VIDEO: YouTube pays families over €100,000 as funny videos go viral
YOUTUBE, the video sharing website, is paying out tens of thousands of euros to users whose funny family videos are going viral online, it has emerged.
The deal is a type of partnership between the families and YouTube, which splits revenues from advertising that is shown alongside popular videos.
From giggling toddlers to spoof home videos, funny family outings and bawling teenagers, the deal takes in a range of videos posted online by proud parents.
YouTube monitors all uploads to its website, and if there is enough interest or it believes the video will go viral, it contacts the user who uploaded it to offer them the chance to make money.
The company is said to have developed an algorithm for working out which videos are going to become internet hits.
Advertisements placed on the page or embedded within the video clip can generate a huge revenue stream that is then shared between the user and YouTube, it is reported.
One user, Howard Davies-Carr, whose home video of his son Charlie, then one, biting repeatedly biting the finger of his older brother Harry, aged three, has been watched nearly 400 million times, says he has made more than £100,000 from the partnership.
"Ever since the boys were born, I've had the camera out," Mr Davies-Carr, from the Thames Valley, told The Sunday Times (£).
"But 'Charlie bit my finger - again', that was pretty much the first video I've posted online. It was just a small captured moment I wanted to share with their godfather in Colorado."
'Charlie bit my finger - again' is just one of a number of funny family videos that are generating thousands of pounds for users.
David DeVore, who filmed his son coming round from an anaesthetic at the dentist in 2008, made almost £100,000 (€116,000) in the first year after uploading the video to YouTube.
Katie Clem, who filmed her daughter Lily's reaction to news of a family trip to Disneyland, has amassed more than £3,000 (€3,500) and five million views for her video, while Randy McEntee's film of his 17-month-old twin sons as been viewed 50 million times.
As well as being contacted by YouTube, parents who think their home video is going to be a web hit can apply to the company to start a channel.
While some users have donated the money to charity, others have said they are putting it towards their children's education.
It is understood that hundreds of American users are making six-figure sums through online partnerships with the video sharing website, although figures for the UK are not unknown.
Last year, the number of people earning £6,000 (€7,000) a year through viral family videos almost doubled, it is claimed.
Kevin Allocca, the manager of YouTube trends, told The Sunday Times: "A tiny percentage of the videos that are uploaded to the site get up to the four or five million views.
"What they all have in common is the speed with which they are shared."