Summary:

It used to let consumers get their online video for free, but now Boxee is one step closer to collecting revenue, as it will enable content partners a range of payment options that they can charge use to charge end users, including pay-per-view or subscription options.

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Boxee has received a lot of interest and praise from consumers for its media center software, which allows them to watch online video on their TV for free. Well now it has taken a step toward enabling media companies to charge for that content, announcing this morning that it has picked Vindicia as its payments platform provider.

Boxee announced earlier this year that it would be working on a way to enable payments. Now the startup is one step closer to collecting revenue, as it will offer content partners a range of payment options that they can use to charge end users, including pay-per-view or subscriptions. According to Boxee, the payment system will go live by the end of the summer. That’s good news for Boxee, as TV-based applications could generate more than $1.7 billion in annual revenue by 2013, according to research from In-Stat.

With Vindicia, content providers will be able to create packages of content that could include one-off sales of episodes or grouping pieces of content with special features such as special commentary or never-before-seen clips. Partners will also be able to set their own prices for content delivered through Boxee’s media center software, with Boxee taking a cut of the sales. For end users, Vindicia gives a range of purchase options, including credit card, gift card or PayPal.

The move comes as the startup is close to releasing its first hardware device — a broadband set-top called the Boxee Box — which it says is scheduled to ship sometime before the end of the second quarter. But that’s not the only gadget Boxee is looking to make its service available on; the startup is talking with other consumer electronics companies to embed its software on connected TVs, Blu-ray players and other devices, and is also exploring the possibility of launching its software on the Apple iPhone and iPad, as well as Google Android mobile devices.

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