Effective Video Revenue Models for News and Media Publishers

Last updated on Mar 18, 2024

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Effective Video Revenue Models for News and Media Publishers

Videos are one of the fastest-growing and most popular forms of content these days. Consumers are placing a higher value on video than ever before. According to HubSpot's State of Video Marketing survey, 91% of organizations are using video as a marketing tool. This is a higher percentage than in any other year since this poll started.

For news and media publishers, video content has emerged as a clear-cut winner, successfully attracting audiences and facilitating engagement like never before. As consumers increasingly move toward video content, the website traffic of several publishers has dropped due to their text-based publishing approach.

While some publishers have responded to this shift by increasing video content to suit the demands of their audience, the shift has not always resulted in efficient revenue. Many are still trying to figure out how to use the huge potential of video content to earn long-term revenue growth.

Why Should Publishers Monetize Videos

It is a proven fact now that humans process visual information around 60,000 times faster than text. As of April 2023, YouTube has over 2.52 billion subscribers, accounting for 33.33% of all internet users, confirming the huge appeal of video content around the world. From every day news updates to educational content and entertainment, videos are now emerging as the preferred medium for every user looking for engaging and immersive experiences.

However, for news and media publishers, embracing video monetization isn't just an option; it's mandatory. Let’s look at some of the solid reasons why news and media publishers should prioritize video monetization.

Video Creation is expensive

Video content creation is certainly expensive. Unlike text-based articles or static images, making high-quality videos demands a substantial investment in equipment, skills, and production resources.

From scriptwriting to filming, editing, and post-production, the process requires both time and money. However, this investment highlights the importance of effectively monetizing videos. Publishers must use their video assets to produce revenue streams that cover production costs and generate higher returns on investment.

Creating videos are resource Intensive

As audiences increasingly favor video content over text, publishers relying only on website advertising are struggling with declining returns. In this context, adopting the video format and effectively monetizing it is a critical strategy for publishers to balance revenue losses and preserve financial viability.

To make up for revenue losses in website advertising

Publishers can diversify their revenue streams through video monetization, allowing them to access new sources of money that match existing advertising strategies.

Subscription-based models, pay-per-view, and premium content offerings enable direct monetization by giving viewers exclusive access in exchange for a fee. Similarly, collaborations with brands for sponsored content and product placements provide profitable opportunities to integrate advertising into the viewing experience seamlessly.

How Publishers Can Start Video Monetization

The range of options available to publishers for video monetization might be overwhelming. However, with the right strategies in place, publishers can tap into an endless number of revenue streams and ensure the financial viability of their video projects.


Publishers can monetize video content with advertising which can appear before, during, or after the videos. They can capitalize on this revenue stream by adding programmatic advertising into the mix, helping them get the highest-paying ads for the inventory.


For example, a popular news website can embed video content in its stories allowing visitors to see a brief commercial before each video. These pre-roll adverts can be personalized depending on the viewer's demographics, interests, and browsing history, ensuring relevancy and increasing engagement.

Direct Deals with Advertisers to run Ads on videos

Direct deals with sponsors to put advertisements on videos represent a rich revenue stream for news and media publishers. Publishers can negotiate bespoke ad placements within their video content by forming agreements with advertisers, assuring alignment with their audience while still retaining brand integrity.

Custom Ad partnerships

For example, in a video piece about environmental sustainability, the news platform can incorporate sponsored content emphasizing the environmentally favorable qualities of the advertiser's electric vehicles. These direct deals enable publishers to monetize their video content while adding value to both users and advertisers.

Programmatic Advertising for Ad Inventory on the Video Player

Implementing programmatic advertising for ad inventory on the video player is an intelligent strategy to maximize revenue generation while providing personalized ads to their audience. Programmatic advertising relies on automated systems to buy and sell ad space in real-time, with data-driven algorithms matching ads to viewers based on demographics, interests, and behavior.

Programattic advertising

A big online news network can incorporate programmatic advertising into its video player, allowing advertisers to bid in real-time for ad spots within the videos. As users watch the content, the programmatic system analyzes user data to serve relevant and engaging adverts, increasing the chances of interaction and conversion.

Video Paywall

Creating a paywall for unique and exclusive video content can help news and media organizations monetize and build a loyal subscriber base. This strategy consists of bringing unique and premium video content behind a membership barrier and charging viewers for access.


For example, an established news organization could produce a documentary series about political corruption. Each episode can zero in on a different facet of the topic, with exclusive interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, and expert analysis. By putting this high-value content behind a barrier, the publisher emphasizes its exclusivity and invites visitors to pay for access.

Moreover, the publisher can increase the perceived value of the subscription by providing additional benefits like ad-free viewing, early access to content, and entry to live events and Q&A sessions with journalists. This approach not only encourages viewers to subscribe but also creates a sense of community and involvement with the publisher's brand.

Sponsored content

Sponsored videos provide news and media publishers with a strategic way to diversify revenue streams while retaining the quality and integrity of their content. Publishers can reduce costs associated with production and increase revenue by working with sponsors to insert sponsored parts into their videos.

Sponsored Content

Imagine a news outlet producing a series on global travel destinations. In exchange for a sponsorship deal, segments within these videos could feature accommodations, transportation options, or travel gear sponsored by relevant brands. This integration not only provides valuable information to viewers but also allows brands to reach a targeted audience interested in travel-related content. The partnership benefits both parties, with the publisher gaining financial support and the brand accessing a platform to promote its products or services to a relevant audience.

As long as the sponsored content aligns with the publisher's editorial standards and maintains transparency with viewers, sponsored videos can serve as a mutually beneficial strategy for news and media publishers.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing enables publishers to leverage their content to drive product or service sales and earn a commission in exchange.

Consider a popular beauty and skincare YouTube channel run by a professional makeup artist. In each video, the makeup artist reviews and shows a variety of beauty products, including skincare creams and cosmetics palettes. To monetize their content through affiliate marketing, they can strategically insert affiliate links into video descriptions or mention them directly throughout the video.

Affiliate Marketing

The makeup artist can tell their audience that by buying products through their affiliate links, they directly support the channel. They can also provide additional incentives, such as unique discount codes or giveaways, that encourage viewers to click their affiliate links.

Affiliate marketing platforms also give publishers tracking tools and data to help them track the performance of their affiliate links. Publishers can refine their affiliate marketing strategy over time by using metrics like clicks, conversions, and commission earnings.


Donations can be a valuable revenue stream, especially for publishers in niche segments. Consider a YouTube channel specializing in providing in-depth tutorials on vintage car/ bike restoration. This channel has garnered a dedicated following of enthusiasts who appreciate the detailed content it offers. The creator, understanding that ads and sponsorships might disrupt the viewer experience or compromise the authenticity of the content, decides to rely on donations to sustain the channel.

In this scenario, the content creator can communicate with their audience seeking donations to run the channel. They can explain that donations are crucial for maintaining the quality of content and keeping it ad-free.


As consumer preferences shift towards video consumption, publishers must not only adopt strategic methods for video monetization but also seize opportunities to prosper in an increasingly competitive industry.

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