In what seems like a significant move, online user-generated content player Revver has teamed up with FameTV, which is set to launch in the UK on November 6th as part of their Sky Digital Network and promises to be the world’s first channel to run fully on user-generated content. The official details can be found on the Revver blog.
Essentially, content distributors and submitters can choose to opt-in to the Revver Broadcast Channel, a channel which indicates to Revver that the content has been validated by the owner to air on broadcast television, and the appropriate rights have been adumbrated.
The people behind FameTV go through this content and make a selection. If you’re selected, you’re content airs on FameTV — safe to say national television — in an American Idol-style competition. Users vote for their favorites through SMS which they are charged a fee for, and as expected, you get to share the revenue generated by the votes on a 50/50 basis with Revver.
This doesn’t mean you will lose your rights, as it would on traditional broadcast media though. You still own every piece of the content, and since FameTV supports, respects, and understands user-generated content, this simply means that your content will be watched by thousands of other people, and if they like what they see they’ll chose to vote for you, making you responsible for their hard-earned dimes.
I see a clear-cut model here: users like the content, they want the owners and creators to be paid and they want the content to be popular (just like they would for their favorite American Idol contestant), so why not support them by simply voting for them?
The current tries and attempts in monetizing online video — namely through AdSense — have been poorly crafted as a last minute money-making plan (the main culprit: YouTube). Infact, the model simply doesn’t allow for content owners to facilitate: it’s less encouraging, they get nothing out of it, and many of the times irritating and compulsive for viewers.
The FameTV model, on the other hand, has some arguable potential. For example, why wouldn’t such a model work through online video, where categorical competitions are held and users vote by SMS for their favorite videos — the result being that the creators and owners benefit from the revenue? Infact, on a simpler level, how about a no-hassle ‘Donate by SMS’ link? The costs to set it all up will be hasty for sure, but the profits I think will easily pay it off.
I’m certain that this audience, or for that matter we all (a) want the content-creators to be paid so that it gives them enough of a financial benefit and encouragement to carry forward, (b) want to support the content publicly and watch it grow — the ones that we like — and (c) have a cell-phone and can easily afford $0.50 to do this.
We’re going through a paradigm shift, and in the process of hunting for a liable revenue stream, are no doubt discovering things along the way. In a new medium, in my opinion an aged business model is worthless, and there are other options that we haven’t tapped upon. As I’ve said repeatedly in the past, the audience is here, the creators are here, and even the distributors are here. What’s missing is a revenue model where all parties get something out of it.
[tags]Revver, Online Video, Advertising[/tags]