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Google's YouTube: Money Spinner

Ever since it began in 1990, TV show You’ve Been Framed has encouraged viewers to video their friends, families and pets doing the most amazingly, bewilderingly stupid, crass, dangerous sports, hobbies and everyday events/pratfalls/buffoonery for the chance to win £250 if the clip is shown on TV. Many must have been the faked set-up, the deliberate mishap to earn that cash.

Now YouTube has taken all that way beyond a mere £250. Suddenly people have a chance to make thousands from largely the same clips as inspired the TV programme.

The Charlie Finger Biting Phenomenon

Over 400,000,000 people around the world (more than the US and UK populations combined) have viewed ‘Charlie Bit My Finger … Again!’. It’s a short domestic saga between brothers: toddler Charlie bites Harry’s finger.

Uploaded by father Howard Davies-Carr to let their relatives watch, what has been described movingly as its ‘charm’, ‘gurgling comedy’ and ‘sibling reality’, went viral.

YouTube very quickly cottoned on and placed ads adjacent. Sponsors were increasingly anxious to be seen alongside this clip, so the income flowed. The family is expected to earn over £100,000 this year from the phenomenon.

It has set them off looking for a follow up. Jim White, reporting in the Daily Telegraph, called it ‘the YouTube equivalent of the second album syndrome’. He was scathing. What is the father missing of his children’s growing while stuck behind a camera, poised to capture the winning moment?

And what, he wondered, will be the effect on the children, long term? Will they be encouraged to endanger themselves? Will they be offered screwdrivers and pointed to electric sockets? Will they grow up thinking their loving parent is called Sony?

YouTube Helps You

This family are hardly alone, they have just struck lucky. Thousands of others seek to emulate them. YouTube facilitate them with an intro to their site: ‘Make a Living on YouTube’. There is even a YouTube video on 5 Ways to Make Money on YouTube NOW!

There an American enthusiast urges would-be millionaires to do five things:
1. join the Google YouTube partners program
2. open an account at, owned by Google, blog about your videos and make money on contextual marketing Google Ads
3. create your own tip jar through PayPal (which is not a Google company!) and invite people to donate money to you to support your blog and videos
4. get creative through your videos as far as what you can sell through eBay or GoogleBase and as you get thousands of views, be unique, sell your items that you used in making your video
5. get local merchants to back you as you film things and yourself, mention your sponsors on your video and it will be mutually beneficial networking

There are further lesson/seminars, and other ideas to make money, to get rich and to get stinking rich. But notice any common link across much of the teaching above? Yep, Google.  Now that is a way to make serious money, if it hadn’t been done already.

Daily Telegraph, Jim White, The YouTube dads who always have their finger on the button, 15 November 2011.
YouTube, Make a Living.
5 Ways to Make Money on YouTube.