Imagine if I came up to you with the following business proposition: I have a bunch of tools. I want you to make Product X with them. Then, when Product X is finished, you'll get to use it. But I'll get to keep all the money that the product ever makes.
You'd probably laugh in my face, but that's essentially the business model behind YouTube and Facebook. The key of course is that the products that each person makes (a cat video or a Facebook profile) don't take much effort or pain to produce, compared with the pleasure of seeing what everyone else has made. It's pure capitalist alchemy, and this infographic by MyCube about the economics behind user-generated content lays it out.
The stats behind how much content is being produced every second are nothing short of amazing -- some 36 billion photos uploaded to Facebook each year, and 35 hours of content uploaded every minute to YouTube:
But even more amazing is how much this all is actually worth, when you factor in the ad rates that are being charged by companies such as Facebook and YouTube. One of the most amusing facts is that Facebook changes their ad rates based on your relationship status. If you're single, you're worth $1.24 per ad thousand impressions (a so-called CPM); if you're in a relationship, that drops to $1.14. Men, meanwhile, are worth $1.16 compared to $1.05 for women:
Mark Zuckerberg and Google have pulled off a bigger trick that any golden goose or Midas could dream of.
Youtube writes to note that it actually receives 48 hours of content per minute, and 3 billion views per day. The company also notes that, thanks to its revenue sharing program with certain content partners, hundreds of people make "six figures a year" and thousands more make at least $1,000 a month. And now you know. --- Ed.