YouTube to Share Ad Income With Its Contributors

31 January 2007

DAVOS: YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley, addressing a fringe meeting at this week's World Economic Forum, revealed that the company he sold to Google for $1.65 billion (€1.27bn; £842.2m) last year aims to redistribute some of its advertising income to those who contribute video clips and music material to its site.

Whether Hurley's aims are quite as altruistic as they might seem is open to question. YouTube has been on the receiving end of writs from several media groups, alleging that contributors to its site have uploaded illegal copies of content owned by the plaintiffs.

However, since being acquired by Google, said Hurley, "we are getting an audience large enough where we have an opportunity to support creativity, to foster creativity through sharing revenue with our users".

Assuming Hurley (and Google's legion of lawyers) are as good as his word, YouTube will be following in the footsteps of other user-content sites (such as Revver and 3's cellphone service in the UK) by making payments to contributors who post videos that generate worthwhile ad revenues.

"Google has a large pool," said Hurley enigmatically.

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff