YouTube co-founder, Chad Hurley, has confirmed plans to share advertising revenue with the millions users that upload content to the video-sharing site.
"In terms of paying users revenue against content they're uploading, we're definitely going to move in that direction," said Hurley, in a video that appears to be shot during the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland.
He did not offer details about how much users might be able to earn or on what basis they might be paid, but it’s thought that the advertisement clips would be shown before users’ videos on the video-sharing site.
YouTube wanted to build a large enough community before beginning to pay users for their content, he said. "We didn't want to build a system that was motivated by monetary reward. When you start giving money to people from day one... the people you do attract will just switch to the next provider that's paying more," he said. "We feel we're at the scale now that we'll be able to do that and still have a true community around video."
It’s thought that the idea may lead to an increase in the quality of content that’s uploaded to YouTube. However some have expressed concern that the financial incentive may encourage YouTube users to attach misleading titles to poor-quality clips in an attempt to maximise the number of views and amount of money generated.
The idea to pay users for their content is not a new one as Metacafe.com, a similar site to YouTube, also rewards those that upload clips. The site’s Producer Rewards programme was launched last October and pays creators $5 for every 1000 views of their video clip. One user of the site, Joe Eigo, has earned $25,000 since posting a clip of his martial arts acrobatics. Revver.com, another similar site, also rewards makers of popular clips by sharing its revenue.