common craftThe people behind Common Craft are masters at explaining complex new media topics like Wikis, RSS, Social Media, etc. in plain English. One of their videos explaining Twitter has so far been viewed over 1.7 million times on YouTube while the one on Google Docs has been viewed over 2.7 million times.

Common Craft had an interesting business model. They would upload all their videos to YouTube and allowed other sites to embed them for free.

If anyone wants to download a high-resolution version of the video for offline presentations or for intranets, they can buy a license per video from Common Craft. Some of their illustrations also available as Kindle books.

Now you’ll have to pay to Embed Videos

The good old YouTube days are over as Common Craft has created a new “web license” for their videos that would require bloggers and websites to pay a monthly subscription fee for embedding videos on their site. And this is not a small amount.

Pricing Chart for Embedding Videos

For instance, if you plan to embed a video on a website that gets moderate traffic, your monthly bill for embedding that video can be around $104. And if the embedded video gets played more than 1,200 times on your site during that same month, you’ll have to pay an additional 8 ¢ per play.

The video will still be hosted on Common Craft web servers and you’ll be given a unique embed code that you can add to your website for serving the video.

I am huge fan of the entire Common Craft series and admire the fact that they have come up with such a unique business model to distribute their “high value” content online. At the same time, stories published on blogs, unlike the newswires, stay forever so the cost of embedding a single video could easily run into a few thousand dollars over time and that may not make lot of business sense.

For instance, if a popular site like BoingBoing or TechCrunch decides to embed one video from Common Craft, their annual fee could be more than $4,000. I don’t know if the writer salaries and advertising revenues in the $20-30 CPM range will be enough to offset that cost.

Common Craft Video Collection on YouTube

httpvp://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=50C1CC29663ABF67