So I’ve been sitting here for the past 30 minutes writing a blog opus about how Rebecca Black’s “Friday” is now a $2.99 YouTube Rental, heralding a new era for YouTube’s content monetization strategy and the idea of a meme as premium content … but guess what? It’s no longer a rental!
There are three possible explanations for why it appeared to be for rent earlier:
- The brilliant geniuses at Ark Music Factory were experimenting with the YouTube Rental feature for about a couple hours in order to spark up some more press coverage.
- A YouTube glitch set the video to “Rental.”
- The feature was switched on by Black’s camp as an accident and then switched back off after media caught on to the story.
While I don’t know for sure, I’m going to go with “accident” and/or “glitch.” At least one user reported not being able to actually rent the video when clicking on the “Rent For $2.99” function, while it was still available.
All YouTube partners have had the ability to charge a rental fee for their content for about a year, but paying around $1 a minute to hear Black drone on about the front seat and the back seat seems like a major major rip off, which is probably why the story made headline news in the first place.
What’s amazing is how many people actually cared about the video’s availability, even if the concern was ironic, much like the bulk of its 165,271,223 views. YouTube itself declined to comment officially, holding that it doesn’t comment on the status of individual videos.
Image via @Larsskou