Filehill is a new Swedish startup I ran into when first pitching their idea at TechCrunch Talk Nordic earlier this year. Filehill offers a platform especially designed to trade digital content such as reports, playlists and manuals. Besides from the music, of course. They’ve just released into open beta after a year and a half of development, and I was naturally curious to see what the new marketplace looks like.

Gustav Borgefalk, CEO Filehill

The team of eight together with Gustav Borgefalk, CEO Filehill, have been working on to create a low barrier to entry service to buy and and sell digital content. All content can be bought without registering using either PayPal or SMS as a payment method. The procedure to register as a seller is also made in few steps. It’s easy to share the objects sold within social services, as is to place a “Buy”-button on ones blog or a web site. To my joy, the service uses Creative Commons license, also allowing the seller to write his/her own license. 

The minimum price for digital content is 5 SEK of which the seller gets to keep approx. 55-75 %. Filehill only charges 20% of the sale (e.g. iTunes charges 30%), the rest consisting of Paypal or operator costs. All the purchases and sales are available on ones user account. It’s also possible as a company to receive a monthly report with specified tax information.

To be honest, I had no trouble buying or downloading content. It all worked according to instructions, even with a Mac. Since the amount of files/content is about to grow, I already miss the “You might also like this”-function, though. Or why not find other users who also have bought the same or similar content? A mix between Fileride, a social desktop service where you find friends through shared objects, except with Filehill’s “Buy”-buttons added.

To protect the feedback quality it’s only possible to rate the content after a purchase. An issue that forced eBay to change their digital content model. Due to severe feedback manipulation all their digital content today is sold via classified ads. 

Besides from the revenue sharing model Filehill is looking into partnership deals, commission based sales and advertising. The service it to be released in English and Norwegian by the end of the year.

Is Filehill more of the same
There’s no doubt that Filehill is stepping into a competitive, yet diversified market segment. Besides from competitors like Payloadz with their open API, e-junkie, Zipidee and Tradebit, they also need to steal customers’ attention away from marketplaces like iTunes, Snocap, iStockphoto and 99designs. Most of the Filehill’s traffic is expected to come through search engines, also increasing the competition. That is why I find it positive to see Filehill aiming to create shareable objects of the content instead of trying to be a destination site. I think it’s crucial to find a way into the social networks and communities when targeting wide range of niched content on the very end of the long tail, since it’s usually easier to start by serving a special niche well rather than offering everything for everybody.

How to receive your gift card
We have 25 gift cards á 50 SEK for you to purchase digital content with at Filehill. The first 25 who master Swedish, register an account at Filehill and email the promotion code:“ArcticStartup” together with the account information: name and username to promotion[at]filehill.se, will receive 50 SEK on their account to shop for! You will receive a confirmation as soon as the money have been deposited into your account.
Note! Use Paypal as payment method when outside Sweden, SMS payments work only with Swedish operators.