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    Wednesday, July 05, 2006

    Pay for Content? Pay the Creators

    A new video-sharing site is now offering videographers a share of the advertising dollars that their movies generate, at a time when most video-sharing sites are just trying to eke out a profit.(ed. note, this is what Google Video does, though im not sure how you actually get paid), is a site that promises to share a percentage of the site's revenue depending on how many viewers a video clip attracts. The founder invented that awesomely annoying PBJ time clip. Video sharing is pretty damn hot at the moment. Every day, people from all over the world are posting homemade movies at one of more than 150 sites. Sometimes those clips attract big audiences, sometimes they fade into oblivion. At places such as YouTube, Yahoo Video and eBaumsworld, the creators of popular clips aren't compensated. Right now more than 150 such companies are trying to figure out how to make money by hosting homemade movies on the Web. More than a year since its founding, YouTube has not yet fully disclosed what its revenue model will be. Sketchy, since we don't even know if its legal. Im still waiting for the first lawsuit. Other video-sharing companies, such as Guba, say they are profitable but aren't generating much cash. Guba expects to see $12 million in sales this year, according to Thomas McInerney, the company's CEO. Interesting concept that now people can get paid for content rather than giving it away for free. You may be asking why anyone wouldn't want to get paid either, but humans are irrational and could flock to a site like Youtube based on comfort, ease,familiarity, popularity, etc etc. Look at how Google launched,no ads, no extras, and other search engines were even better. Yet it lived on. It will be interesting to see if sites like this can gain a foothold, much like the internet when it took off, offering everything for free(before the jackals descended and now everything costs something). This could be a major crossroads for media and content as far as what drives it. If the revenue model can beat the freebies, then the cycle seems to start all over. People use the site, advertisers come, sell ads, and its the same. If people stick with free information platforms, people will be forced to innovate. It will also stretch into other forms of media as well. Current TV has a model similar to this for tv/pods. This begs the question what is the cost of media?




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