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You Can Charge Rental Fees For That Video Of Aunt Gertie’s Birthday Party On YouTube

by Sean P. Aune | May 5, 2010May 5, 2010 5:23 pm PDT

It seems that even though YouTube is not finding much success with its rental store for its own wares, that isn’t stopping the leading online video site from attempting to roll the idea out to all of its content creators.

Hunter Walk, head of product management at YouTube, told MediaPost that the company is currently in development on a system that will allow users to add their works to the rental store and receive payments for the people who rent it out.

youtube logoNow, before you get too excited and think you can charge family members to watch the video you shot of Aunt Gertie’s birthday party, it sounds like it may work on a similar system to the current one where the algorithms identify videos rising in popularity.  Once a video has been identified as going popular, YouTube will contact the content creator about the possibility of adding advertisements to the work that they will split revenue on.

The only possible argument against this concept is this may be self-defeating to the idea of an average YouTube uploader doing rentals, but it may also shoot down the other possible use for this: small works by known people.  Imagine if someone like Kevin Smith decided he wanted to do a ten minute short, and put it on YouTube as a rental so he could cut out the studios from the equation.

I am sure there would be exceptions for “big name” people, but what will be the threshold?  If you make a successful video, do you automatically get the option from there on out, or will you have to have multiple videos that succeed to get the option automatically?

While I’m sure that there will be more information coming in the next few weeks, for now it just seems like the company might have been better off holding its tongue until all of the parts were in place.

What say you?  What do you think about some popular YouTubers getting to charge rental fees on their videos?


Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...

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