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Monday, August 25, 2008

Will Making MashUps Ever Make You Money?

Mashups are fun and there are a lot of views that you can get by creating a great mashup but can you ever make money from creating a a viral video mashup?

I think you can make money from mashups on a couple different levels.

First, let's say that you create a viral video mashup that gets over 1 million views on YouTube. You won't get any money from Google for it but if the people watching your video can easily contact you, they might hire you to create something emotionally engaging for them.

Second, if you can build a following or fan base of subscribers on YouTube and create a brand around your content you can monetize that through merchandise. You're not going to be able to sell SpongeBob SquarePants Tshirts that say, "Leave Brittany Alone!" on them but you might be able to create a "MashUp Marv" brand that people will know you for and they will want to buy your products.

Third, if you have a big enough fan base you might be able to negotiate rights or through "parody" be able to create a compilation DVD or digital download. Be sure and check with a New Media Attorney like Colette Vogele before you do something like that.

Fourth, if you have built a big enough following you can use that audience to launch original content that you do own.

Fifth, if you already have products or services to sell you might be able to create a parody mashup that will get views and get your brands name out there. SNL makes fun of big names why can't you?

Are there any other ways that you can think of making money with mashups?


Todd said...

"...Are there any other ways that you can think of making money with mashups?"

A perpetual question asked by all the Vulture Capitalists.

Suggestion: Narrow down and/or better define what you, Tim, mean when you say "mash-up", as written in the post it is too generic.

Mash-up of open web API data with your own unique content? Or tie a physical device to multiple cloud services?

There are something like 900 Twitter mash-ups:


...but only one successfully made it to the Apple iPhone App Store. If you are already using the Twitter iPhone app, as aquired through the app store, I propose that it the answer to your question.

( At least until Android comes out )

Alec McNayr said...

Great stuff -- I think it's rare to find a mashup artist who is really a pop culture examiner. Those are the people that can consistently "mash up" content and continue to have it be meaningful. Otherwise, videos seem to just be one-offs... comedy groups that rip something one time in order to get some exposure. But perhaps there's a serial-ness in that....

I feel like DJ Girl Talk is a great example. He probably falls under the "clever mashups increase your requests for speaking/DJ engagements" model. Wired did a great multimedia presentation of one of his songs: 35 Samples in 255 Seconds.