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The Complete Guide to Video Monetization

Jourdan Aldredge

Jun 16, 2022

It’s true, we are living in the golden age of online video. From YouTube millionaires to niche content professionals, it seems like everyone is finding success in online video monetization content. 

But how does one actually monetize videos and video content today? Is it YouTube or bust? Or are there other monetization options out there to build a brand and bring in revenue?

Let’s take a holistic look into the world of online video monetization. We’ll cover everything video creators need to know about maximizing your monetization potential on the all-powerful YouTube platform, as well as explore different video monetization apps with the goal of finding the right plan for getting your videos in front of the right audiences — and raking in that cash.


How to monetize videos

Okay, first thing’s first: How do you monetize videos here today? The answer is both simple and yet a bit complex. 

The simple answer is you put your video content up on a social video sharing website like YouTube and simply monetize video content with some ad based video monetization platform. Platforms like YouTube will handle most of the work for you by placing ads on your videos and giving you a small percentage of the revenue earned from those advertisements.

The longer answer is that there are other profitable media delivery options out there for video publishers looking to access video content. Platforms like Vimeo, Facebook, and Instagram work similarly, but there are also other niche video monetization options. Twitch, Uscreen, and TikTok are other options to consider as a way to generate revenue.

And along with whatever video content you might already be creating organically, there are plenty of other avenues for unlocking ad revenue monetization by using apps like Patreon or other merch-selling resources like TeePublic.

It’s really up to you. But let’s start with some of the biggest and best options first.

Monetizing videos on YouTube




In the world of video monetization, your main option is always going to be YouTube and the YouTube Partner Program. This is because YouTube does it bigger, better, and more streamlined than anyone else. 

If you just look at the sheer amount of traffic that the site gets and the staggering amount of money which they send back to creators (plus other built-in benefits like access to their huge audience), it practically starts and ends with YouTube.

Still, just because it’s big and easy to get started doesn’t mean building a YouTube channel is a cinch to figure out. In fact, it’s a colossal undertaking all to itself as there are plenty of steps which you need to complete to build out a strong and consistently-earning video content channel.

If you’d like to read more in-depth on how to monetize your videos specifically with YouTube, your best option would be to dive into this full article as we go into much more detail.

What are the different video monetization platforms?

Aside from YouTube, there are still plenty of video monetization strategy options to consider. And, truth be told, while YouTube is the alpha and the omega, it’s not a perfect fit for everyone. 

For example, say your audience is looking for more long-form video content, or perhaps your audience only has the attention span of a few seconds. There are a few video content apps and streaming services (in these cases, Twitch and TikTok) that might be more appropriate.

Let’s go over some of the other best video monetization platforms out there:

  • Twitch
  • TikTok
  • Facebook
  • Instagram/IGTV
  • Patreon

There are also video-on-demand and subscription video platforms out there which offer a full array of streaming options with built-in monetization tools. These platforms let video creators truly control advertising video and transactional video content on a large scale. These top video monetization platforms include:

  • Vimeo OTT
  • Cleeng
  • Dacast
  • Uscreen
  • Wistia

The video monetization models are indeed vast, but the best options are going to be the ones that work best for you and your ideal audience.

Why is my video not eligible for monetization?

Now, once you’ve decided to put your advertising videos up for monetization — whether that be on YouTube or any of the great video monetization platform options above — it’s not always a walk in the park. 

In fact, more often than not, video monetization can be a tricky process where many of these platforms can turn your monetization on or off seemingly for no reason at all.

For example, many YouTube creators will often see their ability to generate revenue turned off or not allowed in the first place and receive a notice that says something to the effect of “your video is ineligible for monetization due to a copyright claim.”

These dreaded words “copyright claim” can be devastating to any lucrative content flow. Luckily, in most instances, this should be a simple fix. You just need to figure out which parts (if not all) of your content is under copyright so you can fix it and avoid that mistake in the future.

Quite frequently the part of your video content which is most susceptible to copyright claims is your audio. More often than not you’re dealing with audio files (whether they be background tracks or SFX) which do not belong to you. (For example, if you use a song by Lil’ John in your video — even if it’s slightly in the background of one scene — your video is going to be flagged.)

To solve this specific issue (and others), you really should read up on getting started with royalty free music platforms like Soundstripe and learning how to properly use music and audio files in your online videos.

How to pick the right video monetization platform for you

With those quick problems and resolutions out of the way, from here it will be up to you to pick the right video monetization platform for your content. Personally, I would advise most aspiring content creators to start with YouTube because it is indeed the biggest and easiest to get started with as you slowly build an audience.

However, as we covered above, it’s not always the simplest platform to crack in terms of finding instant success. So if you feel like your content isn’t exploding viral right away, then you could look at expanding across the other platforms to see if your audience might be elsewhere.

Tips for creating monetizable video content

Finally, to help you on your video monetization journey, here are some basic tips and tricks to keep in mind as you start working on your content plans and shooting, editing, and uploading your videos:

  • Research your audience and have a plan: Before you make your videos, do your research into what other similar types of content might already be out there. How does yours differ? What makes your videos unique? Do your research and have a plan.
  • Make your content entertaining: From there you want to focus on making your videos as engaging and entertaining as possible. Online videos need to be fast, informative, and ultimately fun if they’re going to compete in the crowded digital space.
  • Make sure your content and copyrights are cleared: Once you do begin building out your content, you want to make absolutely sure that all of your video and audio assets are copyright free and cleared with YouTube (which you can learn more about here).
  • Follow the recommendations for video quality: Before you export and upload your video content, check with your desired hosting destinations to make sure your footage is being encoded for the recommended quality and settings.
  • Built-in other monetization avenues: Outside of direct ad revenue, there are still plenty of monetization avenues to explore including donations and memberships with Patreon or other merch and subscription sales.

Further reading 

Hopefully this guide into video monetization has given you a solid understanding into how to build a successful and lucrative video content channel whether that be on YouTube or elsewhere. 

If you’d like to learn a bit more about monetization — as well as get other general filmmaking advice — check out these additional articles from the Soundstripe blog: