Support » Plugins » How to sell streaming (not downloadable) video…?

  • Hi!

    I’m trying to build a webstore that lets me sell streams of short videos. My current experimental e-commerce solution is WP e-Commerce. It seems to allow for digital product, but only DOWNLOADABLE.

    The thing is, I want to STREAM the video. I don’t want people downloading the file. They pay a small fee per video, or maybe a subscription fee that allows them access to video collections, etc.

    My host supports streaming video, but I can’t seem to figure out which e-commerce package does. Lots of e-commerce packages seem to support DOWNLOADABLE files, but I haven’t yet seen anything for streaming.

    I would greatly appreciate advice on where to look. I’m not married to WP e-commerce — it was just the one I’m experimenting with right now.

Viewing 14 replies - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
  • Hi there,

    I am also looking to be able to do this. Did you ever find a solution?


    “Did you ever find a solution?”

    I did, but it was a little complicated. I implemented it as a test and then masked that whole section of the site until I had more videos.

    This is what I did (very high level):

    I uninstalled wp-ecommerce

    I went to WPMU and signed up for a subscription. I downloaded and installed their Membership, ecommerce, and PPV plug-ins.

    I set up a page for each video such that it looked like this:

    [if you’re an ordinary visitor, show:]
    [the PPV code to see the movie for a buck]
    [but if you’re a one-day review visitor, show:…]
    [the PPV to see the movie for 0.75]
    [but if you’re a paid subscriber, show:…]
    [the PPV code to see the movie for free]

    That’s a very high-level look at it.

    Does that help at all?

    Thanks for getting back to me. It did help, but I dont think that system is one I particularly want to pursue. Attached is a copy of an email I sent to a couple of e-commerce dev companies.

    I am trying to create a website that has videos available to be streamed by customers, at a cost. My website would have a store, where customers could “purchase” videos. Once purchased, the ability to stream that purchased video would be enabled on their account. There would be many videos to choose from, but only videos that were purchased by a customer (and so access was therefore granted to their account to watch that particular video) could be viewed by them.

    I do want:
    1) A library of purchasable videos on my website in which customers can build their own personal library of videos within that, based on what they paid for.

    So far, only ContentShelf has gotten back to me, saying yes this is possible with their system. I think they have a free trial, so I’ll see how that goes.
    Thanks again for getting back to me so quickly!

    Update: ContentShelf says that they have to host all of the files that will be for sale, and their plan just isnt feasible for movies ($5 per every GB). I was hoping to use Amazon S3 + some third party shop/cart plugin to do this, but I just dont know if thats possible…

    For your solution Edward, is the customer able to assemble their own “library” of content that they have purchased from the general “library” of content that is available on your site?
    That’s really what Im looking for, and I couldnt tell from your post if that was the case. if it is, then i am really interested in your solution 🙂


    Well, if I wanted to set that up using my system…

    …off the top of my head, mind you…

    …I would just plain set up each video as a pay-per-view.

    If they want to watch it, they have to pay to watch.

    So, there’s that.

    I might write to support of the PPV module and ask them “Hey, does your PPV module retain its settings, such that if a customer buys a video, they can keep coming back to watch it for free for a while?”

    If so, then your problem is solved.

    If not…

    …then again, off the top of my head…

    …I’d assign a subscription to each video.

    So, let’s say you wanted to buy my movie “The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath”. Then you would basically “buy” permission to watch the movie for some period of time (say, one year). So, as long as you don’t flush your cookies, every time you come to my site for the next year, “The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath” is available for you to watch for free.

    I would set that up as a subscription that was 1:1 with that movie. Then, on the movie page, I would post variations as I described above, such that if you were Ordinary Joe, you would have to pay, but if you belonged to the subscription-associated-with-this-movie, you could watch it for free.

    This allows you to keep adding more movies as you go, without affecting your subscriptions or other items.

    Does that make sense?

    naekid, you want to check with your host to see if they permit streaming. Not all do.

    Thanks for the info! Really appreciate it. I will ask my host if they permit streaming. Should I check with the host for my videos (Amazon S3), or the host of my website (Hostgator)?

    Amazon S3 does permit streaming of video (at least int he .MP4 format). So thats good. Im waiting for replies from WPMU and HostStreamSell, as Im trying to decide which platform to use.

    Amazon S3 will charge you for streaming. If your host allows streaming, they won’t charge you (probably).

    But it’s good to ask.

    How many videos you talking about?

    50+ videos each around 300-500 MB. I can’t store my videos on HostGator servers (they won’t allow it, and it would be a pretty big hassle anyway). Amazon S3 is easy to use, has a lot of plugins that are compatible with it, and would be pretty cheap for my application where I only expect only around 5-10 concurrent viewers at one time to start with, and maybe 50-200 viewers at one time when the ball really gets rolling.

    So you said that you installed both the WPMU PPV as well as the membership plugins – Do they both work together to sell access to streaming video? Or do you only need 1? Sorry about all the questions, but its hard to find out if their plugins will work for what I need when they dont explicitly advertise their products as being able to “sell streaming digital content” (they always say either “sell digital downloads,” or “sell subscriptions to all your content!”, neither of which I want haha).

    Thanks again,

    Okay, so if Hostgator won’t host them, then I suggest you backtrack a bit and find out what tools Amazon offers.

    They may already have what you need as part of their infrastructure.

    Yup, I believe Amazon S3 does have what Im looking for – Im hosting with them currently and the hosting and streaming part works. I just need a plugin that will allow me to sell streams to those videos 🙂

    As far as I could find, Amazon S3 doesnt offer any plugins for making streaming video store 🙁

    Update: HostStreamSell hosts your videos for streaming, they currently have a plugin that works with Easy Digital Downloads to Sell streaming videos, and are currently developing a plugin to work with WooCommerce to sell streaming video which, I am told, will be available in the next few business days. Their solution seems to exactly fit what I need, so I think I will go with them, although it’s a continuous $20 overhead each month. I’ll post with updates on how it goes!

Viewing 14 replies - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
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