As expected, YouTube has started the process of sharing the wealth and paying some of their top users for their unique video content.  User-created content has turned YouTube into a massive, wildly popular video service.  They rely heavily on those user-created videos, so it only makes sense that they share the ad revenues with those who create the content.

Jamie Byrne who’s the vice president of marketing for YouTube said, “We want to ensure that these talented people can start making a living off of their efforts.  We hope this will inspire others to create their own original content.”

This is a process that will be rolled out slowly.  They’re starting with 20 to 40 of their top users including Lonelygirl15 who was probably one of the first major YouTube “stars.” Revenue will be split 50/50 with them which seems like a fair deal. Afterall, these people haven’t made a penny so far off of their videos, so I’m sure they’ll appreciate the money now.

It’s taken YouTube a fairly long time to get this process going, because several other video services have offered it for quite a while now including Metacafe and Revver. Just as some bloggers have been able to turn their hobby into a full-time job, so will some the users who have created popular videos on YouTube.