Table of Contents
- Uscreen Full Review
- Why use Uscreen Instead of Youtube?
- Key Features
- Is Uscreen right for you?
- Plans start at $149/month (Basic) for up to 100 users and 1TB of streaming/video storage.
- Most popular plan is $299/month (Plus) for unlimited users, streaming, and video storage.
- 14 day free trial
Uscreen Full Review
Uscreen is a Video On Demand service that enables anyone to easily build video streaming and subscription channels and sell their content online, without having to worry about hosting videos themselves. Founded in 2015, the company has over 1,000 paying customers and currently hosts over 1 million videos.
Uscreen enables businesses to sell one-off or recurring subscriptions, and build a profitable video-on-demand company. With the increase in subscription-based video streaming services (SVOD), such as Netflix, Uscreen enables users to access purchased content at any time, anywhere, and through any device.
The company takes care of everything from video hosting to payments, subscriptions, and even includes a website builder. Businesses only need to supply the content, and can create everything from video tutorials to online classes, and even professional training for their audience.
Unlike some of its competitors, Uscreen operates on a monthly subscription fee with no revenue share or hidden fees. This means that businesses can set their own prices and receive 100% profit from their sales. In saying that, Uscreen is still a premium product and only recommended for serious content creators that have a clear direction for their videos, and a sound business plan. The platform has the potential to deliver a solid stream of income, and the company states that their average customer generates approximately $3,800/month in revenue.
Designed for users with no technical experience, the platform is intuitive to use, and includes easy navigation with helpful prompts to create your first program. Several pre-built templates are available to showcase your content, and each template can be customized according to your brand using a visual editor. However, with only a handful of templates offered, it can be challenging to build a truly unique website without additional HTML/CSS customization. Support is also limited to email for users on the Basic and Plus plans, although there is an in-depth Help Center available online if you run into any issues.
A useful add-on for companies using the Pioneer Plan is the ability to build branded native apps (iOS and Android) to improve engagement and offer a seamless experience for viewers. Uscreen even takes care of the entire process from setup to ongoing maintenance.
Why use Uscreen instead of Youtube?
Though Youtube is the most popular platform for users to upload videos, it's used for free content that's accessible to anyone. If you want to create videos that are only accessible to paying subscribers, you'll want to use Uscreen. In addition to restricting videos to subscribers, Uscreen also helps you build a website, manage subscriptions, and process payments—all of which would be expensive, and difficult to do from scratch if you were to try to do them on your own.
Both Uscreen and Youtube take care of hosting the videos on your servers, so that they're always available to viewers, without you having to manage your own servers and storage (which can get expensive).
Ultimately, if you're looking to build a subscription-based business that sells videos to your users, then Uscreen is the more suitable choice.
Below, we'll discuss the key features of Uscreen, and how they can help your business.
To begin sharing content with your community and accepting payments, you will need to set up a program and upload your content. Programs relate to how your content is organized and structured on the Uscreen platform. A program can include several chapters or episodes that relate to an overall theme. As an example, a fitness video subscription business may want to build a program called "Complete Bodyweight Training" and include several chapters such as "Introduction to Bodyweight Training", "Chest Workout", and "Core Workout".
Uscreen makes it easy for users with no technical experience to build eye-catching programs due to the step-by-step process and helpful prompts. Clicking on the "Program" section, users can add a title, include a brief description of the program, and select a cover image. Categories can be added allowing you to group and organize multiple programs. The categories will then be displayed on the homepage of your storefront, similar to a menu.
Once you’ve set up the general program information, the next step is to upload your content. If you have everything prepared, you can use the bulk upload feature to upload all of your content, and even allocate videos to programs at a later date. Uscreen can also sync with Wistia or Vimeo if you have existing videos stored on these platforms.
Programs can be organized and structured using dividers. Dividers break each chapter into different sections and make it easy for your audience to navigate and consume. Clicking on each file will enable you to edit the chapter title, description, thumbnail, and select whether the content is offered for free or paid. Free content can be useful to entice your audience and provide them with a sample of what to expect in the paid section. You can also include a quiz or series of questions in between videos, which can be particularly useful if you are creating a training course.
The final step to building a program is to set up payment processing. There are currently only two payment options available: Stripe or the Uscreen payment gateway. Stripe is recommended as the fees are lower (typically 3% plus 30 cents per transaction). However, if Stripe is unavailable in your country, Uscreen can collect payments via Stripe on your behalf. Fees using Uscreen are currently at 5% plus 30 cents per transaction, and payments are distributed on the first of each month via PayPal.
Uscreen provides several types of subscription plans that your audience can sign up for. The different pricing options that you can provide your viewers are:
- Fixed Price: One-time payment for permanent access to your program.
- Rental Price: Access to your program for a set period of time ranging from 24-hours through to 3-months.
- Subscription Price: Access to all selected programs for a monthly fee.
Uscreen recommends combining a fixed price structure with a subscription plan. Subscriptions deliver recurring monthly revenue and often result in better conversions. However, also including a fixed price for all your programs can entice new customers that may want to trial your paid content without making an initial commitment.
Programs can also be bundled together by combining multiple programs into one product. For example, you may want to offer a "Holiday" package and include several programs at a discounted rate. Uscreen recommends limiting your purchase offer to a maximum of two options (subscription, individual program price, or bundle), as too many choices can overwhelm visitors and make them less likely to purchase.
In addition to hosting your videos, Uscreen also helps you create an engaging website to showcase your programs. No technical experience is required, with four ready-to-go templates available to help you launch your site quickly. Each theme is built using Liquid (an open source template language) and meets modern design standards, in addition to being responsive across all devices.
Themes can be customized to match your brand using a visual editor. Users can adjust the styling/colorway to match your existing branding (Login & Checkout, Player, Other Pages). Additional pages, custom media (video, imagery), and navigation can be incorporated allowing you to build an engaging storefront.
However, one downfall is the limited selection of themes that Uscreen offers. Choosing from only a handful of templates can make it challenging to create a truly unique storefront, especially if your competitors are using the same platform. However, if you have a web developer (or some technical experience), it’s possible to modify each theme using the code editor. Alternatively, if you have an existing website, you can integrate programs into your site to create a seamless user experience. It’s worth mentioning that you should always backup your data on a regular basis, as changing themes will remove all previous customization.
Sales and Marketing
Running promotions can help boost your exposure and provide an incentive for customers to purchase. Coupons can either be fixed-price or based on a percentage, and set as a one-off, repeating, or forever. As an example, a repeating coupon set for three months will provide a reduced rate (fixed or percentage) for each billing month. After three months, the coupon will expire and revert to the full price. Coupons can only be applied to subscriptions, although users can create "Bundles" to offer fixed price reductions.
Another useful way to increase sales is by offering an affiliate program. Affiliate marketers can promote your course to their audience, in exchange for a commission or royalty. Setting up an affiliate program is straightforward, with only an email and name needed. A unique link is then allocated to your affiliate, which can be shared and allows you to see how many users and how much revenue each affiliate is bringing in, and pay them accordingly. However, one weakness of Uscreen's affiliate capabilities is the ability to pay affiliates directly through the Uscreen platform.
Understanding how your videos are performing and how your audience responds is crucial to building a successful business. Uscreen offers an easy to use reporting module that enables users to quickly analyze sales, video performance, coupon redemptions, and affiliate revenue. Reports are broken down across several dashboards and offer basic insights into your programs, videos, and sales.
Detailed video analytics, such as views, seconds watched, and even the average engagement level, are provided to provide an in-depth understanding of how viewers are interacting with your content.
While there is enough data for a high-level view of your sales and video performance, gathering detailed insights on customer viewing habits and comparing different metrics is difficult. Some reports don’t have an export button and require a Chrome extension to pull in the information. In addition, the date filtering system isn’t available on all reports, which forces you to export and analyze the data offline.
Uscreen includes a range of OTT (over the top) apps that allow content providers to reach a wider audience, improve your viewers' experiences, and ultimately make it easier for people to access content. An OTT app is a standalone product offered over the internet to consumers. Customers can download the app and access your content by purchasing a subscription. The company states that on average, customers have seen a 25% increase in sales by offering an app alongside their video site.
Currently, iOS and Android apps are only available on the Pioneer plan, with TV apps an extra $199/month (for Apple TV, Fire TV, etc). Uscreen also offers branded apps as a part of their premium service, where Uscreen will handle everything from launching the app to ongoing maintenance.
Is Uscreen Right for You?
Uscreen is a robust Video On Demand platform that allows anyone to monetize their content and build a profitable online business. The company provides everything you need to get started, including video hosting, payment collection, a website builder, and a branded app, allowing you to focus on creating quality content and growing an engaged audience.
Uscreen operates on a monthly subscription basis instead of a typical revenue-share model, allowing businesses to predict costs and maximize profit as they scale. you’re on a tight budget, Uscreen may not be the best option. You can quickly get started with Uscreen for just $149/month for up to 100 users. Though Youtube may be free to host your videos, you won't be able to restrict access to your content for your subscribers only.
While the platform includes an easy-to-use website builder, the limited themes offered can present a challenge for growing businesses that want to stand out in a crowded marketplace. A developer will be needed if you’re looking to make any major layout changes or incorporate additional features.
However, the pros of Uscreen clearly outweigh the cons for those who are looking to monetize their content. Videos can be streamed globally with no buffering using Uscreen’s CDN (content delivery network). Branded apps can provide a seamless experience for viewers, and payments can be completely automated. Overall, Uscreen is a simple and affordable platform for serious publishers that want to build an audience and make money from their video content.