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The Current Climate Has Created A Pivotal Moment for AVOD

"Getting into the AVOD business can also offer numerous other benefits, like access to a global user base that gives you instant feedback, and creative freedom. The primary feedback mechanism for AVOD is the ability to tap into the audience to guide creative decisions." -Victor Potrel, VP Platform Partnerships, TheSoul Publishing

As online media consumption continues to skyrocket during the lockdown, content providers are finding themselves in a whole new battle to keep viewers engaged and prevent them from fleeing to other platforms.

With the rise of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Quibi, and a plethora of other SVOD platforms, there has been a lot of discussion about how to build and sustain a subscription-based video business. This model has not only proven to be a great utility to the consumer, but also for content producers themselves with billions invested in original content programming.

Less mentioned and maybe less trendy, is the AVOD (ad-based video on-demand) market, where videos are supported primarily by advertising revenue. While SVOD services competition is heating up and driving prices down, AVOD is already a strong market, and has huge potential with Digital TV Research estimating that AVOD global revenue will reach $56 billion by 2024.

The world’s largest and most successful AVOD platforms (YouTube, Facebook Watch) have a low barrier to entry, which provides easier access for content creators to broadcast themselves and build their audiences. As creators gain more fame, they begin to have greater accessibility to monetization capabilities and new revenue sharing opportunities with other platforms.

With so much competition in the AVOD market, building a lucrative business on an advertising model can be difficult, especially when relying on third-party platforms. Platforms usually take a cut on revenue, viewership and advertising revenue fluctuates, and to make it all work, businesses need an efficient and flexible production strategy. AVOD creators also need to have highly adaptable production processes, so they can be prepared to meet platforms’ increasing demands as well as the shifting content needs of their audiences.

Getting into the AVOD business can also offer numerous other benefits, like access to a global user base that gives you instant feedback, and creative freedom. The primary feedback mechanism for AVOD is the ability to tap into the audience to guide creative decisions. Video metrics will enable you to clearly understand: Is the video performing to expectations? Does it create conversations? Are viewers liking it? On a channel like Brightside, for instance, decisions are made on a daily basis following audience feedback, and when a particular creator or piece of content topic performs well, it is usually a signal for AVOD creative teams to go deeper on the subject to attract new audiences.

The ultimate goal for AVOD creative teams should be to consciously focus their efforts on universal topics that can gather communities, with common and even sometimes niche ideas having the potential to engender mass appeal, regardless of where they are from or watching from. If content programs can appeal to audiences from all over the world, it will enable the business to become a globally-recognized brand.

On most AVOD platforms it’s extremely simple to publish a new video or launch a new brand, whether it is Facebook, YouTube or others. There is almost no friction in terms of approvals, gatekeepers, or creative or distribution control. Creative teams have the ability to constantly test and launch new concepts that will lead to finding new creators, audiences and successful long-term projects.

In times like today where half of the world’s population is confined to some degree, there is a strong need for entertainment to help people get through a challenging time. It’s more important than ever to bring viewers fun and positive content that promotes mental wellness, home exercise and family activities in a way that’s easy to consume and highly accessible.

While the current climate has forced brands to massively reduce their ad spending across all platforms, many insiders believe that the AVOD sector, whose ad revenues aren’t directly tied to live TV and sports programming, will be able to weather the storm and bounce back more quickly. AVOD platforms offer creators an unparalleled opportunity to hone their craft and connect with audiences, and as this market matures and gets pushed further into the mainstream, traditional subscription-based services may be surprised to find themselves with a host of new AVOD competitors.

TheSoul Publishingis one of the largest media publishing companies in the world, showcasinga diverse, high-quality portfolio of shareable content, including the popular 5-Minute Crafts and Bright Side series.