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YouTube to Pay Popular Posters

August 26, 2009

YouTube has announced its plans to make its most popular posters “partners” and get a slice of that ad revenue for some of that “internet money” everyone’s talking about.  Initially, I am pleased that artists and creators will be getting some revenues for their work directly, since any incentives to creation foster more and better art. Ideally, this will allow users to invest in their production quality and develop YouTube as a viable medium of communication for long-term content creators who hope to devote more of their time to content creation.

However, the YouTube post makes it clear that a poster would have to establish themselves and the relative size and stability of their audience in order to see any kickbacks, so it’s not like there’s a quick cash-in for people who have an idea without much longevity, even if entertaining in the short run.  It also occurs to me that all of the people who are currently qualifying did not need the incentive to create and post on YouTube in the first place.  Ostensibly, most of these other people had jobs and posted their art (if you can really call it that) for the world to see based on other motivations, such as vanity, a desire to express oneself, etc.  What kind of creation, therefore, will be fostered by the lure of ad revenues?  Perhaps something more Hollywood-esque and professional-looking, regardless of the quality of the content itself?  More webisodic features?  Videos posted by trolls or WoW-gold-farmer-types to generate “views”?  Or perhaps just more pandering to an already-depraved internet audience?  Time will tell on this one.

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