Marissa Mayer at CES 2014James Niccolai, IDG News Service

Yahoo may try to draw YouTube's most popular acts with a video site of its own

If you can’t beat em, bait em. That seems to be the strategy Yahoo is considering in its attempt to take on YouTube, according to new report from Recode.

Citing “several sources close to the situation,” Recode reports that Yahoo may be looking to luring some of YouTube’s biggest names to a service of its own with promises of higher ad revenue.

For now, Yahoo isn’t looking to build a direct competitor to YouTube that will accept video uploads from all comers, according to Recode; instead, it’s looking to build upon what it has started with its Yahoo Screen video site.

How much more money could YouTubers stand to make? According to an AllThingsD article from last April, if you place ads in videos you upload to YouTube, you can expect to make anywhere from $2.50 to $10 per thousand video views, depending on who you ask, after YouTube takes its 45 percent cut.

Even though that may not sound like a lot, that isn’t stopping some from making some serious cash through YouTube. One site estimates that the top-paid YouTube users make anywhere between $1 million and $7 million each year.

Granted, these are the absolute top earners—most of us would probably make enough for a dinner or two at Applebee’s over the course of a year—but it shows that there is money to be made if you can catch a break on YouTube.

When you get to big numbers like that, an extra few dollars per thousand video views really adds up in no time. For a channel with 10 million views per year, an extra dollar per thousand views would translate to an extra $10,000 annually—not a bad raise.

The risk for video producers, of course, is that a competitor to YouTube—even one from a household name like Yahoo—may not draw as large an audience as YouTube does, thus negating any increased ad payout rate.

Yahoo could counter with a higher guaranteed payout, and Recode also notes that, according to its sources, Yahoo has “has offered extensive marketing, even on its homepage, as well as allowing video producers the ability to sell advertising along with Yahoo’s sales force.” For some, that alone may make it worth considering what Yahoo has to offer.

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