Not everyone in the IPTV market can be a first hand provider! The hurdle is too much. Some decide to avoid all that headache and leave all the technical stuff to someone else while they make money out of it by reselling the service. However, being a successful reseller has it's own ups and downs. In this article we will see where and how to start as an IPTV reseller and achieve a stable monthly income. Please note that we are looking at this as a full time job and not a part time thing. Yeah! that serious :)
Throughout the years of being in this market, I personally have seen and worked with people who worked as resellers both in Cardsharing and IPTV. Some paid off their student loans, some their personal debts and moved forward until they achieved a life-changing stable monthly income which basically made this reselling thing their full-time job. Some others were different! they did not give a damn about their clients, the quality of the provider they got the feed from and, eventually, cowardly vanished. Making big money out of this is very much possible. Your efforts, planning and attention will determine your place in the market. If you are looking at it as a part time job, don't expect big results! part-time attention and efforts mean part-time income so ... . Scammers and thieves are also part of this market both as resellers and first-hand providers and good news is they are being called out on groups, forums and reddit communities. Lame may never last!
Your existence in the market relies on a few fundamental factors which we are going to be discussed here in full details. So make yourself a hot drink, sit tight and read carefully if you want to make money out of this, in a safe way of course!
1-You need a plan
Like any successful project, this one needs a plan, too. When I say planning, you need to ask yourself:
-How desperate are you to make money?
-Above answered will determine "How much time and energy are you willing to dedicated to this on a daily basis?"
-I am tired of some people staying in the grey area, let's be honest: This activity is illegal! plain and simple, so "Do you need to hide the fact that you are selling IPTV service from your family or friends? if so (and you need to), then how can you do that?" this should be measured carefully especially if you are not living alone. residing in a copyright sensitive country would be another reason why one should think about this.
-Continuing with the legal side of the story: What form of payment method are you going to provide your clients with? do you have or know a low risk payment method?
-What device and app are you going to invest in? It's best to work with fixed number of device/apps and suggest/provide the same to your clients. This results in a coherency among your clients and when they message you asking for support, you already have a clear idea what it is about.
-What sort of extension you want to go with? The safest, most common extension would be M3U streaming line. However, Stalker Portal is another widely used way of running IPTV mostly used on MAG boxes. Recently, Stalker Portal has shown bugs letting crackers brute-forcing IPTV panels by scanning the stalker portal address against a massive list of MAC addresses which eventually results in the MAC address being exposed to "unwanted" access. Many providers have stopped supporting stalker portal, many still do. Yeah you might not still understand this part but do take note of the fact that M3U extension is the most reliable format of providing IPTV to end-users and if you stick to this one, you will never face issues.
2-Finding a target market
A well paying group of people who do enjoy watching TV is what you need. Best thing is to go with the closest community you know. For instance, people in your city or country who most likely think like you. Say you are from the beautiful country of Ireland. Rugby, Football and RTE is what they love to watch in a crystal clear quality. If you can provide that by what you receive from your first-hand provider, then Ireland would be a great choice. It's all about what you have and who wants it. A reverse example would be like you have high quality stable Irish channels but you are advertising on a website, forum or among a community who are mostly American. You might get a very few number of clients. The market must correlate with your product.
3-Finding a reliable provider
This is the most important piece of the puzzle. A reliable provider is everything as they literally have the fate of your business in their hands and you need to make sure those hands are trustworthy. Here is how you can profile a reliable provider:
-From the first message you send them, measure their response time. Best to do it when hot live events are on. You need them to respond fast.
-It is important that the agent or agents behind that service are in your timezone. You don't want them to be asleep when you need them responding. Reliable providers have people taking shifts which resolves this issue
-Grab a free trial from them, at least 24 hrs and run it on your device/app of choice. Checkout the listing of the channels, the categories. EPG, If VOD is available see how regularly it gets updated. Run the trial during hot live events. Say your target market is the UK. Run the free trial during EPL and see whether there are bad buffering or whether it gets EPL Block during the events. The best software to check the quality of IPTV streams would be VLC Player on PC. Play the stream and from the channel list page on VLC, right click on the stream and bring up "Media Information" then go to Statistics tab. in the Input section, read "Stream Bitrate" value. a 1080p HD channel, for instance, should not have a bitrate lower than 4000kb (4 thousand kilobit or 4 Megabit) if you want the HD channels look crystal clear on big screens.
-If you know how, trace and see where their servers are hosted. If not, then ask them directly about the location of their servers. They should be on the same continent as your target market. The closer the servers, the lower the network latency, the faster the streaming service.
-The flexibility in their payment methods is an important factor. At the beginning they might play the hard ball and say we only do it via Crypto (like Bitcoin). A bit you do business with them and prove yourself as an active and trustworthy reseller, new doors will be opened and they may share their more private kind of payment methods.
-There are things which should not be shiny to you when you are profiling a provider. You dont compare providers based on the number of channels they provide. There are providers saying we do 30000 Live TV channels with 50000 VOD files but when you actually look at their streams and VOD quality, it's terrible! Streams do not zap fast or do suffer from bad buffering, VOD files have low quality. Remember one provider can not provide all the international channels with perfect quality. Put the focus on your target market needs. Other country channels are just bonus.
-It's of high importance that the provider of your choice has a channel or news feed to share all the service updates there. Most reliable providers these days do have a Telegram channel and post all the updates there. You could relay their updates and news to your clients.
4-Understanding how the panel works
When you register as a reseller with a provider, you get access to a management panel. Most panel these days are still running on Xtream Codes (R.I.P) core which basically means they do run and look alike. Two years ago a full tutorial, A to Z, about Xtream Codes panel ver2.9 was made on this website which you can see here. That said, if you ever get to a point where you have a question about the functionality of the panel or wanted to know whether the function you are looking for exists on the panel, feel free to drop the provider a message. You can also search on google/youtube.You can always ask your questions in the comment section below and I will respond to the best of my knowledge.
5-Use your own domain/dns
All IPTV panels have the ability to allow each reseller pairing their own desired domain/dns address to their profile. Let's give an example: When you create a M3U line for a user and extract the line from the panel, it will have the provider's domain as the server address. If you register your own domain address with a registrar, you can give your domain address to the IPTV provider and ask them to pair it to your reseller profile. This way, whenever a line is extracted from the panel, it will show your domain as the server address. Another benefit would be in case you decide to migrate from this provider to another one. You then simply remove your domain address from that provider panel and point it to the new provider's server. Your clients will automatically redirect to the newly appointed server location. Make sure to register your domain with an off-shore registrar to dodge as many copyright bullets as you can.
6-You need to be seen
Unless you are a type of reseller who decides to find new clients only by word of mouth, it is important to have a face on the web. That could be a page on Facebook, Reddit, or your own beautiful website. Social media services like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram ... do act on copyright content so chances are your profiles gets taken down very soon. Reddit also a good shout but copyright agents are all over reddit which might lead into them being a wolf in sheep clothing. They will grab a free trial from you and might even pay for the service and join as a paid user. Then run your account on their script, extract the server IPs you use and block it all. Thats one way EPL Block in the UK happens. Back to Reddit, there has been cases in which reddit has taken down providers' subreddits. Best thing to go for, is making your own website. Making a website is pretty much easy these days, but if you feel that is too much headache for you, there are prebuilt websites available designed for IPTV selling purposes. You can own one by paying a reasonable one-time fee.
Many people still keep their notes and records of their sales and client's payments in the note section of their reseller panel. That's not only a bad decision security-wise, what if for whatever reason your provider's panel goes down and never comes back?! Make spread sheets, keep records neatly dated and include as much sensitive details as you can. Think like the panel is going to go down the next day. You can also store sheets and documents on online cloud drives so they are accessible where ever you are.
8-keep tracking big events
It's important to track hot live events. Boxing, UFC, Football, NFL, Rugby, F1 ... the list is long! Depending on the need of your target market, you need to know which event is going to be broadcasted live on what date. For instance, the upcoming Saturday is full of football all around Europe. Your schedule also shows F1 and MotoGP are being broadcasted Sunday afternoon. Monday seems not on the peak but Tuesday and Wednesday packed with Champions League events and so on. As a responsible service provider, you need to be online few hours before and during those events for two reasons: 1-To respond to clients as fast as you can. Most clients tend to find out about their service being expired when they turn it on few minutes before the event. You need to be ready for that. This way you respond to your client quickly which is what they love and you also thats the time you make your most income 2-From time to time, audio out of sync, stream down, buffering issues .... happen during peak hours of usage. Be on your toes and the moment you receive such report from your clients, test the same stream on your side and if it's a valid report, quickly relay it to the IPTV provider.
9-Not everyone should be welcomed
These days chances are high that your trials or even paid accounts fall into the hands of "unwanted" people. If your provider and you as the reseller force everyone, especially people inside the UK, run the streaming service through VPN, then you should not care about any blocks. But if you know blocks can hurt you, feel responsible and make sure the one who is contacting you to get a trial or paid service is a legit client. Two things can be done: 1-Do not give away free trials few hours before, during and after live events. Most of the times, agents who lurk among IPTV providers do tend to go for your service when a hot live event is on. They might do it differently, you just could not know 2-Start a referral program. Most people call it "Spreading the name through word of mouth". You can also compensate any current subscriber who brings a new client by some extra days added to their subscriptions.
10-Keep clients up to speed
Best way to do this is actually the simplest way! Make an announcement channel, preferably on Telegram and share it with your clients. They will simply need to install Telegram app on their device of choice and join your news channel. Then, post all the updates, events coverage schedule, new changes and adjustments you receive from your IPTV provider on that group properly tagged with date and time in GMT or whatever timezone your target market is in.
11-Being Honest makes you stronger
Remember, what clients are paying you is their hard-earned money. Feel responsible about it. If you know that your service has a downside, an issue, something which is going to impact client's experience, simply tell everyone about it. Tell them you are working on it and actually DO WORK ON IT! get in touch with your IPTV Provider, provide them with full useful reports about the problematic streams and push for a resolution, of course in a respectful manner. If the issue is going to take some long time or if it's not going to get fixed, offer refund. Few people might ask for their money but most will stay with you if you show the willingness to sort this. Ultimately you can change your DNS and move to another provider. Just for the love of god, do not act cowardly nor vanish with people's money. You might not believe this but if your client base see you put time and energy into resolving issues, they even trust you more and that will result in more client referrals.
12-The online safety matters
Above we discussed that this activity is illegal. Therefore you as a reseller need to worry about your online safety. There are things you know about this so points below could be a recap along with some good ideas which might help you keeping your ass safe :) You might find some of these suggestions sort of security overkill or some might say exaggeration but I assure you! the safer, the better:
-VPN on, ALWAYS: Not even 1 bit in or out without being connected to a VPN. Subscribe to a reliable corporate VPN provider with 0 log policy who have a solid, bug-free connection software which has got KillSwitch. KillSwitch is a function which blocks internet access until the VPN is connected. There are people among providers, resellers and end-users selling and streaming without any VPN protection. You are not invincible and unless you hide your ass properly, you could be tracked down and busted! Moreover, connect to VPN servers of countries which are not copyright sensitive. Romania, Netherlands, Panama ... . It's always best to stay away from Canada, USA, UK servers.
-Avoid DNS Leak: Make sure the DNS servers on your device is set to 126.96.36.199 as primary and 188.8.131.52 as secondary which are google's public DNS servers. On your VPN client software, you can choose VPN Provider's own DNS servers which will encrypt your DNS queries and most of them do follow the 0 log policy. DNS of your ISP is what leads to DNS Leak and you want to avoid that. You could be connected to VPN but an unsafe DNS can blow your location and websites you visit.
-Tunnel proxies through VPN: Most corporate, well-known VPN providers do have a browser extension. Search for the extension on the browser's extensions/Addons section and install it. Once logged into the VPN Provider's browser extension, you can pick a server and connect with one simple click. The protocol being used is HTTPS Proxy. So you first connect to VPN using the VPN software and then connect the browser extension which is SSL Proxy. In other words, you tunnel the SSL Proxy through your already encrypted VPN connection. For those of you who know how TOR works, this method is also some sort of onion protection. A detailed example of this will be provided through another tutorial and referenced here soon.
-Do not use Google Chrome: That one as well as the new crappy browser Microsoft calls Edge or Apple's Safari. Browsers you can trust are Firefox and Brave. Especially Brave which helps you remove all the Google Ad's throughout the whole internet and even those irritating Youtube Ads. If you ask me, Brave should be your first choice equipped with your VPN Provider's browser extension. It will keep you safe from all cookies, super cookies (which regular browsers cant detect and stop) and any sort of location/activity traction.
-Client's safety also matters: Do tell them that they need to stream IPTV using VPN to be safe from prying eyes, especially people inside the UK and USA. IPTV blocks and throttling can also be avoided by using VPN.
So thats it. This is what I though I should share with you good people if you are thinking about being a reseller. Let me know what you think.