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January 28, 2007

YouTube to share ad revenue with original video uploaders

When Google bought YouTube, I wrote a long piece on how Google could monetize YouTube through video ads and revenue sharing text or image AdSense ads with those users who are creating and submitting original videos to the popular community. Now, the BBC has confirmed that they are in talks with Google with a revenue sharing model that would see the BBC earn money from advertisements shown in conjunction with their videos.

If you are familiar with YouTube, you know that none of their videos have video ads showing before, during or after the submitted videos (although some enterprising uploaders do embed their own ads or URL/logo watermarks on submitted videos to promote themselves). There are multiple AdSense ad units on the pages at YouTube, and they have also been testing some new ad styles there as well. But they haven't set up any sort of ad reveue sharing mechanism until now.

People who upload their own films to video-sharing website YouTube will soon get a share of the ad revenue.

YouTube founder Chad Hurley confirmed to the BBC that his team was working on a revenue-sharing mechanism that would "reward creativity".

The system would be rolled out in a couple of months, he said, and use a mixture of adverts, including short clips shown ahead of the actual film.

So when can users expect to be able to show ads and earn money from original videos they submit? The initial ad push will be sometime over the next couple of months. However, I suspect that it will first be open to only those video producers that would be unlikely to submit video they do not own the copyright to (which makes a provider like the BBC an ideal choice). However, it could eventually open up to allow Joe YouTuber the ability to earn money off their own submitted videos.

How would the ads be delivered? Well, industry standard tends to be the 15 to 30 second clip showing prior to the video. But a 3 second ad is one of the options that Google is considering, a step which would make the short clip be short enough to not annoy their viewers.

It would also make sense for the program to be run through AdSense, where users could submit their AdSense publisher ID along with their uploaded video. However, it will be interesting to see if revenue sharing will eventually be available to everyone or if there will be an approval process to try and weed out those publishers who would be more likely to upload copyright infringing videos.

This is a good move and a welcome one to those who are creating original video content. There are other video sites that have offered various models of revenue sharing, but none with the massive number of eyeballs that YouTube can offer.

Posted by Jenstar at January 28, 2007 08:12 AM


This is an interesting move and we'll see how it shakes up their competition with revver and metacafe. I am however most interested in the fine prints when this program rolls out. Many large scale media sharing services and social networks had considered a revshare program like this before but so far no one has been able to nail down the nightmarish logistics of "how the hell do we pay the teenagers without credit cards living in Brazil and China?".

Posted by: soxiam at January 28, 2007 07:05 PM

See my link on my article relating to the recent Gootube happenings :)



Posted by: Peter Drew at January 29, 2007 10:26 PM

This is really a good idea. I am thinking to shoot more videos to upload to YouTube.

Posted by: Min Thu at January 30, 2007 01:45 AM

Nice piece of writing :-) - will be very interesting indeed how offline advertisers will react to video-ads potentially getting common on the internet. Maybe we see some serious shift of budgets (finally) towards online.

I agree with soxiam re payment processing...that seems to be a tougher one to figure out. Moreover I think it might be challenging to make sure ones ad is not bundled with a homeshot-video that makes fun of the very same product - I can just see Coca-Cola Marketing flip when they find themselves bundled with one of the Mentos-Coke-light videos :-).


Posted by: kattibambi at January 30, 2007 05:42 AM

Here are some ideas I had for YouTube way back in August...


Posted by: James at January 30, 2007 02:16 PM

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