Advertising on Web video

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The Internet is buzzing with amateur videos, the kind that feature kids lip-synching or imitating Jedi knights. They get e-mailed and posted on Web sites and often become the topic of water cooler chat.

But few, if any, make money.

A new company called Revver is trying to change that by attaching advertising to the videos and giving the creators a cut of the profits.

The technology, which also tracks the content as it is shared across the Web, is not limited to amateurs. Major media companies, which are just beginning to experiment with offering TV shows and movies online, are also looking for ways to distribute across peer-to-peer networks while avoiding piracy.

Revver is the brainchild of Ian Clarke, the man behind the Freenet file-sharing network; Steven Starr, a former Hollywood agent and co-creator of MTV's "The State"; and Oliver Luckett, who recently spearheaded the Norman Lear "Declare Yourself" voter-registration campaign.

It is also backed by the same venture-capital company that bankrolled Internet phone provider Skype Technologies, which eBay recently acquired for $2.6 billion.

The three see an opportunity in the growing number of videos being produced by people with access to sophisticated photo and editing tools and viewed over high-speed Internet connections.

"It's like Hollywood 1908," Starr said. "It's the very, very, very beginning of video online and the behaviors we're seeing are all early stage."

-"Startup aims to make online video profitable through advertising" by Gary Gentile, Associated Press, Oct. 30

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