How to make money without being on YouTube


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How to make money without being on YouTube

How to make money without being on YouTube

Want to monetise your videos, but don't know where to start?

Don't worry, you're not alone.

Since you're here, you probably already know that the video industry is booming. Users want more and more content, so it's a good time to turn your creations into money.

But there's got to be a better way than uploading a video to YouTube and doing what YouTubers do to make money, right?


In 2021, there are different ways to run a video business that are much more profitable and user-friendly than YouTube. These options allow you to control your content and earn the money you deserve.

In this article, we'll show you what video monetisation is, the 3 business models you can choose from and give you a practical strategy to turn your videos into money.

Qué aprenderás:

  • What is video monetisation?
  • How to monetise videos: 3 profitable business models for selling videos online.
  • Why YouTube is not always the best option
  • Which videos can be monetised?
  • How to monetise online videos in 3 steps

1What is video monetisation?

Video monetisation is the process of generating revenue from the videos you share online from any platform. This is usually achieved through advertising, subscriptions or direct transactions.

In simpler terms ... Video monetisation is getting paid for the videos you create.

You can do this in a number of different ways, which we will explore later, but the main way in which you get paid is through "access" This can be:

  • Access your video content.
  • Access your audience.
  • Access your platform.

This means that people will pay you to watch your videos or to convey a message to your audience.

Let's look at some everyday examples of this that you might be familiar with:

  • Access to video content: purchase of a new movie release on Amazon Prime Video.
  • Audience access: Companies paying for advertising space on YouTube videos.
  • Platform access: Your monthly subscription to Netflix to "access" their catalogue of series.

Which brings me directly to your videos.

To monetise your content, you'll need to plan your video strategy accordingly. Which, fortunately for you and me, is very easy to do in today's video-on-demand world.

23 profitable monetisation models for selling videos online

You have three content monetisation options to choose from. All of these business models are centred on an idea called Video on Demand (VOD).

VOD means that the user can access a video anywhere, anytime. There is no need to consult the TV guide or wait for a programme to be broadcast. It is there at the push of a button.

Depending on the monetisation method you choose, you will get a different return on your investment.

SVOD: Subscription video on demand

SVOD gives users access to your entire library of video content for a recurring monthly or annual fee.

You will be familiar with this if you have a Netflix subscription. You pay monthly to watch series from their catalogue and when you stop paying, you lose access.

Users love subscription services because they get the best bang for their buck. These plans allow them to watch all the video content they want with one easy recurring payment (and no annoying video ads).

This is the most cost-effective way to make money from your videos Why?

When subscribers are happy with your service, they want to keep paying for it. Therefore, each one becomes a source of income.

That makes it your best bet for long-term financial success.

  • Regular subscription income over time

This is how subscription revenues accrue:

Let's say you charge €15 for a monthly subscription service. If 20 people sign up, you will have earned €300 that month for accessing all your videos.

But SVOD revenue accumulates over time, so you continue to earn money whether you add new content or not.

For example:

  • Month 1: Earn €300 with 20 subscribers to your video catalogue.
  • Month 2: The 20 subscribers keep paying, so you have earned another €300. Your total profit is €600.
  • Month 3: With the third month of regular subscription income, you have now earned €900 from the same video catalogue.

That's not counting revenue from new subscribers - and that's not counting new subscribers who sign up for annual subscriptions in advance!

Over time, as more people sign up, you will earn more money for your videos. And this revenue is consistent and recurring.

  • Subscription revenue is more reliable than advertising revenue

The main problem with advertising revenue is that you have no control over it. If an advertiser decides to cut their budget or run fewer ads on your site, your revenue will be drastically reduced and you can't do anything about it.

On the other hand, running your own subscription service means that you know exactly how and where your money is coming from at all times.

Best of all, when you have predictable recurring revenue, you can set up a financial plan and set real growth targets to increase your earnings.

TVOD: video-on-demand transactions

In the TVOD model, individuals make a one-time payment to watch a video.

Companies can choose to allow viewers to purchase lifetime access or temporary access to content. For example, if you have ever purchased:

  • An AppleTV subscription to watch your favourite show
  • A sporting event on Showtime 

... you have used TVOD

You can create accounts and access the platform for free (or cheaply) and then pay only for the videos you choose to watch.

Transactional video is a very profitable business model for the right niche. It works especially well if your videos are not niche-specific and cover a wide variety of topics and sectors.

TVOD can also help content creators increase their profits by selling access to special content, such as live streaming events, in addition to regular subscriptions.

AVOD: Video advertising on demand

AVOD is where advertisers pay to put their ads in front of your audience. This is the classic method that YouTube relies on.

When you watch a YouTube video, you will often have an advertisement at the beginning or somewhere within the content. For example, a 30-second insurance ad appears at various intervals during the video.

The more people view or interact with the ads in your videos, the more profitable they will be. In this scenario, those with a larger follower base have the potential to make a lot of money.

But video creators do not always get a good return on investment. YouTube's advertising revenues are declining and it is becoming increasingly difficult to make a living using ad-based services.

AVOD is fairly easy and inexpensive to set up. In addition, platforms like YouTube with millions of daily viewers give you the opportunity to build an audience. Depending on your business goals, it could work for you!

Okay, so it sounds like you're already familiar with the big monetisation methods. But what makes YouTube less attractive now for content creators? 

3Why YouTube isn't always the best option ...

There is no doubt that YouTube is the giant of the video industry. It has arguably helped change and shape the role of video in our lives, forever. But it's a tough place to monetise your videos. Why?

Because YouTube is very competitive. Everyone who has ever wanted to be Internet famous or run an AVOD video business is trying their luck there. So, there's a lot of noise.

That's why 96.5% of YouTube users don't make enough money to make a living from their channel. It's like trying to compete in the Pro Football League or the Olympics; only a few make it.

Even if you make a breakthrough, you're not in control of your income. It is dictated by:

  • Content guidelines for advertisers.
  • Viewer statistics.
  • YouTube's ever-changing monetisation rules and eligibility.

This gives advertisers and YouTube the power to cancel sponsorships and completely demonetise your channel, eliminating your entire revenue stream overnight. Their terms of service even include a vague explanation of how they reserve the right to distribute your videos without paying you for them.

There are content guidelines for any video business. However, YouTube answers to advertisers, so their ultra-strict content guidelines don't provide much security for creators. That's why at PLAYBAK we're big advocates of the SVOD and TVOD model: it's all under your control.

To give you a better idea of how this works, we'll explain the basics of content guidelines and how YouTube's rules compare to those of other hosting platforms.

4Which videos can be monetised?

Like any other business, video monetisation comes with some general rules.

Here, we'll explain the basic details of what content you can actually make money with in your video business and some things to watch out for.

General content monetisation guidelines

Monetising your videos means knowing the overall content guidelines (or the rules about what you can and can't use for profit in your content)

  • Copyright ownership

Your videos must be original and your own intellectual property; this means that you may not plagiarise other content or broadcast other content for profit (such as films or television programmes)

  • Adult content

Erotic adult themes are generally against the rules of most companies and payment gateways. Some companies evaluate this content on a case-by-case basis, but if it has no educational value, most companies will not allow it.

  • Controversial issues

This is a fairly broad category that includes topics such as hate speech, self-harm, promotion of illegal activities, etc. A good rule of thumb is: if you can't talk about it in a bar, it probably won't work on a video website either.

For many independent hosting platforms, the rules are simple. Each video hosting platform has its own rules, so it's important to check the platforms individually on anything you're unsure about.

But on YouTube specifically, they can be vague, confusing and not focused on helping you monetise your videos.

YouTube-specific monetisation rules

YouTube's monetisation rules include everything listed above in the General Content Monetisation Guidelines, plus the following:

  • Extensive list of possible infringements

YouTube's extensive list of AdSense content guidelines includes tons of potential violations. For example, "repetitive content", which they define as "meaningless content with little educational value, commentary or narrative".

This judgement of content is really subjective. It also gives YouTube (and advertisers) total control over your revenue.

  • Demonetisation without explanation

YouTube reserves the right to demonetise, suspend or even close channels without explanation if they feel you have violated community standards.

This leaves content creators with no income and no idea what happened. It also makes the appeals process especially difficult if there has been a mistake.

  • Content may be marked incorrectly

Anyone can report a video as a violation of YouTube's content guidelines. Some creators have been victims of fraudulent reports, resulting in the demonetisation of their channels. There is little protection for content creators (and their revenue streams)

At PLAYBAK we give video creators the tools they need to earn the money they deserve for the art they create.

Unfortunately, that won't happen on YouTube. Which brings us to an important question...

How can you create a video business from where you are now?

We'll show you!

5How to monetise online video content in 3 steps

I promised to give you a practical non-YouTube video monetisation strategy for selling your videos online, and now I'm going to do it.

The following 3 steps will help you create a successful and profitable online video business.

  • Create your own online video-on-demand (VOD) platform

The first step is to create a video on demand platform, your independent space to monetise videos.

This is your reserved place on the Internet where users can come to find your videos and access them. Ideally, this will be a VOD-optimised website where people can easily access your content from any device.

Having this space will allow you to:

    • Set your prices.
    • Maintain creative control of your videos.
    • Stay flexible and adjust your strategy according to the needs of your audience.

Basically, you have total freedom over your website.

We recommend using the PLAYBAK platform. You can create your custom website, upload your videos, set your prices and manage everything from one easy-to-use control panel.

A professional platform helps your business get up and running and start monetising videos immediately.

  • Create a subscription offer

The best way to monetise your videos at the moment is the SVOD model. This is because subscriptions provide consistent revenue as well as allowing creators to scale their business.

Below, I'll show you how subscriptions generate more revenue over time for the same amount of work:

Continue to make money from your existing videos. Every SVOD user signs up to watch your library of pre-recorded videos, which means you can generate unlimited revenue from the work you've already done.

Create new videos at your own pace. Since your library generates revenue on its own, you can build your catalogue on a schedule that suits you.

This type of monthly subscription income is passive and consistent. 

The more subscribers you have, the bigger the snowball! But even with just a few people paying a regular fee, you can still generate a lot of income.

Finally, developing a subscription service allows you full control over your pricing.

In order to choose the price, you can evaluate several factors, such as:

    • What is your financial target?
    • What is the average cost of other services in your sector?
    • Are you marketing to a broad audience or a smaller niche?
    • How much does the same thing cost in competition? (In other words, will your customers save money by choosing you?)

You can keep your rates low and affordable, or you can charge a higher offer. However, most subscriptions range from €9.99 to €19.99 per month. Once your subscription plan is in place, you'll be able to do what you love most: create content.

In brief....

Video monetisation is the process of getting paid for the videos you create. And its reach extends far beyond YouTube.

The most effective way to do this is to create an SVOD service. These subscription videos allow you to control and grow your revenue in your own way and develop a strong community around your videos.

So where can you go from here? Well, it depends on how you feel:

If you're already sold on the idea and want to get started, you can sign up for the PLAYBAK BETA version. Today is the time, it's totally free and it will allow you to REVOLUTIONIZE your business by becoming a #Playbaker.

Be one of the first 50 lucky ones to try it for free before it launches 🎉

If you have a specific question that has not been answered in this article, let us know. We'll be happy to help.

Frequently asked questions

What does it mean when a video is monetised?

Video monetisation is basically getting paid for the videos you create. People watch, like or subscribe and you get paid a certain amount of money for it. The more users watch it (or the more subscribers you have), the more you earn.

What are YouTube's monetisation rules?

The minimum eligibility requirements to join must follow all YouTube monetisation policies. Live in a country or region where the YouTube Partner Program is available. Have more than 4000 hours of valid public viewing in the last 12 months. Have more than 1000 subscribers. Have a linked AdSense account.

How much do YouTubers get paid?

Most YouTube users earn around €18 per 1000 ad views. That equates to around €3 to €5 per 1000 video views. Of course, this varies from channel to channel, but that gives you a rough idea of what it takes to make a living on YouTube. YouTube and Google Adsense change their payment terms frequently.

Do monetised videos have ads?

YouTube has just changed its rules on video monetisation and YouTube creators are not happy. Basically, Google will now show ads on all videos, even if their creators don't want ads. And creators won't get a penny. It's all in a new section of YouTube's terms of service called "Right to monetise".

Where else can I monetise my videos?

For professional content creators, an independent hosting platform like PLAYBAK can help you grow your video content business. PLAYBAK works daily to help content creators monetise their videos with simple, easy-to-use tools.