Karsa Flash Payer offers a way for content creators to monetize their online video using a bait and switch model in which payment is only requested mid-viewing, once the user is already hooked. The service was developed by UK-based Steven Carroll, the guy behind Documentary-film.net, which came very close to entering the Deadpool after he found it difficult to generate enough revenue to cover the hosting and bandwidth costs of the site.
Instead of forcing the viewer to commit to paying up front for content that they may not yet consider worth their cash, Karsa allows for it to be viewable for free for a set amount of time, after which the video pauses and the user is prompted for payment. Once paid-for, playback of the video can be resumed.
All transactions are handled through PayPal, with any revenue generated going straight into the content owner’s account. Karsa charges a subscription fee for the service – from £9 per-month – which increases dependent on the total value of transactions.
Carroll says that he tried the traditional pay per-view model with Documentary-film.net but that this performed poorly compared to Karsa’s system, which saw sales increase by about 90%. “The reason simply being that people will only usually pay for something once they are hooked on it”, he says.
Karsa’s offering differs from other pay per-view systems, such as PlaySpan, in its payment model but also in that there are no barriers to entry for publishers or users (who aren’t required to sign up in advance), according to Carroll.