Dear YouTube: Please Charge Me!

Dear YouTube,

You have a great service. The problem is that it’s “free.” (I understand your owner, Google, continues to lose money on you.)

Because uploading videos to YouTube is “free,” I have wasted several hours over the last three days trying to upload videos to your server. I am currently trying to upload a 9 minute, 40 second video, at medium resolution, featuring an interview with a Colorado Congressional candidate. My wait time is 16 hours. This is the third time I’ve tried — and apparently failed — to upload the video. (I have a good cable line, so I don’t think that’s the problem.)

Call me crazy, but I think publishing videos like this in a timely manner is healthy for our republic.

With a previous video, my wait time was up to 48 hours. (I cancelled the upload, obviously.)

YouTube is a sweet service. Just about everybody loves it. I love it. But I’d love it a whole lot more if I could pay you for improved service.

Here’s just one possibility for pricing. Users could purchase credits, say one credit per dollar, perhaps with a bulk discount. You could price based on file size. Then users could make the tradeoffs between length and resolution. Charge, say, a dollar for files up to 100 megs, two dollars up to 200 megs, etc. Obviously you could adjust the actual rates based on costs, demand, advertising revenues, etc. You could even charge a premium for peak-time access.

If you already offer people the option of paying you for better upload service, I’ve missed it. Perhaps you or a reader will correct me. But, assuming the option is not already available, I beg you, please don’t make me continue to use your service for “free!”

Ari Armstong

August 10 Update: After several failed attempts to upload the video in question through iMovie, I tried uploading the file directly to YouTube and had much better success. So it’s unclear to me why the iMovie upload doesn’t work well, but the direct upload works better. At any rate, I’m still interested to learn how YouTube hopes to make money from its operation — and provide users with good service in the process.

One thought on “Dear YouTube: Please Charge Me!”

  1. The fault may lie with your ISP, not Google. ISPs have to limit traffic because *they* often can’t charge for people who do high bandwidth uploads and downloads–because of “net neutrality.”


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