US company helps creators license viral videos

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US company helps creators license viral videos

You can’t escape them. Many people are drawn to them. Viral videos have become hotter than ever. And one U.S. company has capitalized on this by helping their creators in the process.

CGTN’s Hendrik Sybrandy reports.

US company helps creators license viral videos

Viral videos can generate millions of views online, but creators rarely see any profit. One company is looking to change that by helping creators license their content.

Michelle Smith is a tour guide at the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center. Sixteen wolves roam the grounds of this sanctuary in the Colorado mountains.

Her job is to make these animals a little more familiar to humans.

One day, in late 2014, Michelle’s co-worker snuggled with a wolf named Kekoa.

“And I decided to start recording her. And of course she got a whole bunch of great kisses and it was a really beautiful day. It was snowy, it was kind of cold,” she said.

She uploaded the video to Facebook and YouTube and got an instant reaction with several million views.

Then re-edited video started appearing, with incorrect information.

“Unfortunately, a lot of people were stealing it which is something we really didn’t expect to do,” Michelle says.

That’s when a company called Jukin Media entered the picture.

It calls itself the trusted global leader in user-generated entertainment. It wanted to license Michelle’s video.

Jukin is slang for cool or happening.

It’s a California company which for the past seven years has helped people make money from videos they’ve shot on their phones, GoPro’s, and security cameras.

“So what we do is help ensure that whoever’s the owner of the footage, whoever actually captured that footage is going to get compensated, is going to get credited, is going to have some control over their intellectual property,” Mike Skogmo, Jukin’s vice president of Communications & Marketing said.

The clips are sold to advertisers, TV shows, and websites which are constantly on the lookout for authentic and highly compelling video.

Jukin, which has 40,000 videos in its library, splits the profits with content creators.

One of the videos they’re best known for is Chewbacca Mom.

“Her sort of excitement for this funny, ridiculous mask was infectious. The video ended up doing about 150 million views on Facebook,” Mike said.

Michelle didn’t strike gold quite like that but since animals play well on the Internet, she’s made a couple of hundred dollars with her brief clip, some of the $10 million that Jukin has paid out so far.

“It’s been a really good thing for the center because it does get more people involved. They see where we’re at, and they contact us. They want to come out, they want to learn,” Michelle said.