October 30, 2006 4:10 PM PST

Google shares ad wealth with videographers

Google has begun sharing advertising revenue with the makers of a popular video clip in a groundbreaking deal that could drive up the costs of competing in the fledgling video-sharing sector.

The search company has agreed to turn over most advertising revenue generated by the latest video from Fritz Grobe and Stephen Voltz, creators of "The Diet Coke & Mentos Experiment," according to Peter Chane, a senior product manager for Google Video.

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Video: The Bellagio Fountains in mint
Stephen Voltz, co-producer of "The Extreme Diet Coke & Mentos Experiments," tells CNET News.com's Michelle Meyers how he and a friend choreographed the display.

In exchange, Grobe and Voltz, who saw their original offering--which shows a version of Vegas' Bellagio Fountains made of 101 2-liter bottles of Diet Coke and 523 Mentos--catch fire with video-sharing fans last summer, have agreed to let Google host their latest video, "The Diet Coke & Mentos Experiment II."

Until now, most amateur-made material that appears on video-sharing sites was made for fun. But inviting talented videographers to share in the ad revenue generated by their clips is the way of the video-sharing future, analysts say. Metacafe, one of the top 10 video-sharing sites, also announced on Monday that it will pay $5 to video creators for every 1,000 times their video is watched.

Critics argue that most video-sharing companies are profitless, and their costs, such as the high price of bandwidth, make sharing ad revenue difficult. Yet, video-sharing site Revver.com has shown that rewarding video makers helps attract the best talent. The Los Angeles-based company, which pays 50 percent of ad revenue to videographers, has drawn some of the Web's top auteurs, including the producers of Lonelygirl15, a much-watched fictional video series about a home-schooled teenage girl.

Revver is betting that audiences will follow the best video makers. Apparently, the deep-pocketed Google is making the same bet.

"This is the first case where we matched up video content with advertising," Chane said. "We've taken user-submitted material that is not considered professional content and monetized it."

How long will it be before YouTube, which sees more than 50,000 videos uploaded to its site daily, begins writing checks to its content creators? Google acquired YouTube, the sector's largest company, earlier this month for $1.65 billion.

"Until the deal closes, we're continuing to operate as two separate companies," a Google representative said in an e-mail.

YouTube could not be reached for comment.

One thing is sure: Stupid pet tricks and people acting goofy on camera have never been as lucrative a business.

Grobe and Voltz, for instance, pocketed $35,000, their share of the ad revenue paid to them by Revver, for their first Coke-and-Mentos video back in July. Now, the pair could earn big bucks from Google if the latest video is a hit. The two are also hosting a video-making contest sponsored by Coca-Cola, which paid them an undisclosed amount.

See more CNET content tagged:
advertising revenue, Peter Chane, Google Inc., video, YouTube

8 comments

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Google is Doing the Right Thing...
...by giving its content producers a piece of the huge ad revenue pie. It's the same philosophy shared by Associated Content (a Google big-wig sits on their board) by paying some of its writers (or, content producers) out of the ad revenue that they help generate. I can only imagine and hope that YouTube will follow suit.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/77249/increase_pageviews_on_associated_content.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/77249/increase_pageviews_on_associated_content.html</a>
Posted by PAULANEALMOONEY (1 comment )
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My prediction: More SPAM!!!
Enough said.
Posted by dysonl (151 comments )
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Interesting
I've never once clicked on an ad, and I watch videos on google all the time...In fact, I don't remember any 1 specific advertisement accompanying any of the videos I've watched...
Posted by Mr. Network (92 comments )
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Interesting
I've never once clicked on an ad, and I watch videos on google all the time...In fact, I don't remember any 1 specific advertisement accompanying any of the videos I've watched...
Posted by Mr. Network (92 comments )
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what is a videographer?
I'm the guy who dreamed up and first published the word videography in 1972 (see www.videographyblog.com). It is amusing to hear that "Google shares ad wealth with videographers". All those who understand the meaning of videography look forward to the payoff. In the meantime "The Age of Videography" has produced enough vidiots (www.vidiots.us)as witnessed by the current election cycle.
Posted by videography (13 comments )
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You Can Make EVEN MORE MONEY with YOUTUBE
I wrote a funny but serious Video/written article on this at
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://blog.myspaceuploaders.com/2006/10/27/youtube-is-hot-now/" target="_newWindow">http://blog.myspaceuploaders.com/2006/10/27/youtube-is-hot-now/</a>
Posted by seancurt (1 comment )
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Sharing the wealth is Goog's only option
It's not about whether google is making the right choice morally or in other terms. The simple fact is that if google fails to offer those uploading videos a chance to make a profit, they'll eventually lose market share to someone who makes that option available. Paying those who make the submit the best clips is a perfect way to keep the content coming and in hopefully maintain the level of quality. <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.thejustinian.com" target="_newWindow">http://www.thejustinian.com</a>
Posted by justinian.support (1 comment )
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Nice. If you have 1000 hours of video
This is such a dang tease. Google is apparently not sharing ad revenue unless you have 1000 hours of video. They broke that rule with Eepybird because it got them publicity. But the rest of the amateurs will have to turn to Revvers, Metacafe and Brightcove to make money.
Posted by Nalts (43 comments )
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