Until today, all you could hope to gain from sharing 'hilarious' videos
of your cat learning to skateboard was the heart-warming glow of knowing that you had brought pleasure into the heart of thousands
of lonely individuals with nothing better to do.
But now the very same clips can also earn you cold, hard ca$h! YouTube has announced that it is extending its Partnership Program to include individual "popular one-off" videos on the site.
Regular uploaders and web TV channels have been eligible for the Program, which places ads next to high-ranking clips and splits the revenue with the creators, for a couple of years. However, this is the first time that Joe Q. Public can expect to earn money from their movies.
At the moment, the Program is strictly by invitation only. "To determine whether a particular video is eligible for monetization, we look at factors like the number of views, the video's virality and compliance with the YouTube Terms of Service," said a spokesperson.
While less than three percent of YouTube videos are currently accompanied by advertising, in the future, YouTube expects everyone to "monetize" their 15 minutes of fame.