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Is Anyone Making Money on YouTube?


TV viewers and the shows they watch have been moving to the Internet for some time now. The massive popularity of YouTube is only accelerating this move. A new paradigm is forming.

YouTube and CBS have agreed to share advertising revenues from the CBS channel on YouTube called CBS Video. Some of the CBS shows you can watch are The Late Show with Dave Letterman, Survivor, CSI, CBS Evening News, and 60 Minutes. More are coming. NBC is not far behind.

But Where Does This Leave The Independent Video Producer?

In very good place, I believe. Some of YouTube’s most popular creators such as EepyBird the creators of “Extreme Diet Coke and Mentos” have set up camp on Revver.com and other video hosting sites because they attach ads to these videos and when someone clicks the ad, the producer gets paid. Some will host your video for free and split the ad income 50/50. You retain ownership of your video. The Mentos video has brought the creators nearly $30,000 from ads placed by Revver at the end of their video. (Revver.com is no longer available.)

But YouTube is now paying as well. Here’s a great story from the New York Times about a man who is making a living producing his own comedy celebrity show on YouTube.

Below are some of the most popular clips from YouTube and Revver. Take a look at how many viewings these clips have had. With those numbers, you can see that this will be a lucrative new market for smart video producers.

YouTube

Mark Leung’s
Crazy Computer Bug
Susan Boyle has TalentEvolution of DanceGuitar (Pachebell)

Affiliate Programs

Ad revenue is one very good way to make money. Another is by having Affiliate Links in Your Videos. If your video is about a book or video, you could link to the book or video on Amazon. You would need to first becoming an Amazon affiliate. There are thousands of other affiliate programs to choose from such as ClickBank.

Ideally, you would program the affiliate URL link directly into the video using Quicktime or Flash. See the Flash Video Learning Guide. But this strategy won’t work on YouTube. To use an embedded hyperlink, you may have to put the video on your own web site server. So you might have two versions of the video: The video on your web site could have an embedded URL and the video on YouTube would have only superimposed text of the URL which would not be hyperlinked. It’s worth posting some videos on YouTube to carefully study what happens and how you work within their rules.

Story Behind the Videos

Some of the clips you see above have interesting stories. For instance, Lonelygirl15 is a video blog that originally appeared just on YouTube. The main character also known as Bree has whole a series of videos. These videos have had over 24 million views! Lonelygirl15 was eventually exposed to be a fictional character played by actress, Jessica Rose from New Zealand. The series was created by a California screenwriter and a medical student.

Wheee! is actually one of the winners in a contest sponsored by Mozilla Corporation to promote the use of the Firefox web browser.

No matter what kind of video services you offer, putting your videos or your clients’ videos on the web seems natural. For instance if you produce business videos for clients, putting those video on the web, either on your client’s web site or elsewhere seems obvious. Less obvious is the Firefox promotional strategy above. There are many creative ways to profit from video on the web and now is the time to jump in.

More video web sites that pay producers coming soon.


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