I suppose it should have been obvious, but still, I liked reading YouTube Videos Pull In Real Money last week in The New York Times.
The story puts up examples of several people bringing in very nice incomes and owning their own business, in effect, by working with YouTube, gaining an audience and living off the advertising revenue.
One year after YouTube, the online video powerhouse, invited members to become “partners” and added advertising to their videos, the most successful users are earning six-figure incomes from the website.
For some, like Michael Buckley, the self-taught host of a celebrity chatter show, filming funny videos is now a full-time job.
Buckley started on local public access cable TV but moved to YouTube when he saw the opportunity. He’s had 100 million views–and that was before the feature in The New York Times; and I’ll bet I’m not the only one to pick up on that.
Like so many other things, though, Buckley’s success doesn’t mean there’s an easy path for you or me. You have to be good, you have to get there early, you have to be (well, sort of, and usually) original.
Then there’s Cory Williams, 27, making $17,000 to $20,000 a month producing YouTube videos.
… he said his big break came in September 2007 with a music video parody called “The Mean Kitty Song.” The video, which introduces Mr. Williams’ evil feline companion, has been viewed more than 15 million times. Half of the profits come from YouTube’s advertisements, and the other half come from sponsorships and product placements within his videos, a model that he has borrowed from traditional media.
So there we go again. The business landscape changes, the cyber landscape changes and, if you can do something that people want, there’s money to be made.
But don’t copy these people. Do the next big thing. What you get from these people is the reminder that it’s out there.