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YouTube should pay Mark Erickson
Over the weekend, a Mark Erickson posted some videos to YouTube. The video with him demonstrating how to sign up for the GoogleTV Beta spread across the web like a hot virus. Today the YouTube page shows the following stats: 152k views, 450 comments, and 390 times the video has been favorited. While I am not sure if these numbers include the number of times the video has been played outside of YouTube.com, the numbers are still staggering.
I agree with Chad Hurley when he discusses paying content creators. Though I am betting that the content payment will come with some form of ads. Here is my bet. Something I have not seen anyone else mention. Rather than a pre-roll ad that most are noting, I think the video will come with 2-3 text ads or other ads around the video. They are employing the P&G style of beating the competition: outspend.
Mark could have placed these videos on his site, not allowed them to be shared, and made a pretty penny. Instead he used YouTube to spread the videos and should be compensated. I think him putting the videos on YouTube is a good thing. It continues to build a community. And while Mark did get some hits to his web site and to the FatalFarm web site, overall, YouTube becomes the bigger winner in this. And this win is why they should compensate Mark and the others like him.
Here is another example from outside the YouTube environment. For years I have wondered why a site called TripAdvisor does not pay their top members. These people contribute massive portions of content which TA monetizes (way too much if you ask me) and the member sees nothing. Yes, they get the community usage, and board posting ability, but the bottom line is that this year people will want a more "real" value out of the content they contribute.
When you contribute to something more than a commenter, you should get something in return. While it does not have to be straight cash, the benefits should equal the effort.