March 3, 2007
A success story for YouTube this week following on from all the takedown requests and lack of commitment from some major US media companies.
The BBC has signed a deal with YouTube to bring specially commissioned content and news clips to the video site. The director general of the BBC, Mark Thompson, said the deal is a ground-breaking partnership between the BBC and YouTube and “fantastic news for our audiences”. He added in a statement: “It’s essential that the BBC embraces new ways of reaching wider audiences with non-exclusive partnerships such as these.”
The main BBC channel on YouTube will include news clips along with short-form promotional content linked to popular programmes such as Doctor Who. Video diaries by stars of the shows – including tours of the sets – will also appear. The BBC Worldwide entertainment channel will show clips from shows such as Top Gear and Spooks, along with factual programmes and a “limited amount of advertising”. BBC World will offer around 30 news clips per day to users outside of the UK and will also be funded through advertising.
YouTube has also announced 1000′s of deals with small content owners.
Viacom, Fox and NBC however are still staying away. Viacom claims that traffic to it’s websites has risen sharply since they had the content and clips pulled down from YouTube (they obviously don’t understand the point of cross promotion!). A deal with CBS has also failed to appear, it’s all gone very quiet from both camps on this subject.
Ultimately, I’m sure they all really want to get a deal done, it seems YouTube need to come up with a better offering for these media behemoths in order to hook them into their service.
The BBC’s foray into YouTube is said to be advertising funded, perhaps that funding is not enough for the large US media companies? Or maybe they are just waiting for some proper copyright protection to come into force?
February 14, 2007
This report claims that a 20th Century Fox Television spokesperson has said that Google (and Live Digital) complied with subpoenas issued by the U.S. District Court in Northern California and disclosed to Fox the identities of two individuals who illegally uploaded entire episodes of “24″ prior to its broadcast and DVD release. Fox also said that YouTube user who goes by the handle “ECOTtotal” uploaded 12 episodes of the popular animated show “The Simpsons.”
Fox says that it intends to pursue the two users under copyright laws, it remains to be seen whether they could bring a case against them.
Actions such as this could really harm YouTube. Rather than shopping users to copyright holders it would be much less harmful for their brand if they had put in place a copyright protection system that would have negated the need to do this. It remains to be seen whether users will tolerate this kind of policing, if nothing else it could stop them submitting sensitive details about themselves (that could be used to identify them), potentially it could make some move on elsewhere.
February 12, 2007
Yes, they’ve announced it before YouTube (come on GooTube, time to do something to please the copyright holders!), Myspace will be implementing audio filtering technology from Audible Magic to safeguard copyright on videos that are uploaded to the site.
The technology filters the audio tracks in videos searching for anything it can identify as a known copyright. How effective this will be is yet to be seen, but it’s a step in the right direction and will please traditional media companies and copyright owners.
So, pressure’s on for Google, they need to implement the long promised copyright filtering technology quickly or they may find deals being struck with MySpace instead of them!
February 9, 2007
News out today that YouTube will be accessible from Vodafone mobiles in the near future. Mobile users will be able to view a selection of videos which are updated daily, forward their favourite links to friends and upload videos from their own phones.
Vodafone announced deals to make MySpace and eBay available on their mobiles earlier this week.
These services will be accessed through the Vodafone Live! portal which is currently available on 4.7 million handsets in the UK.
YouTube Mobile will be available later in this year. Mobile is starting to look better to me, there are so many services that could work on the small screen and it’s nice to see them beginning to be ported over!
February 8, 2007
Interesting article about the possibility of services like YouTube and Joost proving too intensive on the internet’s infrastructure. This could be a real concern for ISP’s everywhere, these services are only going to get more popular and Joost is still in beta. As they increase penetration the load on the backbone could get to a point where traffic and transfer speeds are affected.
Add into the mix the coming on-demand services from TV companies and more and more movie and music download sites and things could begin to get sticky.
Time for the backbone providers to get together and ensure they can cope with the demand!
February 2, 2007
Viacom have told YouTube to take down all of its content. This raises a big question around the ability of YouTube’s management team to build lasting relationships with big media, from where it gets most of it’s content.
Viacom had been in months of negotiations with YouTube and Google to try to come to a deal around content. Viacom owns brands such as MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central which it says account for more than 100,000 video clips on the YouTube site, which had generated more than 1.2bn video streams.
Apparently the break down is over disputes about splitting advertising revenues. Viacom execs are also frustrated that YouTube has failed to implement a copyright checking system, as it had previously promised.
Maybe YouTube’s announcement that it would share the wealth is not enough for Viacom?
February 1, 2007
A recent poll by Harris Interactive on the habits of YouTubers suggests that the average user will not put up with adverts being inserted into video clips. The figures from the poll show that when asked if the inclusion of short commercials before every clip would change how often they will visit YouTube, nearly three-quarters of adults who frequently visit the site say they would visit it a lot (31%) or a little (42%) less often as a result.
Telling for YouTube, it seems viewers will put up with adverts on a TV network, but when it comes to user generated sites on the web, they’re less keen to put up with any interruptions. I can understand this completely; the web is awash with advertising but it is mostly avoidable either by simply ignoring it or with the use of adblocking software. However, stuff a 20 second video advert in at the start of every YouTube video and it will get annoying very quickly! If you use YouTube a lot (and this same survey suggests 32% of respondents watch less TV due to YouTube) then you will see an advert every clip you watch. A lot of those clips are short and very quickly you will have seen a huge amount of advertising. Repetition will then occur which makes the experience even more annoying.
Forcing advertising on web users is never going to work unless the offering is so good that they really can’t miss out on it. With other ways to view the same content, YouTube must be careful not to alienate it’s users!
January 28, 2007
YouTube have announced their intention to begin sharing advertising revenue with the users who have uploaded videos. Google announced a deal back in October to do a similar thing with select publishers of videos (blogged about here), but this is the first time it’s been on offer to everyone who uploads.
Chad Hurley, speaking to the BBC, said that his team was working on a revenue-sharing mechanism that would “reward creativity”. The system would be rolled out in a couple of months, using a mixture of adverts, including clips shown ahead of the actual film.
Obviously this offer applies only to full copyright owners. So this could make some publishers a lot of money, film studios who upload trailers could stand to make fairly large sums through this kind of deal. This may be another step to keep the lawyers from the door…
Chad also said at the WEF in Davos that YouTube was currently working on “audio fingerprinting” technologies to identify copyrighted material. I’m still waiting for news on the possible Neven Vision integration I blogged about a while ago… The new audio fingerprinting should be released in the next month or two.
The revenue sharing deal could be the final death knell for the less popular Revver which has offered a share of profits to uploaders since they launched. There will be far more money to be made on YouTube with it’s 70 million users a month than on Revver for budding directors.
January 25, 2007
At last Google has breached the subject of the future of Google Video. Ever since it purchased YouTube the future for Google Video has been uncertain. YouTube is the premier video sharing/viewing site online and as such the future has looked bleak for it’s Google named cousin.
So now there’s a post on Googleblog laying out it’s vision for video going forwards. YouTube is to stay as is, a great platform for watching and sharing video. And Google Video? Well they’ve done the sensible thing and reverted back to basics by announcing that Google Video will become the destination for video search on the web. Smart move in my opinion and it fits with the new philosophy of going back to focus on what they are really good at. It’s also possible that with Neven Vision technology etc they may be on the verge of announcing some leaps forward in how we find video content online (that’s just my supposition).
January 25, 2007
20th Century Fox has served YouTube with a subpoena demanding that they disclose the identity of a user who uploaded episodes of hit drama 24 and The Simpsons. No news yet as to whether they have complied, but it would set a precedent which may help to make uploaders a little more wary of uploading copyrighted material.
Still no news on the YouTube anti-copyright development either…