Go to YouTube, run one of your usual searches, and notice atop the videos you’re presented with a box to check that will filter your results. “Only show partner videos” has been around for about a week and is just a little feature, but one that shows YouTube is taking its Partner Program and original content creation a lot more seriously.


Originally only open to 40 or so of the video sharing site’s elite, in December 2007 the Partner Program expanded, soliciting applications from all American and Canadian YouTube users.

What is it? To be a Partner you must “create original videos suitable for online streaming,” own the copy and distribution rights for all the content that you upload, and “regularly upload videos that are viewed by thousands of YouTube users.” If accepted, YouTube places ads against your videos and you get a cut of the profits.

The opportunity to see only partner videos is a sly way to market the program and also makes it an elite status symbol. You see it, you want to get involved, you create more original videos, YouTube sells ads alongside and on top of those videos, YouTube makes money, you make fractions of percentages of cents money, there are no pesky billion dollar infringement lawsuits, and everybody wins.

###Everyone except your average YouTube users. This feature doesn’t much affect them.  They won’t use it.

Ad buyers responsible for purchasing placements might find the filter useful, but one of the beauties of the site is that it gets hundreds of thousands of uploads a day, and any one of those could become internet gold.  The Partner Program awards originality and consistency, but doesn’t guarantee entertainment value. When surfing on a site famous for facilitating one-off viral videos, I want to search as far and wide as I can.

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