Mogulus, Looking For Revenue, To Try Charging 'Lifecasters'

New York-based Mogulus, one of at least a dozen live Internet broadcasters looking for business model, thinks it’s found one: Charging people money.

CEO Max Haot said the company will introduce its “pro” service in April, along with its first major customer — a publicly-traded media company which will pay Mogulus a six-figure monthly fee. The “pro” service is also targeted at individuals who want to customise the Mogulus player or sell their own ads. Haot hasn’t finalised his pricing, but says a subscription for individuals will start around $20 a month, and will increase based on traffic and viewing hours.

Any revenue at all would be a start for most live Web broadcasters, or “lifecasters,” which typically offer their services for free and have nebulous plans to sell advertising, one day. Hapt said Mogulus would continue its free service for users who don’t mind more limited bandwidth and advertising.

But for Mogulus, as with most other live Web broadcasters, viewing is concentrated among the top shows, some of which are produced by people employed by major media companies. Haot said 40% of Mogulus’ bandwidth is used by the top 10 broadcasters. He’s betting some of them will pay for the privilege of a clearer picture, a customised player, and the opportunity to sell their own advertising.

Haot says he believes others will also adopt a fee-based model in the absence of a major advertising influx: “If it doesn’t work, then I’m not sure how long their VCs will want to pay video hosting bills with no business.”

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