You Cash Following money down the You TubeEver since the first video was uploaded on April 23, 2005, YouTube.com has grown into the world's largest online video portal boasting hundred of millions of users. Founded in 2005 by three ex-PayPal employees, the startup's potential was recognized and the firm was consequently bought by Google Inc. for a whopping USD 1.65 billion the following year. Over 35 hours worth of video content are uploaded onto the site every single minute. That may seem like a lot (it is), but before potential broadcasters get intimidated by being little fish in such a big pond, consider the following statistics, compiled as of May 9, 2011 of the 10 all-time most subscribed YouTube channels:
- 20,725,743 subscribers
- 16,946 videos
- 7,894,746,258 views
Alternative rock band Weezer provides a good example of leveraging the platform's popularity to reach potential consumers. The Grammy Award-winning music video for 'Pork and Beans' features a handful of recognisable YouTube celebrities and premiered on the website, reaching more than 4 million viewers in its first week of release alone. Unlike mass media, when an advertiser dangles bait for fish to admire, Weezer's 2008 single enticed millions of fish enough to react and take a bite. That's not to say traditional forms of media should be ignored - with media nowadays increasingly fragmented, consumers receive their information from an array of channels. It's a numbers game of which YouTube is merely a tool, providing a sharing platform with an ability to offer a tangible gauge of the consumer base. Again in 2010, Weezer launched 'The YouTube Invasion' to promote their new album, loaning themselves to 15 popular online videographers, and giving them free reign to incorporate the band however they saw fit into clips. The videos were then uploaded on the producers' respective channels with iTune download links, again exhibiting the potential of exploiting designated YouTube ambassadors.
On the other side of the coin, video content creators are monetising their subscriber base, much like a magazine's distribution numbers on advertising rate cards. Whether or not Weezer paid for their promotion is anyone's guess, but Philip De Franco, one of YouTube's insta-celebrities, has been quoted as saying: "… people have been able to make 100k [USD 100,000] a month a regular thing" from advertisements, sponsorships, and merchandising. De Franco doesn't say how much he himself makes, but reveals that he runs a company of five staff dedicated solely to YouTube content creation. Content creators can also get money from YouTube LLC's coffers by being a YouTube Partner, hundreds of which are already making 6 figures a year according to the site. From runaway individual video hits to media big hitters like Sony Pictures, content creators are invited by YouTube to this revenue sharing program by showing advertisements on the videos or making the content available for rent.
Granted, we're not all rock stars or branded commodity with leveraging power, but the number of talents discovered by YouTube proves that the site can catapult a nobody to a somebody. This is good news for small businesses or individuals who want to show off their products or talents. Quality will always be in demand, and the same goes for videos - invest in good content. Now comes the million dollar question of how to make your video seen. The route with the most instant results is by buying into YouTube's advertising program. Promoted Videos, like Google AdWords, are pay-per-click marketing campaigns that brings up your video alongside the search results depending on pre-determined search keywords. There are companies out there selling Y