For those who don’t know Revver.com, at the simplest level it’s “yet another video sharing site” except it has two distinct differences: it has a revenue model based on advertising and it’s entirely driven by an API. Why are these distinctions important? They’re important because they essentially mean that Revver.com itself is irrelevant to their business.
Most “Web 2.0” websites are built on advertising support – Google Adsense at the simplest level, display advertising if they have an advertising sales force or by sponsorship. YouTube tried the latter – sponsorship of channels by the large content providers, or even “The Brittney Channel” and to are working on recognizing content and sharing revenue from advertising on the same page with the large conglomerates that own the content. Neither are innovative and both require the visitor to actually be on YouTube.com to see the advertising. Trouble is, one of YouTube’s greatest appeals is the embedded player which puts the content on another site (where the site owner could display ads and collect the revenue).
The use of embedded players or more commonly RSS driven technology is a problem for site owners looking to advertising-on-the-website models. As RSS becomes more widely adopted (because of the huge value add to subscribers) that tension increases. A site like creativecow.net or 2-pop.com requires visitors to be at the site to read their forums, tutorials or other content because that’s what pays the sites’ expenses and provides a return to the owners. This is a huge problem for content creators if podcasts/video podcasts, which are RSS driven, takes off.
If RSS/embedded players become successful, as they inevitably will because they provide the biggest payoff to the user/viewer, then the website becomes irrelevant, even dead. That’s why Revver’s model shows they understand the direction the web is taking. Revver provides a very comprehensive API so anyone can set up a full Revver.com clone, or customize content out of Revver’s collection to a subject-specific site. Revver.com is built on the same API and (with few exceptions) anything Revver can do on their own site, can be done on any site, without any “permissions” required from Revver.
This is because Revver serves up ads at the end of the video. The revenue from the ads is shared with affiliates (anyone using the API to drive traffic) who get 20% and the balance is split between Revver and the content provider. Ads are short and unobtrusive and pay on click through, not on ad impression.
So, it doesn’t matter how people use the content, wherever they use the content – either through an embeddable Flash player or through downloads (or even if the content is aggregated into an RSS feed) all parties still benefit and there’s no “must drive traffic to website” model involved.
In my (probably not so humble) opinion Revver is one model that will sustain. The other would be direct payment between viewers and content owners in an RSS-driven (Podcast/Video Podcast like) feed. But that model doesn’t exist until klickTab.com launches.