[France/Israel] Sparkeo places its bets on advanced visual learning, offering a portable video platform specifically designed for experts from any field to create, distribute and monetize their expertise online. Why? Frederic Aknin, Spakeo’s CEO, argues for the need for simple video monetization to enable people to sell their knowledge on the Web. “Currently, the highest quality end content is not online since the experts have no motivation to give it away,” he says. And I guess he’s right.
We recently covered Sofatutor, also playing in the online education field out of Germany. The big difference between Sparkeo and other how-to and expertise video portals (ie. Mindbites, Sclipo, Edufire) , is that Sparkeo is not a portal, but rather a stand alone video player that users can embed anywhere, bringing their paying audience and students to any site, blog or major social network of their choice.
This allows for much more marketing control and flexible distribution of the expert’s video courses. Payment is portable and need not take place on the Sparkeo site, but rather right through the player itself, anywhere it’s embedded. You’re directed to a PayPal payment, then to the Sparkeo site. You don’t need to be a Sparkeo user to make a purchase, but once you make one, you’re automatically registered and can access all and any of the courses you’ve purchased in the past. Essentially, once you’re a user, you can login to the player and not just the site, accessing your courses anywhere.
But Sparkeo is not only a flexible video platform, but more notably an enhanced video learning platform, that brings the expert and his student closer together. The video player provides a number of tools students who’ve purchased course access. Users can highlight parts of video and make annotations, as well as ask the instructor questions, which s/he can respond to directly to the users mailbox.
On the instructor side, benefits are compiled into a dashboard that helps manage each course’s interaction, previews, highlights and number of sales. The business model is quite simple, either 30% revenue share (a bit high?), premium prices for bandwidth usage over 500mg or customization for corporate clients. Soon Sparkeo will allow for player customization to match the look and feel of the site where it’s embedded.
Sparkeo is currently in a closed beta, but we’ve secured 100 beta invites for Techcrunch Europe readers. For your early beta access, type in “tceurope” in the beta invitation code field and you’re all set. Be sure to leave Sparkeo your comments.