As long as you hold full rights to a piece of audio or visual content, you also have full rights to monetize your content. Monetization comes in many forms. You can sell your content with exclusive or limited usage rights. For example, some athletic companies will buy videos of their athletes with exclusive rights, so they can then use those videos for advertisement. Limited Usage Rights are easily exemplified by going to the cinemas. The movie theater does not exclusively own the movies they are showing, but they have bought limited usage rights from the movie producers to be able to show those movies to the public and profit off their ticket sales.
Subscription or membership-only content can be another way to raise money through your hard work and content creation skills. For example, a fitness and workout account might offer a certain amount of free content to the public, but offer a gated subscription service for those who are willing to pay extra and receive extra perks: customized sessions, longer videos, more in-depth tips. The same could work easily for filmmakers, digital artists, musicians, fashion experts or other influencers and creatives.
The simplest content monetization system to set up would undoubtedly be a donation system. Creators may ask followers to donate so they can continue to focus on their art, influencers may ask for donations to change social injustices or to help them reach rare opportunities. Many influencers have no shame in asking their followers to donate for simple thing: an Uber, a new jacket, a meal out.
Digital ads and sponsored content are also two of the less-complicated avenues for third-party monetization strategies. The most important part is working with brands who echo your values, interests and goals, and those who can further your reach amongst audiences who would align with these priorities as well. While native digital ads are more traditional and obvious, often with a headline encouraging viewers to a call of action, sponsored content is more subtle. Sponsored content is a piece of brand journalism that lives on a publisher’s site, for example influencers posting pictures or reviews using certain products.
Digital ads are most popularly and easily used by influencers on YouTube. YouTube has set up an easy-to-use monetization system by doing half the work for you - finding advertisers who align with your audience, and pitching them ads before the start of your videos. In order to activate monetization on your videos, you must be sure that you own full rights to the visual and audio content of your video. If not, YouTube’s Content ID algorithm will catch you quickly and force you to face the consequences. If you aren’t sure if you have full rights to your content, check this article on avoiding copyright issues.
As well as the above ideas to monetize your content, definitely feel free to take matters into your own hands. Be creative, entrepreneurial, and think outside the box. Use your platform to begin public speaking, private consultations for others trying to grow their influence, or start selling products of your own. In the age of the internet, options for profitable solutions are endless, and monetizing your content is only the beginning.
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