Viral Video Licensing: How it began and how it works

By Mike Skogmo on August 07, 2014

Viral Video Licensing at Jukin Media

Long before the term ‘viral video’ ever entered the lexicon, user-generated video clips – formerly called ‘home videos’ – were being used (or in other words, licensed for use) to entertain television audiences.

In the beginning there were only a handful of shows dedicated to showing video clips – think America’s Funniest Home Videos. Today, thanks to the Internet (and, let’s be honest, YouTube), video clips are wildly popular, even earning the name ‘viral’ for how quickly they’re spread on the web. Further, the proliferation of camera-phones and other video-capture devices has paved the way for the outrageous amount of video uploaded to the web on a daily basis.

Because these viral video clips are shared and talked about online, traditional media outlets like TV shows have taken notice and realized that viral video clips are hugely popular with their audiences. Today, nearly every major network and cable station in the US uses viral video content in its programming – ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, ESPN, MTV, Vh1, Comedy Central, etc.

However, it’s very difficult for producers of TV shows to find great viral video content to use on the air – they need to know what videos are trending, then they have to find the owners or rights-holders of those videos (not always an easy task), then they need to obtain written permission or a signed contract from those folks to be allowed to air any footage.

Now consider that these producers have a daily TV show to produce. There’s so much that goes into simply putting on a TV production, once you add the task of finding video content to use and getting permission, it becomes too much to ask of a production staff.

That’s where a viral video licensing company like Jukin Media comes in. The company lives and breathes viral videos, and it knows which videos are trending on a daily basis. The company can alert its broadcast partners about what new, fresh content might be a good fit for their shows so that the producers don’t have to do research on their own.

Further a company like Jukin Media has a signed contract already in place with the video’s original owner, so when a TV show decides it wants to air a clip, Jukin already has the necessary contracts and permissions in place. The show's producer can simply browse Jukin's library and download a desired video, without having to worry about any of the legalities. 

Viral Video Licensing

For these invaluable, time- and headache-saving services that a viral video licensing company provides to broadcasters, producers, and others in traditional media, the company will charge a licensing fee to the broadcaster.  With all of the time and resources that the broadcaster saves by utilizing Jukin’s services, they end up saving money in the long run even after paying the licensing fee.

For video owners, the appeal of working with a viral video licensing company like Jukin Media is clear: the company has strong, working relationships with broadcasters, producers, and other media professionals throughout the world. It understands, better than anyone,  that viral videos have real value.