That's right, for 1.5 pounds -- or a little less than $3 -- video makers can upload their work with the guarantee that it will run on Fame TV on the BskyB satellite network in the U.K. and Ireland. And U.S. video site Revver.com, known for its discovery and promotion of the wildly popular Mentos and Diet Coke fountains-of-fizz video, is the station's first aggregate content provider.
Fame TV runs nine boxes on-screen at one time, each titled and given SMS codes so that viewers can vote for their favorites via cellphone.
"This is just the beginning [of user-generated videos appearing on TV]," said Steven Starr, CEO of Revver.com. "Being affiliated with Fame TV is great for our creator base. ... We ask them, 'Would you like us to distribute your content into a broadcast environment?' And the vast majority, almost 100%, says yes."
While individual users pay to upload their work directly to Fame TV, Revver's videos will be aggregated and reviewed by the channel, and only some will be chosen to run, at no cost to the creator. Revver will pay creators half of the SMS revenue their videos garner on Fame TV; that's a business model Revver has used in the online realm, where it pays creators a revenue share for each view or download.
John Hayes, head of development at Fame TV, said the channel is currently in discussions with U.S. networks to expand here. He also said while Fame TV would consider taking ads on the channel, it currently does not, instead relying on fees generated by users for revenue. Since launching today, the channel has logged 1,000 video uploads directly from U.K. users, he said.
Still, not everyone is convinced consumer-generated media has a bright future on TV. Mitch Oscar, exec-VP at Carat Digital, pointed to user-generated content such as the online Blair Witch Project and JibJab, both of which gained massive popularity but not longevity. "They're great one-night stands, but they ultimately become just great memories," he said.