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Amateur Videos: Are They The Way Of The Future?

Amateur videographers can now cash in on their content without needing any credentials.

You knew this day was coming. Amateur content has been chasing us since the 90s.

With the rise of technologically-based citizen journalism (and arguably the demise of actual journalism), we probably shouldn’t be surprised that content creation is next in line. It’s now easier than ever to record content and upload it onto the web for consumption.

Amateur Videos: Are They The Way Of The Future?
Photo credit: IN 30 MINUTES Guides via / CC BY

More affectionately called “user-generated content”, amateur videos have become increasingly popular as source material for news and media organizations. After all, it’s difficult for journalists, reporters, and social media aggregators to be any and everywhere at all times.

Truly reminiscent of our generation, we capture memorable moments on our smartphones. Funny incidents. Tragic accidents. Catastrophic events. Cute pet moments. We never waste an opportunity for our content to potentially go viral because, hey, viral hits mean increased popularity. In our semi-narcissistic society, what could be better than 1 week of internet fame?

The real challenge, however, is with media/news organizations and their relationship with amateur video capturers. Here we take a look at some of the prominent issues that can arise when it comes to using amateur video:

1. Validity

Naturally, it becomes harder to validate content. When a journalist founded Storyful back in 2010, it opened the doors for users to upload unrestricted content. Amateur video poured in, quickly making it a hotbed for news footage.

But one issue quickly arose: how on earth does one determine the credibility of the content? What authority does the “videographer” have to record this? And ultimately, why should we believe it?

Amateur videography arguably calls for even more work from news outlets. Crap quality aside, now inquiring journalists must work with the uploader to validate the content of the video.

2. Ethics

Barriers are broken when anyone is able to upload content onto a website. But how ethical is it? Users are presented with the opportunity to generate revenue from their content. Cue licensing fees. Companies like Viral Hog license video to major news outlets like ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, Fox, and BBC, to name a few.

It’s only fair that uploaders should be compensated fairly for their video. However, it’s still unclear as to how much someone can get in licensing fees for a video. According to Jonathan Skogmo, founder of multi-platform media and entertainment company Jukin, payments can range from $50 to $5,000.

3. Harassment

Think of user-generated content as an attractive girl at the bar.

A lot of people suddenly take an interest as soon as she walks in. Men from the left to the right offer her a drink. Suddenly, she’s the center of the party. She’s got something they want. And she’s got the option of who she wants to go home with.

This is both exciting and a little scary. If she isn’t careful, she’s now slightly more open to risk. Those around her may bombard her personal space. They might badger her with questions. They may even try to coerce her into giving more than she’s willing to.

The girl must play her cards right. Those surrounding her need to be mindful of their actions.

The same rings true for users and large media outlets looking to license their content. Outlets should be careful not to harass or take advantage of uploaders. While ideally most would respond favourably to potential monetary compensation, not everyone is willing to sell their content. Likewise, companies would benefit in doing a bit of research before starting a bidding war.

Here at Key West Video we pride ourselves on creating quality content that viewers can connect to. Whether it’s for educational or entertainment purposes (or a bit of both), we create compelling content aimed to engage viewers. Check out our website and contact us for a quote today!

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