I have been working on this article for some time, since I came to realize that there was no information on their site about getting set up, how much it cost or even where to look. There's so much information to plow through and the fine print at some places is tricky, I thought I'd give you a compact run down of the major places I found.
I decided to make a list of options available for everyone from the single person companies through small and medium-sized businesses. Enterprise-level people generally have services pounding on the door so I'm skipping them but they too could utilize some of the options below. Many of these options seem to scale quite easily as you grow your business from a single person to a full-on IPTV powerhouse.
Stand Alone Online Payment Systems
These systems do not offer an online video platform. They can be integrated into your site software or CMS, usually with little work. Usually, the most basic setup is a redirect system that sends consumers to a payment page for processing and then generally offer a username/password for access to the site's content, or ties it to an existing account.
CCBill has been in the online payments business for quite some time and even offers a video on demand specific service. Some major features:
- Token packages and bundles – multiple pricing options and dynamic pricing features enable you to process package transactions, such as bundle or token purchases, and tie them into your back-end tracking system.
- Post-back and DataLink options – complementing package and bundle pricing, CCBill can post-back most any transaction data from your consumers to your system. This can be used to grant consumer access, activate minutes, provide downloads, or set up another way to provide access to your video content.
- Physical products and digital goods – CCBill can process for most tangible, hard goods right alongside the same robust processing platform for digital items. One processor for all your products and services, including DVD versions of any digital content.
They can also handle payments for live streams, social networking premium features, direct download and subscriptions.
If your website contains high risk material (VISA considers any website selling downloadable, digital merchandise and/or services or those falling within Merchant Category Code 5967) and you are registering from the United States or Canada, and you wish to Accept Visa, there is a $750 up-front fee and $500 annual fee. This fee is only required for Visa. You will be able to accept all other payment options if you choose not to pay this fee. Visa approval can take between 7 and 21 business days from the time your account is fully active and CCBill has received your Visa payment.
There are no setup fees for other cards.
CCBill transactions fees are based on weekly volume as follows:
The CWIE rate is a preferred rate for Merchants who host their site with our partner, Cavecreek Web Hosting.
There are fees to receive payment via U.S. Mail, FedEx (for check) and wire transfer. They offer various tracking and reports via the Admin Portal so you can keep an eye on how things are going.
iBill also has been around for quite some time and has a fairly robust set of services. However, they don't have a specific video package. They do offer subscriptions, shopping carts, and authentication. The authentication service could be used for offering access to on-demand content and could be combined with a subscription for recurring billing and content access. Also offer a gateway service, for those with their own merchant accounts, that will connect your store to your merchant account.
Processing fees are based on your monthly sales volume and automatically adjust to your current sales figures.
|Credit Card Transactions|
|Sending Weekly Payments|
|Setup and Registration Fees|
|Sending Weekly Payments|
Oddly, the Visa fee at iBill is 1/3 of what it is at CCBill and CCBill states there's an annual fee while iBill states there's just a one time fee.
Perhaps the best known and most trusted (though not in operation as long as some of the others). The standard Paypal business package there costs nothing monthly, but that uses a payment redirect to Paypal. For the $5/month Advanced business account you can keep the viewers on your site and if you want full control over what the check out pages look like you'll need the $30/month Pro business plan. They do not have a video specific video offering.
All Solutions Include These Features:
- Accept Credit Cards on a Website
- Add PayPal as a Payment Option
- Email Your Invoices for Online Payment
- Sell on eBay
- Swipe credit card orders in person (2.7% per transaction)
For each transaction they charge you either standard pricing, or micropayments pricing – whichever is the lower rate .
(Discounts for volume and non-profit) No setup or cancellation fees
MPP Global caters to the entertainment and media industries, which is probably why they were chosen to be integrated with Vzaar as a paywall solution (also see below). But you don't need to use Vzaar to get the payment processing power of MPP Global if you don't want to.
- Subscriptions & Recurring Payments
- Pre/Post-pay Micropayments
- Offers & Coupons
- eWallet Payments
- Real Time One-Click Payments
They are the processor behind Philips Smart TV as well as Sky Go from BSkyB and Brightcove (also see below).
For video they offer their own Content Delivery Network (CDN), Video Streaming Service and Video-on-demand or video download options. They could be included in either stand alone or integrated but you can use them stand alone so they are listed in this category.
Integrated OVP and Payment Solutions
Some online video platforms have their own payment solutions integrated, either supplied by one of the above companies or some other way. This gives you one location for all of your video hosting, streaming and monetization options for those who are looking for a single source.
When monetizing with DaCast there is:
- no contract
- no long setup process
- no need to prove audience size
- no additional fees to other payment companies
- no geographic restrictions
Via DaCast you can offer subscription, pay-per-view, and advertising-supported video content. Plus, since they do live streams you can monetize on the live content and then still later on the recorded version of that live transmission.
Pricing is done month-to-month and starts at $19 a month for 100GB of streaming bandwidth, and 20GB of storage with a 3 month minimum contract (just for that lowest tier). You can also pay as you go at 20 cents per GB of bandwidth.
The DaCast platform does take a small commission on each transfer done over the system. This commission is 9.9% plus $0.40 on each viewer purchase made to cover merchant account, PayPal, bank transfer and other fees that DaCast addresses for broadcasters.
In order to utilize the ability to hook in your own ad server, there is a required setup process. For monthly Streaming Plans, a $500 setup fee for integrating an advertising network is needed. For Pay As You Go pricing, contact DaCast directly for details on ad network integration.
As mentioned above Brightcove has its own Video Paywall Solution.
The framework is comprised of six core components:
- Registration and authentication that controls subscriber log-in and access.
- Payment processing to help process subscription and pay-per-view fees.
- User management capabilities to store subscriber information and permissions.
- Cross-Platform DRM for adherence to rights and licensing agreements across multiple device platforms.
- Encryption to help protect content as it is delivered from source to screen.
- Navigation and discovery features that help viewers easily find the content they want
It supports Adobe Flash Access, Google WideVine, Apple HTTP (HLS) Encryption, PayWizard and TinyPass. They offer subscriptions, pay-per-view, and TV Everywhere authentication as well as monetization through advertising. No rates were readily available for paywall solutions but they offer a free trial for the Video Cloud and monthly pricing starts at $5 for one video and 5GB of bandwidth and head up to $499 a month for 500 videos and and 250GB of bandwidth monthly.
I've contacted Brightcove for more specifics on fees, pricing, etc. The information was not available at publishing time.
Sparkeo is more of a sales platform for educational videos. Essentially, it's an integrated payment solution for credit cards via PayPal which is integrated directly into the video player. So that means you'd have to replace whatever player or OVP you're using now for the content you would like to sell. They charge 20% of each transaction. They offer storage and streaming through their CDN. You can either sell a single video or an entire "course" made of up several videos. You can also import videos from Kaltura. It's as easy as creating a course, uploading the videos, choosing the price and embedding the player. You can even offer coupons and incorporate an affiliate program.
StreamingVideoProvider is a service I found while researching for the article. They offer a wide range of tools including:
- Video Uploading
- Video Encoding
- Pay-Per-View Playlist
- CDN Video Hosting
- Protection & Statistics
- API Access
Since this is an article specifically about monetization we will focus on that. If you want a full list of features head to the website. StreamingVideoProvider has a Paypal integration that offers pay-per-view tickets for a single video, a playlist of videos, a global ticket for all playlists and even the ability to offer free tickets. Supports video-on-demand and live streaming. You can set different prices on different tickets that include one or more videos. Channels can also be created to group playlists together, so for example you could have a sci-fi channel with all your sci-fi shows in one channel and all your comedy shows (playlists) in another channel.
Packages start at $14 a month for one video 14GB of bandwidth and 2GB storage, $29 for two videos 40GB bandwidth and 5GB storage and $77 and up for an unlimited amount of PPV playlists and videos and 120GB/10GB minimum. Monetization options seem to be included in the monthly price.
VidCaster was brought to my attention via Twitter when I put out a call for monetization platforms. It's a full-featured OVP and they also have a YouTube plan. They offer a free 14-day trial with just a quick form-based signup (no credit card). Offer the ability to import from Vimeo or YouTube and Google Analytics integration.
From their blog post announcement:
Paywall users are able to create a subscription plan; choose which videos to protect through subscription plan; and keep track of who’s subscribing. We handle all the technical details behind the scenes so that our users can focus their energies on creating great content for their subscribers.
You can put a paywall up for all videos but also have videos that are free. There doesn't seem to be a way to charge differently per video. This is information gleaned from the quick video tutorial on the blog post. Hopefully, that is a feature for the future along with tiered subscriptions or subscription per playlist.
Prices start at $39 a month for 50GB of bandwidth and 10GB of storage up to $249 a month for 750GB/125GB. The YouTube plan is free and allows you to take your YouTube Channel and embed it into your site. There's also a $20/month Plus plan for that allows for automatic YouTube importing and use of your own web address.
Ooyala has Ooyala Paywall. Users will be able to use their regular credit card or their PayPal account to submit payment. Payment for the video view is done right within the browser and, once complete, allows the video to continue playing. The goal is to allow smaller publishers to have the same power and flexibility as iTunes or the YouTube rental store.
For full disclosure, I worked for CCBill a long time ago, around 2000, so I know some of how they work. I also did some ghostwriting for iBill at one point in my career as a freelance writer. Since this was all fact and no opinion, I don't think it really matters either way.