Digital media is a powerful force.
What happens on screen can set off a ripple effect that reaches all corners of society; one that influences not only how people view others, but also how people view themselves.
The average person spends 7.5 hours a day consuming media…
…and yet, only 27% of the LGBTQ+ community feel they’re well represented by the content they see.
The time has come for this to change.
We’re proud that Uscreen has become a place where LGBTQ+ content creators can have a platform to amplify their voices, create authentic and inclusive content, and generate consistent revenue for their hard work. Our goal is to help even more LGBTQ+ creators in the coming years.
In this post, we’re going to show you 7 examples of LGBTQ+ streaming services, across a range of content niches, that have launched with Uscreen, and share some ideas of how you can create change with your own video content.
1. Unicorns.live: Bringing LGBTQ+ Performances Online
Unicorns.Live is an online streaming service that broadcasts LGBTQ+ events using live video.
It was created by Rebellious Unicorn, a Canadian-based events and media company that created and hosted LGBTQ+ centric events, from club nights and drag shows to networking.
Early in 2020, they planned on expanding their business to host live music performances and even received funding to create a series of live events around LGBTQ+ musicians. But, because of shutdown and lockdown measures during the pandemic, hosting in-person performances was impossible.
Instead of waiting for the pandemic to end, Rebellious Unicorn decided to use that money to support LGTBQ+ musicians by streaming their performances through one of the live streaming platforms available on the market.
And so, Unicorns.Live was born; bringing live performances that support LGBTQ+ musicians and artists, online.
Through Uscreen, Unicorns.Live was able to pivot online by creating a subscription-style business model where subscribers can stream upcoming live events as well as older ones through on-demand videos.
Live streaming lets Unicorns.Live interact with its viewers in real-time and have them watch unfiltered, authentic LGBTQ+ content.
From drag and music to interviews and educational content, people want to tune in to live streams. In fact, Think with Google found that global watch time for live content is up 250%.
So, if you’re a business owner that relies on live performances, live streaming your content is a great way to disaster-proof your business, keep your audience engaged, and expand your reach!
Check out our podcast interview with Dustyn Baulkham, founder of Rebellious Unicorn, for more information on how he pivoted online to create Unicorns.Live.
You can also check out our article on how to use live streaming to disaster-proof your business.
2. SVTV: Amplifying Queer Storytellers
In the digital age, inclusion and realistic representation of LGBTQ+ people is more important than ever. And that’s what SVTV is all about.
SVTV offers LGBTQ+ community-driven content that include series, film, sports, documentaries, podcasts, and live streams.
Big-time production companies like Netflix, Amazon Prime, NBC, Hulu, and HBO Max have all got their online streaming services with a lot of content. And while we love their LGBTQ+ TV shows and comedy series like:
- Orange is the New Black
- RuPaul’s Drag Race
- Sex Education
- Will & Grace
…having a dedicated LGBTQ+ streaming service is important to help shape the narrative within and beyond the entertainment sector.
That’s why SVTV launched its video streaming platform, to create a cultural change in digital media for queer people.
To do this they:
- Upload monthly LGBTQ+ content to serve the community, its allies, and advocates.
- Create podcasts so people can listen to LGBTQ+ issues that are close to them.
- Produce content beyond entertainment to represent a wide range of LGBTQ+ stories
- Live stream LGBTQ+ content to amplify authentic pride content.
SVTV’s content is accessible on whichever platform their audience prefers. It’s available online and in app form on Roku, AppleTV, Amazon Fire TV, and Android TV.
If you’re a producer looking to create your own network, having your very own streaming service is the way to go!
3. TysonPlus: Boundary-Breaking LGBTQ+ TV Shows
TysonPlus is a LGBTQ+ streaming service that produces people-of-color-inclusive content.
They create original series that revolve around drama, horror, coming of age, and boundary-breaking stories exploring emotional narratives for people of color in the LGBTQ+ community.
Tyson Plus creates a safe space of LGBTQ+ writers to work with other LGBTQ+ creatives and turn their stories into streamable content.
As Kevin Anthony, a writer at Tyson Plus puts it:
I mainly love working on sets with members of the LGBTQ community and hearing them express how my set is a place where they can let their guards down and feel accepted.
Better still, Tyson Plus gives creators the freedom to write their story, create authentic LGBTQ characters, and give a fresh perspective to the content being produced.
If you’re a content creator looking to work with like minded people and own your productions then creating a streaming service is a viable business strategy.
You can check out our article on how to create your own Netflix-style streaming service.
4. TrickleUP: An Online Network Where Artists Help Artists
Inspired by the artists-on-behalf-of-artists movement, TrickleUp is an American charity organization that showcases performing arts content on its streaming platform.
Taylor Mac, a prominent performance artist, playwright, and drag queen, launched TrickleUP on March 23, 2020 with the sole purpose of helping performing artists in New York City that have lost income during the pandemic.
By launching a video streaming service, struggling performance artists can receive a $10k commission to support their art and livelihood.
How is that possible?
Well, TrickleUP features artists who donate their content to its subscription-style video streaming service. They equally represent performing artists and make space for LGBTQ+ artists and performers like…
- Christeene Vale
- Ari Shapiro
- Darrel Thorne
- Darlinda Just Darlinda
…who upload their content on the platform where TrickleUP collects monthly subscriptions from its members.
Once TrickleUP reaches $10k from their online audience, the donating artists select an artist, who has enlisted that they lost income, to be the recipient of the $10k commission.
Within 6 months, Trickle Up was able to pay $70k to performing artists!
Better still, TrickleUP plans to continue sending out commissions to struggling artists even after the pandemic. They do this by hiring another artist to create more content with the goal of giving out a commission every month.
If you’re a nonprofit organization like TrickleUP looking to help a community of creators, this is a really reliable business model to replicate.
Check out our article to learn more about different subscription business models that you can use for your streaming service.
5. Lesflicks VOD – An Online Space For Women Who Love Women (WLW)
Focusing mainly on lesbian, bisexual, and some transgender, movies, shorts, and TV series, Lesflicks VOD brings you content you can’t find on traditional (and even LGBTQ+) streaming services.
It showcases authentic stories of queer women from different backgrounds, identities, and color.
Lesflicks uses part of its subscription revenue to send out royalties to the independent filmmakers who have their content up on the platform.
At the heart of Lesflicks is a community that helps grow the business. Naomi Bennet, CEO and Founder of Lesflicks says:
An online community is key to a successful platform […] We know that we are creating a community who shares our values, and that means longevity. Community means you can have meaningful discussions and get real time feedback from your core audience, which can save time and make sure you focus on the right content.
And the benefits of having a community goes beyond creating a sustainable business. Members of the Lesflicks community can:
- Connect with different types of members (audience, creatives, supporters).
- Access events.
- Read film reviews.
- Access articles and newsletters.
- Search the LGBTQ+ film database.
If you’re looking to nurture a niche community like Lesflicks’s WLW cinephiles, then read our article on how you can grow your own community to help your VOD business
6. GayBingeTV: The Riches are in the Niches
GayBingeTV showcases gay movies and TV shows, creating a specific space in the entertainment industry for gay men while also leaving room on their platform for LGBTQ+, including transgender content.
Whether you’re competing with Hollywood, media conglomerates or YouTubers, the internet is saturated with content, and it’s easy for any creator’s content to get lost in the mix.
But the riches are in the niches and this is especially true for GayBingeTV where people can stream gay (and some LGBTQ+) movies and TV series from 12 different genres!
Through its online and app streaming services, GayBingeTV allows filmmakers to reach the right audience, maximize their viewership, and increase their earnings.
So, if you’re a video entrepreneur looking to make or promote niche content that stands out, you can read our article on how to find your niche.
7. Fearless: Discover New, Independent, And Inclusive Content
Fearless is a video streaming service that offers viewers access to inclusive content from all under-represented groups.
They make sure BIPOC, LGBTQ+, disabled, and female creators are being heard and can share their stories with the world.
Fearless offers an array of content categorized by 16 genres with over 40 filters to make sure that people can see themselves represented on screen.
Better still, their branded OTT apps let customers stream their favorite content natively on any device!
- Market their streaming service at a relatively low cost.
- Cultivate a community around their service.
- Generate leads and direct people that are most likely to subscribe to their paid service.
- Create different income streams like selling merch.
Wrapping this up…
We love celebrating our video entrepreneurs that are at the forefront of change.
These 7 streaming services show us just how important inclusiveness, representation, and community are to digital media.