Dynamo Player, which was first announced at SXSW this year and will also be demoed at the New York Video Meetup next week, is currently in active beta with a small group of users using the player to distribute their films — and get a few bucks back.
Created by former Political Lunch producers Rob Millis and Will Coghlin, Dynamo allows users to set their own prices (from $0.99 to $11.99) and length of access period (from six hours to seven days) for their content. The service has an upfront 70/30 revenue-sharing ratio that gives its users the vast majority of the fee paid, and the videos are also embeddable, allowing Dynamo users to distribute their content widely.
To test out the service, I sat down with Hallo Panda, a zoo-based tale of love featuring a talking panda, embedded below.
The half-hour short film cost me $0.99 to watch, which I paid almost instantly by logging into my PayPal account — and as part of my receipt for payment, I received a temporary login to the Dynamo service that would allow me to access the film as often as I liked for the next seven days. Playback was relatively smooth, with only one incident of stalling, and the HD video looked great both in the player and full-screen modes.
Dynamoplayer.com is not intended to be a hosting site, and remains in a pretty tight beta — although they’ve received hundreds of beta requests, Millis said via email that they use a number of informal criteria to choose beta users, including membership in the filmmaking network Shooting People, users who go into detail about the videos they produce and why they want to be involved in the service and an understanding of “what ‘beta’ means.”
Beta invites to the system are opening up steadily, and requests made to firstname.lastname@example.org are still being considered. And in a few weeks, an improved player system with additional features and a more streamlined purchase process will be released.
In the meantime, films like Hallo Panda remain available for viewing. And per a statement on their website, “It’s only thanks to [Dynamo]‘s smarts that this film is online.”
Related GigaOm Pro Content (subscription required): A Guide To Online Video Monetization Options