SXSW: Micropayments Made Easy By Embeddable Dynamo Player

Political Lunch creators Rob Millis and Will Coghlin today at SXSW demoed a new tool for makers of content looking to distribute video under a micropayment system during a panel called “Beyond Advertising: Can Online Video Finally Pay?” Dubbed Dynamo, the new fully embeddable player features an extremely simple sign-up process that allows audiences to make direct payments to producers using PayPal, thus allowing producers to embed video on their own sites and directly profit from it.

Millis and Coghlin, who in September told us they were ending Political Lunch to focus on developing Dynamo, opened the discussion with an exhaustive comparison of the options currently available to independent producers hoping to monetize their content — including making deals with advertisers directly, partnering with indie film distributors like Indie Flix, and working with bigger dogs like Amazon VOD and the YouTube rental system.

The problems with those systems, according to the pair, include the challenges of finding the right advertisers to partner with content, overly complicated contracts that greatly favor the distributor and take a long time to set up, and a lack of transparency when it comes to the actual amount of payment. A major issue was said to be the fact that when a creator signs up to distribute their content via YouTube, there’s no disclosure of the percentage of sales you’ll actually get; the contract only specifies “a portion.” Millis theorized at one point that the reason for this might be that “YouTube is giving a better deal to the bigger guys [aka Hollywood studios] — you’re subsidizing that.”

Meanwhile, during the hour-long panel, Coghlin filmed a short video, uploaded it to Dynamo, embedded it on a Blogger blog and demonstrated the payment process.

People who already know that they might be interested can sign up for the beta version by emailing beta@dynamoplayer.com, but if you want more detail first, tomorrow I’ll be getting an up-close look from Millis and Coghlin. So stay tuned!

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