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YouTube to share revenue with users

Amateur videographers will be cut in as the site seeks to raise the level of content, a founder says.

January 29, 2007|From the Associated Press

DAVOS, SWITZERLAND — Chad Hurley, co-founder of YouTube Inc., said his wildly successful website would start sharing revenue with its millions of users.

Hurley said one of the major proposed innovations was a way to allow users to be paid for content. San Bruno, Calif.-based YouTube, which was sold to Mountain View, Calif.-based Google Inc. for $1.65 billion in November, has become an Internet phenomenon since it began to catch on in late 2005. About 70 million videos are viewed on the site each day.

"We are getting an audience large enough where we have an opportunity to support creativity, to foster creativity through sharing revenue with our users," Hurley said Saturday at the World Economic Forum here. "So in the coming months we are going to be opening that up."

Hurley, who at 30 is one of the youngest Internet multimillionaires, gave no details of how much users might receive or what mechanism would be used.

In October 2005, Revver -- which like YouTube offers video clips online -- announced plans to attach advertising to user-submitted videos and give their creators a cut of the income. Revver has said it will split the ad revenue evenly with content creators.

Hurley said that when YouTube started, he and the site's other co-founders -- Steve Chen and Jawed Karim -- believed that revenue sharing would build a community of users motivated by making money rather than their love of videos.

But he said that as the site has grown, the three, who continue to run the company, have come to see financial remuneration as a means of improving content.

Hurley spoke on the last full day of the annual World Economic Forum, which brings together political, social and business leaders for five days to discuss the problems facing the globe.

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