YouTube Pays Users $1 Million

YouTube said today it has paid out more than $1 million to its user partners through its partner program. The figure came as part of an announcement that YouTube is expanding the program to users in Japan, Australia and Ireland (it was previously only available in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom).

YouTube doesn’t disclose how it splits its revenue, but we’ll make do with what scraps of numbers we have. The site currently lists 100 partners, though that also includes entities that we’d think would be designated as professional partners rather than “user partners,” such as Universal Music Group and CBS.

Break a Leg‘s Yuri Baranovsky said he’d collected $1,600 for more than 2 million views on YouTube. So if that means $800 for a million views (which it doesn’t exactly, but just to get an idea), user partners have been responsible for 1.25 billion paid views so far. Update: YouTube responds to say it pays different partners different rates.

Users complained after YouTube was bought for $1.65 billion by Google in October 2006 that they weren’t being rewarded for their own hard work to make the site what it was. So OK, this math is a little unfair, but if you divide that out, users have now earned about .06 percent the purchase price. Thanks a lot, Chad and Steve!

If you want more current numbers, Bear Stearns estimated that YouTube would pull in $90.2 million in domestic revenue and $13.8 million in international revenue this year, with the vast majority of that coming from banner ads displayed next to videos. YouTube partner videos are the only ones on the site for which YouTube shows overlay ads, which it says it tries to sell for a $20 CPM. Bear Stearns said it expected $22.6 million in overlay ad revenue domestically this year.

Revver, the OG video rev-share site, hit the $1 million-paid-to-users mark first, in September 2007. The site was later bought by LiveUniverse for about $5 million.