Market trends be damned, the Open Television Network launches this week. The Burbank, Calif.-based startup offers a tool called klickTab that allows content owners to charge micropayments for downloads. “People are sick of advertising,” OTN president and co-founder Philip Hodgetts told NewTeeVee. “There’s always room for people who don’t want the dominant paradigm.”
Apple’s iTunes, the mainstream podcast software, doesn’t make it very easy for independent content producers to get into its store. They can get listed in its podcast index, but can’t charge for their work. OTN fills this hole, though it may be a very small one.
The idea is that prospective viewers would find a podcast through its web page or through OTN’s directory. They would subscribe to an RSS feed that calls for a purchase every time a new file is downloaded. This will work in iTunes and Miro, though OTN’s payment system won’t be fully integrated into other people’s software.
Hodgetts sees OTN making sense for shows that are at least 5 minutes long and cost up to $5. Content owners handle their own delivery and pay OTN 15 percent of their revenue.
Six-month-old OTN is self-funded and has two employees. Its launch partners include an aviation site, a Final Cut Pro user group, horror movies and exercise films. It is giving away $5 worth of content to new users.