The launch delivers an expansive update on content creator and consumer interactivity as well as access to a growing array of gamified monetization and reward models.
Users are invited globally to participate in the open beta for watching and engaging with the latest content available on the platform, featuring a wide array of genres, including gaming, science fiction, fantasy, horror, paranormal/UFOs, and more.
The open beta is available via web browsers and in the Google Play Store for Android-based devices. An iOS version will be available soon in the Apple iTunes App Store.
“BitMovio is a cross between Patreon, Twitch and Netflix, enabled by blockchain technologies and in-platform virtual goods,” said Simon Zhu, CEO of BitMovio, in a statement. “We’ve incorporated the best elements of consuming and engaging content all into one video entertainment marketplace. We also support a variety of monetization models and offer viewers a gamified experience, including real-time chat, on-screen bullet chat, tipping, gifting, micro-transactions, per-channel subscriptions and reward-based advertising that create an engaging and connected global community. We’re looking forward to seeing how both content creators and viewers enjoy these elements during the open beta.”
With the release of the open beta, content creators can create personalized channels with pre-recorded content, programmed content, and livestreams via mobile or desktop, and set flexible pricing and business rules to instantly engage with their global audience.
Jerry Kowal, chief content officer of BitMovio, added, “During our open beta we’ll feature over 800 hours of on-demand video content licensed from content providers ranging from individual gamers, streamers and independent film producers to global studios and production companies, across multiple genres and territories, along with new content added every day from our expanding network of creators and content owners. We welcome any new creator seeking to expand their reach by showcasing their content to BitMovio’s rapidly growing audience of millennial and Gen Z viewers.”
BitMovio also offers granular reporting and analytics to enable trust and transparency in the platform. Viewers can enjoy both free and paid content, interact directly with content creators and other BitMovio members through interactive and social features, and support content creators by tipping and gifting.
Currently, in addition to traditional fiat, BitMovio supports the cryptocurrency Ether (ETH) for payments and transactions. BitMovio also recently introduced an in-platform virtual currency called “MoviBits” that users can purchase with a credit card or debit card. Users and content creators can exchange ETH or MoviBits for tipping and payments. In the coming weeks, BitMovio will enable both a per-channel subscription model and a reward-based advertising model to further enrich the platform’s interactive and rewarding experience.
“We wanted to support a wide range of payment models for our content providers and viewers, ranging from paying for individual content, subscribing to on-going channels of content, and watching free content with ads,” said Rizwan Virk, cofounder of BitMovio and founder of Bayview Films, in a statement. “Soon, we’ll be rolling out our crowdfunding platform built on blockchain as well. No one else is really offering the full range of payment methods all in one video entertainment platform. If you have a crypto-wallet and enjoy watching unique content, or you are a content creator and wish to be paid instantly using cryptocurrency, then BitMovio is the platform for you.”
Since launching its private beta in late 2018, San Francisco-based BitMovio has signed over 800 hours of premium video content to feature on the platform, including content from 1200 Productions, Black Apple Talent, Elation Media, Fourth Media, Frank Horror, Gross Film, Horror House, ImAirTV, Invictus Entertainment Group, Magic Square Films, Small Basket Studios, Mill Creek Entertainment, and the World Poker Tour.
In an email, Zhu said the company is currently in the process of putting that content online. Some of the live content includes World Poker Tour Season 12 and Season 13, The Outpost Season 1 (a Syfy Network current series), I am Air TV (unscripted aviation-focused content), Buzzsaw 20/20 (paranormal/UFO focused content), and more.
On the home page and video viewing page, each video will be available either for free or with pricing in U.S. dollars. There will be options to rent for 30 days or 48 hours once viewing starts, or to purchase the videos outright. On top of that, consumers can tip the content creators. Although BitMovio includes certain paid content, accessing the platform (creating an account, viewing and engaging with free content, etc.) is free to users, so it’s not a purely transactional VOD service, or an SVOD service, but rather a hybrid marketplace supporting multiple business models for content creators and owners.
For paid content, consumers can pay with either cryptocurrency (currently supporting Ether) or an in-platform virtual currency, called MoviBits. MoviBits is available for purchasing with a credit card or debit card, and conceptually, it is similar to Twitch Bits but with much broader use cases.
BitMovio has six full-time employees.