Even if you're not into viral videos, there's a good chance you've seen David Devore's son. He's the kid riding high in the back seat on his way home from a dentist's visit. Devore's video of his son's foggy behavior has been viewed more than 28 million times, and YouTube hopes there is money in those page views.
The online video Web site recently announced that users who create just one viral video are eligible for advertising partnerships with the company. Now, those behind the videos that become the next big thing on YouTube can cash in on their 15 minutes of fame.
If you surf over to Devore's video now, you're likely to see advertisements for dental products and services — and the occasional pizza. "Every time somebody clicks through the ads, we get a portion of the revenue share," Devore says.
Devore posted the video of his son, also named David, on YouTube on the first weekend of February this year. He thought he was just sharing it with family and friends. "By Tuesday, we had 3 million views," he says.
As the video rolled though inbox after inbox, Devore noticed a little button that appeared on his YouTube channel, inviting him to become a YouTube partner. He clicked, and soon little David's bobbling head was surrounded by pictures of gleaming teeth and links to oral surgeons. And that's not all that happened.
"We've made a little over $25,000," Devore says. He works in Florida's hard-hit real estate market and says the extra income couldn't have come at a better time. "It was found money."
And the family has gotten another benefit from the video. Before the days of Internet fame, Devore and his son watched it together. Little David "thought it was just hilarious," Devore reports. "It really helped him have a calmer reaction to having to go to the dentist."
Feeling pressure to duplicate the phenomenon, Devore has since posted a few more videos, but to much less success. There may be more in the future, Devore says, "but it'll just have to be what we want, and not just because we can."