YouTube engineers are working on a self-service method that will give moviemakers the ability to upload and provide their streaming content for rent, Hunter Walk, who heads product management at YouTube, told MediaPost.
The option aims to keep Google's video site on a path to continually simplify the site and its features. Walk says engineers also have been working on a process that simplifies the ability for people to upload movies to the site that have been created on a mobile phone.
YouTube delivered video to more than 135 million viewers in March, reaching three of every four online video viewers at an average of 96 videos per person, according to comScore. More than 180 million U.S. Internet users watched online videos last month, up 3.5% sequentially.
Recently, Google's video site YouTube rolled out a revised player. Most functions in the new player mirror many of those available on the old. The new player, however, has yet to support InVideo and InStream Ads, helping creators earn revenue from the content.
That will change in the coming weeks. Google's video site has gone through a handful of changes in the past year, such as a revamped site design and allowing people to upload 1080p high-definition video.
Two programs allow content creators to make money from their video: YouTube Partner Program, and Individual Video Partnerships (IVP). "We have hundreds of people making thousands of dollars, and dozens are making tens of thousands, and hundreds of thousands," Walk says. "People are quitting their jobs to build content for the site."
Algorithms identify videos rising in popularity. The IVP program lets individual content creators start an AdSense account to monetize original content, for example.
Walk says YouTube has been receiving a greater amount of dollars from ad budgets that marketers put aside for social media campaigns. He calls it an "evergreen spend" because brands like Apple, Coca-Cola and Kodak can build on a message that continually targets a specific audience, or expand that campaign to reach other market segments.
Other services are also in the works, such as a method to find and license music for videos. The company also signed a deal that allows Verizon FiOS customers to access YouTube through the service. The YouTube widget is free to FiOS customers through an updated Verizon Media Manager desktop application.
Update: In January, YouTube launched the YouTube Rentals program, only available in the U.S. Walk didn't fully explain Google only invited partners to participate in the program, giving them the choice to offer content supported by ads or rentals. Both ads and transactions are limited to partners.