Zipidee Opens Marketplace for Digital Goods

Is Zipidee iTunes-meets-eBay? New company provides storefront and tools to publish, protect, promote and profit by selling original digital content.
Are your belly-dance class videos shaking up the competition? Do you help people realize their personal or professional dreams? Or, maybe your poker or cocktail-mixing acumen is making you money.

If so, there's a new place for you to show off — and sell — your stuff. Zipidee, a new online marketplace for digital goods, is launching today, looking to provide the storefront and tools to allow you to publish, protect, promote and profit by selling your original digital content.

The platform currently supports videos, audiobooks, podcasts and music, with e-books, games and ring tones coming in the near future. "Ebay allowed people to take what was in their attic and turn it into an online store. We are doing the same thing, but for digital goods," said CEO Henry Wong. "There's a market that exists offline where people are already selling to a large audience. We provide everything they need to sell online and set their own pricing and payment model."

Creating Digital Assets
Wong said the company's first clients are business people who are already selling instructional, educational and personal development videos. Rather than invest the time and money it takes to build an online store, Wong said, such businesses can be up and selling on Zipidee within days — or minutes.

Zipidee Digital Goods Marketplace
A Wonderful Day for Digital Goods Sellers: Zipidee helps you zoom in on sales of downloadable goods.
(Click for larger image.)

The company will convert DVDs and such content to digital download format for free and lets you set your own pricing model, whether it be rental, subscription-based or a flat fee for a download. Wong said sellers can also choose how to sell their content. For instance, they can decide to offer an entire video or e-book, sell individual chapters or bundle together different formats, say, an e-book and a video.

"People have huge libraries of offline content. We will take that upfront cost of converting and encoding it into digital format, and provide the infrastructure for to sell it on online," said Wong. "And we provide a real time dashboard for reporting, sales, profits, key variables and so on so people can adjust their business models."

Reporting and Promotion
In a format similar to eBay, sellers have a "My Zipidee" page with a control panel that lets them list items for sale, set pricing and insert meta tags, descriptions, titles, keyword tags and so on. They can create thumbnail video captures so customers can preview content, and set it for a selected time-frame or for the first two minutes. For content that may need it, sellers can also place ratings, such as PG-13.

Zipidee Digital Goods Marketplace
Digital Dashboard: Zipidee offers real-time reporting for sales management.
(Click for larger image.)
The "My Zipidee" page also shows the history of sales for each buyer, so you can see how much you've sold, what profit was generated for each sale and so on, and this data can be exported to Excel.

And, if you already have a Web shop or page in a social network, you can use Zipidee's promotional and affiliate widgets. "You can use the promotional widget on your e-commerce site, your blog, your MySpace page and the payment transaction goes through the widget, so your customers never leave your site."

Zipidee Digital Goods Widget
Promote and Profit: Zipidee's widget helps you market digital goods.

In addition, Zipidee also offers a proprietary digital rights management platform as well as digital watermarking, Wong said, "so you don't have to worry that your stuff ends up on YouTube." Vendors simply choose to opt in or out during the registration process.

For buyers, finding and downloading digi-goods from Zipidee is easy. Shoppers simply register for an account and can search Zipidee's library of content by keyword or category to begin purchasing and Zipidee accepts payments via credit card or through the use of pre-paid credits. Included for each item are customer reviews and ratings, similar to Amazon, as well as eBay-like seller ratings.

Bottom Line: The Future Looks Bright
Zipidee, founded this year with a private beta launch in July, does charge a 20-percent transaction fee. But considering the services you get and the money you save by not creating your own site, the company seems poised to capitalize on an untapped market. "A new video segment that is between consumer-created video and premium content has emerged," said Allen Weiner, a managing vice president at Gartner. "Gartner is calling this new content sector the protail, and it consists of professionally produced short video clips and shows. The quality of this content places it between premium content and consumer creators who make up the long tail. This protail market holds enormous potential."

Michelle Megna is managing editor of

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