Invideous, the online video monetization platform from London-based Swiffen, has left beta, adding support for in-video payments of content hosted by Brightcove and JW player. The new feature supplements its existing video hotspot ad and e-commerce offering.
The startup has also announced new funding in the “low six figures” from private investors from the digital and television sectors. Prior to this, Swiffen, which was founded in late 2008, was entirely bootstrapped.
Invideous’ new micro-payments feature enables video publishers to charge viewers by the minute, by view or via a monthly subscription. They can also set a small fee that users can pay to not see any video ads. That’s a nice set of options for both the publisher and viewer, although I’m far from convinced that running a meter on viewing time is something that fits with viewer behavior. Others have tried this approach and failed.
Users can pay by credit card, SMS and a ‘premium phone call’, although to reduce friction (in the conversion process) users can charge up their invideous account to spend with any invideous-enabled publisher – see video demo below.
In terms of in-video payments, the service most obviously competes with Ooyala‘s backlot paywall option which only works with Ooyala, rather than third-party video platforms.
While Invideous’ microplayments option currently only supports Brightcove and JW Player, next up is plans to roll out “an in-video micropayments system that is player agnostic”, so that when a user creates an account with invideous they can spend on premium content with any publisher who takes a version of the plugin.