The Problem With Monetizing Viral Videos


OK, I understand that people are trying to figure out how to make cash off of videos on the web, sure, fine. But Slate, whom I normally have a ton of respect for, and their partner Brightcove should be just a little ashamed of themselves. Why? Because they are taking advantage of folks who still haven't quite gotten the hang of the whole Internet video thing.

People like my mother.  

Almost two weeks ago, as you might have heard, a mash-up of Ridley Scott's infamous 1984 Superbowl ad and Hillary Clinton campaign videos appeared on YouTube where it has, as of this writing, been watched over 2.7 million times. The remarkably effective little video is definitely worth writing about as Slate did last week. 
But sadly instead of embedding (or even linking to) the original video, which is only 1:14, they lifted it up and put it into their Brightcove player and added a 15-second preroll ad for AT&T/Cingular. 

On the one hand, good for Slate for figuring out how to make money off of Phil de Vellis' handywork. On the other hand, boo. You guys made my mom, who loves Slate but hasn't quite graduated to YouTube, into watching your ads just so she could keep up with the politics.  

So, in case you haven't seen the clip yet, here it is. Extra advertisement free:

By Garth Johnston