I had a brief discussion with a friend about making money with Internet video. We looked at a couple of business models for a nonprofit to make money online and realized there were a couple of ways anybody could make some money with Internet video. Here are some suggestions for almost anybody to earn revenue from video on the web:
- Take advertising on your site and/or videos. This probably isn’t feasible as a nonprofit (Update: this is possible with a nonprofit), but online advertising revenues will give you a somewhat decent amount of money for the amateur and is the most common video revenue model. In addition to ads on the producer’s website (generally provided by a third-party), most video hosting sites like Youtube or my personal favorite, Blip.tv, allow ads to be inserted before and after videos, and at designated times during the video.
- Post the videos (or excerpts) on Youtube and Myspace. As a nonprofit, Youtube and Myspace will allow you to collect donations. For example, take a look at this page from the Anaheim Ballet. They have a donation button on the their page and on each of their video pages with Google Checkout integration. Also, having a Facebook Cause and/or Page as well, as they allow you to collect donations as well. Even if you are intending to sell the videos, having a small presence on these sites can at the very least draw some attention to your videos (and a random donation as well).
- Creating an online video store– This is probably the most technically challenging option. It is possible to create an online store that sells video downloads using ecommerce software like Ubercart, a Drupal module for ecommerce, and others like Magento. You can also sell some of your stuff on iTunes and other services using a company like TuneCore.
- Post videos online, but sell physical media (DVDs, booklets, etc.) – This is the model now for most television stations, including PBS. For example, the show Frontline on PBS is available online in its entirety, but is also sold as a DVD online, along with teachers guides, and other supplemental materials. You can even have these items made on demand via new websites like Lulu.com that print and make CD/DVDs and books when some one orders them.
So those are just some ideas I had about making money online with video. They are not mutually exculsive items (for example, 1 and 4 are completely complementary to each other). Feel free to also post a comment with any other ideas.