500 Startups-Backed VidCaster Introduces Paywall To Let Publishers Charge For Their Videos Online

VidCaster was founded in 2010 to make creating video sites easier than ever, and has signed up a number of customers who use it to deliver free, or ad-supported videos online. Now it’s adding the ability for its clients to charge for access to their library of content, with the launch of VidCaster Paywall.

Other online video platforms like Brightcove or Ooyala only provide a video player to their clients, which requires them to build out their own sites, which videos can then be published into. VidCaster, by contrast, provides a full-service solution, enabling users to quickly create a fully customizable site for their content, without having to go through the work of hiring an outside design firm or whatever.

It’s also cheap, relative to other solutions out there: VidCaster operates on a freemium business model, with very basic capabilities available for anyone who wants to test it out for free. But its pricing starts at $39.99 a month, compared to $99 for Brightcove’s entry-level solution.

Until now, VidCaster was focused on free, or ad-supported video, but today it’s rolling out a feature that will enable its customers to begin charging for their videos. Instead of trying to monetize through ads, they’ll be able to set up subscription services that will let users pay for access to their libraries of content online. But it’s not all or nothing: Paywall works at the player level, so that publishers can still make certain videos — for instance, promos or shorts — free, while charging for higher-value assets.

The new product will let certain publishers better monetize their videos, it also provides a new revenue stream for VidCaster as well. It will take a 5 percent flat fee for the service, as well as a 40-cent fee for each transaction. It’s currently uses Stripe to power payment processing, but is looking into adding other payment options as well.

VidCaster already has a few publishers on board with Paywall, including IMCA on Demand, which charges $29.95 a year to let viewers watch videos from its modified car races, and The Wonderful World of Flying, which gets $19.95 a month for access to its library of content. But those were trial customers. Starting today, VidCaster Paywall will be available to anyone paying at least $99 a month.

VidCaster was part of last summer’s 500 Startups Accelerator class, and has raised a total of $600,000, including a $350,000 seed round led by Quest Venture Partners last November The startup now has 8 employees based in San Francisco.