Google News now features prominent news videos hosted at YouTube. Some news headlines now feature a small YouTube logo. Clicking on it triggers an embedded YouTube player with a news video.
Those videos are drawn from Google partners in the YouTube news channel.
The greater attention to YouTube move potentially increases the incentive for news organizations to work with YouTube. And, as CNET says, it makes Google News more of a hub for news consumption, rather than just a mechanism for referring readers and viewers to other sites.
Wildly Divergent Numbers On Hulu’s Audience
Nielsen reported 8.9 million visitors to Hulu in March, while another measurement firm, comScore, counted 42 million. “The wildly divergent numbers demonstrate the nascency of the market for online video measurement. It’s still the wild wild West,” said Rod David, a leader of the Interactive video practice at OgilvyInteractive.
So no one seems to know for sure how big the site’s audience is the Web’s most popular place for TV viewing. Nine million people a month or 42 million?
Obviously Hulu executives say Nielsen is undercounting the site’s visitors.
And given the growing importante of video advertising, the numbers are coming under more scrutiny. The research firm eMarketer projects that online video ads will account for more than a billion dollars of spending this year, up from $734 million last year.
Video Sites Dedicated To Categorize What is Worth Watching
On the Web there are video digital curators –either individuals, communities or Web services- that filter content and select what might be of interest to a larger audience.
For example, Nizmlab.com is a video sharing site managed by editors with good taste who categorize and ranks interesting and worth watching YouTube and Vimeo videos.
Chunnel.tv is another site. There’s also Videos Antville, a hub for music videos that has been around since 2002 and is powered by community submissions.
Other similar sites are TheDailyTube.com –whose 10 editors scour many sites to find the best new videos, AuditoriumA.com -a guided tour of the, WonderHowTo.com, and Todaysbigthing.com.
The iPhone 3.0 Will Include Sophisticated Streaming Video Technology
The 3.0 release of the iPhone operating system, due out June, will include much more sophisticated technology for streaming video. Right now, video on the iPhone uses progressive downloads (the phone starts downloading a file and starts playing it befote the transfer is complete). Streaming, which uses less bandwidth, can start faster and can be used for live events.
Right now there are 20 million users of iPhone. That is an attractive market for video. As expert say, “that’s more than Comcast”.
Since 2004, venture investors have put $5.1 billion into 828 Web start-up companies, and most of them are supported by ads, according to the National Venture Venture Capital Association. But now that advertisers have cut back their online spending, Web start-ups are searching for new ways to make money, like selling real, or virtual, goods or asking customers to buy subscriptions. And, according to the New York Times, venture capitalists who envision a sale of the company in the public markets are encouraging these efforts. Some firms say they consider only companies with one or two revenue streams in addition to advertising.
The latest and best example of success is OpenTable, a restaurant reservation site that makes money selling its software to restaurants and charging them $1 for each diner seated. Last week it became the first venture-backed company to go public in two years. The stock went up 43 percent the first day.
Other sites like Wetpaint.com, which allows anyone create a Web site free, now charges its big company customers, like HBO and Fox, a fee in exchange for providing extra services like site promotion and moderating readers forums. Also, smaller customers can pay to keep their site free of ads. And it is planning to add more paid services like storage for big files, personalized domains, and virtual goods. All these attemps to get new source streams come after rates for leftover ad space fell to 25 cents per thousand views from $1.
Pandora, an online radio site, now has 10 million listeners a month, and since ads are not enough, it has started a subscription service -for $3 a month listeners see and hear no ads and receive a desktop application and faster streaming.
Pandora's new model is called "freemium" -a mix of free and premium.
This model is becoming the most popular among Web start-ups.
Consultant firm eMarketer says that ad growth online grew 10.6 percent last year, and it will expand 4.5 percent this year. Advertisers are expected to spend less on display, classified and e-mail ads, and more on search and video ads.
On CDN Pricing, It Is Not Expected A Big Drop This Year
Pricing from the major CDN (or Content Delivery Networks) is getting pretty stable, without much decline, according to the analyst Dan Rayburn, especialist on this issue. Many of the contracts from the fourth quarter was for new business in the market; but those with renewing contracts saw on average about a 50 % decline in pricing from a year or more ago.
Another trend is that many of the major CDNs are giving volume discounts on lower tiers.
"Pricing is a factor but it is not the only factor for customers when signing contracts. For the quarter, the lowest pricing I saw in the market was still from newcomer BitGravity and the highest pricing was still from Akamai".
Akamai is still charging 20-25 % more than Limelight, Level 3 and CDNetworks.
"For 2009, I don't expect to see a big decline in pricing," Dan Rayburn says.
"CDNs have to multiply the volume of traffic on their network many times over before the next round of major pricing discount can take place. I think it will at least a year in the market before we see that happen."
Intel Launches Its Own Operating System, Called Moblin
Intel is launching a version of the open-source Linux operating system called Moblin, in a direct assault on Microsoft Windows. “This software resembles Windows or Apple’s Mac OS X to a negree, ” says The New York Times.
A polish second version of the software, which is in trials, will appear on a variety of networks this summer.
Intel says that Moblin is built with smartphones in mind. Intel’s main goal is to make its newest and low-power, low-cost Atom a success. For that, it needs Moblin because most of the cellphone software available today runs on chips whose architecture is different from Atom’s. A suplí of good software can make Atom a worthwhile choice for phone makers.
In the last few years, Intel’s investment in Linux has increased. Intel has hired some of the top Linux developers, as well as has bought open source software companies. Last year, it acquired OpenedHand, a company whose work has turned inte the base of the new Moblin user interface.
Intel thinks people are ready for something new on mobile devices, which are geared more to the Internet than to running desktop-style programs. This Moblin operating system reaches the Internet in about seven seconds.
Video Recording on G1 Google Android Phone (Cupcake update)
Google has added video recording capabilities to its Android operating system. This Android version 1.5, code-named Cupcake, also features video sharing via YouTube, email and MMS. The G1 phone (here the T-Mobile HTC phone) records 3gp videos encoded with the h.263 video codec.
There are two recording modes: High-quality offers a resolution of 352x288 and a 360 Kbps bit rate, while the low-quality setting (designated for MMS usage) comes with a resolution of 176x144 and a bit rate of 192 Kbps.
Some reviewer say that the camera on the G! Is not particularly good. Motion is pretty jerky and the colors are not great.
The killer app may be live streaming. Qik and similar companies can get implemented on the G1. Broadcasting live has a number of great potential uses.
Can anyone beat the iPhone?
“The global market for smartphones based on open source platforms including Android will reach 100 million units in three years”. That is the claim made by Panasonic’s director of mobile terminal business this week.
Panasonic is placing its bet on Android and other open-source platforms to aggressively compete with other smartphones, mainly iPhones and BlackBerrys.
Now the only Android phone from a major Japanese carrier in NTT’s HT-03A, made by HTC.
Accesing Web Video On Television Is A Big Business
Web-to-TV video streaming –meaning, any video coming from an Internet source as Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Xbox, Apple TV, Vudu…- is growing dramatically.
Studies suggest that in the next five years, the number of U.S. broadband households watching web video on TV will grow to 24 million from 2.5 million today.
Research firm In-Stat predicts that by 2013 revenue from web-to-TV streaming will hit $2.9 billion. Now, more than 40 percent of young adult U.S. households (ages 18-35) watch web video on their TV at least once a month.
One of the main drivers will be game consoles, as we saw from the 1 million Xbox subscribers who activated their Netflix streaming earlier this year.
20 Hours Of Video Uploaded Every Minute On YouTube
Every minute, 20 hours of video are now uploaded to YouTube. In mid-2007 it was six hours. This was announced this week in the new YouTube Biz Blog .
So YouTube is absorbing all the world’s video, also serving 5.5 billion streams a month.
In terms of audience and interaction, YouTube is the undeniable winner. In terms of revenues, and because of the money losing, the service was even called a “failure” by Time Magazine. In addition, experts say that it’s losing ground to Hulu.
Another announcement from YouTube: Video responses will be easier to upload. When a video is done playing, an icon will appear encouraging user to respond. Clicking the button, user’s webcam will be activated and thoughts will be easily added to the video discussion.
Yahoo Video Under a Lack of Direction
Yahoo Video division is facing a hard time, due to a lack of strategic direction. Many members of the team have quit or been laid off. Live-streaming service Yahoo Live as well as web video-editing service Jumpcut have been shut down. Its original content initiatives have been stop-and-go. Video delivery platform Maven Networks, acquired for $160 million last year, has been left to pasture.
In February Hulu knocked off Yahoo to become the No. 2 U.S. video site.
Mogulus Changes To LiveStream.com And Gets 1,000 pro-accounts
Mogulus has change its name to LiveStream.com. At the same time, it annnounced it’s signed up more than 1,000 pro accounts –which starts at $350 per month and include features such as monetization, analytics and HD- since launching in December.
The company says it has 250,000 total producer accounts.
Flash Video On Your Cellphone
Check out this browser, called Skyfire, for Windows and Symbian phones. It runs Flash video! It opens sites you couldn’t access befote. It is still in beta, andi it is not very fast. Of course it is free.
A Way To Watch Hulu outside the U.S.
There is a way to watch Hulu.com around the World, and it is using free VPN services and anonimous proxy tools. One is HotspotShield.com (despite many times Hulu blocks it). Other streaming sites are Megavideo, Supernovatube and Ninjavideo, along with torrent indexes.
It is known that Hulu is only officially available to users inside the U.S., due to all sorts of complicated legal and contractual reasons. Fortunately, geographic restrictions are difficult to enforce on the Internet.
ABC / Disney is joining Hulu.com, the third most popular video site on the Web, behind YouTube and Fox Interactive/My Space sites.
Now, three of the four big broadcast networks own stakes in Hulu. CBS has rejected all offers to join Hulu; they say they want to maintain control over the distribution of its shows online. (CBS distributes its shows on 300 video sites, including Joost, MSN and AOL.)
The deal is a blow to YouTube.
Hulu, which is 18 months old, displays free, high-quality versions of television shows and movies, supported by advertising. Advertisers consider that the experience on Hulu is superior than in YuTube.
ABC / Disney will take a 28 percent stake in Hulu, and will give Hulu around $25 million in marketing credit during broadcast shows.
ABC’s most shows will continue to be available on ABC.com. By distributing them on Hulu (and its partner sites, like MySpace and AOL.com), the goal is reaching Hulu’s much-larger audience of 42 million visitors a month.
Less Video and Photo Quality in Developing Countries
In the world there are 1.6 billion people with Internet access, but fewer than half of them have incomes high enough to interest major advertisers. In Asia, Middle East, and Latin America bandwidth is expensive and ad rates are low. Therefore, Internet companies who really want to make money “should shut off all those countries,” Michaello Volpi, CEO of Joost said in the New YTork Times.
Few companies have taken that drastic step, but many are exploring other ways to increase revenue or cut cost in developing countries.
My Space, with 45 percent of users overseas, is testing a feature for countries with slower Internet connections called Profile Lite. YouTube and Facebook are exploring the idea of decreasing the video and photo resolution, in an effort to reduce losses.
With many marketers questioning effectiveness of online ads, some ad-technology start-ups and Web publishers are creating new formats, changing payments models and measurement systems.
VideoEgg has launched a new product with a “cost per engagement” pricing model, in which marketers pay for an ad only when a consumer reacts to it. For example, when someone clicked on the ad or hovered a mouse over it, the ad expanded across the entire Web page, revealing a video, or other information. Of course, to create engagement you need to be creative.
Also, other companies like Eyeblaster and PointRoll have started to improve their technology on their ads.
On the other hand, Web publishers have started to redesign their pages pages, trying to boost demand and provide marketers with features they can’t buy through ad networks. A sample is a recent campaign for AT&T on MTV.com featuring a trivia game, whose prize was accessing to a secret vault of music videos.
Another active publisher is MSNBC.com
A new gossip site which scrolls horizontally makes a big splash
A celebrity gossip site called Wonderwall.com is a surprise hit. Created and operated for MSN by ta Hollywood powerhouse BermanBraun, got 6.4 million unique visitors during March, making it the fourth-ranked celebry site. Visitor spent an average of almost five minutes, looking at an average of 12.1 pages.
What is unique here is navigation. Wonderwall.com scrolls horizontally to emulate the flipping through a tabloid. This horizontal design has been created by Paco Vińoly, the company’s web designer. And since celebrity sites compete with essentially the same photos and news nuggets, packaging and sharp design makes all the difference.
Competitors in the gossip arena are Ho-hum, TMZ, E! Online, UsMagazine.com, People.com, Perez Hilton.
Now Wonderwall has become one of MSN’s more prominent offering to advertisers.
The site has is still in its testing phase, and has some bug, like pages occasionally seem to load very slowly or not at all.
Crackle and Metacafe cuts off user uploads
It has become obvious that there is no business on sharing revenues with video uploaders. This week Metacafe announced it was discontinuing its user revenue-sharing program; 60Frames suspended operations as a web studio; Crackle, formerly known as Grouper, said that will soon close off user video uploads.
This is the email sent to Crackle users yesterday:
“[B]eginning June 1, 2009, general video uploading will no longer be supported by Crackle. Videos that you have previously uploaded to Crackle may still be available for viewing by accessing your profile page while logged in to Crackle, or by those who have bookmarked them. Sharing of uploaded videos via the “send” function in the video player is no longer supported. Consider taking some time to bookmark videos that you would like to continue to view. This availability, however, may be temporary. You should plan accordingly. We apologize for any inconvenience this transition has caused you.”