Last week, in our YouTube Alternatives article, we began a discussion of online video sharing services which give you something over and above the dominant YouTube, with a look at sites offering better video quality and fewer restrictions on size and length. This week, we finish off the two-part series with a survey of sites which offer something else - the chance to make money out of your video.
This is, of course, the ultimate dream of the Web - turning your amateur audio-visual creations into a viable business, even a new career. YouTube does now offer ad revenue-sharing with key commercial partners, and the most popular and prolific YouTube posters are being given a slice of the pie too. But everybody else will receive nothing but virtual plaudits, even if they post something which ‘goes viral' and finds millions of unexpected viewers.
Fortunately, there are alternatives which have had revenue sharing built-in from the outset. One of the most generous is Blip.tv (http://blip.tv). The site offers to split advertising revenue 50/50. This isn't automatic, however. Your first step is to go to the Ad Management option in the Advertising section of the Dashboard. Here you can choose to have ads play before your videos (Pre-roll), after your videos (Post-roll) and over the top as they play (Overlay). However, you have to earn at least $25 in a quarter to receive payment - if you don't, the money will be rolled over until the next quarter until the total exceeds $25. Then you will receive payment via PayPal, unless the amount is more than $1000 in which case a cheque is used.
Another site offering a similar deal is Revver (www.revver.com), again with a 50/50 ad revenue split. Uploaded videos are paired with adverts. Revenue is accrued from views, or if the ad is clicked on, depending on the type of ad. Revver shares this revenue with the video maker - but also with those who share the video with others via email or embedding it in blogs and websites, although this is at a lower 20 per cent rate. Like Blip.tv, your earnings need to have reached a certain level before any payment is made, but in this case the cut off is $20 in a given month.
Yet another site which offers remuneration is Metacafe (www.metacafe.com), via its Producer Rewards programme. But this isn't available to every clip posted. Only if your video garners more than 20,000 views in the first 6 months will it be eligible for a payout, at the rate of $2 for ever 1,000 views, and only US viewers count. It also has to get more than 3 in the Metacafe VideoRank system, and not be on a subject listed in the ‘Trends Exhausted' list, which includes things like remote controlled aircraft videos and exhibition reports. But if you do get a hit which has viewers in the millions, you could be making money in the thousands.