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Summary:

Another vendor hoping to provide a paid content mechanism to online publishers is raising money from backers including Apple’s former overseas lieutenant.

Pascal Cagni
photo: Kingfisher

Two European content payment platforms are advancing with news of an investment and a move in to video.

Netherlands-based Cleeng, which we have previously reported on and which facilitates payments through blog CMSes and other suites for outlets including La Tribune, Dailymotion and VentureBeat, is raising a €400,000 ($511,000) investment to try targeting U.S. business.

Amongst the backers is Pascal Cagni — until his resignation this May, Apple’s VP for Europe, Middle East, India and Asia — who says (via release):

“Through my 12 years leading Apple in Europe, I was uniquely positioned to monitor how the digital revolution can be disruptive and make monetization challenging. In the meantime, the proliferation of mobiles devices is on par with the acceleration of content digitalization and has broadened market reach in an unforeseen fashion. The opportunity to offer a simple, straightforward, robust solution to monetize content, being TV programs, videos, or live events is simply huge.”

Meanwhile, central European buffet payment facilitator Piano Media is trying a limited addition of paid video to its system that already charges users to access sections of several newspaper and magazine websites.

The video is from Zuzana Piussi, a Slovak filmmaker who could face two years in prison if convicted for her controversial film about the Slovak judiciary. Her latest film, about Slovak politics, is being distributed only via the Piano-powered paid part of weekly news magazine Týždeň’s website.

“The multiplex cinemas were against distributing the film after the controversy surrounding my last film,” Piussi says (via release). “Therefore, distributing the movie online, for me as the creator, is now the only way forward.”

Piano Media is better resourced than Cleeng for geographical expansion, having raised a €2 million second round in April. But Piano’s three launched countries so far — Slovakia, Slovenia and Poland — are all in Europe while Cleeng already appears to have ambitions of breaking in to the States.

Other Cleeng backers are unnamed private investors.

  1. Thanks Andrew for breaking the news. Note, we are already in the US, with an office in Austin, and about 150 active publishers including clients like CondeNast/Epicurious or Lucky Magazine, VentureBeat, and several successful live events. Objective now is to be able to handle more volume :-)
    More good news soon.
    Gilles. Founder @Cleeng

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    1. I mean, Robert of course! :-o

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  2. What is this, divine intervention? Seeking articles to help us make a fully informed decision. My, my. The article was fine, nicely done in brief, then comes the comment that rewrote the story!

    Would you not think that a positive glimpse such as you provided would earn its author an accurate address from the very subject of the article? lmao. — “Andrew?” (!!)— Geez, he didn’t even get your last name correct, let alone first, heaven forfend a title. Is ‘putz” too pejorative?

    Small factors have always been large indicators over my half-century, influencing our decisions, and, thanks to you, Mr. Andrews, a fair bit of money and grief may have been avoided.

    Look at how many reasons his comment here gives us to question his reliability, thoroughness, research, attention to detail, courtesy, upbringing, client/customer service, and more… you follow?
    I suspect you may have saved us a good bit. Unintended consequences, ey?

    Nicely done.. Thank you for allowing this fellow to hoist himself on his own petard. Have never seen its equal before.

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