The video streaming websites and their users have been on the rise since the pandemic began. Most likely, this trend will continue for the next few years.
Video is a great medium for various purposes, such as entertainment, studying, or communicating, as it helps convey a message more quickly. Thus, videos have become a big part of our everyday lives, making them a potential income stream option.
If you are thrilled to create your own video streaming site, this article will explain the step-by-step process from brainstorming the idea to launching your website.
1. Define Your Business Niche and Product
First, design the blueprint of your video streaming website. There are various types to consider, including:
- OTT (over-the-top) media services – provide television channels or movie content, allowing viewers to choose what they want to watch. The most popular OTT service examples include Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Max.
- LMS (learning management system) – designated for educational purposes. Besides videos, LMSs contain other features to support the e-learning process, such as discussion rooms, files submission forms, tests, and reports. Some of the most popular LMS are Udemy, EdX, and Coursera.
- Video-sharing platforms – websites or applications where users upload their video content. The most well-known example of a video-sharing platform is Youtube.
You can include various genres on the website, but remember that OTT streaming services like Netflix are already mushrooming. Thus, you need to be different from the mainstream.
It’s better to occupy a specific niche when you’re starting small, so people can look up your website whenever they need information about your website’s particular topic. For example, you can create a video website that talks about mental health.
After determining a niche, the next step you should do is to buy a domain name. Aim for shorter words without special characters or double letters to make the domain name more memorable.
You can use a checker tool to make sure if your desired domain name is available. Moreover, there are also tools to generate a domain name if you find it hard to develop ideas.
2. Understand How Video Streaming Websites Work
Video streaming websites need massive server data storage, so find a hosting service that can accommodate it. VPS and cloud hosting plans can suit your website hosting needs best as they have flexible scalability.
Cloud technology can flexibly deploy traffic surges to maintain your website’s stability. It prevents your site from shutting down no matter how many viewers are watching.
Also, as video streaming websites collect visitors’ data and process payments, virtualization technology offers greater security than traditional hosting.
The other aspect to consider is video loading latency. It is a transfer time from the server to a viewer’s device.
Use a streaming protocol to improve lower video latency. Examples of streaming protocols are RTMP (Real-Time Messaging Protocol) and WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communications).
3. Plan Your Monetization Models
There are several monetization models of a video streaming website, such as offering an exclusive plan like Netflix or providing a free subscription option like Youtube.
Premium features can also be a video on demand (VOD) version of the live-streamed videos. Or else, offer a renting option so that your visitors can only pay to watch videos for a certain period.
The other way to monetize your video website is by using ads. You can create your rate card and advertisement scheme for brand promotions. Registering your website to Google Adsense or other networking ads is also a good income stream option.
You can create a minimum viable product (MVP) the first time launching your website. It is beneficial to learn your customers’ responses to your product and eventually help to find the most suitable monetization method for your website.
4. Learn About Content Licensing
Depending on your video streaming business model, content licensing types can be different. If you want to broadcast an already produced movie or series, you have to negotiate with the content owner to avoid infringement.
You can buy the full license, rent it from authorized distributors, or share the generated revenue with the producer. All of these content licensing types can cost you a fortune, so it’s important to adjust well between your budget and business objectives.
To help you ease the process, network with content producers or authorities. It can be done by sending cold emails or messages through LinkedIn or other social media platforms. Alternatively, contact an organization like NATPE.
Just make sure your introduction is professional and provides a great explanation of your business objectives when networking
If your website generates content from its users, it’s necessary to create a fair copyright agreement with them. Otherwise, if you produce the content yourself, protect it by registering it to the copyright authorities.
Not taking care of the copyright issues can cause you problems in the long run. It might also hurt your website’s credibility, making content creators hesitant to choose your platform.
5. Pick a Platform
You can build your video website using WordPress as an all-purpose CMS. There are many tools to ease the process of building your WordPress-powered video streaming website.
However, you still need to take care of the other technical aspects by yourself. You might need to prepare a budget for a hosting service and premium plugins’ features.
If you want to make your website building experience simpler, use a video website CMS, like:
UScreen is a platform to provide VOD websites with comprehensive options of monetization methods, analytics, and templates. Furthermore, its drag-and-drop feature makes it easy to build your website pages.
It’s an excellent option for self-producing video content.
The subscription price range starts from $79 a month, and there is a free trial option.
Dacast is a video website CMS with unlimited viewers number, custom branding, and live stream recording for all packages. It also has a demo video and bandwidth calculator to help you decide which subscription plan matches your needs best.
The cheapest subscription plan will charge you $39 monthly.
Zype is a more advanced video CMS. It provides a seamless connecting process to many video streaming applications and monetization plans. Moreover, it has a comprehensive video of customer relationship management (CRM).
Zype subscription price starts at $500/month. This option might not be suitable for beginners in the industry. However, it can be a great upscaling option once your website grows.
6. Build and Customize Your Website
After ensuring that your website has solid technical fundamentals, it’s time to customize its interface.
Design a user-friendly homepage. Don’t use bright colors to avoid harming your customer’s browsing experience. Instead, choose neutral colors on the homepage to make the displayed videos stand out.
Also, creating a message to welcome your visitors can give a better user experience. It can also be a way to communicate your video website’s main idea to them.
Take a look at Kweli TV. It is a video website that focuses on creating short films to discover black people’s culture and ethnicity.
Its homepage represents the core value of its business through the choice of image and copywriting.
The use of black color on the browsing page makes the video thumbnails stand out to help the visitors scroll more easily.
7. Test and Launch Your Website
It’s crucial to test your website as early as possible before launching to have more time to fix errors.
First, set clear objectives of the testing activities to select the proper measurements. It can also help you to be on track and make a good evaluation of the testing stage.
After, design the testing flow from the starting to the ending point of the website test. Make a checklist of testing components and arrange it according to the difficulties or time needed to run the test.
Prepare the required tools to run the test. To simplify the process, choose among many website testing tools to help you. Then, evaluate how the test was going, along with the problems to fix.
Finally, launch your website after ensuring that it runs smoothly for the customers.
8. Promote Your Website
Make the most of social media marketing to promote your video streaming website. Usually, you don’t need to pay for the first time you create a social media account for your business.
Create organic content that can attract other people to your website. Adjust to every social media platform’s content style and audience to attract your target audience.
Creating a contest or a giveaway can also be an excellent way to increase your brand awareness. However, it requires an extra budget for the prizes, so weigh carefully whether a contest can impact your website significantly.
You can also make trailers of your video content and use them for mobile video marketing as it is considered an effective way to market your website.
9. Gather Feedback and Evaluate
Always be open to feedback from your audience, especially in the early stages of your website launch. Ask users to fill in comments and suggestions of their watching experience. If necessary, give rewards like free temporary subscriptions to persuade them.
Collect ideas and inputs from your customers while matching them with your evaluation and future development. It can be a great way to improve your video website and maintain loyal customers.
If you use a website-building platform that doesn’t include analytics features, make sure to integrate Google Analytics. It is a beneficial tool to generate demographic data of your visitors, which content has the most viewers, and many more advantages. That way, you can improve a data-driven strategy for your website growth.
Furthermore, don’t stop learning about the industry to help you gain insight. It can help you find new ideas and innovations to your website, helping to improve it constantly.
Creating a video streaming website takes a lot of consideration and might cost you a fortune upon starting. However, considering how popular the video industry is nowadays, it can still be a good income stream to choose.
Let’s recap the nine steps of building a video website:
- Pick your niche and business model.
- Understand the technical matters.
- Choose a monetization model that matches your business type and objectives.
- License all the content on your website.
- Choose a platform to build your site.
- Customize your website.
- Test before launching.
- Make the most of social media and video marketing to promote your site.
- Always take feedback, evaluate, and improve your website.
We wish you good luck in building your video streaming website!
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The content marketing team at Vidooly publishes articles and blogs on current and relevant online video industry related news.