Sparkeo helps Educators to Monetize on their Videos

Yesterday I read about a very interesting start up in online education on TechCrunch Europe called Sparkeo. As TC was offering 100 beta invites I grabbed one immediately and signed up for it.

As video streaming is growing and growing on the internet it is great to have a targeted service for educators. So let’s have a first look on Sparkeo.

As you might  know already, I am producing educational videos myself. If you don’t know yet you can take a look at my YouTube channel called “Deutsch Happen”. This video series started back in my teaching years where I wanted to offer some extra content for my students who learned German with me besides their 1:1 lessons.

Nowadays this project has turned into a social/marketing/business experiment in which I try out different techniques to build up a loyal followership with the ultimate goal to monetize on this follower base. The result of this experiment will then be published in a course for online teachers.

So what I want to say at this point is that I know about the pain of educational YouTubers and hence I see the potential of Sparkeo. Quoting Frederic Ankin, CEO of Sparkeo on the TC article

“Currently, the highest quality end content is not online since the experts have no motivation to give it away.”

There are a couple of problems if you want to monetize your videos on YouTube. First one, you need to become a YouTube Partner which means you need at least 1000 subscribers and I think 10000 views on your videos plus other things like regularly uploading videos etc. So if you took this hurdle, which I did a couple of weeks ago, you can decide to add Google Adsense to your videos.

There are two problems with this. First of all, if you are teaching a not so popular topic (from the advertising point of view) you get low prices on the ads. Secondly, quoting Talia Klein, Director of Community and Social Media at Sparkeo

Ads in the middle of a video interrupt the viewer’s thoughts and learning experiences. When you read a book, or watch a movie in a theatre, your experience isn’t interrupted by advertising – why should online learning be different?

What Sparkeo is offering to educators is a service where they can decide how much their knowledge is worth. The great thing is that all functionality is embeded in the video player itself so the educator can take the video and embed it on his homepage. Even the payment via PayPal takes place in the player.

But that’s not all. Students who purchased your video can highlight parts of it and make their own annotations directly on the video and get in contact with the teacher if they have a question. On the teacher’s side you will see analytics of the videos, purchase and account balance information etc.

Sparkeo takes a 30% commission and / or offers premium options for extended bandwidth and branding.

I am pretty excited about this start up as I think it offers a new interesting option for educators to generate a new revenue stream. It’s definitely heading in the right direction especially if you take into consideration that YouTube is working on something similar for their partners.

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  • chinamike

    Will it be available in China or will it share the same unfortunate fate as you-tube here? How about payment? Sounds great!

    • taliafromsparkeo

      Hi ChinaMike,

      Generally speaking, we are available worldwide. If we've been blocked in China, we don't know, but we would very much appreciate knowing if we are so we can figure out what to do.

      We don't limit payment to anyone. We are currently using PayPal, however, so we know that some countries have problems with PayPal. We are working on integrating more payment systems to make sure that everyone can be taken care of, but that's still down the road.

      Anyway, feel free to email me directly at talia at if you'd like more information.


      Talia Klein
      Director of Community and Social Media

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  • Vikrama Dhiman

    The website definitely looks neat and crisp. I like the embeddable component to full functionality as well. Now, the only problem is to remove inertia and sign up for it. For now, I am following them on Twitter to keep track. Again, definitely looks interesting.

    • taliafromsparkeo

      Thanks for the compliments! Feel free to drop me an email once you have signed up. :-)


  • paul

    Looks interesting, not sure about the youtube comparison, the trick will be to get your video seen as sparkeo doesnt do this, thought provides social buttons and embedding.

    On youtube you will get found due to the mass volume of users and if you get your angle right will build views quickly.

    i hope to use sparkeo but realise i need to promote the videos massively

    • KirstenWinkler

      One possible way is to create premium content for the Sparkeo player and promote it on your YouTube channel. But then is the question if YouTube members are willing to pay for video content at all.

      But YouTube gets you the eyeballs for sure, I agree. And I think no one who makes videos can renounce that audience.