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In recent months, PlaySpan has built a video marketplace where users can browse through video samples and then pay for a complete show if they decided they like it. Today, the company is adding a fifth major source of videos for the market in a deal with Japanese anime film provider Funimation Entertainment.

By itself, the Funimation deal may not be a big one. But PlaySpan is starting to build an interesting business that targets users with common interests. PlaySpan built its game marketplace using its virtual goods technology. In that marketplace, users can play free-to-play games, where they start playing for free and then pay real money for virtual goods. Across the PlaySpan Marketplace, users can spend their virtual currency on goods in a wide variety of games. That kind of offer has proven interesting to millions of gamers.

PlaySpan is betting those gamers will also spend money on videos that appeal to the same kind of interests. This is just one more example of digital video businesses chipping away at the traditional TV and movie marketplace.

In July, PlaySpan expanded into video offering, making money by charging users micro-payments, or very small fees. The PlaySpan PriceYourVideo platform lets video publishers set per-view prices on their videos, where a user can watch a sample for a minute or so for free and then pay to unlock the rest of the show.


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Funimation will now launch hundreds of premium paid shows using the PlaySpan platform. Karl Mehta, chief executive of Santa Clara, Calif.-based PlaySpan, says that major media companies are flocking to the platform so they can access the ready-to-spend gamers who are also quite willing to spend money on related interest videos such as anime.

Funimation has a wide range of anime videos, including the game-focused Devil May Cry, which is based on a Capcom video game series that has sold more than 10 million copies. With Funimation’s videos, users can watch a minute for free and then pay 99 cents to watch the video an unlimited number of times for seven days. The first 1,000 people who sign up can get 50 free Ultimate Points.

Besides Funimation, PlaySpan has also signed up Revision3, Blame Society Films, ChadMattandRob, and Fun Little Movies.


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