Why Does Youtube Develop Against the Trend UGC?
User Generated Content means volunteer contributors, rather than traditional paid stuff, become the majority who provide news or information in the media industry. It is an irreversible trend nowadays, especially with the development of internet. However, Youtube has launched the partnership program in recent years, which seems like, but actually not the opposite of the trend.
As is discussed in another article of mine Why Doesn’t Facebook Have Partnership Program Like Youtube? , Youtube launched its partnership program due to a great deal of reasons, but all can be summarised as to boost profitability by improving originality and quality of videos. So how does the program work?
From economics' perspective, people are rational and they will only act given the predictable economic incentives, which are exactly what Youtube partnership program offers. They set a fixed number of viewers and once reached, monetary rewards or other advertising revenues may be earned. Assume that you are one member of the program. Although you spend a lot of time and energy in designing, casting and shooting, you are inspired and persist to try your best since the considerable return can be anticipated. Hence it's probably the most practical way to motivate people to participate in creating original videos with high quality. But is it against the UGC trend?
As for Youtube, though it still needs to pay stuff and the ‘salary expense’ may grow even more, the ‘salary expense’ is gradually becoming more flexible, no longer a fixed stiff number, but fluctuating based on the contribution of ‘the transformed volunteers’, who are the ones eventually get paid among thousands of ‘motivated volunteers’ (here we assume that most people are motivated by economic incentives)in the program. The objects that received payments have adjusted according to the UGC trend.
What about the ‘the transformed volunteers’ ? In fact,the number of ‘the transformed paid stuff’ may be relatively small. After all, producing high-quality videos requires a lot more than ideas. As a matter of fact, winners are paid for their outstanding outcome based on creativity and hard work, without knowing that there will be regular payments first and then treat it as a routine, which is one of the drawbacks of traditional paid stuff. In a sense, the program can be considered as a catalyst, increasing the number of ‘motivated volunteers’(indeed 'volunteers' at the beginning) and speeding up the development of UGC.
In a word, Youtube partnership program may seem to be against the UGC trend, but actually it promotes the transformation of media industry in the modern society.