Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Video Advertising Marketplace Bets On User Contributions: Revver

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Video advertising gives a new spin to how user-generated content and a distributed advertising model can enable exposure and profits for all parties involved.

Watch, Upload, Make Money.

This is the roaring mantra for newly launched, an online video clips clearinghouse that allows anyone to submit, upload, store and redistribute short video clips of any (legal) kind while making money at it.

Photo credit: Ophelia Cherry

The strategy is very simple: Revver gives to every free account up to 100MB of video storage space for each video clip (yes you read that right), and no limits to the number of clips you can upload. So, if your intention is one of testing whether the new media market is ready to monetize your video talent, here is an immediate opportunity. Though you will have to wait at least two months before seeing your first electronic payment come through, Revver promises to pay in cash each one of the clicks that viewers of your video will make on the ad that will appear at the end of it. The more clicks on the ad that Revver automatically attaches at the end of your video, the more money for you (and for Revver, of course).

But it doesn't end here.

With Revver also online publishers that do not shoot or make mini-movies or crazy video clips can still participate and make money too. In fact, by simply publishing anyone of the video clips available on Revver on your site you will be earning yourself (as a Revver affiliate) a good 20% of the revenue paid for each click on the Revved ads at the end of your videos.

Now, if Revver is going to start to cough up some quality video clips, well organized across a multitude of relevant topical categories, this may truly take up a huge following with exciting consequences for all parties involved.

On the other hand if Revver gets swamped only by low-quality, amateurish funny videos, I have a few doubts that this innovative smart video monetization and distribution approach will go a long way. In this case it is likely that other, better equipped competitors, will soon launch and take up and to a higher quality level Revver truly effective idea.

Here some more details about this revolutionary new video advertising marketplace:


"Revver connects creators, viewers, and advertisers in a sponsorship marketplace for online video, taking full advantage of the open flow of information on the Internet, rather than trying to fight it.

Revver provides all the tools you need to distribute your original work online and earn money.

Revver strives to support free and accessible videos online and still reward creators."

How does it work?

Once you have uploaded a video clip, Revver automatically appends a still-frame unobtrusive ad at the end of it.

"You can then track your video's performance through your Revver account - which tells you exactly how many times your video is watched, and how much money you're earning.

Since ads are attached to the video itself, there's no restriction on how your videos are distributed. The more people email your video, post it to other websites or download it from P2P networks, the more money you earn. You can add or remove your video from Revver at any time, and you can control the type of ads that are attached to your video."

Revver breaks indeed solid new ground, by adding on top of free storage and unlimited bandwidth, the possibility for everyone to make some money. Video authors can get exposure and reach at no cost while bloggers and webmasters get free extra content that pays them on a pay per click basis.

Until some time ago sharing videos online would actually cost you money -- bandwidth and storage started to be free only with the advent of the Internet Archive and Ourmedia in the last two years or so. In many cases, people are still paying today for online storage space.

Now with Revver, video creators get paid when people watch, no matter where the video gets to be published.

As a matter of fact the idea is not new. Or at least its roots. Labeled "sell-side advertising", John Battelle and many others, me included, discussed and promoted it back in 2004. While Revver takes up only some parts of that original concept, the basic idea of "transitive advertising" remains:


"..."transitive advertising" - is a very interesting idea that flips current advertising models upside down.

In essence, this new model for online ads reverses the relationship between publishers and advertisers.

In traditional advertising models, the advertiser holds all the cards. They decide what they want to spend, and most importantly, where they want to spend it. But the rise of pay-for-performance networks like Overture and AdWords/AdSense has changed this relationship in significant ways.

First, advertisers are only paying when their ad performs - this alone is a huge shift in media.
The advertisers are no longer choosing the publisher with whom they are doing business, they are instead choosing keywords, concepts, context. OK, but not very good for publishers nor for audiences, in my opinion.

But here's the heart of Ross's transitive advertising model, or what I'd like to call Sell Side Advertising. Instead of advertisers buying either PPC networks or specific publishers/sites, they simply release their ads to the net, perhaps on specified servers where they can easily be found, or on their own sites, and/or through seed buys on one or two exemplar sites.

These ads are tagged with information supplied by the advertiser, for example, who they are attempting to reach, what kind of environments they want to be in (and environments they expressly forbid, like porn sites or affiliate sites), and how much money they are willing to spend on the ad.

Once the ads are let loose, here's the cool catch - ANYONE who sees those ads can cut and paste them, just like a link, into their own sites (providing their sites conform to the guidelines the ad explicates in its tags). The ads track their own progress, and through feeds they "talk" to their "owner" - the advertiser (or their agent/agency). These feeds report back on who has pasted the ad into what sites, how many clicks that publisher has delivered, and how much juice is left in the ad's bank account. The ad propagates until it runs out of money, then it... disappears! If the ad is working, the advertiser can fill up the tank with more money and let it ride."

While the system supporting Revver doesn't do all of the above, it goes a long way to realize many of the positive aspects of that vision. And I do think that this is definitely the way to go.

To become a Revver video affiliate, giving you immediate right to select video clips and post them on your site, it is extremely simple:

  1. Register and Login to Revver
  2. Find a video that you want to share or put on your site
  3. Under each video, there's a box called "GRAB THIS VIDEO". Copy and paste the link or code for the video, and share it. When people click and watch, you get paid.

Every time someone watches any of the video clips you publish on your blog or web site and clicks on the ad that appears at the end, you'll get paid. Plus, you can feel good about the fact that when you link to Revver videos, who has shot the video gets paid too.

As a matter of fact you could even consider starting a dedicated video site on a specific theme and supported by the content cleared by the Revver and which is hosted and served free to your video blog at no cost to you. You only need to make quality video selections, promote the site and pick up the cash at the end of the month.


Revver is completely free to use for both video content authors, viewers and affiliates who want to republish selected video clips on their sites.

The real nice thing about this model, is that video publishers do have a say, though a very moderate one for now, at what type of ads get associated to their videos. When uploading video clips to Revver, authors get in fact to select three tags (keywords) to associate with their video clip. Revver uses these tags to determine which type of ads to include at the end of each video clip.

While this is not exactly the same as allowing video publishers to actually select specific ads from an existing "open inventory" (which I would greatly favour), it is definitely a great step forward.

Technology wise, Revver lets you upload video clips in a variety of formats including MOV, WMV, ASF, MPEG, AVI and 3GP (mobile phones video), and lets the publisher be always in control. Uploaded videos can be edited, updated with improved metadata and deleted at any time the author wishes.

All videos on Revver are published under a Creative Commons license allowing open re-use and re-publication of non-copyrighted videos on other sites, while requiring attribution, non-commercial use and no-derivative work.

Users can also rate and comment on videos helping everyone else find with greater ease interesting and relevant video clips. Both authors and viewers can cumulative tag videos making content categorization a truly participatory effort.



a) I notice quite a few commercial video clips on Revver, and wonder what is Revver stance about those. The FAQ says clearly that they screen every single video for copyright compliance and in accordance with the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA), but the videos are there even among the Editorial Picks.


b) Unscrupolous users can easily upload your video and start making money out of it. The only defense against this is to discover your video being used by others and report it to Revver in time. Revver buffers in 60-days before paying any video author just to ensure that there is enough time for bogus videos uploaded by fake authors to be spotted and dropped.

c) Quality of content. Nothing to really go crazy about, but it is definitely too early to say.

Here is one example. Try it (click on it):

Go give a try now and let me know what you think of it.

Robin Good - [via] -
Readers' Comments    
2006-06-10 21:42:57

Tommy Paulkson

Boy oh boy! this is an example of the worst revver has to offer.


(make sure to click on the commercials at the end of each movie!)

posted by Robin Good on Thursday, March 30 2006, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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