6 Money-Making Lessons from Ooyala for Your Online Videos

/ Oct 22, 2014

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Ooyala’s recent white paper, “Five Steps to a Profitable Video Strategy,” covers a lot of tried-and true-advice when it comes to making money in the online video space.

That being said, there are always new lessons to learn when it comes to the increasingly popular world of digital entertainment. We’ve picked out a few of them from the white paper to share.

1. More Pre-Roll Ads Won’t Always Deter Your Audience

If one pre-roll ad will push potential viewers away from your video, you’d think two would be a definitive turn-off. As it turns out, this is not necessarily the case. Ooyala looked at a certain customer’s engagement and found that while 7% of viewers gave up on a video at pre-roll ad number one, those that made it through a first ad were more likely to stick around for the subsequent video. Of those audience members, only 1.5% dropped off during ad number two. Perhaps they figured they’d stuck around for that long, they might as well wait it out for the feature content.

2. Spikes Will Tell You Everything

Always check for spikes in viewing, whether you’re looking at time of day, type of video, or length of video. Viewing often peaks during the evening, when people are home from work and perusing the net for fun. Thus, uploading fresh videos in time for dinner might be a good strategy. In terms of video length, do viewers often drop off after minute 1:32? Keep your videos under a minute and a half long.

3. There’s a Simple Way to Up Your Video Play by 35%, Apparently

Why 35%? Ooyala notes that getting your videos to the right audience accounts for just that much of a video play increase. To make sure you’re reaching your target demographic, consider how viewers have discovered (and meaningfully engaged with) your videos in the past. If it’s because you’ve featured it on your site/channel for a certain length of time, keep doing that with new videos as they come out. If it’s through a specific digital influencer who has discovered a certain video of yours, tweet at that influencer when you come out with more relevant content.

4. Pay Model Correlates Directly to Viewership

Who’s watching your videos? A bunch of teenagers or some white-collar adults? If it’s the former, for example, you might want to go with ads to gain revenue, as most teenagers won’t pay to watch something online (unless their parents are the type to have paid digital video subscriptions). If your content is of the “premium” variety and focuses on more adult themes, your audience may be willing to forge through the paywall or shell out monthly fees for a subscription to your content.

5. Longer Content Is Totally Viable Online

Thought the internet was home to just cat videos (old joke?) and two-minute fail compilations? Now that more homes have connected TVs (and less homes pay for cable) than ever before, long-form content has found a comfortable home on the web. People also treat their laptops like TV screens, so they won’t necessarily shy away from your 30-minute video, as long as the content is good and appropriate to the lengthier format.

6. The Internet Still Means Creative Freedom

In other words, just because you’ve entered into the long-form content zone, doesn’t mean you can’t also populate your site/channel with the short stuff, too. One big advantage of a web series is that you can have one episode that runs for 20 minutes while the next lasts half as long — content rules over, well, rules.

This means your revenue options are correspondingly flexible. Just because you use a paywall for your longer content or your video series, doesn’t mean you can’t slap a pre-roll ad on your short videos (because who’s going to pay for under three minutes of content?).

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