A+E Networks-backed virtual reality (VR) content aggregator Littlstar launched a new premium tier Friday that includes a new sideloading feature for Sony’s PSVR headset. The feature allows PSVR users to access any video stored on a USB drive, including both regular movies as well as VR-optimized 180-degree and 360-degree videos.
The new premium tier is available for $2.99 per month on a per-month basis, or $1.99 per month for users who commit to a whole year. Alternatively, users can also opt to buy lifetime access to side-loading for a one-time fee of $39.99.
Littlstar premium subscribers also gain access to a number of other features, including the ability to add custom feeds to their Littlstar app — something that has in the past been used by adult content publishers to bring their videos to the game console.
Littlstar co-founder and CEO Tony Mugavero explained in a blog post last month that the company introduced the new subscription tier as a way to monetize years of VR development. “We’ve done this work for years, for free, and the time has come for us to make what we’re doing a business, so we can continue building innovative products for our community,” he wrote.
Mugavero said that the company was also looking to add premium content to its app, but that it didn’t want to rely on advertising or paid downloads as a way to monetize such content. “We prefer not to use ads because that means we need to track people and sell the data,” he wrote. “Transactional content is frustrating for consumers to pay individually for over and over, and it makes for a less predictable and scalable service to innovate around.”
Ultimately, Littlstar also plans to integrate Ara, the company’s blockchain content distribution platform, into its VR app. Littlstar premium subscribers will gain tokens to spend on Ara as part of that integration.