Live video streaming is becoming increasingly popular and the few companies that battle in the space are seeing some steady growth despite the increasing competition. But as with the vast majority of emerging technologies and services, generating revenue is still a sore issue. Advertising alone, as music streaming services have found as well, won't cut it so one of the biggest names in video streaming, Justin.tv, will now introduce a pay-per-view platform to help its users monetize their content but also bring in some much needed income.
The plan for now is to launch the service sometime next month, with a few partners in a limited trial run. If everything goes smooth pay-per-view will be available for everyone in the second quarter of 2010. The content creators are free to set their prices as high and as low as they like, though there is a low-end limit of $1 per stream. Justin.tv will get to keep 30 percent of the revenue, on par with Apple's iTunes and the fees other digital distribution platforms charge.
It's a great opportunity for content creators as they'll be able to monetize their streams in a direct way rather than relying on advertising or other means. At the same time, if it becomes popular enough, it could mean a significant revenue boost for Justin.tv as well.
Beet.tv, which first reported on the news, 40,000 creators stream content every day and 1,800 shows are available at any one point. Justin.tv also has 800,000 registered users which can upload material to the site. It also claims that it gets about 35 million monthly views at this point. The plan is no guaranteed success as paid video content online is still very much the exception. And, while the $1 minimum fee per stream doesn't really sound expensive, it actually sets the bar pretty high and it's highly likely that most streams wouldn't convince people to pay that to watch them.