The PPV Model: Putting Your Digital Content Behind a Paywall

December 14

Among its other benefits, the internet has catalyzed the scaling of existing businesses, helping them to reach unprecedented heights. It has also created new economies that did not exist before. For example, regular people can now monetize their talents and viewpoints by creating content and posting it online to content monetization websites like iFans.

By sharing everything from cooking tutorials to blogs on personal well-being, hundreds of thousands of people are already making enough money with their content to partially or fully support themselves. While creating good quality content is the crucial first step, how you monetize your content will determine your earnings.

There are multiple methods to monetize videos, blogs, graphics, podcasts, and all other sorts of digital content online. To that end, we will now discuss paywalls as one of the leading and modern ways to earn money from your online content.

The modern digital world is full of many different types of content. Some of these are traditional content adapted to the internet, whereas others are entirely new.

Here are some of the most shared content types in current times:


Video is the most appealing and most engaging content that you can monetize with an online paywall. This includes the usual movies and TV shows by big-name productions, in addition to the content you may produce as a subject matter expert. For example, it could be travel videos, tutorials about your areas of expertise, or even product reviews. It could also be documentaries, sports, comedy specials, and so on. Independent creators can put up video content on platforms like YouTube, streaming sites like Twitch, or a paywall like iFans.


If you were a musician in the not-so-distant past, you had to pay exorbitant fees for production, even to create a soundtrack, let alone distribute it. Now, with improved audio hardware and the power of the internet, all music creators can make and share their work online with ease and reach a wider audience than ever before – that too at a fraction of the cost.


Podcasts, one of the newest forms of content, are long-form conversations that have taken the world by storm. Covering topics from pop culture to sports and everything in between, they are fast replacing traditional radio. If you want proof of their relevance, Spotify just signed exclusive rights to the Joe Rogan Experience (one of the world’s biggest podcasts) for a whopping 100 million dollars.


Text-based content is some of the oldest on the internet. These include blogs and articles on every topic under the sun. They could divulge precise information in 250 to 1,500 words or go into a long-form discussion of 2,000 to upwards of 3,000 words. It also includes news articles and e-Books.

Social Media Content

Social media has made the process of sharing content more seamless than it has ever been. Much of the content discussed above, such as video, music, and text, can also be shared via social media. Other types include images, such as photographs, infographics, and memes. Live streams and stories (short form videos) are also an emerging category of social media content.

Publishing your content online for free and earning money through advertisements placed in your content has now become an old or traditional method to monetize your digital content. With this method, if your online presence is big enough, you may sign advertising deals with companies directly. The more likely scenario is that you’ll employ a ‘middleman,’ such as Google Adsense, to find advertisers for your content. The middleman then pays you per view or conversion when someone clicks or buys the advertised product using your content.

With the traditional method, your content is available free of cost to your audience. As such, you reach a larger audience. Still, your earnings could vary widely and depend on a third party company who could change their policies overnight, thus slashing your revenue.

The modern method to monetize your content is by putting it behind a paywall. An online paywall aims to restrict users from viewing some or all of your content unless they pay for it. In the paywall model, your income comes directly from your followers rather than advertisers. While paid content reaches fewer people, it can undoubtedly help creators increase the stability and amount of their income.

iFans is an excellent example of the modern method to monetize your digital media content. You can upload any sort of digital content to the iFans website and monetize it by limiting access to the content only to individuals who pay you for viewing your content.

Not all paywall solutions are the same. Following are some of the main paywall models and how they work:

Hard Paywalls

Hard paywalls prevent access to your content unless the viewer signs up and pays money to view your content. These are risky as they drive away most of your potential audience unless you’re a renowned brand. Big companies like The Times and The Wall Street Journal use the hard paywall model to monetize their content.

Soft Paywalls

As the name suggests, this paywall strategy is flexible than a hard paywall. With this model, the viewer can access some content of the digital publishers but will have to pay for the complete experience. Soft paywalls work in one of several ways:

  • Premium Content: Some content is always available without paying for it, but there is a category of ‘premium’ content you will have to pay to view.
  • Metered Model: Users can view some content, such as five articles in a month, but have to pay if they want to read more.
  • Leaky Paywall: Content is usually paywalled, but there are exceptions from time to time, such as news in case of national emergencies.
  • Dynamic Paywalls: Every visitor’s data is evaluated through machine learning to provide them with a unique model that will increase the likelihood of paying to see your content. With this mode, each visitor hits the limit of the soft paywall differently.

A soft paywall allows you to retain a more extensive viewership. Your followers can enjoy enough of your content to develop a taste for it and will eventually choose to pay if they need more.

There are two main types of paywalls.

  • Paid Subscription: The digital subscribers pay a monthly or yearly subscription or membership fee to view or listen to the content. This is commonly used by music and video streaming services, such as Spotify and Netflix.
  • Pay Per View or PPV: Instead of paying a recurring fee for access to a full library, you pay for exactly what you want. This is a one-time transaction.

A great example is ESPN Plus because it uses a mix of both of these models. You pay a 5-dollar monthly fee for most content, but it also offers UFC PPV events for 65 dollars.

Putting your content behind a PPV paywall adds to its mystique and value. It gives the perception of uniqueness, making it seem more exclusive and premium. While you get fewer followers if your content is behind a paywall, those followers are more loyal to you and your brand.

Once your viewers pay to access your content, they have already invested their trust in you. As such, they are more receptive and responsive to your products’ marketing strategies, which provides you with more opportunities to earn money.

The PPV model is an excellent way to earn a steady stream of passive income. You put the effort in once, such as by writing an e-Book and posting it online, and you will keep earning from it for the rest of your life (provided people keep buying it).

As a content creator, you can choose what type of content you want to make and whether to put it behind a paywall or roll it out for free. Of course, you could combine both methods by having a paywall and also posting some free content on platforms like Instagram or YouTube for promotion or to create a buzz.

iFans offers an excellent paywall model for digital media content creators to earn money with their content. This platform lets you put your content behind a paywall, making it accessible only to users who pay you for seeing your content. Check out iFans now to explore the platform’s features and start earning money with your digital content.

By Alex
December 14, 2020

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