Video monetization platforms are growing in number. From YouTube to Vimeo, from Facebook to Instagram, you’ll be able to upload, monetize, and market with any and all of these platforms.

But which one is right for you?

Read this guide to find out.

Video Monetization Methods

There are a few big ways to earn money through videos:

  • Market with them. When you market with your videos, you use them to increase your online presence, promote your products and services, promote affiliate products and services, and so on.
  • Monetize videos through ads. YouTube’s pre-roll ads, for instance, earn you cash when people click on the ads.
  • Sell your videos. Amazon allows you to upload videos to sell to people as products through their online storefront. And Vimeo lets you create a paywall around premium video content.

Below, we’ll cover which platforms are best for which of these three strategies.

Video Monetization Platforms in 2015

There are countless video platforms. Some are specialized, some are generalized. Some are must-haves, some aren’t.

Here are the major players you should be looking at:

YouTubeThis is a must-have. You can make money with YouTube several ways:

  • Run pre-roll ads. Not everyone can monetize with ads, though. You need an audience that’s a certain size. And, even then, it can be difficult to earn real big bucks, unless you’re an online celebrity.
  • Sell your own products or affiliate products. This is a common strategy that can get you more money, even if you don’t have the traffic to earn through ads. Include product links in the video itself, in the video description, and talk about products in the video content.
  • Drive traffic down your sales funnel. Get people to subscribe to your channel, opt-in to email lists, and so forth. This is a necessary step for any video marketer.

Vimeo Vimeo has a strict no-ad policy. Instead, they allow video creators to monetize in 2 ways:

  • The Tip Jar – This is a donation-based system. If someone likes your video, they can donate to support your efforts. Include calls-to-action for best results.
  • Video On Demand – Video creators can lock access to premium videos. You can charge as much or as little as you want to grant access.

As with YouTube and every other platform mentioned here, you should aim to build your customer base: include calls-to-action in your videos, in the descriptions, and so on.

InstagramInstagram isn’t just for photos. You can create short videos that autoplay when they show up in users’ feeds.

Things to consider:

  • You can’t include hyperlinks in descriptions or videos. If you want to send people off-site to buy a product or sign up for something, you’ll need to be creative. Use videos that sell. They should contain benefits of the product or service, calls-to-action, domain names to visit, and so on.
  • These videos can be anything you want: free commercials, testimonials, product reviews, etc. Instagram videos, like YouTube, are free. You can create whatever format you wish to sell your products, promote your business, and so on.
  • Instagram videos are meant to be short and sweet. Many of these newer video platforms cater to short-attention-span customers. The videos must be 3 to 15 seconds long, so design with that in mind. Consider creating a series of videos if you have a longer story to tell.

VineVine is Twitter’s social, micro-vlogging platform. Each video can only be 6 seconds long. So be creative:

  • Use product placement. Brands have been doing this for some time now: placing their own products inside viral Vine videos, rather than creating 6-second commercials.
  • Tell multi-part stories. Combine several videos together to tell stories, create longer advertisements, and so on.
  • Connect accounts and drive traffic. As usual, you should be connecting Vine’s video service to your other social media accounts, your website, and so on.

TwitterTwitter now supports video hosting. Like Facebook, Twitter has decided to take on YouTube with its own native video platform.

This video player will allow you to host videos up to 10 minutes long.

AmazonAmazon is a retailer, right? Yes, which makes it the perfect place to sell on-demand videos.

The site’s built-in audience is always searching for products to buy, so if you have premium quality videos that you want to charge for, you should be uploading them to Amazon.

Google PlayGoogle Play isn’t just for apps. You can upload everything from videos to music, books, and magazines.

Like Amazon, Google Play is ideally suited for people who want to sell their videos for a profit.

Other Video Monetization PlatformsThere are plenty of other platforms out there, such as Dailymotion, Ustream, and Metacafe. But these have tiny market shares compared to the major networks listed above.

If you have additional resources, then you may consider exploring a few, but their ROI won’t have the same potential as the bigger video monetization platforms.

And the other platforms that generate lots and lots of traffic tend to be highly specialized. Twitch, for instance, only caters to gamers. NicoNico, hugely popular in Japan, only caters to Japanese people. 


Video will always be one of the best marketing strategies online. And despite its massive popularity, it still remains underutilized by many marketers and businesses. All that may change, though, as video monetization platforms become more popular and easier to use.