In the past, creating a TV channel is something that’s only possible if you are a giant enterprise like ESPN, Disney, MTV, or even Netflix.
However, the time has surely changed, and nowadays virtually everyone can start their own TV channel, whether it’s a YouTube channel you can start for totally free, or starting your own online TV station and running your original shows on your website or app.
With that being said, starting your own TV channel today can be a lucrative business endeavor, and you can also use the channel to support your existing business.
A very common misconception to think that starting an online TV channel is still a high-budget venture. While you can certainly use the highest-end equipment and use the most expensive platforms, there are affordable options and you can start a TV channel in virtually no time.
Here, we will show you how.
Choosing Between Different Types of TV Channels
In traditional TV broadcasting, we are typically stuck with linear 24/7 broadcasting. However, we have more options in running our TV channels over the top (OTT):
- On-demand TV channel: like, for example, Netflix. Your viewers can choose to watch any show they’d like to watch anytime without being stuck to a set schedule. Viewers have more flexibility in watching the content they want, including watching on mobile devices.
- Linear TV channel: in this model you broadcast your TV channel on a 24/7 schedule, just like in traditional television. If, for example, a sports event is scheduled for 7 PM on Friday, then the viewer either must watch it on time or record it beforehand.
- Combination: we can show our content in a 24/7 linear model, but also provide the option to watch some or all your content in an on-demand model.
With advanced video hosting and online TV channel platforms like Viloud, you deliver your content both in a linear and on-demand model with ease. You can build a 24/7 online linear TV channel with continuous programming simply by dragging and dropping your video content into the scheduler grid–no need for heavy technical knowledge and skills. If you want some of your content to be delivered on-demand, then you can easily move them into the VOD (Video-On-Demand) channel with ease.
Monetizing Your Content
Even if you are not planning to run your TV-channel as a non-profit, running it will still have its ongoing costs, and thus we have to consider how we are going to monetize the channel, at least to cover its operational expenses.
Obviously, as we have also stated above, starting a TV channel is a potentially lucrative way to make a lot of profit, and there are three basic monetization models we can choose from:
- Subscription-based monetization: think Netflix. Your viewers must pay a subscription fee before they can access your channel. The subscription fee can be charged daily, weekly, monthly, or even annually.
- Free, ad-supported monetization: just like the traditional TV experience. You are broadcasting your content for free, but you display ads in between your content. You can also combine this model with a subscription-based model by allowing your viewers to pay a subscription fee if they don’t want to view ads.
- Transactional-based monetization: like the pay-per-view model in traditional television. Your viewers must pay a specific fee to view a certain show/event.
Choosing Your Platform
There are various platforms you can use to start an online TV channel:
- Free social platforms: you can technically run your TV channel on free social platforms like Youtube, Facebook Live, or Twitch depending on your target audience. There are certainly some advantages in choosing these platforms: they are free, and many of them have their massive audience base which can help your content in reaching more people. The main downside, however, is that you’ll have less freedom in publishing and monetizing your content, as you’ll be limited by the regulations of each platform.
- Developing your own platform: you can run your TV channel on your own website and/or app and develop the platform from scratch. You’ll get the most freedom and versatility with this model, but you either need to have the technical knowledge or the budget to hire a professional web developer. Even if you have the budget, the development of the platform can take a long time.
- Using ready-made professional platforms: like what’s offered by Viloud, where you’ll get benefits like:
- Personalization: you can easily customize your website/app and the Viloud player with your brand’s logo, color schemes, and add links to your social media as needed. You can do this with Viloud’s drag-and-drop editor so you don’t need any programming skills to personalize your TV channel.
- Versatility: you can host both linear and on-demand channels with Viloud, and you can make some and even all of your content available in both channels.
- Organization: with Viloud, everything is organized so you can easily find any content whenever you need them. You can either store your videos in Viloud’s cloud storage or you can also host your videos on YouTube, Facebook, etc., and embed the links to Viloud.
It is now much more affordable and accessible to create and run your own TV channel, and a professional hosting platform like Viloud will provide you with enough versatility and ease of use in creating your own VOD and/or linear TV channels to reach your audience.