Three days ago YouTube stuff on their blog announced revenue sharing with “several of the most popular and prolific original content creators from the YouTube community to our partnership program”.
“Because they have built and sustained large, persistent audiences through the creation of engaging videos, their content has become attractive for advertisers, which has helped them earn the opportunity to participate on YouTube as a partner.”
This event represents the logical move in User Generated Content (UGC) evolution, regarding the basic Web 2.0 concept – “Architecture of Participation“. If there are a lot of services which generate new value due to users’ participation, it is logical move to reward the users for its effort.
There are a lot of examples of UGS revenue sharing models, but the decision of YouTube to reward the most successful video content participants is very important for setting the rule to reward any UGC at any commercial service.
If somebody participate on others’ web sites who generates some revenue stream from user participation, it should be explicitly rewarded on some way (it is not the case when you say – Oh, your content will be visible to millions of people – it is not true). For me it is OK to say – If your content is interesting enough for our Web site users, to come to our Web site because of your content (as YouTube announced), we will pay for it on revenue share base.