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ShareYourWorld and Make Money from Your Home Videos

Admit it. You've watched America's Funniest Home Videos. You probably even liked it, especially back in its heyday with host Bob Saget. There's something preternaturally compelling about watching people fall down a ladder or getting hit in the privates with a baseball bat. The idea of making money from your home movies is also very compelling. After all, why not make money instead of having them collect dust?

A new yet-to-be launched company called ShareYourWorld.com ( http://www.shareyourworld.com) is looking to change this scenario. According to the company's co-founder and chairman Chase Norlin, ShareYourWorld is a "digital talent agency". It essentially allows consumers to sell their home videos (and still images) online. Asks Norlin: Why send your videos to America's Funniest Home Videos to try to win a grand prize when you can sell them over and over to different markets?

Recently, ShareYourWorld made its first major sale to a syndicated reality TV show called RealTV. An amateur videographer sold his video of last year's "Battle in Seattle", the WTO riots. The video is gripping stuff, and it sold for $1,500. Not a bad hunk of change for some home video footage. "We can turn [the same video] around to their competitors and syndicate that on the Internet," says Norlin. "Each piece has a long shelf life."

Essentially, ShareYourWorld works as a middleman. Users set up an account, enter their credit card information and upload their videos to the web site. It's somewhat like eBay for digital media, except you get money credited to your credit card. Security is a major concern as is copyright issues but the onus is on the content creator, says Norlin. "If we took liability for that we'd be out of business in our first three lawsuits." When registering, users must agree that the content they post and try to sell is their own. And just like a regular talent agency, ShareYourWorld takes a 25% commission from each sale.

Norlin says the challenge isn't finding the buyers for this content, but it's acquiring the content. "The challenge is getting out to consumers," he says, "and making them realize that their camera or camcorder is a valuable device that can help generate dollars. Our success depends entirely on people making money on the service and telling others."

"You hear about b2b and b2c, and if we do things right, we're defining a new business model which is c2b," he says. That means consumers selling photos to businesses like graphic designers and ad agencies. But what about video? Norlin admits that the video side isn't quite gangbusters yet, despite the sale to RealTV. "Video is much more high profile but it's a bit more slow going right now. Not everyone has an iMac and an @Home connection."

So far, there's no direct competition, but some companies like Eveo (http://www.eveo.com) are allowing users to post their videos and get paid for them, albeit in small amounts. Eveo (which hasn't launched yet either) announced a pay-per-view system where the content owner gets 5 cents every time someone views their video. Norlin however, isn't impressed. "Five cents. Does that grab you? Doesn't grab me. I've got WTO footage and now it's worth $1,500. That grabs me."

Other companies are coming out with similar sites that allow users to create, post and share videos. There's EarthNoise.com, VideoShare.com, POPcast.com, Eveo and WireBreak.com. In fact, ShareYourWorld and WireBreak both have some of the same "public domain" videos, although WireBreak isn't in the brokering businesses. Norlin says no one else has figured out how to take advantage of consumer video and how to monetize it.

"The talent agency model is the one that's going to be emulated," he predicts. "Welcome to the world of competing in a new space."

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