A new video-sharing site is offering videographers a share of the advertising dollars that their movies generate, at a time when most video-sharing sites are just trying to eke out a profit.
Saturday saw the launch of eefoof.com, a site that promises to share a percentage of the site's revenue depending on how many viewers a video clip attracts.
Video sharing on the Internet is one of the hottest sensations in media. Every day, people from all over the world are posting homemade movies at one of more than 150 sites. Sometimes those clips attract big audiences. At places such as YouTube, Yahoo Video and eBaumsworld, the creators of popular clips aren't compensated. They should be, said Kevin Flynn, eefoof's CEO.
"We're hoping that people will say, 'If we take our video to (these other sites) we get nothing,'" Flynn said. "Or we can go to eefoof and make some money."
The latest challenger to video-upload powerhouse YouTube, Eefoof arrives at a time when more than 150 such companies are trying to figure out how to make money by hosting homemade movies on the Web.
More than a year since its founding, YouTube has not yet fully disclosed what its revenue model will be. Other video-sharing companies, such as Guba, say they are profitable but aren't generating much cash. Guba expects to see US$12 million in sales this year, according to Thomas McInerney, the company's CEO.
Analysts will want to know whether Eefoof can sustain itself by cutting videographers in on revenues. But at a time when many video-sharing sites are looking for compelling content, the payment offer could give Eefoof an edge in attracting superior videos.
Eefoof's offer goes like this: Once a month the company tallies the number of page views for each submission. The company then looks at overall traffic and calculates what percentage of the page views was generated by each submission. Ad revenue is divided accordingly.
"Once your account exceeds US$25, we will send you a PayPal transfer," the company wrote on its site. Specific percentages weren't dislosed on the Eefoof Web site. Representatives from Eefoof could not be reached for comment on Monday.
Anyone thinking that they can upload a clip from "Saturday Night Live" and just watch the moola roll in is in for a disappointment. The company says it will not pay anyone who has uploaded someone else's copyright material.
Eefoof has already attracted attention. After the company was featured on Digg.com and Slashdot.com, the site apparently was flooded with visitors and was slow to load throughout the morning on Monday.
The company was founded by three friends, all in their early 20s, who have never actually seen each other. They met online playing video games. Flynn, one of the creators of the popular flash-animation clip Peanut Butter Jelly Time, said he got the idea for Eefoof after seeing the Peanut Butter clip driving lots of traffic to sites that didn't offer him any compensation.
"We were just looking for a model that didn't involve stealing other people's work," Flynn said. "I think that paying content creators is the next wave. I think that in the next month were going to see a dozen sites do the same thing."