Last week I read a post by Robert Scoble called Screwing the Long Tail. The gist of the post (though you should read it) is that “user-generated content” screws the user, that companies are making money off all your hard work by placing ads around your content.
You see, lots of people out there think that you’re gonna do all the hard work and donate it to companies so they can put advertising next to it. Only you don’t get to keep the money from that advertising, no no no. You don’t understand your place in this world, do you?
It would be like WOW doing our shows out of love, and the networks not paying us. Yeah, that wouldn’t fly with us, so why should it fly with you?
A while ago, when we were first talking about what would become WOW TV, we had a similar conversation among ourselves. We didn’t feel good about slapping ads all over someone else’s channel, their work. It just seemed to be in such bad taste. Instead we decided to do something that some might think is a little crazy: We’re charging for each channel. Not a lot, but enough that we won’t need advertising to stay afloat and your channel really will be yours.
But we wanted to go even further, to let users make money. On WOW TV anyone can sell one of their videos, for whatever price they want. Yes, the vast majority of the money will go to them, not us.
They will figure out they are getting screwed and they’ll move elsewhere as soon as there is a choice.
– Tom Wolf