YouTube Starts Paying a Few Contributors

YouTube is allowing some of its most popular content creators to start earning revenue from videos they post on the site.

"Up until now there's been a distinction between the content you create and the content created by YouTube's professional content partners," reads a May 3 post on the YouTube blog. The site, owned by Google, has deals with content producers such as the National Basketball Association and the British Broadcasting Corporation in which the site shares advertising revenue with those content providers. By contrast, individuals who upload videos on the site don't share ad revenue with YouTube.

To remove that distinction, YouTube chose some popular contributors to the video sharing site--including individuals who go by the names LisaNova, renetto, HappySlip, smosh, and valsartdiary--to become YouTube partners, sharing in the same revenue and promotional opportunities that are available to its professional content partners.

YouTube chose the participants based on their popularity and said that because they consistently draw viewers, their content has become attractive to advertisers.

The content creators will be able to select videos that they want to monetize. Once they've made a selection, YouTube will place advertisements next to the content "so participating user-partners can reap the rewards from their work," according to the post.

YouTube did not say what percentage of the revenue it will share with the content producers.

The deal is available only to the producers that YouTube chooses, but other content creators can contact YouTube to express interest in the program. YouTube didn't indicate how many participants it has chosen or if it plans to expand the program.

Some YouTube fans who added comments to the blog posting complained that only a limited number of content creators were invited to participate. Other commenters, however, said they were excited about the change. Many also asked how to find the partnership lead form, referenced in the post, where they could indicate their interest in the program.

In a video posted on YouTube in January, Chad Hurley, one of the site's founders, said the company was working on a way to share revenue with content makers. He said the site wanted to build a solid user base before doing so, because otherwise users would flock to other companies that might offer more money.

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