YouTube Generation Taps Into Net Profits

(CBS) From amateur music videos, to the secrets of solving a Rubik's cube, to singing, to political stumping, 100 million people log on to YouTube every month, making it the No. 1 online video source.

Fifteen hours of new content are posted to the free video Web site every minute. In just three years, making those clips has gone from an offbeat hobby to a steady source of income for many.

Michael Buckley, 33, cashes in out of a second bedroom in his home. CBS News correspondent Michelle Miller asked him how much he makes.

"Uh, I do well," Buckley said. "I make over six figures a year."

His high-energy, two-minute show "What the Buck," a play on his last name, is the product of a $2,000 camera, a pair of work-lights and a $6 backdrop. The show averages 200,000 hits an episode.

"I just wanted to create my own vehicle and I did," he said.

Last year, YouTube invited its most popular, most-watched contributors to partner with them by adding banner ads to the bottom of video clips. For every one thousand hits, advertisers pay $15 to $20. It's a fraction the cost of television commercials, and they reach a more targeted audience.

Buckley's show ranks number eight on the Web site. Is it the only way he could have made it big?

"I do believe so," Buckley said. "I do believe that … the Internet was my route to any sort of success."

Joel Moss Levinson took a more roundabout path to cyber celebrity.

"I was working as a bartender at a bar in Dayton, Ohio," he said.

About a year ago, the 28-year-old college dropout started entering contests to make online Web commercials. He keeps winning.

"Anytime I win another one, it just makes the story better," he said. "So I'll just enter everything."

Thirty-five low-budget viral videos later -- half in the win column -- have earned him $200,000 in cash, prizes and trips to far off exotic places.

While he admits he isn't much of a musician, he's become the most successful modern day jingle artist online.

"What is it they say? If you find something you love, you never work a day in your life," Levinson said.

It's all a new vocation, for a YouTube generation.

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