Expert Insights on Hybrid Video Monetization: Drive D2C Growth

By John Yacano on October 06, 2022

This month, Zype hosted a webinar diving into the latest trends when it comes to delivering content across platforms, how businesses are presenting new content channels, and how hybrid monetization is becoming a primary methodology in content delivery. We called the webinar “Supercharge D2C Growth with Hybrid Monetization” because of the sheer number of video businesses moving to multi-tiered monetization strategies and how important that kind of strategy will be for everyone in the industry going forward.

We at Zype understand how competitive and fast-moving the streaming and video business can be and wanted to help content creators and presenters keep abreast of the latest trends and where it’s heading.

To that end, we invited Colin Dixon, founder and chief analyst at nScreenMedia, to moderate a panel made of long-term industry professionals, including Elana Sofko, chief strategy officer with Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment; Adam Ware, senior vice president for the Growth Networks Group at Sinclair Broadcast Group; Chris Bray, vice president of Product here at Zype; and Shikha Arora, executive vice president of Engineering, also here at Zype.

Head over to this on-demand webinar now to view the full discussion. Read on for an overview of what our panelists had to say about the path forward for hybrid monetization of your video content.

The New Landscape Lends Itself to Hybridization

How viewers engage with video content has rapidly changed over the last five years. Many viewers have left traditional viewing options for a wide range of alternative options, such as FAST channels (free ad-supported streaming TV), AVOD (ad-supported video on demand), SVOD (subscription-based video on demand), TVOD (transaction-based video on demand) or other “digital multicast” platforms. In response, Ware said there’s “more and more creation occurring with alternative channel opportunities that are affordable to a viewer.” 

But, according to Sofko, this doesn’t mean on-demand has overtaken a traditional “lean back” experience where “what’s on is on.” 

“I think there’s a market for both, apart from that nice wallpaper and background experience,” Sofko said. “In many ways, it becomes a barker channel for what you have that can be done on demand, adjacent to it where you can click in and really focus on that material.”

In other words, the future doesn’t look like an either-or experience for viewers; instead, viewers will inevitably embrace both on-demand and traditional linear experiences. For brands—whether a television network, content creator, or even a product-based company—Ware said that means the question becomes: “How does [my brand] exist equally across all of these platforms?”

Transactional Video on Demand (TVOD): Is It Still Worth It?

As Dixon pointed out, TVOD growth has slowed significantly over the past three years. During the webinar, he put the question to our panelists as a rapid-fire topic: “Is TVOD still a worthwhile opportunity?” Sofko thought so. “One of the reasons for the stagnation in growth has to do with the limited number of major movie studio releases that occurred during the pandemic,” she said. “I do expect fully to see a lot more in that space.”

Arora agreed: “The market is very different here. Exploring TVOD and building your fanbase and brand identity goes hand in hand.” 

As our panelists saw it, TVOD is one monetization option that still holds potential value as part of a larger strategy of multiple monetization options.

“Lots of companies feel a need to focus on a particular model, and our answer to that is, ‘Don’t,’” Bray said. “You employ all strategies simultaneously, and then put your resources where you’re getting the most bang for your buck.”

Best New Opportunities to Improve Your Monetization

Our panelists agreed: Hybrid monetization is where it’s at and where it’s going for video content distributors. 

Arora advised starting with FAST “as fast as you can” to grow a user base, then moving into other monetization models. This is how Sofko and Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment recently approached, launching a brand FAST channel ahead of a corresponding app. The company’s FAST channel launch quickly utilized its existing catalog to build a new viewer base, which will lead to a deeper experience for fans when the app launches.

Bray recommended picking a great platform and utilizing its full toolset to expose new value in your content. 

“There’s a lot of hidden value in content because people simply have not used the tools to the extent that they can be,” he said.

Ware agreed and added a simple, all-encompassing notion that every brand should pay close attention to: “Really know what audience you’re trying to serve. If you can nail that down, it becomes quite clear how you should distribute your content [and] further reinforce your relationship with viewers.”

Finally, Sofko echoed our other panelists and reminded brands to keep “costs as low and reasonable as you can”—solid advice from some of the top minds in broadcast and streaming monetization today.

To watch the full discussion where our panelists talk more in-depth about hybrid monetization, utilizing new data sources, privacy, and how viewers relate to ads, check out the on-demand webinar, “Supercharge D2C Growth with Hybrid Monetization.” To learn even more about monetization, check out our complete guide.

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