How to Start an Internet TV Station

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In 2019, it seems like cable TV is a relic of an older era. It’s not really news to hear that people are scrapping their cable subscriptions in favor of cheaper internet-based options like Netflix, Hulu or even YouTube Premium. According to one survey, a whopping 60% of Americans have already canceled their TV service and another 29% are considering it in favor of streaming.

Streaming also allows for more creativity and gives room for the underdog to rise above. It’s actually not really all that hard to start an internet TV channel. YouTubers around the globe are making millions crafting their own channels with daily, weekly or monthly content. Take Philip Defranco, for example. The star created a daily news channel where he hosts a news rundown every day and has racked up a whopping $6 million net worth. The top 10 most popular streamers on Twitch, a live-stream platform, rake in $20 million a year in revenue.

So, how do you start an internet TV channel? Find your brand, pick an internet TV station broadcasting software and get users to subscribe.

Get the Equipment

You’re going to need some hardware and TV station broadcasting software before you can launch your channel. The former includes a video camera with a USB or HDMI input (think: Canon Rebel for a basic option or even a GoPro), a computer, editing software (like Adobe Premiere or iMovie) and a microphone. You can get a clip-on microphone if you’re going to be standing or a stationary mic that props up on your desk if you’re going to run a podcast-style talk show.

Pick Your Platform

Next, you need to pick your platform. You can use an independent internet TV station broadcasting software that works with your internet domain, but web TV registration is a whole lot easier with social networks. All you have to do is sign up with some basic info. Plus, the more people already using a service, the more access to subscribers you'll have. Consider using platforms like IBM Cloud Video (formerly Ustream), YouTube, Twitch, Facebook Live or even Instagram TV. YouTube is a popular option overall, but Twitch and Instagram TV are catered toward live streaming.

Find a Niche

Once you’ve completed your web TV registration, it’s time to find your niche. What's your channel going to be about? The best internet TV channels are unique. Take a look on YouTube and see which channels are succeeding but also catch your eye. Popular channels often focus on fashion, beauty, travel, comedy or gaming. Gaming and comedy are especially popular for a live streaming-type channel. Remember to put your own spin on things because people want to hear your unique voice. They won’t subscribe to something if they’re already getting the same content somewhere else.

Start Your Internet TV Channel and Find Subscribers

The next step is filming. If you’re live streaming, open up your internet TV station broadcasting software and hit go. If you’re creating stand-alone episodes, it’s a little more involved. You’ll have to film your content, edit it on your video editing software of choice, add music and then upload it.

Next is the web TV registration phase for subscribers. You’re going to have to find subscribers who actually want to come back and view your stuff. Consider collaborations with other TV channels and advertisements on the platform you’re using. Instagram, YouTube and Facebook all offer comprehensive advertising options that will help you reach their viewers.

Monetize Your Videos

Starting an internet TV station is cool, but it’s not a job until you monetize. Once you have some subscribers and a portfolio of episodes, you need to figure out how to make money. Some internet TV channels ask for PayPal donations. Others opt to use a service like Patreon that allows users to subscribe for varying monthly fees in order to see exclusive content. You can also place ads automatically within YouTube videos if you meet a certain threshold of subscribers and view time.

By far, the most popular way for internet TV channels to make money is by getting a brand to sponsor their videos. Reach out to brands you like and offer to include their products in your video for a fee. The more subscribers you have, the more money you can charge. Most sponsors will pay from $10 to $100 per 1,000 views. In other words, if your videos are regularly seeing 100,000 views each, you can ask for between $1,000 and $10,000 to name-drop a brand and it wouldn’t be outlandish.

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About the Author

Mariel Loveland is a small business owner, content strategist and writer from New Jersey. Throughout her career, she's worked with numerous startups creating content to help small business owners bridge the gap between technology and sales. Her work has been featured in publications like Business Insider and Vice.

Photo Credits

  • Michael Kurtz/iStock/Getty Images