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YouTube to share ad money with viral videos

One-off vids allowed into partnership program

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YouTube plans to turn more skateboarding dogs into cash by selling ads for the creators of one-off viral videos.

Since 2007, YouTube has invited users who produce a steady stream of popular clips to become "partners" in its advertising program. Once a content creator is accepted into the program, Google begins pitching overlaid and banner advertising slots, and gives the user a cut of the profits.

Now YouTube says it will begin accepting anyone with a red-hot clip into the program - assuming the website thinks it can drum up some revenue.

YouTube product manager Shenaz Zack explains the criteria in a blog post: "To determine whether a particular video is eligible for monetization, we look at factors like the number of views, the video's virality and compliance with the YouTube Terms of Service."

If the video complies with YouTube's secret recipe, the user is emailed an invitation into the program and given an "enable revenue sharing" option on their account page. YouTube doesn't say how much revenue is shared with partners, but suffice to say most folks shouldn't quit their day job even if their cat has a remarkable talent for complacency while its paws are batted against a piano.

It's always been difficult for YouTube to sell custom advertising for home-made viral videos because the the clips are often nothing advertisers want anything to do with. YouTube's new scheme, at least, will allow the website to easily pick and choose what it thinks is marketable.

YouTube said its advertising partnership for individual videos is available only in the United States for now, but hopes to extend the program internationally in the near future. ®

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