March 5, 2013
After being in development for about five years, video streaming service HitBliss is finally launching in beta this week. Aimed at users with more time than money, it offers viewers the chance to sit through targeted ads in exchange for virtual funds they can redeem to access new streaming movies and TV shows. The service is launching with content from The CW, Universal, Paramount, Starz Media and the Weinstein Company.
“It will offer access to movies four months after they leave theaters, and access to TV episodes the day after they air,” details paidContent. “For now, HitBliss is available only on the Web and on desktops, not on mobile devices — though the company plans to expand to other platforms soon.”
Users will be served a ‘playlist’ of ads delivered to each based on a profile. “When they watch the ads, they earn virtual cash that can eventually be redeemed for content. Users can specify how much information they’re willing to make available to advertisers; the more information they share, the faster they earn,” explains the article.
What sets HitBliss apart from other companies who’ve tried a similar currency system is that the ads and content are in the same place. “As HitBliss users watch ads — which they can do at any time, not just right before they want to watch a movie or TV show — cash accumulates in their accounts, and they can redeem it when they wish,” according to the article.
Typically, users can earn a free movie (average value of $3.99 for a new film and $1.99 per old one) by watching 8-10 minutes of ads, or about four ads.
The program does ensure that users are actually watching the ads, sometimes using prompts and always requiring the volume to remain on, or it pauses automatically.