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Creating a Winning CTV Strategy: Monetizing Your Content

Today, it’s hard to imagine not streaming some form of content. It might be your favorite show, a clip, or a movie. No matter what you’re watching, like an increasing number of consumers — you’re probably streaming with the help of a CTV device like Apple TV, Roku, or a smart TV. And, you’re probably feeling relatively cutting-edge. I mean, you’re consuming TV on the internet!

While CTV is becoming the go-to format for video content, both new and — believe it or not — more traditional business opportunities are cropping up with every stream.

For instance, a 2023 study revealed that 59% of CTV customers would gladly watch ads in exchange for a cheaper or free subscription. This emphasizes that streamers and publishers now have multiple paths for capitalizing on their content — in other words, profits aren’t just coming from subscriptions, but from ad revenue that we might associate more closely with traditional television. In with the old and in with the new! 

Streamers and publishers: If you’ve been following along with our ongoing series on crafting a winning CTV strategy, you already know how to define your audience and distribute your content. In this piece, I’ll tackle the next crucial question: How can you make money from — or monetize — that content?

I’ll kick things off by reviewing the different ways CTV content can generate revenue. Then we’ll discuss key terms and challenges that you should know to start monetizing smartly. We’ll wrap things up by learning how Wurl takes the guesswork out of monetization with one of our key solutions: AdPool.

Understanding how content generates revenue

Once you’ve zeroed in on your audience and launched your content (or channel), you’re ready to use that content to get a return on your investment. But how, exactly? 

In the CTV sphere, there are three main paths to monetization: AVOD, SVOD, and FAST channels. These aren’t mutually exclusive, though: It’s possible to combine them into a “hybrid” strategy that takes full advantage of CTV’s qualities. 

Let’s take a look at each of these models in a bit more detail.


Subscription-based Video on Demand (SVOD) is the more classic monetization model for CTV as it’s modeled after the traditional TV set-up wherein a viewer pays a monthly fee for access to on-demand content. SVOD relies on subscribers paying a monthly fee, which gives them access to ad-free content. Think Disney+ and Hulu.


Advertising-based Video on Demand (AVOD) is a model that streamers and publishers use to monetize their on-demand content through ads. While Peacock is an easy example of this, legacy streaming services like Netflix and Max are also turning to ads to capitalize on the market trends mentioned above. 


The Free Ad-supported Streaming TV (FAST) model for monetization borrows from CTV and traditional TV by combining linear programming with the technical flexibility of streaming. FAST channels feature ads that appear during scheduled breaks; however, they’re far more tailored than the ones that run on legacy television. FAST is 100% free for the viewer. If you’ve got a Roku box and have seen an ad on The Roku Channel, or if you’ve watched one while streaming a boutique channel like DangerTV, you’ve experienced the FAST model in action.


You can monetize your content using a Hybrid Video on Demand (HVOD) model, which makes the most of AVOD, SVOD, and/or FAST channels. A+E (a Wurl partner!) does just that: In addition to linear TV, they deliver content through third-party SVOD/AVOD initiatives (with Apple TV, Netflix, Discovery+, Hulu, and many more), direct-to-consumer SVOD apps (which offer streamlined content such as documentaries or Lifetime movies), and FAST channels on Samsung TV Plus and Amazon Prime.

Common terminology for content monetization

Now that we’ve covered the SVOD, AVOD, FAST, and HVOD models, we can turn to some more granular key terms that you’ll likely come across during your content monetization journey:

Key challenges for CTV monetization

While monetizing your content is certainly an attractive move, it won’t come without its challenges. Of course, there’s no shortage of coverage about how advertisers are moving to CTV in droves, but streamers and publishers are still struggling to optimize fill for their ad inventories. This is partially due to the proliferation of new CTV channels and on-demand offerings. With so many content options flooding the platforms, streamers and publishers are struggling to match their supply with demand.

Another issue — which we’ll cover in the weeks to come — relates to measurement. How, for example, can streamers and publishers efficiently track engagement rates, frequency, and impressions to shore up advertiser confidence? How can they in turn mobilize these insights to optimize or even pivot their choice of an SVOD, AVOD, FAST, or HVOD model? Answering these questions will be critical for scaling your CTV monetization efforts and capturing market share.

A third prominent issue is acquiring and retaining viewership. It’s one thing to launch a content offering — be it a linear channel or VOD experience — and create supply. But, if you don’t have viewership, it’s harder to sell those spots. The more in-demand your content is, the more demand will likely follow. It’s not dissimilar to the first challenge mentioned in this section. With so many choices in programming, how does the audience find you?

Wurl simplifies the path to CTV monetization 

It may seem like a daunting task to effectively monetize your content — particularly since many streamers and publishers are increasingly relying on ads to generate revenue. Using a service like Wurl’s AdPool takes the guesswork out of CTV monetization.

For AVOD, FAST, or HVOD streamers and publishers, AdPool makes sure that your content connects with the many ideal advertisers that are out there. Once you’re plugged into AdPool, we’ll help you monetize every available ad impression on a global scale. With Wurl by your side, you’ll have a support system in place to help you achieve higher inventory fill rates, greater frequency and engagement, faster payments, and top-notch measurement, reporting, and expert support.

How do we do all of this? One way is through the exclusive CTV demand we offer through our partnership with AppLovin. This lets us link your content with thousands of top-tier mobile app brands that represent more than $3.5 billion in demand. In other words, if you create the supply, we’ll help bring you that demand!

Once you’ve monetized your CTV content, you’ll be ready to design, roll out, and measure your marketing plan. In the coming posts, we’ll walk through how to do just that. We’ll also spend more time on how to measure the success of each rollout so that you can make strides toward maximizing ROAS. 

Keep watching this space!

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