Movie sites, or cable network websites, often offer pay-per-view videos. The idea behind pay-per-view, is to charge a user some amount of money, to view the content. On a usual pay-per-view video website, when a user visits the website he is often shown a preview of the video. For example, if the video is of a movie, the movie trailer can be used as the preview or demo video. The user can then choose to buy the video, upon which he will have access to the entire video.
How Would a Pay-Per-View website Work
Usually a pay-per-view video website provides access to video previews or demos, to all site visitors. Video thumbnails are placed on a gallery page, and search and filter options are provided, which can be used to shortlist videos based on tags, or categories. For example, for a movie video website, categories can be movie genres, and tags could be used for actor names, languages, etc.
A single video page, would have the preview video, the video description and a purchase (‘Buy Now’) button. Upon clicking the purchase button, the person is redirected to the payment page. The entire video will be available, only when payment is complete.
The video can be sent to the user as a temporary link, or videos can be purchased only by members, i.e., registration will be forced at the time of payment. You can even offer special deals for members.
Creating a Pay-Per-View website with Memberships
A website like Netflix or Blockbuster provide access to all videos on their website upon becoming a paid member. For such kind of a website, access to videos and even demos is made available only upon logging in.
But to provide more options and better deals for members, you can create a more detailed pay-per-view structure. A member will have to register with his basic details and billing details (credit card information or PayPal account). Then he has to select one of the plans available:
No Base Fee, Charge Per Video: Every video will have a cost associated with it. Every time a user watches a particular video, he will be charged a certain amount. Settings will be available to decide, how long a paid user has access to the video.
No Base Fee, Buy a Daily or 48 hours Package: A user can buy a daily package, which can allow him access to videos, but only for 24 or 48 hours. Additionally, the number of videos which he can view, can either be unlimited, or set to a specific count.
Monthly Package, Any Videos: A user can buy a monthly package, where he will have to pay a subscription fee, which will be deducted every month, but he will have access to any number of videos.
Developing it yourself?
To develop such a site yourself, you can take a very simplistic approach and use WordPress users and roles, to offer membership. You can allow access to each video, by updating user metadata information, to track permissions.
Thinking about a plugin?
A membership structure can be created, using a plugin like Restrict Content Pro. The plugin allows you to create levels, and restrict content per level. Levels can be created for each plan. Some customization will be needed to charge users an amount, when there is no base fee.
Using a Credits System
Instead of adding a cost per video, you can use credits. Every video will have a credit amount associated with it. A user can purchase a bunch of credits, at a time, for an amount. Every time he watches a video, he will have to pay in credits.
Credits can be purchased in multiples of x: For example, minimum 100 credits can be purchased, or a user can purchase multiples of 100.
Each video will have a Credit amount for viewing: For example, a 30 minutes video might be 10 credits and 1 hour video may be 20 credits.
Credits can be for number of Videos: A video pack can also be bought, which would allow a user to view a set number of videos. For example, user can purchase a 5 video pack for 50 credits.
Pay-Per-View website Without Memberships
If you want to create a pay-per-view website without enforcing membership, your task becomes a bit more complicated. In such a case, you will need to do the following:
Allow a visitor to your website to purchase a video.
Send the link to the video in an email to the visitor.
The link will be a temporary link, and will expire after a certain time duration (either after the length of the video, or after 24hrs). Ideally the time of expiration would depend on the first time the link is accessed.
There should be a time limit after which the link will expire, even if it is never used.
A timer will be shown as an indication of when the link would expire.
Here, the problem is, if the user shares the link when it is active, anyone with the link will be able to see the content. The access to the video is completely dependent on the link.
Remember, no matter which approach you choose, there is one thing you should take care of. Download options for a video should be prevented at any cost. There should no means using which a person can download a video, they have paid to see. This to avoid piracy of your video content.
Do let us know if you need additional ideas, or help with developing such a website. If you need a custom plugin built, we could help you with that too. Just add your comments in the comment section below.