A lucky video from the zoo could now net YouTube users thousands
Video-sharing website YouTube is to allow those who post popular videos to share in the profits they generate.
The site already shares ad revenue with the owners of copyright material that is frequently uploaded.
The new scheme aims to identify hugely popular videos from individuals, notifying them that they can become advertising partners.
The Partner Program will start in the US, and YouTube says it plans an international version soon.
While a great deal of controversy and legal wrangling has surrounded the posting of copyright material such as movie clips on YouTube, the more prevalent phenomenon recently is the "viral video".
Such videos are typically by individual users; the more entertaining among them get posted in many other places and as a result get a rapidly growing number of views.
A number of users who regularly post such hugely popular videos have already been approached for the partnering scheme, but YouTube's aim now is to track the rising popularity of one-off viral videos.
For instance, Lauren Luke of northeast England began posting make-up tips on YouTube in 2007. She was approached to become an advertising partner and now the hobby has become her main source of income.
YouTube announced in a blog post titled "In the future, everyone will monetise their 15 minutes" that it would contact users who post videos that become hugely popular, offering them partnerships on single videos.
"These individual video partnerships recognise the role popular 'one-off' videos play on YouTube, and have helped many people earn thousands of dollars a month as their videos went viral and endured over time," YouTube product manager Shenaz Zack said in the post.
"We're excited to see how individual video partnerships will help even more people make money from their success on YouTube."