The 4 methods for monetising Hybrid TV that don’t require a subscription

Monetising your OTT service for Hybrid TV doesn’t need to be complex. Here are 4 methods to make things simple, beyond classic subscriptions.

Picture this: you’re watching telly with your other half, and see an advert for a once-in-a-lifetime trip, a lifelong dream you’ve shared for a long time. Think of a documentary about Africa and its wildlife being streamed on your big screen, when the ad is served, triggering your decision – then and there – to book that trip.

Then ask yourself: if not for that advert, how long would you have waited, before taking that African Safari trip? However, by capturing both at that moment when you’d witnessed the experiences possible, you certainly were a captive audience. If you’d been watching that same documentary on broadcast TV, would you have seen the same ad? Possibly, yet the probability is significantly lower.

People make decisions in two ways: Systematic Processing or “critical thinking” and Heuristic Processing. The latter is the one that takes the least amount of effort and is the way most of us make daily decisions. Heuristics are essentially when you make a calculated guess based on experience. It’s like a shortcut for your brain and could also be what people refer to when they say they acted upon “instinct”. Although for our ancestors the stakes were a little higher than deciding whether to have a coffee after midday or not. This is where monetising Hybrid TV comes in, believe it or not.

Advertising 💸

Server-side ad insertion (SSAI) and client-side ad insertion (CSAI) are both targeted ad-delivery methods. The increased capture of user data, paired with the flexibility of IP-based streaming makes targeting your audience easier. It’s certainly effective, as evidenced by the trip to a country over six thousand miles away booked after being served a simple ad.

This is possible for live streams and on demand content on HbbTV devices, with the best practice being to offer SSAI for live and CSAI for on demand content.

Virtual Channels 📺

These are nothing new, being a market-wide trend for the past 12 months (especially true with FAST channels). It’s a simple concept, take your existing library of on demand videos to create a linear channel. Where this gets interesting is that it’s relatively cheap and allows for the creation of thematic or barker channels.

Remember Heuristic Processing? Well, this is where it’s relevant for your audience. Instead of deliberating for an hour over what content to watch, they can opt for a much more relaxed experience. Flicking on your virtual or FAST channel (if ad-supported) is a much easier decision by giving them content in the familiar format of a broadcast-like channel. No more decision fatigue.

If you opt for the FAST channel route, then distributing the channel to third-parties presents outreach opportunities too. Display a barker channel within the application or HbbTV platform and watch your engagement increase.

Overlays 👉

It’s not just ad insertion that you can leverage to monetise your content. Using overlays isn’t anything new, for example in eCommerce and live sports. However, displaying dynamic overlays based on a data source is a far more recent development.  

Display anything from stock levels on teleshopping or offer t-shirts for your favourite sports team. The possibilities are almost endless with overlays, and the ability to present more evidence on-screen leans directly into Heuristic Processing. If a viewer can see more reasons to make a purchase, subscribe, or engage then you’ve got a much more compelling experience.

Hybrid Monetisation 🤝

Why have one monetisation method, when you could have more, combined? Most of our customers using HbbTV apps and beyond use multiple methods to increase reach and ROI. Tried and tested combinations have included incorporating a barker channel alongside SSAI and CSAI for ad delivery or virtual channels with graphic overlays.

I’ll be delivering a full keynote with further technical detail on these methods at the HbbTV Symposium and Awards on November 9. Come and see me if you’d like to hear more about monetisation opportunities in the Hybrid TV space.