YouTube in a ‘fire drill’ over risk of celebrity defections to Facebook

Today, The Wall Street Journal relays information from insiders at Google who say “YouTube has been in a fire drill” trying to secure its most popular users and prevent them from fleeing to more generous rivals. That means bonuses for signing multiyear deals that secure YouTube limited-time exclusives on new content, or alternatively, bonuses tied to the traffic performance of videos.

Competing with YouTube is hard. It’s the home of user-generated video on the web and has nurtured a number of hugely popular stars whose earnings now stretch into the millions of dollars each year. The value of those compelling personalities has grown even higher this year thanks to companies like Yahoo actively recruiting YouTube’s stars for competing…

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