DaCast launched pay-per-view live streaming on Facebook Wednesday, enabling indie bands and other small to medium businesses to broadcast their live events on the social network and charge viewers for access. DaCast’s new pay-per-view offering accepts Facebook credits as well as Paypal and traditional credit card payments, and DaCast founder and CEO Stephane Roulland told me that he has high hope for live-streamed pay-per-view events: “This market is going to be very, very big,” he said during a phone conversation Tuesday.
Roulland told me that DaCast specializes in self-serve solutions that can be set up in minutes. The company started experimenting with pay-per-view five months ago, and already generated $0.5M in revenue. Roulland said that he expects to hit $1M by the end of the year.Of course, that’s not a whole lot of money when you compare it to the traditional pay-per-view market, which has been dominated by live sport events. The UFC has been particularly successful with its mixed martial arts contests, which are broadcasted both on cable and online, and in the past attract up to 1.6 million viewers per event.
But Roulland told me that his company’s offering is closely tailored towards the needs of smaller bands who have a few thousand fans on Facebook and are looking to complement the money they get from live gigs with online streams.
These small indie bands aren’t being served by other live streaming companies, Roulland claimed. “There is a need, there is a frustration,” he said, explaining that some of DaCast’s competitors ask for a 50 percent cut of any pay-per-view revenue. DaCast on the other hand charges roughly ten percent.
DaCast started out in 2008 as a P2P streaming provider, but changed its course in 2010 and has since been offering what it calls “streaming as a service” – a video platform for small to medium-sized publishers that are looking for a self-service option to get up and going quickly.
Aside from indie bands, the platform has been a big hit with churches who don’t have access to traditional TV and want to reach their congregation online. 25 percent of DaCast’s customers are religious institutions, Roulland said. Of course, these churches likely won’t be using pay-per-view on Facebook any time soon, but Roulland said that the company will offer a donation-based alternative that better suits their needs.
DaCast is based in San Francisco and Paris and currently employs 20 people. The company raised a total of $2 million from angel investors.