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Written By

Peri Elmokadem

Peri is the SEO Content Manager at Uscreen. She writes to teach the world about the ways of video monetization. She’s also a visual artist, traveler, and dog lover (although she’s starting to warm up to cats).

How Much Content Do You Need to Launch Your SVOD Business?

We recommend a minimum of 60 minutes of cumulative video content in total, preferably divided into about 10 separate pieces of video content – but the more the merrier (always the more the merrier).

Instructional and Educational Content

When it comes to content volume, instructional and educational content have an extra advantage over entertainment because of something called “microlearning”.

Microlearning is a digital learning experience that provides bite-sized and focused learning content to teach and deliver content to learners.

Applying the microlearning model to your video content means you get to divide 60 minutes worth of content into 12 to 30 videos, 2- to 5- minute each. Imagine how full your content library will be using only 60 minutes of content! That’s a library ready to launch.

You don’t have to divide your content in the microlearning model – it’s just a cool trick we recommend when starting off to give you more leverage as you try to get your first few subscribers.

Entertainment Content

Entertainment can sometimes be a little different because no matter the type of entertainment videos you produce, they could never really be 2-3 minutes. The shortest you can probably pull off is 10 minutes. TV series usually run 25 minutes minimum. If your content type is movies, 60 minutes is usually the minimum length it’ll run.

If your content is entertainment-focused, our advice to you for minimum content is to have at least 60 minutes of total content, and at least 5 different videos in your content library – divided however it needs to be to reach your own content goal.  

All of this being said, the best way to segment your video content is the way your audience will best consume it for maximum value. Find out what that is, with the general rule of minimum 60 minutes of content and as many pieces of video content in your library.

Does producing 60 minutes of content sound overwhelming to you? It shouldn’t. We’ll go over how to productively produce that in a short period of time in the next section. It’s much simpler than it sounds, promise.  

How much new content do you need to add to your VOD and how often?

There is no one answer; everyone seems to have a different opinion on this. But being the curious company we are, we studied our own customers and found that while the answer to that question still isn’t, and never will be, a straightforward one, we can give you the framework and starting point that’ll help you figure out what’s best for your video business.

The rule of thumb from content membership experts like Stu McLaren is a frequency of one new piece of content every week.

However, analyzing our customers, there doesn’t seem to be a strong correlation between the frequency of new content uploaded per month and the VOD’s success.

Some of our content creators upload new content once a week, some once every other week, and some once a month – and there doesn’t seem to be a difference in their levels of success or generated revenue. Total Immersion Academy adds 1 hour of content once a month, for example.

We did find, however, that the success of those VODs actually has more to do with the sizes of their content library than the frequency of new content uploaded.

The key is to add enough to always keep your users engaged, and so there’s always something new for them to watch. The larger your library becomes, the less frequently you have to upload content. In fact, McLaren also mentions that the number one reason people cancel a content membership is because of “content overwhelm”, and not because they’re not getting value from each individual piece of content. But what is a valuable piece of content if the sheer volume of it makes you too overwhelmed to benefit from it?

So how do you navigate this? To sum up, here’s how can do this:

  • Launch your video business with at least 60 minutes of video content in as many separate segments as your content’s nature will allow you to.
  • Push out new video content weekly or biweekly for the next year, until you reach a total of 500 minutes and your library starts to look nice and full (that’s about 40 minutes of content a month).
  • Take the frequency down to adding 30 minutes of content a month.

Just like everything we tell you to do in Video Business School, take this with a grain of salt. Every business is totally different, but you need to understand the framework first to be able to cater it to your content, audience and goals and business model. So start somewhere, and test and learn as you go.

Before you panic about the amount of content you need to produce, it’s actually not that many! Take a deep breath and head on over to the next section, where we’ll walk you through the most efficient way to plan for the production of all this video content.

Lesson 3:

How to plan for content production

Go to Lesson 3