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  1. Ken Schafer - One Degree
    Ken Schafer - One Degree September 8, 2006

    To be clear what I mean by “you” is Judson Laipply.
    Imagine you are a funny guy like Judson. You come up with a brilliant sketch like the one seen here and then it ends up going viral on YouTube. Over 1.7 strike that, 32 MILLION PEOPLE SEE IT!
    But YouTube doesn’t give you a penny.
    This is the modern world. How does Judson make a living?

  2. Ken Schafer - One Degree
    Ken Schafer - One Degree September 8, 2006

    I’ll kick things off with one idea…
    Judson could sue YouTube. That might make him some money! 🙂

  3. Rehan
    Rehan September 8, 2006

    Judson can’t make any money off the video itself because he doesn’t even have rights to the songs that are used; so it wouldn’t really make sense for him to sue YouTube for the video. Besides, he uploaded the video to the site himself — here is his original, which itself has been viewed 32+ million (!!) times.
    He’s an “inspirational comedian” that makes money from appearances. Having your video watched 35+ million times all around the world at no cost to you is a very cheap way to advertise yourself and set up more gigs. 🙂
    My guess is that it’s not too long until we see a YouTuber put together all of his or her videos on a DVD and try to market that to the “offline” crowd that otherwise may not see them on websites.

  4. Ken Schafer - One Degree
    Ken Schafer - One Degree September 8, 2006

    Hey Rehan,
    Thanks for correcting my on the number of downloads. At 1.7 million I assumed the version I found WAS the original and not a re-upload.
    Given that Judson appears to have posted this himself, you’re right – he’s like to GET sued than to do the suing.
    Making money off apearances is definitely one way people can capitalize on spreading “tasters” of their work online. The issue arises when the one thing you are known for ends up being online. Or someday everything you do goes online right away.
    What other ways could Judson make money in this new world where the ideas travel so freely?
    Oh, for One Degree readers not following much of what’s happening on YouTube these days, you might want to check out the “lonelygirl5” story that is unfolding right now. Lots of interesting meta-discussion about this but a little outside of One Degree’s normal scope (at least at this point).

  5. Sulemaan
    Sulemaan September 8, 2006

    A good example of what you mention Ken is Russel Peters. He got pretty big after people started posting his work online but then everything he does gets posted right away.
    Having said that, I’ll still see him live when I get the chance. Even if it means paying for a ticket.

  6. Ryan - RFD
    Ryan - RFD September 8, 2006

    Well Dane Cook has essentially made his comedy career off of MySpace. Spinning it into sold out shows (with no marketing money spent to promote them), hosting SNL, appearing in movies, etc.
    I don’t know anything about Judson, so I don’t know if he’s a one-bit-wonder, but I’m sure he can and will parlay this video into a few lucrative appearances.
    You can download any number of U2 concerts off of the net, but they still sell out every show they put on. Entertainers have a long history of “giving away” content (radio, performing on live TV, etc) to build an audience, because there is still something about being there at a live event that people are willing to pay for.

  7. derek palminter
    derek palminter September 8, 2006

    regarding: My guess is that it’s not too long until we see a YouTuber put together all of his or her videos on a DVD and try to market that to the “offline” crowd.
    limmy of already did this.

  8. Jason
    Jason September 8, 2006

    Unfortunately it would seem the best money making options are all offline… tours, dvds, tv/movie deals, endorsements, etc. Which brings up another good question – will the Internet and all that is web 2.0 ever be more than a complementary piece to whatever is happening in the “real word”?

  9. Ken Schafer - One Degree
    Ken Schafer - One Degree September 8, 2006

    “Unfortunately it would seem the best money making options are all offline… tours, dvds, tv/movie deals, endorsements, etc.”
    That’s kind of where I was headed with this. As more and more entertainment moves to the web the “offline revenue streams” could very well dry up.
    Yes Judson could grow a bigger base of true fans through his stuff being put online, but imagine five years from now when EVERYTHING he does gets uploaded in high-res from someone’s cell phone no matter where he performs. And every TV appearance gets uploaded. And hundreds of “fans” do parodies, tributes, clones, and re-uploads of his stuff adding both noise and alternate forms of amusement.
    This is why I got out of the music business many years ago!

  10. Kate
    Kate September 8, 2006

    Well, if we had an easy, coherent, secure, standards-based micropayment system, it would be easy. Oh, we’d have to get people used to paying for content again. But, if we had the infrastructure and the attitude in place, it would be totally easy for Judson to make money. 🙂
    When we go to the movies, we typically pay about 11 cents per minute of entertainment (2 hour movie at $13, rounding up). And there are a lot of Hollywood productions that I find way less entertaining than Judson. And I’d actually be happy to pay Judson his 66 cents (actually, I’d probably just put in a quarter because I’m a little cheap). But even if I did just flip Judson a quarter and one tenth of one percent flipped him a quarter .. that’s like $9250 – not bad for a video that maybe cost him a couple hundred bucks.
    Obviously, I’m not considering rights payments for songs or YouTube distribution costs that would ultimately need to be considered. BUT with more and more people putting content online, it would be nice for them to have a way to get paid for it.
    One possible solution is being offered by AdHack ( a community in the making where you can create an ad and AdHack will broker the relationship between the company who wants to buy it (or buy the idea) and the creator. But AdHack is a pretty specific instance (DIY Advertising). Micropayments is a broader solution for the everyday folks like Judson.
    How ’bout it, tech folks?!?

  11. James
    James September 12, 2006

    Did someone mention AdHack?
    Thanks for the note and pointer, Kate. It was great to meet you at BarCamp. You’ve done a great job of introducing the idea of AdHack. And you’re right that we’re really focused on creating a do-it-yourself advertising community, not overall video sharing.
    So far the best money-making video site I’ve come across is, as Rohan wisely mentions.
    But the nut of the opportunity for Judson from the exposure of his video is lead generation: leads for anciallary products, leads for live events and leads for people looking for his talents / services. It’s almost like music videos are about selling tracks and albums (a little) but mostly about getting people out to shows (a lot) where bands make most of their money, along with merchandise.
    Other opportunity that are a little more nebulous, including one that would be a good match for AdHack:
    if Judson positioned himself as an arbiter of taste, the same way as Jason Kottke does – an expert in a type of humour. The value then for his ‘customer’ is in his filtering of the world and the efficient allocation of their attention to good, similar, funny things
    if Judson broke his video into smaller chunks and sold them for use in other people’s presentations / videos, especially corporate clients looking for an edgy way to get people’s attention
    if Judson found a product or service complimentary to his video (he is wearing a Crush shirt after all)
    In this final scenario AdHack would be a great fit. We would do our damndest to broker a deal with Crush (or another good fit) and then pay him back for his efforts. A guy named Matt did this type of thing with a gum maker, see Dancing Matt: the AdHack, though AdHack had nothing to do with it.
    Ah, possibilities, possibilities…

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