by: Ed Laczynski

It’s important to think about how the worlds of entertainment and media have evolved, from cable packages/bundles to over-the-top content providers, from the living room television to tiny screens everywhere. Niche content owners and creators can now truly own their audience by taking advantage of all of the power currently at their fingertips.

How do I start owning my audience

I’ve seen these five hacks for premium content owners work, from large content library owners to individual content creators:

1. Know your viewer: Use tools like Google Analytics to understand who your viewers are and how they engage with your content. A direct-to-viewer strategy enables you to get even more information and drive useful engagement.

2. Take risks: With video content-management platforms you can try new strategies, like windowing, presenting in multiple languages, subscriptions, and more. Choose platforms that are low commitment, low cost, and grow with you to make risk taking possible. Self-service tools like VHX are a great way to try new monetization models.

3. Get on the set-top bus: There are so many new opportunities with ecosystems like Roku and Amazon Fire TV for all types of content owners and creators. These are new markets with growing adoption. Much like the iTunes store when the iPhone launched, get there quickly, and think about the keywords and content you use when publishing on those platforms. We launched a “Movie Trailers” app on Roku last week that already has thousands of new subscribers, with nothing but great keywords.

4. Own your discovery: Aggregators and consumer platforms like YouTube thrive on being search-engine friendly and discoverable on the open web and social media. Are you doing everything you can to make your content discoverable Do you have a destination site, and is it search engine optimized Free tools like Google Webmaster Tools, and paid tools like SEO Moz make it easy for anyone to start doing basic discovery improvements.

5. Own your marketing: With your own branded streaming destinations, you can leverage tools like Unbounce, Mailchimp, and Google AdWords for viewer registration, email marketing, and search-engine marketing. There is a whole universe of CRM and marketing tools available to content owners.

But what exactly is niche content Niche content can mean anything that a passionate audience rallies around and creates an emotional and loyal connection to viewers over and over again. Niche content matters because it has been a driving force for major shifts in consumer video since the beginning of broadcast television. So let’s look at how this evolved…

In the beginning, RCA created broadcast television.

The year, 1940. There was no niche. You watched what your dad watched, if you lived within the broadcast distance of a television station. The brands and advertisers you were exposed to were carefully planned, and the big broadcast networks were the ultimate gatekeeper. Simpler times indeed.

In this sense, television itself started out as a niche medium, but gained significant power because there was previously nothing else like it. The early content providers dictated everyone’s favorite programs and genres. In other words, there was no place for alternative or specialized content—the idea of TV alone was special enough.

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This article was originally posted on VideoInk and is reposted on [a]listdaily via a partnership with the news publication, which is the online video industry’s go-to source for breaking news, features, and industry analysis. Follow VideoInk on Twitter @VideoInkNews, or subscribe via for the latest news and stories, delivered right to your inbox.