Chad Hurley, co-founder of the web 2.0 darling, You Tube -- now property of Google -- hinted at an interesting new revenue stream for the two-year old company. Here's Hurley at the Davos World Economic Forum talking about about You Tube's plans to actually share advertising revenue with users who upload videos onto the site.
The idea, it seems, is to subject You Tube's users to three-second advertisements called "pre-rolls" prior to watching a clip on the site. Presumably, You Tube would then somehow share the revenue from these ads with some of its users.
The particularly creative posters among You Tube's approximately 70 million users, who've posted gems like "Little Superstar," may now turn into profitable enterprises.
But can You Tube make this business model work? And how will it pay and reward users who, at this point, have been so adept at generating content for the site for free? Will paying users who generate great content turn You Tube's audience off?
And if the revenue-sharing model does work, how long can You Tube remain true to its users? Will we someday see production companies launched with the sole purpose of generating short, viral video clips?
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