January 26th, 2007

YouTube Hears The Users Calling and Agrees To Finally Give Them Some Money


Last summer, in It’s The Users Calling…They Want Their Money, I wrote:

User-generated content is going through a novelty phase, where most “users” are content with attention as a form of recompense for their efforts. But for savvy “users” — or in this case video production artists, let’s get real here — getting paid in attention while hosting platforms like YouTube get all the take-to-the-bank revenue is sheer lunacy.

Turns out that YouTube has finally heard the call. Here’s YouTube founder Chad Hurley at Davos (courtesy of Jeff Jarvis):

Here’s the money quote from Chad:

In terms of paying users revenue against the content that they’re uploading, we’re definitely going to move in that direction. We didn’t want to build a system that was motivated by monetary reward. We wanted to really build a true community around video. When you start out with giving money to people from day one, the people you do attract will just switch to the next provider who’s paying more. We’re at a scale now that we feel we can do that and still have a true community around video.

Translation: We made all those poor slobs work for free, and now that we’ve sold them out for $1.65 billion, we’re finally ready to share a few crumbs.

This is in the running for best spin of 2007.

Oh, and in the first part of the video, Chad describes a new audio fingerprinting technology, which will allow them to start compensating record companies whose copyright-infringed content help rocket YouTube to stardom.

Nothing like thanking the little people.

  • gz

    And an aspect not getting enough play is that this also creates a better monetization platform for the traditional media giants. I think it is their requirements that will drive the ultimate parameters of this platform.

  • Duh, your time is worth something.

    They should consider credit for new registrations too. Example: very popular band moves to YouTube, inspires fans to register, resulting in a payout large enough to convince other similarly popular bands to do the same, etc. etc.

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