Online Video: How to Get Yours Seen and Get Paid


The world of online video is flourishing right now, to the point where web workers who can produce video content have unprecedented kinds of opportunities for reaching large audiences, and even getting paid. Mention online video to many people, and they think immediately of YouTube and other video sharing sites, but there are many different ways to promote your videos and earn revenues from them.

In this post, I’ll cover three good ways to get started doing commercial online video content. Whether you want to have your own online TV station, complete with paid advertisements, or just maximize your audience for occasional video efforts, there is help here.

Brightcove. A good initial place to start exploring if you want your online video content to reach good audiences is Brightcove. Like many of the other video sharing sites on the web, Brightcove allows you to post your videos and get them seen, but it goes well beyond that for video content that you want to commercialize and reach big audiences with.

Brightcove allows you to make money from having your videos seen in several different ways. You can choose to have Brightcove insert advertisements in your videos—where you’re even allowed to specify how you want the advertisements to look–and you can share advertising revenues with the company. As is true in the world of blogging, how much you make from this effort is very dependent on the size of the audiences your content can reach.

Brightcove’s real strength, though, is in syndication for online video from contributors. The company has a good explanation online for how they go about syndication. You can have RSS feeds automatically created, and you can click an Apply button to have your video content picked up by numerous outlets. Some video contributors on Brightcove choose to allow people to watch short, free video clips, and if they like what they see, they can pay for the full version of the video as a download.

CurrentTV. You may already be familiar with CurrentTV from seeing its content on television, rather than on the web. An interesting aspect of the company is that not only can it make your video content available for viewing online, but it regularly gets contributed video content on television through partnerships. If you’re video content is favored by CurrentTV, they will pay you for your content—up to $1,000 in some cases. Citizen journalism is played up heavily, but there are all kinds of videos submitted.

CurrentTV’s site has lots of examples of user-generated content you can get a feel for, and you can see from exploring the site that it’s easy to upload your content and get it evaluated. The site uses Video Egg Publisher, a plug-in, to encode and store videos, with all the details available at CurrentTV’s Submissions page.

Metacafe. Many people are familiar with Metacafe as a video sharing site, but did you also know that the company has a  Producer Rewards program? The most popular videos on the site begin earning cash from Metacafe after they reach certain thresholds of viewership. Submitted videos are reviewed by editors at the site, and it’s a lot of fun to participate.

Do you have any tips on how to reach audiences and get paid for online video?


John Banks

“Primetime” should win an award for this work on Reincarnation. This is what journalism and investigative reporting is all about. This video can and will change the world because it wakes people up to something new and creates positive social change.

Please email this video to everyone you know, post it on blogs, etc… Right now on YouTube, it’s only been seen about 11,000 times. It needs to be seen millions if we are going to change the way people look at themselves and this planet.

Jackson West

The best model I’ve seen so far is monetizing your video before you release it — through sponsorships, advertising (mid- or post-roll, graphics like bugs or lower-third banners or product placement) or by creating “infomercial” or “advertorial” content.

Make sure there’s a strong central location — your own domain — but then post the videos anywhere and everywhere with calls to action back to that site. Use the aggregated views across sites from spec content to raise the prices on the next round of episodes, and use the traffic back to your site to sell banner ads.

Even if you’re not looking to make money, making sure that any publicity goes back to a site you control is key.


There’s also which is similar to metacafe.

“How does Revver work?
1. Upload your video.
2. We pair your video with a targeted advertisement.
3. Share your video across the web. The more people see it, the more money you can make.
4. We split the ad revenue with you 50/50.”

I’m not sure which is more popular at the moment, although I don’t believe any of these sorts of services demands exclusive rights to your video material so a person could likely upload to several sites and generate some revenue from each. I think anyway.


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