Phil Parker at the LSWF – on Viral Video

I watched Phil’s London Screenwriters Festival talk last night on viral video. I thought it was interesting. Film on the internet is a massive growth area and there’s already lots of great content out there on youtube, Vimeo, Dailymotion and other sites. Most of the stuff is made for the joy of doing it and putting it out there, by film makers and amateurs.

It’s  a great alternative to festivals to showcase your work and get feedback. My  graduation short  which did okay at festivals has been seen by far more people on line. It found a receptive friendly audience on Vimeo. Where it got nearly 20,000 hits, and also on dailymotion where it got around 15,000 hits.

But it hasn’t made any money on the web. Nor does it result in any of these people subscribing to or watching my other videos. My hunch is that very little web video makes any or big money. I think you need some luck and a constant stream of related content to achieve this. Am I wrong? Have  I failed to understand Phil’s model? A good talk that’s forced me to do a little research!

Phil suggested that just one succesful viral video on Yahoo could make £200,000!!!!! But Here’s the smallprint on Yahoo’s advertising rights from their upload contract:

Yahoo! reserves and has the right to sell, license and/or display any advertising, promotional and distribution rights in connection with Your Video Content and Yahoo! will be entitled to retain all revenue generated from any sales or licences of such advertising, promotional or distribution rights. 

If they reserve the right to all the adverstising revenue I don’t  see how you could make any money from Yahoo from your video going viral? Maybe like youtube they offer some revenue sharing over a certain threshold. Is this the case?

With Youtube can apply for a partnership – which means you share revenue from ads placed over your video content.This seems to be at You tubes discression and requires your video/s to get over a threshold of 10,000 hits and a certain number (100s) of subscribers before  they  start revenue sharing. They then run google ads on your videos and if you get the clicks you make money on these. I have tried to discover the rates for this but, It is a bit difficult since  when you sign a contract with youtube you are forbidden from discussing it!?! and also the rates vary depending on what the advertiser bid to place the content.

It seems that if you get very lucky you could earn over a 100k a year on youtube, which to me sound bloody good. But I don’t think people set out with this model, they just capitalize on it when it occurs, because going viral is a fluke right?And to keep getting hits you need to keep feeding the fire with the same kind of content.

Some quite good article on youtube