Monday, January 29, 2007

YouTube Takes Center Stage at World Economic Summit ... and Borrows a Page From Revver!

YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley said something very interesting indeed this weekend -- and, it wasn't just what he said, it's where he said it (and the audience listening to what he had to say).

In a further mark of how online video has taken the world by storm, Hurley spoke at the last full day of the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The Forum brings together leaders from around the world -- political, business and social -- to discuss problems facing the globe.

Hurley's agenda? To take a page from competing video sharing site Revver and disclose YouTube's intent in the coming months to share advertising revenues with users who create and post videos on his site. In Hurley's words, "We are getting an audience large enough where we have an opportunity to support creativity, to foster creativity through sharing revenue with our users." Previously, Hurley and YouTube co-founders Steve Chen and Jawed Karim rejected sharing revenues with users, believing that that would foster a community of users motivated by money rather than creativity. They now believe, however, that financial incentives are a means of improving user-generated content as YouTube and other online video sharing sites frantically fight to police (and attempt to make deals regarding) the plethora of non-licensed copyrighted videos now showing and frequently serving as the calling card for those sites.