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Five strategies smart digital publishers use to monetize content

Five strategies smart digital publishers use to monetize content

Wednesday November 29, 2017,

4 min Read

Content monetization seems to be the buzzword of today. With the advent of OTT platforms and publishing tools, we are witnessing an increase in the number of independent digital publishers. Regardless of the competition or the sheer bombardment of digital content, quite literally, the content which is worth the dime always finds its way atop. However, the trick part lies in trying to monetize the content.


As content publishers, we tend to get too attached to our creative pursuits. However, no content is ever good enough to go on selling itself. Digital publishers today need to have a plan in place to accrue profits from their digital video outings. To the same accord, here’s sharing top 5 content monetization strategies for digital publishers.

1. Offer it for Free!

A no-brainer actually, offering content for free helps you quickly scale-up and enjoy an increasing number of unique visitors and monthly traffic. A lot of brands leverage this strategy to test waters with their creative pursuits, and also to develop a solid customer base. However, surely the model is not sustainable in the long-run. Once you have validated the business idea behind digital publishing and have a solid number of monthly users, it would be time to switch to any of the strategies discussed below. Do note that several social networks & micro-blogging sites once started as a free-model, before beginning to monetize the platform they have created.

2. Advertisements

A lot of content publishers offering free content can monetize the same without charging their viewers a dime. Advertisers pay content publishers for running native advertisements or sponsored posts. Given the extent of content that is digitally available, this model has known to be more successful for both, advertisers and publishers.

3. Micro-transactions

It is quite common to witness digital publishers offering content via micro transactions. The micro-transactions can be typically clubbed under two wings; Pay to Play or Own. Digital publishers can offer streaming at a certain price and that would come under the bracket of Pay to Play. On the other hand, if the content can be downloaded, the users are primarily Paying to Own the content, remotely. Again, based on the preferences of your audience, you may offer a blend of the two.

4. Pay-wall

This is quite a historic ways in which content publishers have been monetizing the content. Providing exclusive content to subscribers has worked in the favour of digital publishers for long. However, the present times provide users with a number of platforms providing the content for free. Hence, users feel discouraged in a typical pay-wall model unless the platform has some exclusive cricket rights (in Indian context). Instead, producers can monetize via pay-wall by offering certain free content and then charging for further consumption. This way, the user either opts to purchase the service or remain loyal to the platform and return later for more viewing or streaming.

5. Direct selling, Transactional VOD the ecommerce model

This is perhaps the most straightforward means for accruing revenues via digital publishing. Content publishers can sell via direct selling by setting up an e-commerce platform facilitating transaction. However, ensure that the content you are offering on this site isn’t available for free or reduced prices at any other platforms. Besides, you need to have enough provisions in place for managing order fulfilment and customer servicing, amongst others.

However, before going ahead with implementing any, users need to understand that a brand is never married to a particular strategy throughout its life. As per various stages of branding and popularity, one may switch between different strategies. The catch lies in gauging the interest and needs of your audience and leveraging the same to best realise your monetization objectives.