Google put up a blog post today about how they monetized the viral video hit Jill Peterson and Kevin Heinz’s wedding party dance(below). This video was posted on July 16th and has generated over 12 million hits in 2 weeks.
For some perspective, the highest rated American prime time TV show during that time was America’s Got Talent with 13.2 million viewers. TV has long been light years ahead of any online numbers. This example shows that the gap is closing. Truly remarkable content is beginning to reach large viewership numbers online in shorter and shorter time spans. And it is not always professionally produced.
And the gap is only going to narrow. The online audience will continue to grow larger. The information is moving faster and faster. And more and more people are becoming savvy content creators.
Who is Making the Money?
Google is, the content middle man, the distributor. The distributors hold a lot of the power moving forward. Think iTunes on the music front and Amazon on the book front. The “rights holders” to the song in the video, Forever by Chris Brown, were also able to easily monetize (I assume his label or manager). The song has shot up to the top 5 on both Amazon and iTunes.
A Workable System
This did not happen overnight. Youtube has been a battleground for some time now, with entertainment industry giants facing off against Google on profit sharing. Google has been working voraciously behind the scenes to make this process easy for the rights holders. Instead of deleting every piece of copyrighted material, the entertainment industry can overlay an amazon download link for the song and Google Adwords in the sidebar. Everyone is happy.
Of course it would also be nice if after a certain viewer threshhold the video creator got a peice of the action as well. No word on that from the Google blog as of yet.