SAN BRUNO (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — YouTube's days of being on the frontier of the Internet may be drawing to a close. According to a Reuters report, popular video sharing website YouTube.com is considering implementing a number of tools to increase its profitability and help ward off legal headaches from intellectual property owners who have been less than thrilled about their content being posted on the website.
Since YouTube's inception, co-founder Chad Hurley has strongly resisted adding anything to the website that could be interpreted as an advertisement, however since Google acquired the sharing service for $1.6 billion it seemed like only a matter of time before they started searching for ways to monetize YouTube.
With the new model, users who upload content to be viewed on YouTube will now be able to choose to have a short advertisement displayed at the beginning of the video, the revenue of which will split 50-50 between YouTube and the content provider.
As a corollary to this, YouTube would need to be able to ensure that people who provide content for the site would also need to be the "owners" of said content. This strategy would serve to ameliorate YouTube's copyright woes in two ways — It would provide a new potential revenue stream for copyright holders and it would provide a surety that people who uploaded videos were authorized to do so.
The means to do this would be a new tool, which may debut as early as next week, called "Claim Your Content." The tool would help copyright owners control content that they own.
Media conglomerate Viacom has been YouTube's most litigious critic. They have filed a lawsuit against the company and requested that more than 100,000 videos which they claim are their IP be removed from the website. Viacom is the company behind shows such as "The Daily Show" which have proved to be popular when clips are uploaded as videos by YouTube users.
It is too early to tell if the monetization of YouTube will crimp its viral appeal. A number of crucial factors must align – producers of commercial content need to be able to realize enough profit to justify their participation. Content restrictions and advertisements will also need to be unintrusive enough to keep end users coming back and finally, YouTube will need to find a way to maintain the cachet of cool that helped them to spring to the public consciousness in the first place – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers