paidContent.org - Tiki Bar TV Tests The Pay-To-Watch Webisode Model

Tameka Kee
paidContent.org
Tuesday, May 19, 2009; 12:07 PM

Big news and media companies aren't the only ones trying to figure out the right way to charge people for their online content?digital startups are testing the pay-to-play (or watch) model, too. Four-year-old online video show Tiki Bar TV just rolled out a $49 annual "membership" option that lets viewers download higher-quality episodes of the show (in HD and Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound). Members also get a discount on branded merchandise and access to upcoming Tiki Bar events.

This comes less than a week after Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia announced that it would start charging viewers for access to vintage Martha Stewart show clips; like MSLO, Tiki Bar is hoping to find the ideal combination of ad-supported and subscription-based content, since non-paying users will still be able to view all five seasons of the show (complete with banner ads) on the site. Producer Tosca Musk told Tubefilter that the goal was to get "full production costs" of the show covered by paying members.

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