×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Portal Launches Ad-Free Video Service With Donations and Micro-Transactions

Ads are bad for creators as well as viewers: That’s the simple premise behind Portal, a new ad-free video service that launched to the public Tuesday. Backed by Mark Cuban and used by The Young Turks, Portal tries to establish itself as a kind of anti-YouTube that replaces advertising with donations and micro-payments.

“Advertising is the biggest scam on the Internet,” said Portal co-founder and CEO Jonathan Swerdlin. “Platforms make billions. Creators earn rubbish. Culture conforms to algorithms and people are commodified into a product. Portal is a reset button and a brand new way to view and value digital content.”

At launch, Portal offers creators the option to charge anywhere from $0.01 to $100 per video. Alternatively, creators can also distribute their videos free of charge, and monetize them through donations.

Some of the first users of Portal include The Young Turks, transgender model Corey Rae and former Thinx CEO Miki Agrawal, who also invested in the company.

“The Young Turks has always believed in the ‘audience first’ approach to content creation and place great value on the direct relationship with our fans,” said The Young Turks’ chief business officer Steven Oh. “We are excited to be on Portal to continue building that direct-to-consumer relationship.”

Granted, Portal by far isn’t the only company trying to compete with YouTube and the likes with micropayments. Subscription and membership models in particular have seen a boom in light of Patreon’s growing audience.

But while many newcomers to this space have recently been betting on crypto-currencies to solve micro-payments, Portal instead simply integrates with Apple’s in-app payments, and emphasizes an Instagram-like design with a chronological feed over flashy blockchain technology.

This approach also helped the company to secure $4.2 million in seed funding from Mark Cuban, Day One Ventures and Social Starts as well as individual investors including General Assembly’s Matthew Brimer, Miki Agrawal and Radha Agrawal.

After launching to the public Tuesday, Portal plans to add a subscription option for individual content creators as well as the addition of audio-only content in the coming months.

More Digital

  • USA Today Mobile Apps Get Oscars

    USA Today Launches Oscars AR Experience to Highlight Work of Costume Designers (EXCLUSIVE)

    USA Today is getting ready for the Academy Awards with an augmented reality (AR) experience dedicated to the work of the costume designers on some of the Oscar-nominated movies. The experience, which went live in USA Today’s Android and iOS app Monday, presents wardrobe from 6 movies in augmented reality, including costumes worn on “Mary [...]

  • Amazon Prime

    Amazon Prime India Greenlights ‘Bandits’ Music Series

    Amazon Prime Video India has greenlit original series “Bandish Bandits.” The show is a musical created by Still and Still Media Collective. The series will follow an Indian classical musician bound by tradition and a pop star whose performance skills are greater than her talent. A bandish is a term used to describe a musical [...]

  • Alibaba Buys 8% Stake in Chinese

    Alibaba Buys 8% Stake in Chinese Video Platform Bilibili

    Alibaba has purchased an 8% stake in the Chinese online video platform Bilibili, the official Xinhua news agency reported. Bilibili is one of China’s top video streaming and entertainment platforms, with about 92 million monthly active users and 450 million page-views per day. Founded in 2009, it was listed on the NASDAQ last March. Alibaba’s [...]

  • Clevver-Logo

    Hearst Magazines Buys Clevver's Pop-Culture YouTube Channels After Defy's Demise

    Hearst Magazines has snapped up Clevver, a network of female-skewing lifestyle and pop-culture news YouTube channels that had been owned by now-defunct Defy Media. Clevver was left homeless after Defy’s sudden shutdown in November; its principals said at the time they were looking for a new home. Hearst Magazines sees a digital fit with Clevver’s [...]

  • "Brother" -- Episode 201-- Pictured (l-r):

    CBS Interactive's Marc DeBevoise on Streaming Boom, Content Strategy, and Apple

    Not everyone wants or needs to be Netflix to succeed in the streaming space. And not everyone sees Apple’s enigmatic new service as a threat. Even as rival streaming services offer gobs of content, CBS Interactive’s president and COO Marc DeBevoise sees the company’s targeted original programming strategy continuing to attract viewers to its All [...]

  • Rhett-Link-Good-Mythical-Morning

    Rhett & Link's Mythical Entertainment in Talks to Acquire Smosh (EXCLUSIVE)

    Smosh, the YouTube comedy brand left stranded after parent company Defy Media went belly-up, may be about to get a new business partner. Mythical Entertainment, the entertainment company founded by top YouTube comedy duo Rhett & Link, has been in talks about acquiring the Smosh brand, sources told Variety. Multiple potential buyers came forward to [...]

  • Pokemon Go

    Proposed 'Pokémon Go' Lawsuit Settlement May Remove Poké Stops, Gyms

    A proposed settlement in the class action lawsuit against “Pokémon Go” developer Niantic could remove or change a number of Poké Stops and Gyms in the popular augmented reality game. The proposed settlement was filed in a California court on Thursday and applies to anyone in the U.S. who owns or leases property within 100 meters [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content