YouTube is on its way towards becoming a money-making machine for Google or at least putting some money back into its accounts instead of draining them like it has done so far. Even Google is saying that the site will soon be profitable. There are several reasons behind its increased confidence, like the fact that it's signing more and more professional content creators but also because its monetization process is incrementally getting better with new features and advertising programs. And now YouTube is adding a new program to help one-hit-wonder videos that go viral make their authors and Google some money by displaying ads next to them.
Revenue sharing has been an option for some time now for select “partners.” Launched a year and a half ago, YouTube's Partner Program has allowed the most prolific and popular content creators to make money from the ads placed next to the videos. This worked out well for everyone involved; YouTube retained its biggest stars and the users were motivated to create newer and better content. However, the site's main draw isn't the shows uploaded to it, it's the videos uploaded by regular users, sometimes maybe even their first videos on YouTube, which stand out and go on to get millions of views.
“Today we're excited to announce that we're extending the YouTube Partnership Program to include individual popular videos on our site. Now, when you upload a video to YouTube that accumulates lots of views, we may invite you to monetize that video and start earning revenue from it. To determine whether a particular video is eligible for monetization, we look at factors like the number of views, the video's virality and compliance with the YouTube Terms of Service,” Shenaz Zack, product manager at YouTube, wrote
With the extended Partner Program, videos that YouTube determines are going viral will be invited to join the program with an email and with a message in several places in the users' accounts. If the latter choose to monetize their videos the money will be paid through an AdSense account that they would also have to set up if they don't already have one. Google hopes that this move, which has been requested by its users and advertisers alike, will increase the number of partners from several thousands to tens of thousands.