If people don’t pay — they don’t pay attention. That sentence defines the theme of our conversation with rock star entrepreneur Pejman Taei (PJ).
In this episode of The Art of Making Things Happen, Pejman Taei takes us through what creators need to successfully monetize their content. As the founder of Uscreen — the number one VOD platform for video monetization — he certainly has many insights on the topic.
Build confidence as a resource provider
Instead of opening with how to turn video subscriptions into a healthy income, he highlights the importance of confidence. To Taei and many other content leaders, you have to believe in the value of your content before you can expect anyone else to.
When it came to starting his free channel, Taei acknowledges how easy it is to procrastinate initially. However, the success of Uscreen today is proof that the best thing a video creator can do is start now — regardless of the equipment on hand.
Creators need to get started and, more pressingly, get uncomfortable.
“I can do this,” Pejman Taei says regarding his start on YouTube. “it’s that simple. So it’s a matter of just getting started.”
Those are words to live by.
The fear of charging for content
Pejman Taei breaks down the biggest fear creators have around monetization — people not wanting to pay. The way he sees the market, COVID accelerated the trends that monetized content needs to thrive.
Not only did we become more accustomed to subscription-based streaming platforms like Netflix and HBO, but the consumption of paid content grew across multiple mediums. Between books, audio, blogs, and videos, consumers are becoming comfortable paying for entertainment and education online.
The shift towards paid content needs creators who prioritize the educational value of their videos over aesthetic perfection. Monetization is about being paid for your creative and educational labor. The time you save your audience with the information you provide is absolutely worth paying for.
The benefits of a paid experience
As creators, it can be easy to only see our intellectual property through our own eyes. We understand that we aren’t just charging for the skills it takes to make videos but for the time we invested in developing those skills. However, that isn’t the value proposition that inspires consumers to buy.
To the consumer, the value lies in the experience they’re paying for. One of the most significant advantages of paid content, according to Taei, is being able to offer ad-free convenience. When creators don’t have to rely on advertisers for income, they can focus on crafting an immersive experience for their audiences
That’s part of why Uscreen’s subscription model worked. We’re certainly grateful that major streaming networks aren’t bogged down with distracting sidebar pop-ups. It’s much easier to charge the actual value of our work when we understand its benefits from the audience’s perspective.
Free content is a saturated market
Many entrepreneurs and creators worry they missed the early trends in their industries. As Taei points out, 40% of the world isn’t online yet. As far as he’s concerned, anyone who sets their business up when the market is so far from capacity can be an early adopter.
If any market is hard to get into now, it’s free content. While publishing free videos can seem like the way to increase visibility, the free market is incredibly saturated.
“If you look, they’re more ready to pay for content than ever before,” Taei explains, “it’s just, there’s too much of it, too much free content.”
Not only is it still difficult to start out on free platforms like YouTube, then, but “free” now also means potentially disposable. What we want is to make our audiences feel like they’re paying for something invaluable.
Paid content is here to stay
Pejman Taei is the founder of Uscreen, the number one VVOD platform for video monetization. Through it, he helps hundreds of businesses discover the value of their videos, host their courses and grow their subscriber bases. You can also find him sharing industry strategies on his YouTube channel.