The YouTube phenomenon continues on and on, with no signs of stopping, with around 1 billion viewers now visiting the site every single month. That’s a lot of eyeballs, and it’s clearly exercising the attention of Google a lot nowadays, judging by the number of new initiatives which are arriving on the scene for the video makers and their fans.
One such set of proposals has just been announced by Google, which has the capacity to add an interesting twist to the whole synergy between fans and video makers. The company has just announced that it’s working on ways to add some form of crowdfunding feature to the service, so fans can elect to give cash to their favorite channels to encourage more of their most popular content to be produced.
YouTube product manager Jehan Ratnatunga in announcing the proposal didn’t give any firm details, but it’s probably fair to say that it will follow along from some of the third party services already offering the same kind of options. Sites like Patreon.com and Tubestart.com have already pointed the way towards a future where people can actively support their favorite content through sponsorship or donations, and it’s reasonable to assume that Google will cherry pick the parts that it likes and incorporate them in the new service when it launches.
Of course that doesn’t guarantee it will revolutionize the whole monetization of video arena, but it’s definitely likely to legitimize the whole concept, which should spur more initiatives like this from across the web. Of course the main point from Google’s point of view is they’d much prefer that any such funding goes through their own homegrown system, so it’s going to be interesting to see how that tension pans out over time.
For now, it’s going to be wait and see, especially since this may trigger some sort of war between crowdfunding giants Kickstarter, Indiegogo and YouTube, as they all compete to grab the lion’s share of the commissions from brokering these fan donations and sponsorships.
Google also revealed a number of other initiatives in the announcement, including a very brief mention of proposed alternative ways of monetizing videos, crowdsourced language caption translation for clips and a mobile app for managing channels. It’s expected that more details will emerge at VidCon later this month in Anaheim, California.
For now, take a look at the video to see what you think.