Monday, January 29, 2007

YouTube will pay for UGC - how will you respond?

I appreciate I'm a little late on commenting on this one (YouTube to pay video makers, BBC) but then again, it ain't as if YouTube didn't promise as much at the time the google deal was signed.
But it does raise some interesting questions and perhaps means the rules of the game have changed.
UGC has so far been created for the glory of it, the fame, the attention, the self-satisfaction - whatever. Now the biggest and most visual example of it (ok, Blogger could argue with biggest) is saying - make good content people like and you should be paid. Note this - not just rewarded - paid.
YouTube says it didn't want to start with this model because the kind of people who were attracted by paid UGC would simply move to a higher paying one when it cropped up. It said it wanted to build a community first.
I'm not sure YouTube has much in the way of deep community. It has a great tool and people share what they create with that great tool on and in other communities.
What they have is lots of visitors with money to spend.
I guess the laws of supply and demand will prevail. It's inevitable that users will be rewarded for how well their content turns into cash. And that's where the google adsense expertise will kick in.
I suspect the google payment mechanism won't be far removed from a google adsense model. So if you make videos which no one wants to see - no money. If you make videos about things no one wants to advertise against - no money. If you make ads which get people in a spending clicking mood - big money.
Since no porn is allowed in adsense we could see the end of the titilating tag words and a reduction in teenagers dancing in their underwear. Things could get spectacularly more creative.
But we could end up with a flood of substandard TV-style ads. It'll be an interesting time.

I've got away from my original point. The biggest issue for rival media companies is of course, not the impact of payment for UGC on YouTube - but what that means people will suddenly expect from your fledgling UGC plan.

You'll likely have less fame to offer - and less cash. What's the response?
You're better off if you are well niched, that's for sure. Big fish/little pond gives you a chance.

Any one got other solutions?

The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?