Connected TV (CTV) services have rapidly become a centerpiece in the vast majority of American homes. As the availability of online streaming services has increased, more people than ever before are ditching their TV licenses and turning to online platforms for their entertainment streams.
At present, around 3.5 billion users across the globe regularly engage with digital content, using a CTV platform in order to watch their favorite shows. Of all the streaming services available, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime streaming still remain the most popular. Each year, streaming services become even more utilized across the globe, with this being an area of adoption that’s continually increasing.
Online creators that have a basis in video content creation are now turning to the CTV space in order to boost their own visibility. With the decline of services like YouTube, the world of CTV is shaping up to be the next big step for online content creators.
The Rise of YouTube Content Creation
From the early 2010s and throughout that entire decade, YouTube built up its name as the world’s most important media-sharing website. What was once just a place for people to upload videos taken at home quickly transformed into a worldwide phenomenon. During this decade, we saw YouTube’s yearly revenue jump from 0.8 billion to 19.7 billion.
With the rise of YouTube’s popularity and the ability to start to generate an income from YouTube, creators started popping up on the platform. We’ve now come to know this group of YouTubers, anyone that consistently uploads content for their audience to consume on the platform.
On YouTube videos, creators could enable monetization, which would then show video advertisements before each video. Based on the ad revenue of these videos, YouTubers would be compensated for their content. The decade of the 2010s saw YouTubers become more popular, with more people than ever setting up their tripods and turning on their cameras for the first time.
However, the YouTube heyday has certainly now passed us, with a select handful of channels now earning the majority of the ad revenue on the platform. What’s more, there were a number of problems with this business model that turned people away from the platform:
- Instability – YouTube AdSense is very inconsistent, with videos often being demonetized without explanation. This can hurt a user’s income over time and lead to uncertainty.
- Different rates for different niches – Not all content niches are paid the same, with this creating disparity across the ad market.
- Over-saturation – There are simply too many people on YouTube, with billions of hours of content being uploaded every single day.
For creators, the possibility and excitement that YouTube once offered simply aren’t there anymore. The gap in this market has presented the perfect opportunity for other content platforms to increase their offerings.
Shifting into CTV
Over the past few years, the market that YouTube and other social streaming services created has started to shift in a new direction – toward CTV. The rise of streaming services like Hulu and Netflix has been a defining change in media consumption over the past five years. Yet, even more recent alterations to the industry are positioning it in a whole new light.
Services like Netflix are now offering ad-based subscription models. Within these payment systems, users will watch ads before or during their streaming content. This opens up the field for advertisers to market on these platforms, tapping into the billions of people around the globe that use streaming services.
Some are taking this even further, with VFR – a startup based in Isreal – allowing content creators more opportunities to earn by putting their content onto CTV platforms.
Within VFR, there is a huge focus on ease of access. Creators have access to an SDK, which allows them to easily (with one line of code) implement ads into their content. If the creator doesn’t have their own ads to display, they’re able to source ad content directly from VFR.
The progression of the creator economy into the streaming service space through platforms like VFR is shaping up to be one of the most impactful changes to the industry we’ve seen in recent years. For creators, the easy launch onto these new systems will provide a new audience, new market, and new opportunities.
YouTube was once one of the very best platforms that content creators could launch their careers on. Building up an audience allowed them to pull in more views, which would convert into high AdSense paychecks at the end of each month. However, YouTube has now fallen from grace, with a questionable ad policy and unfair AdSense distribution causing many to leave the platform.
In the space that YouTube has created, streaming services are launching new ways for users to engage with their favorite content creators. Platforms like VFR allow creators to launch a new channel, using data-driven analytics to then pair their channel with advertisers that will thrive near their content.
The next step in our digital media evolution is to further what’s possible within streaming services. And, with the start that VFR is making, that next step is closer than ever before.