Whoops. That Silly Viral Video Guy is Also an Attorney?

gavel.jpgYou burried your lead, Heather. Check out- “Whose Video Is It, Anyway” is a recent article by Heather Green of Business Week.

The most interesting part of the article from my perspective is this… Turns out the creator of the famous “Mentos/Diet Coke” experiment (www.eepybird.com), who has earned probably close to $50K by now (my estimate based on views) is not just part of a lil’ improv theater group. And he’s not just a nerd who did a little video for fun. By day he’s a litigation lawyer! Better return his calls, YouTube. From Business Week:

  • Indie video producers who don’t have a battery of lawyers are learning just how freewheeling YouTube can be. They complain that removing clips is onerous. The time lag whittles into an audience that can rapidly build—and disappear—for short clips.
  • It took eight months for Fritz Grobe and Stephen Voltz to mastermind a now iconic Web video that shows them creating intricate fountains of soda by dropping 500 Mentos into 100 2-liter bottles of Diet Coke. The video became an instant hit after it was published in June on Revver, a service that shares ad revenue.
  • Within days, bootlegs showed up on Google and YouTube. Voltz, a civil litigation lawyer, figured out the process for getting the videos removed. But as copies kept reappearing, Voltz learned that he had to keep contacting YouTube to take down each new version. The Mentos/Diet Coke video was seen 5.5 million times on Revver and made Grobe and Voltz $30,000.
  • But Voltz estimates they lost another $30,000 to pirated copies. And for several days recently, blogs buzzed with attempts to sort out the rights of artists to control uploaded videos. As the prospect grows for making money online, what started as a lark for many is becoming all too serious.

My 2 cents: Voltz- while you’re rattling the cage (and thank you for doing so), I have a suggestion. Put your own tiny clip of the experiment on YouTube, Google and Yahoo. Tease the audience. Use those sites to market EepyBird. Then you can bring the people from these sites to your own, where you make Revver income. Don’t neglect the non paying online video sites as valuable promotional tools for your revenue-producing stuff. Remember if you pull your stuff from YouTube the vast majority of YouTube visitors will choose to watch the many other diet coke and mentos experiments instead.

Author: Nalts

Hi. I'm Nalts.