56.com Lets Users Charge for Video

Chinese video site 56.com launched an initiative yesterday that allows video uploaders to charge viewers for access to content. The site set up kankan.56.com where people can upload and set their own prices. 56.com will take a 10 percent cut of sales, with the remaining 90 percent going to the uploader.

Even after a user pays for a video, it can be viewed for only 15 days, after which they must pay again for another 15 days’ worth of viewing, Business Insider reports.

Reaction to this consumer-to-consumer biz model has been mixed, according to China Daily. Reps from competitive Chinese video sites Youku and Todou said it is too soon to start charging for access to content — though both said there is the possibility of charging for content down the road.

Although 56.com’s advertising has grown, China Daily reports, it hasn’t been enough to offset the copyright bills the video site has to pay, so it had to come up with a new way to monetize.

Charging for individual content probably wouldn’t fly here in the U.S. (aside from the occasional mega-hit). So far, companies here have been eyeing subscription strategies.