YouTube makes local debut, partners with local content providers

It’s no secret that Filipinos love YouTube – we’re one of the biggest consumers of online video and we upload a fair share of videos for the world to see. That same voraciousness for online video has also helped a couple of our own to be discovered, with folks like Arnel Pineda and Charise Pempengco. So it’s no surprise then that Google has decided to create a localized YouTube Philippines site that delivers local flavor straight to your PC.

YouTube has forged partnership agreements with top Filipino media companies including ABS-CBN, GMA Network Inc., and TV5 that’ll bring their content to the local YouTube site. Additionally partners such as VIVA Records, PinoyTuner, Vicor Records, Star Records and Oak3 will also bring their content to the YouTube masses.

Probably the biggest news here is that local content providers, from the biggest media companies to the guy in his basement with a guitar and a dream will now be eligible for payment from ad revenue, with the content provider getting the majority of the earnings. Google still gets a piece of the pie however, though the percentage is unknown – they didn’t really give a percentage of the split.

The YouTube partner program will now also be open to local content creators, so people who regularly create original, high-quality content can now monetize their work. Content creators will be able to apply to the program by going to this link.

We spoke with Howie Severino, of GMA Netowrks Inc. about what this means for their content. He was extremely pleased with the partnership, saying that “it gives us new avenues to grow our brand and monetize our content.” He also said that the partnership allows GMA to leverage YouTube’s powerful content identifying algorithims, which gives them a powerful tool to use against people who infringe on their intellectual property. That doesn’t mean that they’ll take the ban hammer to everyone who uploads content from their networks. Howie sees these fans as partners in spreading their brand – the only thing that’ll change is that GMA, not the uploaders of the copyrighted videos, will be earning ad revenue, though the network still has the option of taking down their content from unauthorized users.