Let's put aside YouTube and Google Video for a moment, and focus on video services that share advertising revenue with content creators and the websites that host the videos. I review here three sites with different business models, technology and ad serving, but they all have one thing in common. They share revenue and they're not trying to be big video portals. They're acting as a "Visa" in the shopping world, allowing other people to create the products and set up the malls. For instance, when I create and post a stupid video I get paid when someone clicks the ad. As a site owner, I also get paid when someone clicks the ad on someone else's video.
Right now, I only count three models that facilitate this, and the details are still fuzzy. But I'll watch these sites closely and update this post as the picture becomes more clear. If I've missed a site, please let me know.
Model: Revver provides content creators 50% of the ad revenue, generated currently if someone clicks the single ad frame at the end of the video. Anyone can post videos to Revver, and they make a 20% affiliate fee (leaving the remaining 80% to be split by Revver and the creator). All you need is a PayPal account to receive the money, and you need to have copyright to the material when you post. Revver won't post your video if you even use a copyrighted song to score your video.
Technology & Ads: Revver uses Quicktime now (which is not as common as Flash) to attach the ad to the video. The company is exploring other technologies, and formally launches this summer (it's still in beta). If a viewer clicks the single ad frame at the end of the clip, the affiliate, Revver and creator make money. Otherwise it's a free impression for the advertiser.
Turn Ons/Turn Offs: What's cool about the site is that anybody with copyrighted material can upload. The short, funny and sexy clips garner the most views. The ads are non intrusive. Unfortunately, Revver doesn't want to compete with portals so it has neglected its own site. So it's not a great place to sort and view videos.
Logo: I give it an 8. I like the bullet, which says "speed" to me. Apparently they may explore other treatments.
Model: ClipSyndicate is a new service that I just reviewed. Publishers can either pay an undisclosed fee to ClipSyndicate each time they show a clip – and then display their own ads with the clip – or run the videos with ads sold by ClipSyndicate and earn 5 percent of the advertising revenue. The video's owners, meanwhile, receive 30 percent of whatever revenue is generated from each clip.
Technology & Ads: The site uses Microsoft Windows Media player. A short ad is served before the video, and a banner ad resides above the video for the duration.
Turn Ons/Turn Offs: This will be one to watch, since it could soon facilitate a lot of killer clips that otherwise are burried in the vaults of local television stations. Soon YouTube will not be able to air these copyrighted pieces, and ClipSyndicate would then have exclusives. This isn't a good site for amateur video creators, but we'll probably see a lot of sites syndicate via them. The ad percentage sharing is not nearly as beefy as Revver, but the company will probably charge a premium on the ads since they're so prominent (a bit too prominent for my taste- who wants to suffer through an ad before every clip?).
Logo: Oh man- I give it a 1. It looks like a shower drain designed by an intern of a manufacturing association. Back to the drawing board.
Model: Like Revver, MotionTV pays any content creators a piece of the ad revenue. MotionTV doesn't disclose percentages, but says the revenue is "tied directly to the popularity of your video(s), as well as the overall dollars earned by MotionTV.
Technology & Ads: MotionTV uses Macromedia Flash, and serves ads around the video. To my knowledge, Flash is the only service that doesn't yet provide a way to link an ad to a video. So ads have to sit around the outside, or have short clips load prior to the desired video loading.
TurnOns, TurnOffs: Like Revver, the site has low barriers to entry for content creators. The videos are organized well, and the ads are not intrusive to the video watching. It's hard to say how profitable this site would be for an amatuer. James Jarvis, one of the top Revver content contributors, told me he tried it and didn't generate significant income. But it's new so we'll give it a chance. I'm still kinda getting over the nastygram that I got from its CEO on my other blog, so I'm not the best person for an objective review of MotionTV.
Logo: Delicious! The film is a bit retro, but the identity is downright fun. I give it a 9.
The Bottom Line: These are all companies to watch, but as an amateur video creator I like Revver's model best (grant I'm biased because I'm such a fan that I've set up an unofficial Revver blog: www.Revverberation.com). I don't get paid to hack 'em, though! I just like the model and I've made a decent amount of money posting as Nalts. I also make money as a site owner by syndicating Revver videos (www.CubeBreak.com).
What to Watch For: I suspect that YouTube will transform into a model similar to these, but just as Napster got "iTuned," I predict that YouTube will get "GooleVideo'd."