Uscreen Review: a VOD Platform for Content Creators Big and Small

Video has indeed killed the radio star a long, long time ago. And then the pandemic hit, additionally skyrocketing the amount of time we spend online. 

Not only are we now used to streaming movies and TV shows, but our kids have streamed their school lectures and we’ve replaced educational books with video classes. We’ve taught ourselves how to tie ties and how to replace tires by watching online videos. 

How often do we think about the other side of that screen, though? Do we ever consider what it’s like to be a video content creator? Have we come to realize it takes much more than merely recording a video to succeed? 

We get annoyed by the ads that keep popping up at irritatingly increasing intervals on YouTube. We blame the content creator, never considering it’s the platform serving us excessive ads. And many people write YouTubers off as lazy individuals making a quick buck off of our own backs. 

Yet, the reality is rather different. On a platform like YouTube, it sometimes takes years to get to a point where you can monetize your videos enough to make even minimum wage. 

This is why content creators are turning to other means of monetization. Pay-per-view and subscription-based on-demand video is becoming more and more popular. At the same time, new platforms are sprouting up that can meet this demand.

Uscreen is one of them, so in this post, we’ll be taking an in-depth look into its features, capabilities, and pricing. 

What Is Uscreen? 

Uscreen is a video monetization platform that allows video creators of any size to earn a living through their creativity. They launched back in 2015, and while based in Washington, they have an international remote team. 

Their aim is to provide creators both the digital space and the headspace to focus on the creative aspect of their business while the platform takes care of the technical challenges. Their solution comes with personalizable video-on-demand websites and native apps, the ability to set up your own pricing models, a lot of insightful analytics, and a whole host of powerful integrations. 

They currently have over 11,000 users and are proud to be fully profitable and bootstrapped. 

Who Is Uscreen for?

Uscreen was created to support content creators with small and large communities alike. Whether you are already using a different video streaming platform or are about to embark on your video creation journey, the platform was designed to accommodate you. 

The niche you make videos in is also of no consequence. Whether you bake, teach, do standup, or sing, you can use Uscreen to monetize your videos and to build and grow a thriving online community. 

There is just one consideration to make: are you able to monetize your videos? 

For instance, if you want to start vlogging and have no following to speak of, you might find it harder to get people to pay to view your videos. A free-to-view platform might be a better option if that is the case.

On the other hand, if you’re selling any kind of value and knowledge – be it a recipe, a foreign language class, a workout, a skill – Uscreen can help you monetize your creative efforts. 

Main Uscreen Features

Let’s take a look at some of the main features of Uscreen and what they mean to you as a video content creator. 

Several Video Monetization Options 

There are six different ways to monetize video content with Uscreen. 

  • Subscriptions (monthly, quarterly or annual)
  • Multi-tiered subscriptions
  • One-off purchases
  • Video rental 
  • Live streaming
  • Video bundles

The platform also supports payments in over 130 currencies, which means anyone anywhere in the world can pay to watch your content. Integrations with Paypal and Stripe are also available, and you can use the Uscreen gateway to process credit card payments.

Over-the-Top Apps

Uscreen lets you access over-the-top applications, helping you reach larger audiences. The platform supports:

  • iOS
  • Android TV
  • AppleTV
  • FireTV
  • Roku
  • Samsung Smart TVs
  • LG Web OS
  • Xbox
  • and Android smartphones 

Customizable Website Themes 

Uscreen lets you create your own website, your main content platform you can then use to sell and market your videos. 

It comes with 8+ website themes that you can use as is. You don’t need to have any coding knowledge, and you don’t even need to understand how a website works. Setting up your website will be super straightforward. 

The themes can be further personalized to match your content style and your branding. So don’t worry – not every Uscreen website will be the same. You can still stand out and make a memorable impact on your audience. 

Here’s what you can personalize:

  • Use your own logo
  • Change the colors of the theme
  • Add custom CSS and HTML codes
  • Use your own domain name
  • Use different languages

Every theme will have its own sales and checkout pages, so you can easily direct your visitors down your sales funnel and provide an easy conversion process. 

You are also getting:

  • Website hosting
  • SSL encryption 
  • GIF overlay 
  • Advanced search functionalities 
  • Custom filters
  • SEO functionalities 

In short, Uscreen offers everything you need to set up a home for your videos and lets you tailor it to your specific marketing and sales needs. 

Marketing Made Easier 

In order to make the most of your videos, you need to market them to your target audience. Uscreen comes with plenty of features that can make this process much easier. You won’t have to invest in numerous other tools (though you might still want to invest in a few), as you can handle a lot of marketing and promotion from Uscreen itself. 

There is a landing page builder that you can tinker with to create memorable first impressions. 

It also comes with Leadzen that lets you build email lists in order to set up a newsletter for your subscribers. 

You can also set up cart abandonment sequences, reaching out to those visitors who have failed to check out. Asking them what the issue was and why they gave up can then allow you to further customize your prices and content. 

There’s a unique feature too that lets you offer a last-minute discount to a subscriber who wants to cancel their subscription. This can help you increase customer loyalty and reduce subscriber churn. 

You can also: 

  • enable or disable comments on your videos
  • set up a forum where you can moderate comments and get involved in the discussion
  • use the community feed to share updates with your audience

Video Hosting and Content Management

When it comes to the hosting of your videos and their management, Uscreen has ensured you don’t have to be extremely tech-savvy to upload and share your content. 

Your viewers all around the world will be able to access your videos at any time of the day, without interruption. Uscreen is powered by 4 CDNs, so your upload speed won’t cause you any headaches, and you won’t have to worry about streaming at a specific time of day only to ensure every viewer gets a smooth non-pixelated image. 

Uscreen comes with an HTML5 video player, which works across all devices and also offers cross-device quality viewing. Closed captions and picture-in-picture are available as well, and you can broadcast to Chromecast or Apple Airplay with the click of a button. 

Live Streaming

Live streaming has become incredibly popular during the pandemic, and it’s not likely to go anywhere. Alongside your regular on-demand videos, you should offer the occasional live stream to promote a stronger relationship with your audience and foster that community spirit. 

Uscreen lets you generate revenue from your streaming sessions, allowing you to take your income beyond a subscription-based service. However, you can offer live streams for free if you want to. 

The live stream comes with a live chat which you can toggle on and off for different streams. 

It’s also available on OTT apps, and you can auto-record it to be published on the website later. You can let viewers register for the session, and there’s an automated countdown to help you build some hype around the stream. Uscreen claims the streams are seamless and uninterrupted, thanks to their network of CDNs.

Over 1000 Integrations

Uscreen comes with plenty of integrations that will enable you to take your video-based business to the next level. 

Some of the most notable apps you can integrate Uscreen with include:

  • Google Analytics
  • Google Tag Manager
  • Facebook Pixel
  • LinkedIn Pixel
  • Zapier
  • Mailchimp
  • Vimeo
  • Twitter
  • HotJar 

The list doesn’t end here, and you can see all of them in the Settings tab on the platform. 

Uscreen Pricing

Uscreen offers a 14-day free trial you can take full advantage of to explore the different features of the platform and determine whether it could work for your video streaming business.

After the two weeks are up, they offer three subscription plans.

The Basic plan will cost you $49 monthly + $0.50 for every subscriber per month. It includes their website and marketing tools and automations, as well as bandwidth and storage and onboarding.

The Amplify plan will cost you $399 per month + $0.50 for every subscriber per subscriber per month. It includes everything you get in the Basic plan, plus 50 hours of live streaming per month, live chat, integrations, and a free migration.

There is also an Enterprise plan, the price of which you will have to inquire about with Uscreen’s sales team. It gives you access to white-label mobile and TV OTT apps, API access, and end-user support, as well as white-glove account management.

If you’re looking for an affordable video monetization solution that leaves you in control and you want to find an alternative to YouTube, you can certainly take advantage of the Basic plan and slowly but surely grow your business. 

Even the Amplify plan can be worth your while once you’ve established a core audience.

The great thing about Uscreen’s pricing is that you are very clear upfront about what you are getting and how much that will cost. As you are the one who controls the prices for each video or stream, you can predict how much you need to earn to cover your basic costs. This is not something that can be said for a lot of other streaming platforms. 

Pro and Cons of Uscreen 

Compared to other similar platforms, Uscreen has several obvious advantages.

  • It doesn’t serve ads on your video content, which makes for a smoother viewing experience and eliminates distractions and annoyance.
  • It doesn’t market competitor content on your channel, which is not something that can be said of the likes of YouTube.
  • There are no algorithm changes that can significantly impact who sees your content. You never have to worry about something unpredictable swooping in and messing with your earnings.
  • You are the owner of your content and your website. You can set all of the rules and all of the prices.
  • The platform itself is very powerful and easy to use. Plus, it allows you to grow practically indefinitely. 

As for the cons that you need to be aware of, they are as follows:

  • The pricing plan is pretty steep. You may need to fork out a fair amount to get started with all the features you need.
  • There’s a limit to the number of videos you can store on Uscreen.
  • The website customization options are not endless, and you may find yourself frustrated by a feature you can’t change.

In Closing 

If you’re looking for a reliable, easy-to-use way to monetize your video content, want to retain content ownership and control, and offer different subscription plans and pricing levels for access to your videos, Uscreen can be an incredible partner. 

The platform offers everything you need to get started with a video streaming business. As you grow, you may need to upgrade to a higher pricing plan. You may find you also need to reach for some of Uscreen’s numerous integrations, but the platform does provide plenty of space to develop. 

Although it comes with a slightly steep pricing plan, it’s still one of the most affordable ways to monetize video content. So with that being said we highly suggest you check it out. The 14-day free trial will tell you everything you need to know about the platform, and you’ll easily be able to decide if its interface and abilities suit your needs.