Create your own Tech-Educational Video-on-Demand Platform with UScreen.tv

Facebook have shown by reaching 8-billion daily video views in 2015, doubling the previous year, that video content is the future. This is further undescored by the phenomenal success stories from subscription-based services like Netflix, Hulu, and even the recently launched YouTube Red subscription service.

We have also seen tech-educational subscription-based services like Lynda (acquired by LinkedIn) and Udemy, as well as free services Coursera and Khan Academy kill it in the marketplace, with strong active users.

Subscription-based video-consumption is a proven model that provides convenience and capped pricing for users, whilst providing assured and more easily-forecastable revenue prediction for businesses. By encouraging active users over a duration of time, it also provides businesses with the opportunity to generate a profit-sharing model with their content creators.

Have you ever toyed with the idea of producing your own tech videos and selling it, or even grander, build a video platform to bring together a marketplace of video authors and video consumers? You could code such a video-consumption platform from scratch, but the amount of time and effort, and cost to build such a platform could easily years.

Instead of having to deal with pushing to web and mobile, as well as integrating a subscription-service and dealing with payment platforms, uscreen.tv can help you build your own-branded subscription-service video platform, sans the coding and programming effort.

WIth uscreen.tv, you can upload more than just videos of course, including audio/podcast files, PDFs, as part of your educational delivery. In this post, we will show you how easy it is to create your own tech-educational video-on-demand platform, as we take a look at the SAAS-platform, uscreen.tv.

We will create a fictitious development educational business, called LearnSwift that will teach Swift to students, using Apple’s Swift educational library which we borrowed for illustrative purposes. NOTE this article is not associated with Apple, nor have we got permission to use the content.

 

Uscreen.tv Features

The power of the platform comes in the support it gives us to easily deliver educational content. uscreen.tv provides a plethora of tools and services to help you easily and methodically publish content for your users to consume. We start off after we register, in the dashboard, where we are presented with a snapshot of the vital analytics, from registrations, to revenue and subscribers (including active), right from the get-go.

CMS Features

At the core of the platform, the first thing you look for is what features does it provide you with to upload and distribute content. uscreen.tv makes it easy to bulk-upload all types of content, not just videos. For instance, you can provide your users with PDF material to supplement your videos, coding examples and references to your technical videos.

You can schedule your content, so that your subscribed and registered users get the right videos in the right time, providing concise control over the release of individual videos, as well as the ability to remove videos from a user’s library.

Educational Platform

What I particular like is the ability to make this a fully-fledged education platform. You can test your users through setting up tests & quizzes to assess them, track their progress through a curriculum consisting of videos, PDFs, assignments and tests.

At the end, reward your users with the abiity to earn a certification if they pass, or nudge them along by guiding them toward study guides and follow-up assignments if they don’t pass. We will setup something simple like that in this article. So, for our project, we setup a new program from the menu titled, Learning Swift.

We then set the various chapters that make up the program, based on Apple’s Educational curriculum. The first chapter I’ve decided to make free:

I am actually thinking of doing more advanced course/programs later on, so we might as well setup and create the categories for the future:

User Reviews & Feedback

You can also get feedback from your customers, which can prove invaluable as well as engaging. From setting up the ability for your students to discuss the course and platforms, ask questions, to providing the ability for users to rate and comment on particular videos, you can capture user sentiment and setup a collaborative ecosystem with little effort.

Customization Features

I’m sure you are curious as to how much you can customize, as far as delivery of content, the user’s environment, as well as the look & feel. Thankfully, you have the ability to fully brand and customize your platform, as it’s 100% white-label.

Another client of uscreen.tv, CinePlayTV, have opted for the Netflix-style look-and-feel for their movie/video distribution platform, to present a familiar and robust visual language for their users.

You can customize your website through the ability to choose your theme-of-choice, giving it a familiar Netflix-like look-and-feel. There are dozens of other themes you can opt for of-course.

So, to set the stage, we customize the platform with our fictitious company's logo.

For advanced control, you have the ability through CSS and javascript to further-customize the template, through an easy-to-use langauge framework, called liquid.

Subscription Services

A subscription-based business model is the most optimal model of ecommece, benefiting both you as well as your customers. For customers, they get a convenient ‘auto-pilot’ consumption service that takes away the hassles of purchase decisions, as they get billed monthly without having to do it themselves. It’s a transparent and budget-friendly way, a flat-rate pricing structure with the assurance they can control when to stop their subscription. For you, as content creator, you get the value of predictive revenue via recurring sales, making revenue forecasting. According to John Warrillow (The Value Builder System),

“The more guaranteed revenue you can offer a potential acquirer, the more valuable your business is going to be. Because a high percentage of the revenue of a subscription-based business is recurring, its value will be up to eight times that of a comparable business with very little recurring revenue.”

You can provide your users with a subscription account, similar to Netflix, allowing your users to manage their account and subscription on their own. You can provide your users with different payment terms, from weekly, monthly, quarterly, bi-yearly and annually, setting the terms for how the users pay. To collect payments, the platform allows us to connect to an existing Stripe Account.

To have an idea of the types of websites you could easily create, one of uscreen.tv's clients, educational site Total Immersion Videos, created a swimming video distribution platform, with  monthly and weekly subscription packages.


A particularly impressive feature is that you have full control over whether to bill your subscribers on a specific day of the week or month collectively, so that you have a more predictable revenue flow. You also have the ability to provide incentives to your customers, such as providing a discount for paying up front for longer periods, securing greater funds and user retention for longer periods of time.

One-Time Purchases and Rentals

You can also of course charge for content through one-time purchases as well as rental over a period of time. For one-time purchases, users pay for video once-off rather than in a subscription model, whereas with the latter, you set the period in which the video access expires.

Think for instance, having a Ruby on Rails training program that you can set for a one-month trial period, after which users would have to subscribe to view other programs.

We can also geo-block our content to specific countries, kind of like what Netflix does, if your content is subject to regional restrictions.

So, for our educational program, we are going to set our subscription model, once again from the left-hand menu, subscriptions.

To further rope in potential customers, the platform offers various options as far as customer incentives go. You can provide a one-time discount that applies only at the time-of-signup, or generate coupon-codes where you can control the number of times a code can be redeemed, to promote your store, perhaps via Twitter or Facebook, as part of your user-acquisition strategy. You can even have your promotion scheduled, with activation and expiration dates, so you can have the discount for a fixed duration.

So, to get new customers onto our platform quickly, we are going to focus on getting the first 100 users to join up, and get a 25% discount.

This platform offers multi-currency support, as well as integrated advertising, secure checkout, major payment gateways (Stripe, BrainTree, PayPal and more) and even calculate taxes automatically. We’ve created an affiliate program, whereby our pals at SallyEducation will get rewarded for promoting our content:

Our progress so far

So far, its only taken us a few minutes to create a basic store, with one or two chapters, so let’s take a look at what we have so far:

Pretty cool huh? Very easy and straight-forward, I honestly didnt even look at the tutorial videos or documentation yet. Another awesome thing is, your website is mobile-ready, so users can access your content from any device and it will look great. They can view your content online, or offline, where the digital downloads are saved on their phones or tablets, and protected from being copied outside of your environment.

Native Apps

uscreen.tv also provide avenues for making your app a native iOS or Android app as well, with the ability to broadcast your videos directly onto Apple TV or Google Chromecast. Of course, labeling and branding your mobile apps for now can’t be done from your end, but through contacting their sales team, you can get that extra level of branding and ownership you need.

SEO & Analytics

After we’ve build everything, we need to attract our users, and track who comes in. Through the ability to track key performance indicators for all subscribers, you can generate churn, lifetime value, average subscription length and average revenue per user, vital information right from the dashboard.

We already talked about the affiliate program that we created just before, allowing me through an affiliate code to work with all major affiliate providers. We could also setup our store to integrate with our social network channels, be they Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram or Twitter, as well as Mailchimp. The latter is especially awesome because it allows you to perform a fully-fledged email marketing campaign to communicate deals, coupons/promotions, and maintain close contact with your existing subscribers, as well as those that are inactive, to try and reel them back in to a paying subscription.

Down to individual videos, uscreen.tv are adding the ability to view heatmaps for each of your videos, how often they are repeated, what videos and chapters are doing extra well.

Pricing

So, how much is having this service going to cost me? They have a few tiers you can choose from, starting at $99 per month, and you can scale up as you get more users.

uscreen.tv don’t take any of your revenue, or any other fees, so the pricing is clear. To get you started, uscreen.tv are offering a Free Trial option as well.

In Summary

uscreen.tv is a fantastic CMS platform to get you selling your educational material, whether they be videos, PDFs or audio podcasts. Looking to create a Lynda-like video platform, or an educational platform like Udemy, as well as free services Coursera, uscreen.tv makes it easy for you to accomplish that, without any coding experience.

Rather than waste years of development time creating your own video solution, this proven solution not only lets you create a robust educational delivery mechanism, but provides you with robust subscription, analytics, curriculum and feedback tools to help you build a complete online university. I was surprised at how easy it was to get started, and if you are like me, focusing on what I do best (creating technical material and tutorials) is a far better time-investment, leaving uscreen.tv to do what they do best, create an awesome vehicle for me to deliver my expertise and get money for it.

Resources

Doron Katz