YouTube Expands Revenue Sharing to More Users

YouTube is expanding its revenue-sharing partner program, the company said today. In the past, the dominant video-sharing site had hand-picked independent content creators for its revenue-sharing trials. YouTube said it will now accept partner applications from users in the U.S. and Canada, but did not specify how many partners would be accepted.

YouTube, which is owned by Google, began sharing revenue with fewer than 40 of its top users back in May. Many of the site’s creators (see video above) were upset that they weren’t included.

With the announcement, YouTube is rewarding its base: original content creators that have built an audience through the site’s social networking tools. The company’s rhetoric has increasingly focused on this community, especially as large media companies have turned against YouTube, suing it, allying themselves with its competitors and launching their own competitive sites.

YouTube partners are included in the site’s new revenue models such as overlaid in-video ads and video syndication through AdSense. YouTube has not disclosed how much revenue it has paid to partners, but today called the program “an amazing success.”

YouTube was not terrifically specific about what criteria it would use to evaluate potential partners:

We feel it’s important to reward our most dedicated community members: those who are regularly uploading original content to YouTube. In evaluating applications, we will focus on the users who have built a significant audience on YouTube (as measured by video views, subscribers, etc.) and who consistently comply with the YouTube Terms of Use.

YouTube currently indexes 100 partners, including media companies like Universal Music and CBS. The most popular partner is currently blogger Perez Hilton.

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