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YouTube Partner Program: Make videos, earn cash

Google has opened its doors to the content-producing masses with a clear message: if you're making popular stuff, we're going to shower you in money

Did you know that popular video of your cat (or my cat) could be earning you and your moggy a tidy sum?

YouTube's Partner Program now allows any content producer to earn some cold hard cash for their creative efforts. The scheme is essentially a reward system for users who upload videos that draw significant traffic to Google's popular video-sharing site. But there are some criteria to meet before your masterpiece can start contributing to your next holiday.

To be eligible for some Google dosh, you need to:

a) create original videos suitable for online streaming;
b) own all copyrights for the work you upload;
c) regularly upload videos that garner thousands of views.

At the moment you also need to live in the US or Canada, but Google says it will be rolling out the programme to international markets "soon". When contacted, a UK YouTube spokesperson wasn't able to elaborate on the UK programme.

The Partner Program began earlier this year when Google started "rewarding [its] most popular and prolific original content creators within the YouTube community". How much cash you'll see as a result of a viral success isn't well known, but Google claims users who regularly produce videos that generate over a million views have seen rewards of several thousand US dollars.

But there's an interesting technicality: members must be approved by Google before they'll be accepted into the programme, unlike the company's massively popular self-served ad solution, AdSense. This stops people profiting from uploading copyrighted content that quickly generates significant traffic, and it also ensures only 'quality' producers are associated with the company. So no cash for Chad 'PStriple' Warden and his fanboy ilk. Shame.

Finally, producer popularity is not necessarily automatically determined by a high view count of a single video, but, according to Google, also by the number of channel subscribers. So if every video you upload is automatically shown to your legion of fans, Google will likely see you as a consistently profitable resource, even if your videos don't get as many total views as someone with fewer subscribers, but sporadically more popular content.

So if you're a dab hand with a camera and have plans for a viral takeover of the YouTubian masses, you might want to consider registering yourself in the scheme when it comes to the UK. If you're already loaded and don't need the money, send it to me because I need a new boiler. -Nate Lanxon