How to Make Money with ROKU

Make money with Livecast365 and Roku

Roku’s Direct Publisher gives you a limited-use, basic Roku app for free. With some display customization, minimal and analytics, it might be the first tool in a content creator’s toolkit, but it certainly isn’t enough.

With Roku growing so fast as an opportunity for video publishers and media companies, how can you go beyond Direct Publisher to make real money with a Roku channel?

Well, first things first. At Livecast365, we’ve created a platform to help video publishers not only get on Roku but to increase revenue. Let’s get to the basics: Ad-Based (AVOD) vs. Subscription-Based (SVOD) on Roku.

  • Ad-based Video on Demand (AVOD) are channels that sell ads to make money. This is how it has been done for years, from short 15 second Super Bowl ads to late-night infomercials and everything in between. While this isn’t new, the opportunity is still there. YouTube has proven that point billions of times over.
  • Subscription Video on Demand are channels that charge users a monthly or annual fee. Think about the cord-cutters, Netflix, Hulu, etc. If you can offer high-quality content or provide unusual or niche content

Why Go Ad-Based?

Technology allows a content-creator to monetize almost instantly. Channels of any size start running ads and making money. Often times, the path of least resistance to making money with your videos is to take advantage of ad tools.

For example, if you have you publish a channel using Roku’s Direct Publisher tool, you can easily opt into their Roku Audience Network to start making money. This lets Roku sell and run ads on your behalf, with no extra work from you. Keep in mind that Roku (like YouTube) will decide what ads to run and will take 40% of the ad revenue for their trouble. Another easy option would be to select a third-party ad service, which would allow you to monetize instantly.

Why Go Subscription-Based?

You’ve probably heard the term “paywall.” This simply refers to an arrangement whereby viewing is restricted to paid subscribers. Netflix, Disney+ and HBO GO make their money from this paywall. Why is this trend towards subscription-based content growing? First, ads are annoying to the viewer. Secondly, ads require thousands of impressions to provide revenue for the content creator.  Subscriptions, on the other hand, pay you substantially more per viewer. You can have a smaller audience, but if they are loyal – and keep paying their fee – you can make money faster.

Roku Direct does not offer subscription features. If you want to make money with paywalls, premium content, or live-streaming, Livecast365 can personalize a solution for you.

Other Options to Make Money on Roku

(1) Follow the Hulu model and offer a combination of Ad-Based and Subscription-Based programming.

(2) In-video sponsorships

(3) Ask for donations (especially if you are a non-profit or offer religious content or special knowledge.)

(4) Product placement

(5) Selling your ‘merch’ can be a key to monetization outside of your videos

It isn’t easy to make money on Roku – or any OTT platform – but it can be done. To find out more about how Livecast365 can put you in position to succeed far beyond the limitations of Roku Direct, find out more at