The Netherlands is to be the first European country to guarantee open and free access to the internet. Economic Affairs Minister Maxime Verhagen has embraced an opposition bill about ‘net neutrality’. In future, telecom operators will no longer be allowed to charge extra for internet services like Skype en YouTube. The bill has the support of a parliamentary majority. If the bill is adopted on Tuesday, it would mean the end for the plans of various telecom providers to charge users extra for services like Skype, Youtube. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services and streaming video on mobile phones would also no longer fall under existing subscription packages. Telecom providers would really prefer to go back to the old system under which their clients paid per MB. 4G The telecommunications industry says it really has no choice because the widespread use of free services is costing them too much. Data traffic has grown exponentially in the past few years. At the same time, telecom providers have seen revenue from telephony (both via landlines and via mobile phones) and text messaging take a nose-dive. The telecommunications industry says that unless new sources of revenue are found they will have no money to pay for the new hyper-fast 4G mobile network
In conjunction with Twitter and the CFJ journalism school (Centre de Formation des Journalistes), the international newswire Agence France-Presse (APF) has launched a YouTube channel dedicated to covering the 2012 French presidential elections. The channel hosts videos posted by political parties and tracks candidate popularity, but its main feature is an interface in which viewers can submit questions to candidates. The questions are then posed in interviews held by journalism students from CFJ. According to an article in Le Point, the channel is based on the American original “YouTube YouChoose08” election channel, which allowed viewers to post videos asking questions and candidates to post responses as well as campaign videos. However, the American press did not run the American presidential channel- YouTube created it. The APF’s election channel is considerably more controlled. The interviews are organized in two-week intervals, and journalism students act as the mediator between the viewers’ questions and the candidates. Furthermore, Le Point reported that other videos on the channel are uploaded by the APF or other news partners of YouTube, including France 24, Euronews, and BFM TV. The channel’s role is informative with interactive elements, but its content remains controlled by the press rather than YouTube users
YouTube is making its long expected foray into live streaming by launching an experimental trial with four new media partners. The new live streaming platform will be previewed in a two-day trial beginning Monday, but is expected to later grow considerably across the Google Inc.-owned website. Four YouTube partners will participate: the celebrity-focused Young Hollywood; the online television outlet Next New Networks; the how-to guide Howcast; and Rocketboom, the Internet culture vlog. For the last two years, YouTube has offered numerous events live, including a U2 concert, cricket matches in India and President Barack Obama’s first State of the Union address. But for all of those events, YouTube relied on third-party technology to enable the live webcasts. YouTube, though, is far from the first company to step into the streaming video space. Startups such as Ustream.tv, Justin.tv and Livestream have already established themselves. But YouTube remains the largest video platform on the Web and is expected to quickly become a considerable force in the rapidly growing live streaming video business. ComScore recently announced the amount of time American audiences spent watching the major live video publishers grew by 648 percent in the last year. The advertising possibilities are also good, since the average live streamed video view is 7 percent longer than the average online video view, according to ComScore.
What began as a clever marketing campaign has morphed into a viral web phenomenon, and the Old Spice Guy, Isaiah Mustafa, is milking it for all it’s worth. Mustafa’s clips on the Old Spice YouTube channel have racked up almost 55 million views, making it YouTube’s most viewed sponsored channel of all time. The Old Spice Guy, as he is known, is now taking viral web marketing to uncharted territory by uploading personal video responses to the bloggers, Twitter users and YouTubers who have commented on his clips. The shirtless towel-clad hunk with the baritone voice has even responded to random questions posed to him by Yahoo Answers users and created a thread on the Reddit link sharing site, answering queries there as well. Simon van Wyk, managing director of digital marketing agency Hothouse, said this was the first time he had seen this level of social media engagement in a marketing campaign. Mustafa has posted personalised video responses to everyone from Ellen Degeneres to Alyssa Milano to celebrity blogger Perez Hilton to even anonymous people on the internet. Dozens have been published so far with new clips going up every few minutes.
YouTube, a division of Google, is exploring a new way to get more high-quality clips on its site: financing amateur video creators.
On Friday morning at Vidcon, an inaugural gathering of the online video community, YouTube is announcing that it will create a $5 million Partner Grants Program, which will back emerging auteurs who are attracting growing audiences on its site.
YouTube, which recently turned 5, has been tremendously successful in capturing the homemade videos of the Flip-cam-armed filmmaker. But when it comes to more professionally produced video, apart from certain exceptions like music videos, far more material has gone to a rival, Hulu.com.
The grants program is designed to help change that. YouTube says it will reach out to creators whose work appeals to large audiences and mainstream advertisers, and who are adept at marketing their work across the Web. Average contributions will range from a few thousand to a few hundred thousand dollars.
The program is similar to efforts at other Internet companies to forge direct relationships with content creators, bypassing the traditional gatekeepers of the media business. Amazon.com, for example, has introduced a number of self-publishing tools on its Kindle platform and set a high royalty rate for authors.
“Ultimately the game has changed and people are throwing the rules out the window,” said George Strompolos, the partner development manager at YouTube. “Folks who 10 years ago couldn’t even get their content shared to friends across the street are now connecting with audiences around the world. We see that not only as a cute thing, where someone has a viral hit, we see these people as the next content creators, the next brand in original programming. It’s where our roots have always been and we are doubling down on that type of programming.”
Social media such as Facebook and Twitter or blogging sites have become powerful tools that influence what people buy, online researcher Nielsen said Wednesday, urging business to embrace the trend. Nearly three in four people worldwide who use the Internet have visited a social networking or blog, spending an average of almost six hours a month on them, The Nielsen Company said in a report. Of the seven biggest brands online globally, three are social media networking sites – Facebook, Wikipedia and YouTube – it said in its latest report on social media trends in the Asia Pacific region. According to Nielsen’s findings, online product reviews are the third most trusted source of information when consumers decide whether to purchase a product, coming after recommendations from friends and family. From China and India to Australia, online reviews are a major influence in buying electronics items, cosmetics, cars and food, among other things, it said.
Pakistani authorities on Friday put seven major websites, including Google and YouTube, under watch for containing material deemed offensive to Muslims, officials said. The Ministry of Information Technology is also blocking at least 17 links on Youtube and other websites for showing “blasphemous material.” “YouTube, Yahoo, Amazon, Bing, MSN, Hotmail and Google will be monitored with relation to anti-Islamic contents,” said Khurram Mehran, spokesman for the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority. The companies that own the affected sites are Google Inc., Microsoft, Yahoo and Amazon.com Inc.. But another official also made it clear the government had no intention of blocking major websites as they were important sources of education. The move to impose monitoring was undertaken three days after a court in the eastern city of Bahawalpur ordered the government to block YouTube and eight other sites in response to a petition arguing they were showing material “against the fundamental principles of Islam. The next hearing of the case is fixed for Monday. It is second time in a month that Pakistan has imposed such restrictions on internet. Last month, authorities acting on a court decision blocked social network Facebook, YouTube and others sites for almost two weeks amid anger over a page that encouraged users to post images of the Prophet Mohammad.
Publishing a video with copyrighted music requires a license for the song. And securing that can be a cumbersome task — track down the record label, make a deal — especially for amateurs just looking to post a video of the family vacation. But on Tuesday, the music licensing company Rumblefish is introducing a service that allows users to buy a license to a copyrighted song for $1.99. For that price, the user gets the full version of the song and can edit it as well. The new service, Friendly Music, can be used only for noncommercial purposes — like posting family or wedding videos online. Any commercial purpose, like including it in a video intended to sell a product, requires a different license. Google, which owns YouTube, patrols the use of copyrighted music on its video site, collaborated with Rumblefish for the new service. Last year, YouTube began deleting the audio on videos that contained a protected song. In 2007, it began offering a service, AudioSwap, that provides access to free music. Friendly Music will offer access to more than 35,000 songs, though none of them come from the four major labels. The company says that it hopes to have deals with what it is calling name artists in the coming months
Google’s YouTube video service saw record levels of traffic last month, according to research firm ComScore. The web research company said that in the month of May, YouTube served up roughly 14.6 videos in the US alone, a total of more than 100 video views per person. Both numbers were monthly records for the site in a single month. In total, ComScore estimated that users in the US viewed nearly 34 billion online videos, with YouTube and other Google sites accounting for almost 43 per cent of all views. ComScore found that 183 million unique viewers watched online video in May with each user averaging 186 million views. Of the total load, Google sites claimed 144 million users and an average of 101.2 views per person. A distant second on the rankings was Hulu. The commercial video site logged roughly 1.2 billion video views to claim a 3.5 per cent market share. Microsoft was third on the list with 642 million views, followed by Vevo and Viacom Digital video services.
YouTube has scored a legal victory in its copyright case with Viacom. A US district court has ruled that the video-sharing site and its parent company Google complied with the “safe harbour” requirements of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. The ruling strikes down Viacom’s USD 1bn legal action against YouTube, which the media giant accuses of profiting from trade in pirated videos of Viacom television programmes. Dating back to early 2007, Viacom had accused Google of allowing hundreds of thousands of Viacom-owned video clips to be posted to the site and gathering advertising profits from the video traffic. The case was among the largest of YouTube’s remaining legal battles, and had recently turned ugly when the two firms accused one another of blackmail and fabricating copyright infringement cases. Viacom said that it will be appealing the decision.