Starting an Online Television Network: 2021 Guide

It’s no secret that the way people watch television has changed significantly in recent years. The online television network has expanded the reach of the entire entertainment industry by offering video and television content over the Internet, or Over the Top (OTT).

For viewers, this new online TV technology has enabled a much wider choice of content, while for content publishers online TV networks have also created significant revenue opportunities.

Launching an online television network is now much more affordable and accessible than ever before. While this used to only be possible for the very rich and large corporations, today almost anyone can create their own TV channel, even for free on platforms like YouTube or Facebook.

Here we discuss the steps involved in starting an online TV channel, from the idea to launching and marketing your channel.

Planning your television network and monetization model

First, we need to understand that there are currently three main ways to publish television online:

  • on demand: think Netflix or YouTube. This content distribution model allows viewers to choose to watch all content on demand, at any time (and on any device). On-demand television has become very popular over the past decade, offering more versatility to both viewers and content providers.
  • Live Streaming: speaks for itself, here we stream live content according to a schedule. Content can be pre-recorded but broadcast live, and recorded as on-demand content after a live broadcast.
  • Linear radiation: In this model, content is broadcast linearly (24 hours a day, 7 days a week), as in traditional television. Can include both pre-recorded and live content, but viewers must adhere to a specific time period to view certain content.

Which distribution model you choose ultimately depends on the needs and behavior of your target audience. However, there are online TV channel providers like Viloud that allow you to use all three models on your TV network. You could, for example. B. Operate your television network as a linear channel, but offer some of your content on demand after it airs.

Next, you also need to think about how you are going to make money from your channel.

Even if you run your television networks as a non-profit, operating them will cost money. So you should at least try to cover the operational costs by making money.

In general, there are three main methods of monetizing your online TV network:

  • Subscription: The user pays a fixed subscription fee (monthly, yearly, etc.) to access all your content.
  • Transaction: Similar to the pay-per-view model of traditional television, viewers pay a flat fee for access to individual content.
  • Free and supported by advertising: You broadcast your TV channel online for free, but you show ads to your viewers. You can combine this with a subscription model so viewers can bypass the advertising by paying a fee.

Planning your television network

Now that you have determined your TV network specifications, we can begin planning your TV network by considering the following questions:

What is the purpose of your network?

You can set up your television station for a variety of reasons, whether it’s a commercial venture or to support an existing business. They may also have specific objectives, such as. B. Generate more leads for your business, etc.

The more specific your goal, the better you can define your target audience and plan the content to be published.

Which niche will you focus on?

You can certainly bring out all kinds of content and try to attract a wider audience. However, in today’s highly competitive online TV ecosystem, it is usually best to focus on one or two niches to reach a specific audience.

You should also think about the types of content you will offer and how you will obtain that content (i.e. produce it yourself, rent or buy it from others, etc.).

Investing in the right infrastructure

What equipment and tools you need will depend on a number of factors, but these are the basic requirements:

  • Video source: This could be a camera, streaming video from third-party platforms (e.g. YouTube), a video file on your computer, etc. You should at least buy a decent camera.
  • Audio source:  Your audio source can be a microphone or an audio file (such as background music). There are now affordable microphones with a USB port that allow you to connect them directly to your computer.
  • Encoder:  Very important, especially if you want to broadcast your content live. The encoder converts/encodes the video files from your camera into a streaming file. You can choose between a hardware encoder or a software encoder.
  • Computer: You will need a computer sufficient to edit and modify the content. If you want to stream your content live using a software encoder, you need a decent computer on which the encoder can run reliably.


As we can see, it is now more affordable and accessible than ever to launch your own online TV network in 2021. However, with such a low barrier to entry, increasing competition must be taken into account, hence the importance of planning a network to succeed.

It is best to focus on one or two niches where you can add more value to your target audience. Keeping your viewers happy will help you grow your community, and those satisfied viewers will also recommend your TV channel to their colleagues and friends.

frequently asked questions

Should I start a YouTube channel in 2021?


How do I start my YouTube channel in 2021?

how to get your chan…

How much does it cost to run a television station?

The installation can usually be done for less than 50,000, sometimes even less if your requirements are not that stringent. However, your monthly satellite costs can range from $8,000 to $30,000 per month, depending on the satellite you are broadcasting on.

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