Amid the news that YouTube has beaten MySpace when it comes to Web traffic (a stat that we should all be somewhat skeptical about, since it is based on Alexa data, as Pete Cashmore points out over at Mashable) there is increasing attention being paid to the fact that YouTube’s success is based largely on two things: copyright violations, and “user-generated content” from which the users in question see absolutely no return whatsoevers.
Obviously, some of those posting their skateboard tricks or a buddy’s lip-synching routine to YouTube get such a huge charge out of seeing their stuff on a website that they don’t really need any more compensation for their efforts — but for those who would like to see a little something in return for all those millions of downloads, there is always Revver. As Scott Karp points out, the guys at Eepybird who did the Diet Coke and Mentos video got $30,000 because their video clip was posted on Revver, but lost out on that much or more because it was also posted to YouTube. Amanda Congdon and Ze Frank have both asked downloaders to post their stuff to Revver instead of YouTube.
It’s possible that the Mentos guys wouldn’t have gotten quite as many downloads from Revver if people hadn’t seen it first on YouTube, but even assuming that’s true, they still deserve some compensation for their work, and the best way to accomplish that seems to be Revver. Why haven’t YouTube or Google Video tried to build the same kind of model that Revver uses? Maybe they’d much rather keep the cash for themselves. In YouTube’s case, they probably need it to pay their gigantic bandwidth bills. (Lulu.tv, Eefoof and Flixya also pay submitters of video).