YouTube to share content revenue with users

February 8, 2007

One of the co-founders of YouTube has revealed that the popular Internet video Web site will soon begin sharing revenue with its users in an effort to foster creativity.

Chad Hurley, a co-founder of YouTube, revealed the plan during a speech on the final day of the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland. The forum draws many the world's political, social and business leaders for a five-day gathering on global issues.

Hurley did not offer details on how YouTube users might be paid or how much income they could potentially generate.

YouTube, which was sold to Google for $1.65 billion last November, has transformed the distribution of short videos on the Internet. An estimated 70 million videos are viewed on the site each day.

Hurley said that when YouTube started, he and the site's other co-founders — Steve Chen and Jawed Karim — felt revenue sharing would build a community of users motivated simply by making money, rather than their love of videos.

In a possible scenario, a YouTube video creator who sets a video against music could share revenue with the record label that owns the copyright on the music.

The company has said that it is developing an audio fingerprinting technology that will allow it to identify songs used in videos displayed on the site and enable labels to claim the music and earn revenue from it.

Several record companies have already agreed with YouTube to share advertising revenue from music videos displayed on the site.

Not all content owners are cooperating with YouTube, however. The site recently received a subpoena from News Corp.'s Fox seeking information regarding videos of TV programs that appear on the site.

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