Feature Overview: Getting the Most out of MindBites
by Huntley in General / 05.03.11
At its core, MindBites offers you the ability to sell access to your uploaded video content. That said, there are anumber of different bells and whistles that you should know about to get the most out of the marketplace &/or platform.
Channels: Marketplace & Custom Stores
There are two primary channels through which you can sell access to your videos using MindBites. The first is the MindBites marketplace, where anyone can upload and sell access to their instructional/educational video content. The second is a custom store. Custom stores are available to partners that are subscribed at the Pro level of the MindBites platform and above. Custom stores are designed to easily integrate into and are skinned to match the look and feel of your existing site. You can learn a bit more about custom stores in this blog post or by checking out a few of the custom stores listed in the Featured Store carousel midway down the Sell Page on MindBites. Look for the ‘Create Store’ link on your author dashboard to start working on a custom store.
Products: Videos & Video Series
There are two types of products that content partners sell through MindBites: individual videos (lessons) and bundles of videos (series). Once your individual videos are published, you’ll be able to create a series out of any combination of your published videos. Look for the ‘Add Series’ link on your author dashboard to create a series.
In the MindBites marketplace, individual videos need to be instructional or educational in nature - hence, you’ll see them referred to as lessons in many places. If you’re uploading content to sell through a custom store that you bolt onto your own site, you’ll be less constrained in terms of the nature of the content. That said, we’re not in the business of facilitating the sale of content that is offensive or adult in nature through the marketplace or custom store platform.
Packaging: Title, Price, Thumbnail, Attachments etc
Once you have a video uploaded, you have all sorts of different ways to package it:
- Basics that you have to stipulate: title, description, category, and price for your lessons and series. When selling through the MindBites marketplace, there is a defined set of categories and sub-categories from which you can choose. When working with a custom store, you define the categories for your store and assign video products to them as you see fit.
- Optional attributes that you can control: custom thumbnail images, transcripts or outlines to help out with search engine optimization, supplemental file attachments (listed on the product page but only downloadable or viewable once the video has been purchased).
Access Restrictions: Download vs Stream & Rent vs Own
In addition to packaging options listed above, content partners can also constrain access (for purchasers) in two ways:
- Download vs Stream: First, partners at the Business level and above are able to set content to be ’stream-only’. By default, all sold through the MindBites marketplace can be viewed online and/or downloaded for offline viewing once purchased. If a partner stipulates that a video is ’stream only’, the download links will be removed for purchasers.
- Rent vs Own: In addition to restricting downloads, partners can also limit access in a time-delimited fashion. Thus, instead of ’selling’ access to your videos, you can effectively offer a rental option by stipulating that a video is only available to be watched for a defined period of time (e.g. 30 days) once it is purchased. Within this time period, the user will be able to watch the video as many times as they’d like. However, once this time period has expired, the content will be removed from the user’s library. Once a video has expired for a user, he or she can opt to repurchase access. This is best when paired with restrictions on downloading as any downloaded versions of the content will not disappear once downloaded.
Mobile: MindBites on the go!
Both the MindBites marketplace and MindBites custom store platform are iPhone and iPad enabled. Users accessing the marketplace or a custom store through an Apple mobile device are served MP4 files in lieu of FLVs. Both the marketplace and custom store platform have an iphone-enabled layout that is served when a user accesses either through an iPhone/Touch given the screen size of these devices. Users can preview videos, purchase videos, watch purchased videos, or login to view purchased videos through the browser on mobile devices.
In addition to enabling our stores and marketplace for these kinds of devices, MindBites also works with some content partners on creating custom paid video apps that can be sold through Apple’s App Store. Contact us for details on these sorts of custom projects.