Since April of 2008, things got worse and worse if you were a video producer partnered with Metacafe. That fateful month sprung the mark of a new list of rules that needed to be met before a a video was accepted. Things like cool bar and coin tricks were no longer eligible, and then any video that showed too much skin, or was rated 13+ was rejected. And just when producers thought it couldn't get any worse, Metacafe announced their new pay schedule which kicked in around November of 2008. This new pay shedule no longer was the old $100 for 20,000 views pay model. Now it had become $40 for 20,000 views. And producers were told that only domestic views would be counted and international views were out. On top of that, they said that they would only pay producers when their unpaid balance reached $100. Then at the beginning of this year, Metacafe went too far. They had a new rule which stated a video could be ruled having no entertainment value. Of course all of us producers argued, "if it had no entertainment value, how could it have acquired 20,000 views?". And it was this no entertainment value that gave the white collar folks at Metacafe basically a get out of jail free card anytime they decided they needed to reject a video for no reason at all except they didn't want to pay.
Below is a video I made with my brother who plays Young Conan on GurillaTV. TEEN PREGNANCY SOLUTION was given a no entertainment value rejection even though the video is just shy of 30,000 in two weeks on Metacafe as of May 9, 2009.
So this short history lesson of the Metacafe roller coaster ride takes me to where we are now. Metacafe announced early this week that the PR program will officially be stopped next month. That's right, the business model that helped put them on the map, along with all the producers whom they partnered with are no longer going to be part of the equation. Now they have moved on to larger collaborations with bigger companies and sponsors. So instead of paying out, they have been focused on generating revenue in. Metacafe's once viral video ubiquity has now been replaced by corporate sponsorships and hollywood contributions. The statement Metacafe is dead is a popular one amongst former and current Metacafe producers, and it certainly is true from a certain point of view.
Last week, a fellow producer pointed out that my last video WIFE NAILS HUSBAND was approved for Metacafe PR program. It was only one of three videos approved for the entire month of April to show how stingy they have become. He also stated that it is probably the last video to be accepted into the program. If it's true, I will not hold this honor too highly. Here it is below.
What does Metacafe's new development mean for video producers? In my opinion it means that unless you have figured out a way to generate money and views outside of Metacafe, you are no longer a value to them. It is the time to start your own websites and generate your own audiences. We are at the dawn of a new journey as video creators. The days of easy money on Metacafe with it's stellar $5 CPM for doing nothing but putting a video up is long gone. I don't think another video site will ever make that move again unless the cost of pushing bandwidth drops dramatically over the next few years. That is a different story all together.