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YouTube Videos Pull In Real Money… Really?

December 11, 2008

The New York Times recently published an article YouTube Videos Pull In Real Money.  The article focuses on the success of Michael Buckley, one of YouTube’s success story, and his ability to pull in $100K in salary from his videos. (note: you may remember me complaining about being the victim of his spam a few weeks ago)

What I would like to know is what percent of all YouTube partners make more than $100 a month. While online video might be monetizable to some degree, the fact of the matter is that 99.9% of content producers will not make any significant money.

The incentive of money for content producers is largely an illusion – one that is highly advantageous to the aggregators. The more that content producers are incentivized to create videos, the more that aggregators like YouTube can monetize all these “digital pennies” into a revenue stream a la Long-Tail economics.

Personally, I think the real benefits from online distribution for content producers are the following:

  • An incubator for ideas
  • Fast and real feedback from viewers
  • Reaching an audience – Even if your show isn’t a huge hit, reaching people who appreciate your work is rewarding. Under traditional film distribution, it’s highly likely that nobody will see your work if you don’t get into festivals
  • A web-based reel/portfolio to show others for your next gig
  • Learning how online distribution works
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    One Comment leave one →
    1. December 13, 2008 12:37 am

      It was a very misleading article in that it took one of the few break out hits of the year, a winner of the fabled “new media lottery,” and held him up as something more than a total fluke. At NewTeeVee Live this year, Michael Buckley said much the same thing himself.

      I’d love to see YouTube’s real numbers as well, not to mention their rev sharing breakdown.

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