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Google Businesses The Internet Media Television

YouTube To Pay For User-Generated Content 128

Posted by kdawson
from the sharing-it dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Speaking at the World Economic Forum, YouTube CEO Chad Hurley has revealed that the company plans to financially compensate users who produce and upload their content. With Google's purchase of YouTube last year, followed by more aggressive attempts to monetize the site (such as the deal struck with Verizon Wireless), it was inevitable that YouTube would come under pressure to share some of those fruits with ordinary users. But why didn't YouTube pay its users from the start? Hurley said: '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.'"
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YouTube To Pay For User-Generated Content

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  • by Mysteerie (972719) on Saturday January 27, 2007 @01:22PM (#17784324)
    Time to start uploading those old home made videos of the ex-girlfriend (that is if they are paying on a per view basis).
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      If they are pay per view don't forget to link them here for the Slashdot effect. Imagine sysadmins can have some fun with crontabs set to download their videos during slack time. Won't be long till the botnet owners figure this one out too. Need I continue? Nah, will leave it to you to Digg something up.
      • Hopefully it will actually be on the lines of pay per click on associated advertisements. Make the advertisements googles or something and you can leave it up to google to detect the bots, they already have to do this now. YouTube would then just act as a broker and take out their large chunk.
    • by Orozco (639667)
      this is /. therefore you are a virgin There you go, cp.tar :D
    • by spectro (80839)
      Done already, just google "porn tube"
    • by pilgrim23 (716938)
      I can see it now down at the casting counch: "Great idea baby, only, make the boy a girl, make her pregnant, divorce the parents, give the dog incurable cancer and change the setting to Marin County"
    • by zr-rifle (677585)
      Dude, there are tons of GL accelerated Linux desktops videos out there, since you switched back to Windows.

      It's getting old.
  • So... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cp.tar (871488) <cp.tar.bz2@gmail.com> on Saturday January 27, 2007 @01:23PM (#17784330) Journal

    What is to stop the other "communities built around video" from doing the same and turning the thing into the "who'll pay more" type war they say they wanted to avoid?

    It's an interesting move (I can't wait for the first "so now they'll pay me for my home pr0n" posts and the "this is /. therefore you are a virgin" replies), but if anyone else decides to pay their uploaders, how different is it going to be?

    • ... for the First Poster managed to do just the thing I... hmmm... postdicted. (Can't call it a prediction anymore, can I?)
    • Re:So... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by The Clockwork Troll (655321) on Saturday January 27, 2007 @02:19PM (#17784678) Journal

      What is to stop the other "communities built around video" from doing the same and turning the thing into the "who'll pay more" type war they say they wanted to avoid?
      It's a matter of inertia and first-mover advantage. YouTube will have run away with the online video audience, much as eBay ran away with the auction marketplace more than 7 years ago.

      Others might pay more for content but it won't change the fact that YouTube is where everyone visits.

      By way of example, Yahoo! Auctions finally did away with fees a couple years ago. It did not suddenly catapult them to parity with eBay.

      So long as YouTube doesn't do anything to endanger their organic draw (e.g. FaceBook's privacy gaffes, Friendster's performance issues), they are poised to hold onto their user base indefinitely.

      • by cp.tar (871488)

        By way of example, Yahoo! Auctions finally did away with fees a couple years ago. It did not suddenly catapult them to parity with eBay.

        Well, if YouTube is paying, and someone else is paying more, Yahoo! would have had to not only do away with fees, but start paying people to use it.

        But since other such sites exist, this is just nitpicking. ;)


      • A big part of what made Youtube of interest was the fact that the videos were ORIGINAL, made without undue influence, absent the taint that money brings with it. I hope they at least have the courtesy to display an icon next to paid content- I won't be watching a single one of them. I see this as the start of a downward slide - If I want paid content, I'll watch TV or go to a movie.
    • There's nothing to stop other sites from doing the same thing, in fact there already are other sites that do the same thing, i.e. Revver. The reason it won't turn into a war of "who will pay more" is the same reason that these sites have already not supplanted Youtube: market share, Youtube has far and away the most viewers of any video site.
    • by bitt3n (941736)

      What is to stop the other "communities built around video" from doing the same and turning the thing into the "who'll pay more" type war they say they wanted to avoid?
      apparently the answer hinges upon the web 2.0 definition of community, which appears to be "a group of mouth-breathing schmucks who will patronize your service out of inertia, even though they could get better money elsewhere."
      • by c_forq (924234)
        even though they could get better money elsewhere

        I could get a lot more money if I worked in Wyoming, but you won't find me doing that anytime soon. The community in question is actually a combination of established content and established links. If you want to get the people already on utube to switch to another site you have to have some sort of mechanism for them to keep their links to friends and subscription to producers, links to their favorite videos, and all of their videos - which isn't nearly
    • What is to stop the other "communities built around video" from doing the same and turning the thing into the "who'll pay more" type war they say they wanted to avoid?

      Who cares? These communities were built on ideas of "democracy", yet haven't shared a single dime to the people actually doing the work. Taking the work of a million people and distributing the profits to a small group who control everything is not democracy, it's fascism.

      Sharing the profits with the workers who actually create the c
      • by rm69990 (885744)
        Please explain how exactly Youtube is "fascist", a word that is thrown around by people who don't actually know what it means almost as much as words like FUD.

        Bad/Evil/Greedy != Fascist

        In-fact, what you have said sounds more like Saddam Huessin to me, who was definitely not fascist.
        • The system of government that takes the work of millions and allocates all profits to a small, centralized minority is not democracy. It is not even communism. The best comparison on an economic level is fascism, or even better, fascism's base authoritarianism.

          The central control having complete power in this example is the company itself. Youtube accepts content generated and submitted by a huge community of regular people, assumes copyright ownership for itself, earns money based on that content, a
          • by MyIS (834233)
            Youtube accepts content generated and submitted by a huge community of regular people, assumes copyright ownership for itself, earns money based on that content, and never passes those profits to the community who created the content.

            I'm biting a troll, but ah well. It is an entirely voluntary decision to submit content to Youtube or Digg or whatever else. If you want your copyright, you can keep it all you want, just don't deal with those companies. If you want to make your own money with your content, n

            • Comparing them to authoritarian government systems is silly and irrelevant at best.

              The companies are the ones that compare themselves to government systems, specifically democracy. You may call me a troll all you want, but the fact is that democracies do not behave in the manner of these companies.
    • What is to stop the other "communities built around video" from doing the same and turning the thing into the "who'll pay more" type war they say they wanted to avoid?

      It's an interesting move (I can't wait for the first "so now they'll pay me for my home pr0n" posts and the "this is /. therefore you are a virgin" replies), but if anyone else decides to pay their uploaders, how different is it going to be?

      They already have. YouTube is not the first to pay for video uploads. Revver [revver.com] has been paying for upload

  • And they'll distinguish this reliably from copyright infringement how?

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Easy!

      It will be shot with utter crap camcorders, have 30,000 special effect transisions and wipes from scene to scene, and the scenes will be less than 30 seconds long.

      I.E. utter and total crap.

      The indie film makers post their stuff as torrents elsewhere. Nobody wants to see what they created distributed as a incredibly horrid low bandwidth that youtube is.
      • Yes, Youtube's quality is bad, and that of the user-generated content is worse. I guess that's why the title says that Youtube will pay for this. :-)
      • by pipingguy (566974) *
        They will implement a Slashdot-like ranking system for the videos so we'll see many dupes and Piquepaille-submitted videos.
    • It's quite obvious to distinguish from copyrighted material to web cam material. I also would think Google is smart enough to figure out if content was copyrighted by a person that did not submit the video; they do have one of the best search engines after all.
      • Re:User-generated? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by kfg (145172) on Saturday January 27, 2007 @03:12PM (#17785014)
        It's quite obvious to distinguish from copyrighted material to web cam material.

        Webcam material is copyrighted too.

        I also would think Google is smart enough to figure out if content was copyrighted by a person that did not submit the video

        Lawyers often have a hard time figuring this out. I record (on my webcam, of which I currently have none) myself playing "This Land is Your Land." Ludlow denies that the copyright has lapsed. The version is one I learned from Jack Elliot (nobody does the original version anymore), but also happens to include variations from Pete and Arlo.

        Who cares? Who doesn't? Who cares, but doesn't if they get a cut? Who cares, but doesn't if they get a cut, but don't actually deserve it?

        And do I upload it, or does someone else? Whoever might own various copyrights on the subject material, the recording is mine. Maybe it isn't me, but they have my permission. It isn't about who made the content, but who has the right to distribute it. That could be anybody or nobody.

        . . .they do have one of the best search engines after all.

        Yes, but how many IP experts searching do they have?

        Here is the classic way of figuring it out: upload it and see who, if anybody, complains, then call in the lawyers. In extreme cases perhaps even a jury. Juries are actually the closest thing we have to true assingers of IP rights.

        KFG
        • by kfg (145172)
          Did I mention that Woody stole the tune from a Carter Family recording?

          The water gets ever muddier.

          KFG
      • Re:User-generated? (Score:5, Informative)

        by kimvette (919543) on Saturday January 27, 2007 @05:20PM (#17785782) Homepage Journal

        It's quite obvious to distinguish from copyrighted material to web cam material.
        How so? Your post is automatically copyrighted since it was posted to an American site. I copied part of it (the statement above) in accordance with the Fair Use clause of Copyright Law. Do not confuse Copyright with professionalism. Hell, even that idiotic bigot Fred Phelps' material is copyrighted, even though he produces the most idiotic, incorrect, and unprofessional tripe on the planet on a daily basis.

        Also: lassegg's material on youtube may have an amateurish feel, as does Kevin Smith's 1994 cult classic "Clerks" however their works are actually very well put together (given budget and time constraints), and although they may not have the slick, polished feel of a Disney or Dreamworks flick, the material is very enjoyable to watch and enables the underlying talent of those involved in those budget productions to shine through, despite the use of commodity, consumer-level equipment.

        Again: Copyright != professional

        Every written, audio, and video work produced in America is automatically protected by Copyright, unless it is explicitly disclaimed or is released into the public domain.
      • It's quite obvious to distinguish from copyrighted material to web cam material.

        Really? I would say it's one of the hardest -- perhaps the hardest -- of the unsolved problems of the web today. Google can't possibly automate this completely, for the simple reason that by default, anything I create would be subject to copyright, but as the creator I can give up that right simply by declaring that I do so.

  • Google is so rich... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Kensai7 (1005287) on Saturday January 27, 2007 @01:25PM (#17784350)
    Seems they need to new find ways to spend their fortunes...

    Why don't they start working on their own OS to go head-to-head with Microsoft? If there is one company that can do it, Google Inc. is!
    • by pipingguy (566974) *
      Google should do open source 3D CAD, using BRL-CAD as a foundation. There are millions of CAD users/companies locked into certain file formats and becoming a draftsman/designer is much more difficult than it used to be. No, wait, that was wrong. Attaining the skills currently thought necessary to be a draftsman is easy - it's the aptitude that is lost these days.

      CAD software simplifies things up to the point where prospective drafters/designers need to be proficient with 5 or 6 different programs. At that
    • By setting the example, you have to pay to get people to load their content, other providers of similar services will have to also play the game or they will lose market share. Google has a shitload of money and can play this game for a lot longer than most. They should prevail and kill all competition.
  • View fraud (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TodMinuit (1026042) <todminuitNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Saturday January 27, 2007 @01:25PM (#17784352)
    Step 1: Upload bad/stupid/dumb/etc video
    Step 2: Con people into viewing it
    Step 3: Profit!

    This is just asking for trouble.
    • by boingo82 (932244)
      Sadly there's already a ton of this on YouTUBE, and money isn't even involved yet.
    • by cp.tar (871488)

      Well, I guess they will check the ratings of a video as well...

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by nolife (233813)
      I see the start of another round of self promotion for personal gain at the expense of everyone else.

      MLM on Usenet, the "free not a scam" iPod deals, and now "pleZ view my video".

      Effects on slashdot? We will all have to suffer through the almost on topic, almost related to the forum and some what mediocre comments that might add to the experience to the topic at hand from people would not normally post that low level of material but will now do it for the extra link exposure to their video.
      This extra moti
    • Very true Tod. In fact, I think we need to bring out the old saying, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." The same thing happened with Google Adsense. It's only a matter of time before they see that it's already happening with YouTube videos.
    • sure you can con a few people into viewing your video, but if a video is actually interesting to enough people.. they will watch it.. and share the video with people they know, this is how videos on youtube get millions of views. you personally may dislike the videos, and you do not have to watch these videos, that is the joy of the internet. you select what you watch, not what big media shoves down your throat with radio/tv.
      • Big media isn't shoving anything down anyones throat: You're willingly wolfing it down, just like with YouTube. Only big media makes an attempt to produce quality (and usually cancels it due to poor ratings).
  • they got wind of any service that would pay for user content in the wind did they?
  • Hurley said: 'We didn't want to build a system that was motivated by monetary reward. We wanted to really build a true community around video.'

    And they're not interested in a "true community" anymore?
    Pfft -- I checked out some other sites before that were offering money. I kept my videos on YouTube because I didn't want to monetize my own work!
    So... will they pay me retroactively for my 60,000 views?

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by AndroidCat (229562)

      I kept my videos on YouTube because I didn't want to monetize my own work!
      They have software to monet-ize [ibiblio.org] videos? Cool!
      • by kfg (145172)
        I actually called for some modder to do that to Grand Prix Legends once. I'm tired of crappy not really photorealism in my games and would prefer good art. In fact one of the things I've always liked about GPL is the way the original graphics evoke good colored pencil work.

        And just how frickin' cool would it be to drive a '67 F1 Ferrari around Spa-Monet?

        I'm not sure I'm ready for Picasso or Dali coming at me at warp speed though. It's hard enough hitting your apexes clean without being sure where, or even w
        • by tepples (727027)

          I actually called for some modder to do that to Grand Prix Legends once. I'm tired of crappy not really photorealism in my games and would prefer good art. In fact one of the things I've always liked about GPL is the way the original graphics evoke good colored pencil work.

          It's GPL, but they keep it proprietary? WTF?

          • by kfg (145172)
            It's GPL, but they keep it proprietary? WTF?

            It's very disconcerting when I move between GPL forums and GPL forums. I have to be very careful in defining what I'm talking about; especially in a GPL forum when I start talking about GPL, since a lot of people there aren't GPL aware.

            KFG
  • by G4from128k (686170) on Saturday January 27, 2007 @01:35PM (#17784418)
    Back when YouTube provided no profits to submitters, the original creators/sources/subjects of a video probably did not care if some fan/bystander copied and posted a video. As long as credit was given where credit was due, the original creator didn't care how it got posted. With pay-for-submissions, the original creator will care very much and object if someone posts their stuff and make money of their images. (We'll also see lawsuits over model releases -- selling a person's image for profit has its own legal complications)

    And I'm sure there will be people of both malign and innocent intentions that will mine the web for videos, do some minimal mashup, intro, or clever titling and then submit them for fun-and-profit. In the time it takes one person to create, from scratch, a "good" video, someone else can copy, tweak, and flood YouTube with dozens or hundreds of copies of other peoples' videos.

    I think its great and proper that YouTube should share the wealth with the creators of quality content. But I expect more than a few disputes over who created what.
    • "the original creator will care very much and object if someone posts their stuff and make money of their images."

      I believe the term is "Ebauming".

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EBaum's_World#Controv ersy [wikipedia.org]
    • by Duncan3 (10537)
      I suspect people will quickly learn how to watermark their work.

      Anyone who hasn't is screwed.
    • by adpowers (153922)
      Exactly. I've uploaded a couple of videos, and at least one other person has uploaded a video of mine. My video is under a CC license, so I didn't mind, I just had to ask them to give attribution. However, if they start making money off of it, then I might start to get a little annoyed.
      • by skribe (26534)
        What CC license did you release it under? Non-commercial? I know video producers that have made several hundred thousand dollars by using CC-BY (by attribution) music and video in their works. All they did was drop in a credit. All perfectly legal.
        • I know video producers that have made several hundred thousand dollars by using CC-BY (by attribution) music and video in their works. All they did was drop in a credit. All perfectly legal.

          Creative Commons Attribution License still has enough landmines in it to make commercial reuse a living h*ck. For instance, the owner of copyright in a CC-BY work can change the form of credit on future copies of others' derivative works. This is the very reason why CC-BY is not compatible with the GNU licenses. (See also discussion on wikisource-l [wikipedia.org].)

          • by skribe (26534)
            It's not stopping producers from using the works and won't until a judge awards significant damages to the licensee. How many of them do you think can afford to sue?
        • by adpowers (153922)
          I just used CC-BY. My assumption was that anyone that would use my work commercially would modify it in some way or include it in another work (which has happened with some of my photos). Uploading the video with no modifications to just earn money is lame (although, still allowed by the license).
          • by skribe (26534)
            Uploading the video with no modifications to just earn money is lame (although, still allowed by the license).

            I agree and I have to say I've never seen anyone do that with video. It has always been modified. Audio, on the other hand, I've seen used without modification. In fact it is becoming quite common within certain sections of the industry.
  • Hello Spam (Score:5, Insightful)

    by timeOday (582209) on Saturday January 27, 2007 @01:51PM (#17784524)
    Money changes everything. When you bring in money, you bring in the motivation to subvert the system by whatever means necessary to turn a buck.

    Get ready to see your own videos reposted by others in their name. Of course, that's what "piracy" essentially is, so get ready to see the contenet industry filing a lot of lawsuits. Get ready to see the video recommendation system skewed to big-name media-backed "artists." Get ready to see annoying youtube links posted everywhere on the web.

    Of course, there will probably be a lot more skillfully-produced and well thought-out material on youtube, too. But will it drown out the cool crazy stuff that's there now?

    • Get ready to see your own videos reposted by others in their name. Of course, that's what "piracy" essentially is, so get ready to see the contenet industry filing a lot of lawsuits.

      Also... If there's a substantial profit to be made from a "viral video" or whatever you can bet there's going to be battles between the budding "stars" and "directors" (and possibly directed towards GoogleTube themselves; no matter what their agreement with the uploader states, if a person IN the film didn't consent to the uplo
  • Sell outs! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nilbog (732352) on Saturday January 27, 2007 @02:00PM (#17784566) Homepage Journal
    I really liked the aspect of youtube that it was a level playing field for everyone - big and small. People generated content for the sake of generating content, or viral marketing campaigns (which I'm SOMETIMES okay with but are usually annoying). Now youtube is going to be a competition with people trying to generate crap that will get a lot of hits rather than good "for the sake of it" art.

    Just like what happens to a lot of bands when they sell out and stop caring about the music...
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      "Just like what happens to a lot of bands when they sell out and stop caring about the music..."

      Or, you know... try to expand their musical or artistic talent...

      True, there is some "selling out" that is bad (especially when it's blatantly commercially influenced, and the end result just sucks), but face it: an occasional change every once in a while can be a good thing. I'm not talking about complete overhauls (ie. death metal to pop trash), but a mix-up every once in a while. In fact, some bands change
  • The real plan (Score:2, Insightful)

    by luminate (318382)
    1. Offer users a relatively tiny cut to boost traffic, hurt the competition and look generous/progressive at the same time.

    2. Increase advertising to far more than make up for #1 ("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").

    3. Profit!

    Hmm. It actually looks like a pretty good plan...
  • Honesty (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    "We didn't want to build a system that was motivated by monetary reward"

    Umm, didn't want a system with monetary awards? That's why Youtube was sold for 1.3 billion and has ads?

    Ohhh.. you meant didn't want monetary rewards for the users! i see.
  • AmericaFree.TV offers a 50-50 advertising split to indy films as part of the IndyReels [indyreels.tv] program; the money is already going out to ePremier's [forbes.com].

    Of course, this is aimed at independent films, not just everyone's home video's.
  • 1) upload episodes of 24 and simpsons or any already heavily viewed video really
    2) profit

    or

    1) upload some clip to youtube
    2) have friendly neigborhood botnet controller set up fake views for share
    3) profit

    Seriously where is the revenue going to come from? They are already paying to license media content from the studios, now they are going to pay users who upload content. So how are they planning on making an actual profit? A five second ad before each clip? That will annoy most of us, and lead to some fun v
  • ...and, presumably you won't get paid if what you uploaded is copyright - as it should be and a great incentive to upload original content.

    The 'community thing' is bullshit of course - I was only looking at metacafe the other day thinking wait... these guys will pay me for the views of my videos? Why am I using YouTube...?

    If they didn't pay now, people would move to those who did - it's not about who pays most (yet - that will come in the future when people are used to being paid).
  • by geekd (14774) on Saturday January 27, 2007 @02:25PM (#17784718) Homepage
    We did this at MP3.com back when it was the "real" MP3.com.

    Lemme see if I remember correctly... We had a set amount of money to pay out each month. and we divided it based on some formula based on number of plays. Some of our top artists actually made a decent amount of money.

    BUT.

    We then had to have several people who's full time job was to catch cheaters. They used to tell me about all the various ways people would cheat. As you might imagine, people can get very ingenious when money is involved.

    I'm sure a company like YouTube (google) has the staff to handle it, but my question is: is it worth the headaches? The points other posters brought up about copyright infringement and posting other people's videos are already a problem at YouTube. These are problems we didn't really have at MP3.com (our copyright infringement problems were us being stupid, not our users :) Paying users for plays is going to make these problems much worse.

    --geekd
    • by kfg (145172)
      Some of our top artists actually made a decent amount of money.

      I've still got a copy of Coffee & Pepto. I miss you guys. Why'ja go and get stupid?

      . . .people can get very ingenious when money is involved.

      And put far more effort into filching a dime than making a dollar. Won money is sweeter than earned money, but swindled money is the sweetest.

      KFG
    • by chrwei (771689)
      google already has a system in place to catch cheaters for their ad buisness, the techniques are very similar.

      I really doubt that they will make a paypal payment or somethign as soon as the upload happens, it is more likely be a quarterly check and only if the balance is above a certain amount, much like the click-through market. Pretty easy to figure out any copyright infringement in a couple months, and even better because to uplaod and be paid you would have to provide a mailing address. This alone
    • by antek9 (305362)
      I remember those days. I actually got a cheque mailed to me from MP3.COM once, it was something like 17 $. I couldn't really decide whether to frame it and hang it on a wall, or to go and cash it. It was the first money I ever made off of my music, so it had that special extra value to me.

      But yeah, right, I don't remember any fuzz about someone uploading David Bowie tracks and claiming it as their own or something like that. Anyway, each and every track had to be screened in advance before going public, ba
  • An interesting comparison is to consider why the red cross does not pay for blood "donations." We always hear the pitch to donate blood, but never let market forces solve the supply shortage. The red cross claims if they paid, then they would have all sorts of "undesirables" donating just to get the cash. Perhaps YouTube doesn't have to worry about quality control.
  • Perhaps Google can actually afford to pay users this time around, but still. The former MP3.com CEO has shown little ability to actually turn a profit wiht any venture he touches. However, it is proof that Google will then go on to make their own version of Linux. Maybe they'll call it Gindows or Ginspire.
    • OH and to reply to my own comment. Does anyone else feel another Internet stock bubble coming? I can't wait.
  • Aside from the obvious popularity contest this will turn into with nothing of real interest to watch, I wonder what legal implications this will have for those of us who use downloading tools for You Tube. All the server sees is a video download, and it couldn't easily tell from the legitmate Flash Player or Video Downloader, right?

    Also, as someone who actually wrote a program to crawl YouTube and download what it finds (in Perl no less), what legal implications does that have for me? Am I now a criminal f

  • Bandwidth Costs (Score:4, Interesting)

    by imuffin (196159) on Saturday January 27, 2007 @02:53PM (#17784906)
    I don't understand. Last year, the overwhelming consensus was that Youtube was losing phat sacks of cash everyday 'cuz their ad revenue couldn't possibly pay their bandwidth costs. And now they are making enough money to compensate uploaders for the privilege of hosting their videos? I'm sure their profit margin increased now that Google owns them so Youtube doesn't have to deal with a 3rd party ad agency, but does that really make that much of a difference to the bottom line? Or has bandwidth just gotten a lot cheaper? Or are they just looking to corner the market so that as bandwidth prices drop and Internet ads become more lucrative, they'll be in a position to profit?
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by LeDopore (898286)
      I'm no 'net expert, but I've heard that bandwidth costs fall by about half every year. Ad revenue per view, on the other hand, should stay roughly constant (or it might go up if companies currently underestimate how much cash they could make by targeted video ads). In any case, as long as Google can automate the video hosting to a large degree, it's just a matter of time until ads will more than pay for bandwidth costs, and then the biggest company out there is going to be in a nice position.
  • by Duncan3 (10537)
    18/20 of the top 20 videos are blatant copyright violations when I looked. There isn't much else down lower either.

    It's gonna be funny as hell to watch the lawyers devour Google.

    This is gonna really distract them from their core business of spying on everyone.

    • Re:18/20 (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Kesh (65890) on Saturday January 27, 2007 @03:30PM (#17785142)
      Actually, there's a real easy way around this: if the profits don't go to the uploader, but to the copyright holder, then all those Simpsons clips won't earn Johnny Basement one penny, but Fox would be pretty happy.
      • by Aladrin (926209)
        I have to say, this is the way to do it. But then, the YouTube folks would have to actually WATCH all the video on YouTube, and I think that's considered cruel and unusual and violates the Geneva Convention. Then they'd have to locate the copyright holder of the works in question. With the Simpsons, that's easy. With video of local Orlando band... How would you know it wasn't the uploader's stuff? (Assuming the description doesn't outright say so.)
      • What if I upload (in fifteen-minute(?) segments) The Wizard of Oz with Dark Side of the Moon for the soundtrack? How about if I splice together clips from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Simpsons, Stargate SG1, and Monty Python to make my own bizarre tv series? If I'm clearly staying within my Fair Use rights, then cool, but if I'm not, should we divide between the shows' creators by screentime? Do I get any credit (=money) for my creative splicing? What if Buffy talks while the camera shows Jack O'Neil's rea

  • by doroshjt (1044472) on Saturday January 27, 2007 @03:08PM (#17784992)
    If this was 5 years ago, the star wars kid would be rich beyond his wildest dreams.
  • Unless something significantly better comes along, I'm sticking with Revver. The pay has been decent so far for the relatively low effort I've put into it, and they have a history of respecting copyrights and rewarding creators, rather than a history of building audience by hosting copyright violations that ignore the rights of creators. Revver uses Creative Commons licensing, with some added terms to allow for appending an ad and supporting "affiliate" sharing. I can't imagine switching to YouTube, othe
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by rh2600 (530311)
      Likewise...

      Revver (and others) have been doing this for a while, using their brains, not their brawn

      All youtube did was allow users to steal my content from revver... but they did take it down, after I went through their notification progress...
    • by Mandrel (765308)
      Why wouldn't you put your videos on many sites simultaneously, or does one have to sign an exclusivity agreement?
      • by SnakeStu (60546)
        No, there's no exclusive agreement (at least not with Revver), but Revver gives me the ability to post on many different sites (plus sharing via P2P, email, FTP, IM, and/or whatever else) and still have one place to manage the videos (adding, deleting, checking earnings, etc.). I know it works, so I'm not too tempted to look elsewhere. As for YouTube specifically, I dislike it for enough reasons that it would take a *very* compelling offer for me to consider hosting videos there for revenue purposes.
  • > "But why didn't YouTube pay its users from the start? "

    Actually, this is a true story: they posted an ad on craigslist in their first months of business,
    offering cute girls $100 to upload video blogs or videos of themselves and their friends.

    Not one single girl responded.

    There's a video on YouTube somewhere of the "early days" when the YouTube guys were discussing
    this "plan". Its actually pretty funny.

  • They are doing this because they don't want to be outdone by the other (better) video sites that are paying and slowly but surely taking users away. (www.revver.com, www.metacafe.com just to name a few)

    http://vewgle.com/ [vewgle.com] The video forum.

  • by drDugan (219551) * on Saturday January 27, 2007 @03:56PM (#17785330) Homepage
    Whatever this man means by the word "community" - it is not what most humans understand it to be.

    If you're paying some people to participate, they will not be there for community. In fact, having a mixed paid/volunteer crowd creates a situation where it is almost impossible to maintain community activities without significant hiding of information. Either you have a group who gives freely and members benefit from the giving, or you have people who are being paid to contribute and they run a cost/benefit in their head for their time to participate. You really can't have both simultaneously and keep the group together.

    See a recent talk I gave on what a community really is http://tinyurl.com/22j9fy [tinyurl.com]
    • by kfg (145172)
      If you're paying some people to participate, they will not be there for community.

      Ever see what happens to a mining town when the mine shuts down?

      KFG
  • And it leads to old math tricks, computer 'hacks' being video taped, put online. It looks like content pollution to me.
  • by skribe (26534) on Saturday January 27, 2007 @07:23PM (#17786578) Homepage
    This also might be a way that they can fight the pending lawsuits by the studios. If you want to be paid for content you upload then YouTube will need certain details so they can pay you. They can then of course pass those details along to the relevant authorities if they come calling about a copyright violation. Let the uploader and the MPAA/studios slug it out.
    • wow! Just what we need.
      I guess when the MPAA and RIAA have my account numbers, they can charge me for all those movies I didn't see and CDs I didn't buy last year...thus depriving them of their rightful earnings.
  • > 'We didn't want to build a system that was motivated by monetary reward.'

    He's talking about *you*. He was *very* motivated by monetary reward.
  • by drolli (522659)
    Up to now we only had 14 year olds which posed in their underpants because they wanted attention.......
  • I can see it now. The "starving artist" that creates a video "masterpiece" sues Google since a return was expected that he never got. Take what I just said as you will, but in some shape or form it will probably happen.
  • This is the first step in a monetization process that involves
    Google placing ads on every single video.

    The only reason they're paying is because soon they'll be profiting...

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