How to monetize live events by creating your own streaming service

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Tove Bonander, Strategic Product Manager, OTT at Red Bee Media speaks to Videstream about Red Bee’s comprehensive OTT platform.

Image: Tove Bonander, Strategic Product Manager, OTT at Red Bee Media

The Platform gives brands and content owners the possibility to launch a fully-fledged streaming service, rapidly and easily, no matter the audience or business idea. It supports all content formats including linear, live, catch-up and on-demand as well as the full range of monetization options (such as ad-funded, subscription, pay-per-view and vouchers).

Audience segmentation is done easily through advanced geo blocking functionality and DRM options. Many of Red Bee’s other services integrates easily with the platform, including content aggregation, metadata and automatic captioning.

Some of the latest customer examples include successful launches of on-demand streaming services such as TV5MONDEplus in France and OyaWatch in Nigeria. In addition to this, Red Bee has launched Wnited, the world’s first global streaming service for women’s football, and SportsTribal, a UK based advertising funded streaming service for sports. In January 2021, Red Bee also delivered De Vrienden van Amstel, the Netherland’s biggest livestream ever.

Red Bee has launched Wnited, the world’s first global streaming service for women’s football. Image credit: Red Bee Media

What are the advantages of creating your own, dedicated streaming service? 

To establish your own brand, build a community and make the most out of great content, launching a dedicated streaming service is the best way to go. Especially if you want full control of your data and how your content is monetized.

“Our OTT platform gives anyone the possibility to create a fully-fledged, high-quality streaming service that can be launched in minutes.”

In developing our OTT platform, we wanted to reduce the complexity in establishing a branded streaming service and offer a solution that is easy and fast to launch, with an affordable price tag, without compromising content quality, security, data collection and monetization options. Our OTT platform gives anyone the possibility to create a fully-fledged, high-quality streaming service that can be launched in minutes. For extended and more advanced needs we of course offer a great SDK, for customer wanting to build bespoke apps and features.

Red Bee’s OTT platform gives anyone the possibility to create a fully-fledged, high-quality streaming service that can be launched in minutes. Image credit: Red Bee Media (TV5MONDEplus)

Overall, by launching a branded streaming service allows content owners to connect with their audiences directly and build their brand, without having to share valuable data and money with the likes of giants like YouTube and Facebook. These platforms are of course useful from a marketing point of view, but by establishing your own branded service, you can gain full control of your assets and your strategy.

What are the ways you can monetize through an OTT service?

Our platform offers a wide variety of monetization models, with the most popular ones being Subscription-based streaming and Transactional/Pay-per-view streaming, as a result of many customers in the VOD and Livestreaming space.

“In the future we also expect to see a growth of hybrid models, where subscription and advertising based streaming options are available in the same service”

There’s a growing interest in ad-supported streaming services, and through our platform we can supports these business models with a strong server-side ad solution. In the future we also expect to see a growth of hybrid models, where subscription and advertising based streaming options are available in the same service, which we also support through our platform.

When to use an ad-supported model vs. paid-access

There’s definitely a consumer appetite for paying for streaming, including SVOD, TVOD and PPV, especially where there’s unique content and a clear target audience. Disney+ gaining 100 million subscribers in record time and increasing amounts of PPV livestreams in the wake of the pandemic proves this. But we also see a growth in the FAST (Free Ad-Supported Streaming) segment, where there’s definitely an audience for the content offered, but not necessarily enough willingness to pay. This can include niche sports content, such as SportsTribal, or free linear style streaming such as Pluto TV.

Ad-supported streaming can be a way to monetize content you don’t own, by splitting the revenue with the rights owner. It can also be a way of introducing your content to your audience, without the threshold of a paywall.

Case-study: Netherlands’ biggest livestream

Vrienden van Amstel was the biggest livestream ever in the Netherlands, and the successful delivery of this event was not only a testament to the collaboration between us and the customer, but to the quality and resilience of our platform. Usually, the event takes place in the Ahoy Rotterdam arena with 150,000 visitors, but with restrictions of the pandemic, there was a need to find another way of continuing the tradition. A digital event was the way forward.

Vrienden van Amstel received a total of 1.7 million unique viewers, making it the biggest biggest live stream in the Netherlands. Photo Credit: Bart Heemskerk

The decision to livestream Vrienden van Amstel, was taken only about two weeks before the event. Despite this short timeline, everything was ready to go in time for the event, much thanks to the simplicity of onboarding to our platform. We had the environment up and running in a matter of minutes and quickly made necessary modifications in our App Management tool.

“Being the biggest livestream ever in the Netherlands, there was a total of 1.7 million unique viewers from around the world, and at the peak we reached 750,000 concurrent streams”

The event was free, with the end-users signing up for tickets at an external site provided by the customer. Being the biggest livestream ever in the Netherlands, there was a total of 1.7 million unique viewers from around the world, and at the peak, during DJ Armin van Buuren, we reached 750 000 concurrent streams (with an average of around 650 000).

Having delivered an event of this size really showed the strength and flexibility of our platform, and we are looking forward to delivering many more streaming live events throughout 2021.

Article written and supplied by: Tove Bonander, Strategic Product Manager, OTT at Red Bee Media

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