Youreeeka! There's a New Way to Monetize Video

Monetizing online video is something usually left to major broadcasters that can deliver enough views to sell ads or big viral video names on video hosting sites. But smaller creators need monetization options, too, and a new service called Youreeeka can help.

Youreeeka (that's three Es) was created for people who want to sell lessons over the Web. After you've created your instructional video, the Youreeeka support staff will chapter your work so viewers can watch the lessons in chunks. The service also offers content protection, so that viewers can't easily download and save the stream.

Youreeeka

The company was founded by Lenny Magill, now the CEO, two years back. His experience in instructional video production showed him that the DVD market was fading away, thanks to the Internet, but that there wasn't an easy way for instructional DVD makers to sell their content online. The ideal solution needed to combine high-quality streams and content protection, and also needed to let creators keep the bulk of the revenues.

When Magill couldn't find a solution, he took the entrepreneurial route and created it himself. The service launched in March of this year and has already signed 30 producers, with another 30 almost ready to go.

Youreeeka's video player is Flash-based and is easily embeddable in any site. While Magill originally wanted to host and show all the video from Youreeeka's site, his team quickly persuaded him that that was old-school thinking. The service has a patent-pending method of securely encrypting video content and disguising the origin of the stream. That's as much of an explanation of the "secret sauce" as Magill would offer in an interview.

The Youreeeka player also includes an integrated payment gateway so that viewers can purchase lessons. The video is DVD-quality, Magill says, with a 630x360 pixel resolution and a stream of up to 1000kbps.

Starting up with Youreeeka costs $99, which is a yearly fee. That price gets you 3 to 5 hours of formatting time with a staffer. After that, support costs $40 per hour. This support prepares your video by getting it in the right format and adding chapters, so viewers get a full DVD experience. Magill says the site will soon offer a way to automate the process.

If you want to sell lessons that only exist on DVDs or VHS tapes, Youreeeka can handle that, too. Its support staff can extract the video and prepare it.

When your content is ready, you can sell it for whatever price you like as long as you meet the $2.99 minimum, Magill says. Content creators keep 60 percent of the revenues, while Youreeeka gets 40 percent. You can set whatever terms you like for the purchaser, allowing them to view the content for a week, a month, a year, or else set different prices for different time periods. You can also enlist affiliate sites, which can then host your content and get a share of the sales.

Youreeeka also offers a download option if you'd like to sell content for mobile players, such as the iPod, and you aren't concerned with copy protection. This service costs more upfront. Only 2 of the company's 30 clients are so far offering permanent downloads.

To see Youreeeka in actions, look at these customers:
Tina Mickelson (Phil's sister), offering golf lessons
PoorSpecimen.TV, selling surfing videos
Cathcart Institute, selling motivational speeches

Surprisingly, there doesn't seem to be a lot of competition for this type of service. Digital Rights Director offers a DRM solution, but costs are higher. MindBites is a similar service, although it seems better suited to short clips. And, of course, vendors like BuyDRM and Widevine offer DRM for large-scale customers.

Since it's Flash-based, Youreeeka video plays on nearly any computer, whether Windows, Macintosh, or Linux. If you've been looking for a strong way to offer instructional content, it's time you discovered Youreeeka.

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