Google is finally giving itself a way to cash in on viral hit YouTube videos. And for the person who uploads it: You don’t have to be one of YouTube’s “Preferred Partner” producers anymore to get paid.
The site is opening up its ad revenue program to producers of “one-off” hits on a video-by-video basis, it announced today.
The idea is that while Google still wants to cultivate long-term relationships with devoted producers, some of its biggest hits are quick flukes. Now it can make money off those, and offer the person who uploaded the video a few bucks, too.
YouTube’s Shenaz Zack explains in a blog post:
To determine whether a particular video is eligible for monetization, we look at factors like the number of views, the video’s virality and compliance with the YouTube Terms of Service. If your video is eligible for monetization, you will receive an email and see an “Enable Revenue Sharing” message next to your video on the watch page, as well as in other places in your account.
Once you’ve chosen to enable revenue sharing, YouTube will sell advertising against your video and pay you a revenue share into your Google AdSense account each month. (If you don’t have an AdSense account, you’ll have the opportunity to create one.)
The famous “dog skateboarding” video is a good example of a one-off viral video — it’s been viewed nearly nine million times, but its producer is not a YouTube regular. Now the producer could potentially use the new system to cash in.
Note: Having a viral hit doesn’t automatically get you into Google’s Preferred Partner program, where all of your videos are eligible to run ads — that’s still a separate process.
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