YouTube Shares Video, Not Income
Surprisingly, YouTube and Google Video's revenue programs tend not to be accessible to the average Joe. YouTube's Partner Program is limited to big-media or hand-selected individuals, while Google wants producers backed by at least 1000 hours of video for its High Quality or Day-Pass (time-limited) download sales program. (And another heavyweight's video sharing site, Microsoft's Soapbox, doesn't have revenue sharing.) By contrast, Brightcove permits you to create paid downloads and distribute them through AOL's Video store; Veoh has a similar system. Both let you keep a 70 percent share of the profits.
These services also maintain syndication programs wherein either you or the service develops commercial relationships with third-party Web sites interested in using certain video content.
Some parting advice courtesy of Revver: The IRS requires anyone who is being paid more than $600 by a U.S. company to fill out a W-9 (U.S. citizens) or a W-8 (internationals) form for tax purposes. Does such income sound like pie in the sky? At the time of this writing, the top earner in Metacafe's Producer Rewards program had collected over $45,000.