latency, and if the bandwidth speed or internet quality of your audience is predominantly low, your content will not flow through as it should. Also, with a lower latency, you can communicate with your audience in real-time. Interestingly, the use of RTMP is not always limited to live to stream. It is also employed for regular video streaming, where it enables media to be played with minimal buffering. RTMP is unique because it does not download any video packets except at the time of streaming, and so there is no buffering of content unlike with a progressive media player. The bit rate can be dynamically determined to optimise user experience over the available network.

You’re probably wondering whether you’ll burn a hole in your pocket by beginning your entrepreneurial adventure. It all sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? The truth is, it doesn’t. If you were to plough cash into building your own site, you’d spend roughly $10,000 and several months in getting it started. You’d invest about $500 in planning, $1,000 in the sitemap and wireframes, $2,000 in the visual design, $3,000 in programming, $500 in content support and $500 in client documentation. You’d spend another $1,000 in testing and launching the product. And if you were to outsource the project to someone else, you’d likely pay another $2,000 in fees before you finally breathed a sigh of relief.

Streamhash leverages economies of scale by enabling an infinite number of tube site clones with a common, exceptionally written source code. With a web platform and a mobile app interface for Android and iOS and inbuilt themes, the turnkey framework, along with 100% of its source code is bundled and made available at an affordable price; one that will leave you with enough funds to invest in what’s important: growing your budding platform.

Streamhash is composed of passionate technology mavens who are enthusiastic about growing the video streaming community. If you’re considering starting your own video streaming site, give Streamhash a go.

Go ahead; this year belongs to you.