Zoom has announced the launch of a paid live events platform called OnZoom. This is hardly a surprise, Zoom as a platform lacked a way for professionals (or anyone for that matter) locked down to monetise their skills through the platform. This isn’t to say that weren’t companies that didn’t make it possible for users to charge a fee for meeting and events. Kenya’s Safaricom (through M-Pesa), in July, launched a service where anyone in Kenya could charge a fee for a Zoom meeting.
It seems as though Zoom was aware of this deficiency and now has a product that users can monetise their trade and skills. Before we jump into it, I think it’s important to mention that OnZoom is currently in beta and hosting is only available for users in the US.
How does OnZoom work?
The platform allows users to create free, paid or a combination of both free and paid registration. OnZoom like regular Zoom allows hosts to interact with their audience. There are some prerequisites that hosts will need in order to get started.
Users will need to create an OnZoom account before Host access is granted. Once users finish the filling out their details, the application will be reviewed by the OnZoom team. Host access is granted at Zoom’s descretion and once a user is permitted they will get an email notifying them of Zoom’s approval.
When a user gets Host access they can then proceed to create an event card. This is where the host will give the event a name, description, the category of the event and even add tags.
Catergories for events include:
- Education and family
- Entertainment and visual arts
- Food and drink
- Fitness & Health
- Home and lifestyle
- Community and spirituality
Hosts will also define if an event is free, paid or if a fee is voluntary. An interesting addition to the event set up is the security parameters. The platform gives the user control over who can register for a meeting. Hosts can select specific domains that are allowed to register for an event. There is, however, a 1000 maximum limit for attendees.
On the attendees’ side of things, they can pay for an event using PayPal or a credit card. Since the event is livestreamed attendees can opt to change their Zoom name for the event.
OnZoom may be limited to the United States for the moment but I think the demand for it may make it spread across the world a little faster. It offers a number of people across a variety of industries an alternative revenue stream. It also gives people with a talent or a passion that isn’t their occupation a platform to make money off of it.
In Zimbabwe (if or when it makes it here), the biggest problem would be the payment options available. It’s all well and good to have a platform like this but if willing participants don’t have the means to pay then it shrinks the pool of customers.
I’m not sure how popular OnZoom could be in Zimbabwe but financial institutions and payment facilitators could preempt its arrival. This could, I think, also open up payments for a whole host other services to more people.