Recently, we opened a new series of articles on how ad-funded publishers can adapt through the COVID-19 pandemic. So far, we’ve looked at advertising trends, affiliate revenue stream , digital alternatives to print and virtual events in detail. In today’s fifth and final instalment, we’re going to look at how publishers can monetise video without spending a penny.

The Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) Complete Forecast predicts that by 2021:

  • Video will account for 80% of all internet traffic
  • There will be nearly 1.9 billion internet video users
  • They will watch 3 trillion minutes of video per month

With the coronavirus crisis in mind, publishers should note that monetising video content needn’t mean creating it. Rather, many platforms give publishers the power to generate revenue from their own content or content created by the platform. What’s more, many of these platforms offer that functionality for free – either permanently, or as a response to the impacts coronavirus has had on digital publishing. 

There’s a handful of ways for publishers to monetise video content that are reliable both during lockdown and outside of it. Subscription-only video content has proven effective for The Information, the tech news site that’s quickly become the poster boy for subscription revenue. Other publishers are offering bundled video content as a bonus addition to subscription packages. Niche subject matter works best here: if a user has subscribed to a political package, but your data reveals they’ve been enjoying your site’s sports news videos, offer premium sports video content as an add-on. Live events can be incredibly effective for generating subscriptions, as can educational video courses that offer readers detailed information on a specific topic. Elsewhere, YouTube is working on a tool that allows news publishers to sell subscriptions to their owned-and-operated digital properties through their YouTube channels. YouTube plans to begin testing the tool by the end of 2020.

However, some platforms are offering out olive branches to digital publishers as a direct response to the coronavirus crisis. These platforms want to help your publication survive this fallout, and they want to do it using video.

How publishers can monetise their video content for free


Dailymotion offers publishers their own branded player, and automatically-served ads in three key areas:

  • and the Dailymotion app
  • publisher partner websites
  • portals, social networks, and search engines.

Publishers are able to drive ad revenue with Dailymotion’s integrated ad capabilities, or sell their own ad inventory using separate monetisation solutions.

Dailymotion also boasts a global catalogue of videos which allow publishers to earn revenue when embedded on-site, and an accompanying suite of revenue-boosting features designed to keep visitors entertained and engaged.

Dailymotion is available for free. Get started.


Brightcove is an industry leader in video hosting, video monetisation and interactivity solutions. With Brightcove, publishers are able to optimise video ad delivery and retain viewers with seamless video ad integration while being flexible with what parts of the platform they choose to use.

During the coronavirus crisis, Brightcove is offering 50 free hours of HD live streaming for 90 days.

Get in touch.


EX.CO enables publishers to serve relevant content and ads to their audiences with EX.CO’s video library and ad demand partners. In light of the coronavirus crisis, EX.CO has extended the length of its free trial to help publishers increase engagement rates and dwell times on their site pages. 

Get in touch.


Rocketium enables brands and marketers to build easily customisable video content in its own video creation tool. Publishers will get a great deal of use out of the functionality which allows them to convert articles to videos in minutes and automate this process using their RSS feed.

Get started.

As tough as COVID-19 will be on publishing, we hope it will prove to be no more than a bump in the road. The above companies are thankfully doing their bit to ensure that our industry survives and thrives, and we recommend taking a look at what they have to offer.