There's a time and a place for advertising, but that may not be during TV shows and movies. That's the motto of HitBliss, a startup that launched on Friday, allowing users to earn money to stream video content by engaging with advertising.
Created by entrepreneurs Sharon Peyer and Andrew Prihodko, HitBliss rolled out a desktop app and plans to expand to other devices in the coming months.
Here's the premise: Users opt in to receive targeted ads that live in a queue and can be watched at their convenience. Each ad watched results in money earned that can then be used to buy or rent content.
"People don't want to interact with advertising at the same time as when they want to consume content," Ms. Peyer said. "But they will engage with advertising in other settings -- waiting in line at a store, commuting, during a break at work."
At launch, HitBliss will offer TV shows and movies from NBCUniversal, Starz and Paramount. New episodes of TV shows will be made available to buy as soon as a day after it airs, while movies will be available for 24-hour rentals the same day they are available on DVD. Movie rentals range from $1.99 to $3.99, while TV shows are $1.99 to buy.
It takes about two minutes for users who chose to divulge detailed information, such as web browsing history and prior purchases, to earn $1.99. For those who do not wish to include this information in their profile, it could take about five minutes to earn the same amount.
"There is incentive for the user to include more information about themselves, which is better for the advertisers who can then reach the audience they want to reach," Ms. Peyer said.