Archive for the ‘YouTube Video’ Category

The Monty Python Channel on YouTube

January 23, 2009

Have you checked out Monty Python’s YouTube channel? It’s got a selection of their brilliant (as always) clips, and it’s got links to buy their DVDs on Amazon. As those crazy Monty Python dudes put it,

“We’re letting you see absolutely everything for free. So there! But we want something in return. None of your driveling, mindless comments. Instead, we want you to click on the links, buy our movies & TV shows and soften our pain and disgust at being ripped off all these years.”

And you know what? Despite the entertainment industry’s constant cries about how bad they’re doing, it works. As we wrote yesterday, Monty Python’s DVDs climbed to No. 2 on Amazon’s Movies & TV bestsellers list, with increased sales of 23,000 percent.



Smaller screens, bigger opportunities

November 27, 2008

To appreciate how far online video has come, consider a few contrasts between the 2008 and 2004 elections.

In the 2008 campaign season, primary debates were co-sponsored by YouTube, and questions from the public were submitted through the pioneering video-sharing site.

In 2004, YouTube did not exist.

According to Visible Measures, in 2008, footage of Sen. Obama’s election night victory speech received 500 unique online placements within 36 hours. That encompassed unique video clips, as opposed to multiple embeds of the same clip. Further, videos of the speech were viewed more than 6.8 million times in the first 36 hours (not including live streams or feeds from broadcast sites other than

In 2004, the online video infrastructure could not have supported anywhere near that level of viral syndication.

A huge video market is developing online.

eMarketer projects that the US online video audience will grow to 190 million people by 2012—that will be 88% of the Internet user population.

US Online Video Viewers* and Online Video Advertising Viewers**, 2007-2012 (millions and % of Internet users)

“After some false starts with ill-fated transactional experiments, online video content owners and distributors are pursuing a strategy that closely follows the standard TV business model,” says Paul Verna, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the new report, Video Content: Harnessing a Mass Audience. “The bulk of online video programming is now supported by advertising, with ad formats ranging from in-stream ads—prerolls, midrolls and postrolls—to in-text and in-banner ads.”

Although many consumers are loath to sit through ads when watching online video, they seem even less willing to pay directly for content.

According to a study by The Diffusion Group (TDG), as ad-supported video grows the balance of the inventory will tilt toward longer-form content.

TDG analysts projected that in 2013, long-form video will represent 69.4% of ad revenues, up from 41.6% in 2008. Alternately, in the same timeframe, the share of short-form video will decline from 54.8% to 28.7%.

Of course, viewing online content on a television is still unwieldy, costly or both.

“Cable and satellite providers, ISPs, TV manufacturers and developers of set-top hardware have yet to come up with compelling solutions,” says Mr. Verna. “However, once this domino falls—and it is almost inevitable that it will—online video will take a major leap into an interconnected future.”

Pousser mémé dans sa Web TV

November 25, 2008

Bienvenue sur Amakusa TV, première chaîne de télé nippone sur Internet présentée par des mamies. Au Japon, pays de 36276 centenaires, Shino-chan 105 ans et Mi-chan 84 ans, comptent parmi les nouvelles coqueluches du PAF nippon.

Le studio de la chaîne est basé dans la baie de Shimabara, à Hondo, petite ville au sud ouest du Japon. Là les gens vivent de la pêche, de l’agriculture, de la riziculture ou de l’artisanat. Leur vie quotidienne et leur us et coutumes constituent le coeur des programmes d’Amakusa TV. Avec des mots simples et le sourire, les mamies en blouson rose commentent les affaires locales, dénonce la pollution maritime ou défend le patrimoine de la région.

Les trois mamies sont devenues des stars du YT nippon : 46000 internautes ont suivi leur reportage sur la pêche et la consommation d’étoiles de mer.

Insight into YouTube videos

March 28, 2008

I remember the first time a video I posted to YouTube cracked 100 views. I wasn’t so much surprised as curious: Who were these people? How did they find this video? Where did they come from?

Today we’re taking our first step towards answering these questions with YouTube Insight, a free tool that enables anyone with a YouTube account — users, partners, and advertisers — to view detailed statistics about the videos that they upload. For example, uploaders can see how often their videos are viewed in different geographic regions, as well as how popular they are relative to all videos in that market over a given period of time. You can also delve deeper into the lifecycle of your videos, like how long it takes for a video to become popular, and what happens to video views as popularity peaks. For now, you can find currently available metrics by clicking under the “About this Video” button under My account > Videos, Favorites, Playlists > Manage my Videos.

Insight gives the creators an inside look into the viewing trends of their videos on YouTube, and helps them to increase views and become more popular. Partners can evaluate metrics to better serve and understand their audiences, as well as increase ad revenue. And advertisers can study their metrics and successes to tailor their marketing — both on and off the site — and reach the right viewers. As a result, Insight turns YouTube into one of the world’s largest focus groups.

YouTube Purportedly Changes User-Clicking Habits

November 1, 2007

Here’s a common question on every online publisher’s mind: What are users most likely to click on when visiting a page? Is it an image? a headline? an ad?
Poynter’s latest Eyetrack study suggests users typically click on headlines while ignoring pictures almost entirely.

But a new clickmap tool, introduced by Carsten Andreasen, a media researcher at the Danish Broadcasting Corporation, finds YouTube may have changed this stubborn habit.

If clever adbuilders add YouTube-style “play” arrows to a screengrab instead of a simple image, user habits flip almost instantly.

While headlines normally beat images in terms of click attractiveness by 5 to 10 times, users click on images with the arrow overlay 2 to 3 times more than the headline, according to a post from Ernst Poulsen.

Getting the best from YouTube

October 21, 2007

There is much to like about YouTube. Its massive potential audience and simple functionality make it a very empowering platform for self broadcasting. But YouTube also has built-in shortcomings that can have serious impact on the quality of experience you can generate.

YouTube, like much of the video content on the web, uses the Flash Video (FLV) format and the On2 codec for end delivery. With little doubt the On2 codec delivers the best quality-to-size compression of any codec available for very low-bandwidth delivery. Not even AVC/h.264 can equal On2’s sharp and smooth clarity at extremely low bitrates taking nearly twice the bitrate to look as good. YouTube defaults 320×240 frames at about 200kbps and these image specs are certainly capable of delivering a respectable on-line image in the FLV format.

What has been a problem is YouTube’s insistent re-encoding to FLV. YouTube traditionally does not allow for uploading of video in FLV and this is compounded by the 100MB upload limit cap. Instead of a simple FLV, 20MB to 30MB upload for a 10 minute video; the user is forced to upload a lossy compressed video close 100MB in order to have some remnant of their original quality survive the re-compression process.

Now, however it seems this problem has been recently rectified by YouTube. While the YouTube Help pages declare the upload compliant formats as MPEG, AVI, MOV and WMV and even clearly state that “YouTube does not currently accept videos in Flash (.flv) format” we have found that you can in fact upload FLV format video which is then mounted on YouTube natively without re-compression. While it was certainly strange (and problematic) that YouTube did not allow for FLV upload in the past, it seems even stranger that when it did implement this feature it remains un-declared on the site.

YouTube’s upload guide states its preferred format for upload is DivX (which is itself a variant of MPEG-4) at 320×240 resolution. Not only does this make no mention of FLV upload possibility which avoids any re-compression that a format such as DivX would suffer as it is transcoded to FLV for delivery, but this part of the site also presents a rather strange recommendation. YouTube advises that video in hi-bitrate WMV format in resolutions higher than 320×240 should be converted to MPEG-4 and then re-sized down to 320×240…. What would prompt YouTube to recommend a double layer of heavy lossy compression (which MPEG-4 is) on an already data-starved image (such as WMV) is quite beyond me. The site suggests that this convoluted process will “help reduce the number of artifacts you end up with” but there is little logic or technical sense to the recommendation and in fact quite the opposite is true.

WMV is a lossy format usually running at less than 3mbps, depending on the source and what application or device made it. Unless you encode to an extremely high bitrate MPEG-4 (15-20mbps) the MPEG-4 is likewise a lossy compression. Then when the video goes to the YouTube servers it is re-compressed once more to Flash Video using the massively lossy On2 codec at just 200kbps. So why YouTube’s own Help site would recommend a double lossy re-compression process seems to defy logic. . .

The other issue with YouTube’s processing and delivery is related to frame size. Recommended specs are 320×240 and when YouTube re-compresses it does so to this sizing. But in displaying the media on the YouTube page, the video dimensions are inflated to 425×318. Subsequently the image, not displayed in its native resolution, appears overtly soft and unsharp with inevitable compression artifacts significantly exaggerated from their already under-nourished state.

And then there is the aspect ratio issue. Let’s be honest. 4:3 is dead. Widescreen is where it’s at. DV Widescreen, AVCHD, HDV are all native 16:9 and even many mobile phone cameras are going widescreen; that’s not to mention that its now nearly impossible to even buy a 4:3 TV or computer monitor or laptop – all have widescreen as standard. So why o’ why does YouTube not allow for widescreen video other than letterbox (which effectively just throws away 1/3 of your valuable screen real estate)? The simple step to offering 400×225 as the widescreen equivalent of 320×240 would be a huge step forward.

For some time the FLV format has suffered a bad rap as people looked to YouTube for examples of FLV encoding and scoffed at the overt compression artifacts. But the truth is that FLV/On2 delivers absolutely outstanding compressed quality eclipsing h.264 at ultra low bitrates especially on fine graphics such as text. Instead, it is YouTube’s processing that is the perpetrator of bad visual quality, not the format and codec of delivery.

One need only cruise the plethora of on-line video hosting sites to see virtually all the issues of YouTube’s process dispensed with. BlipTV for example allows for FLV upload as well as virtually any other major format. Moreover, BlipTV allows for multiple video formats to be available to the user at their choice, including the original upload format. Brightcove is another example, providing FLV upload and even a locally hosted free FLV conversion tool where the creator can set the bitrate. These are but two examples amid a plethora of others (Revver, Metacafe, etc) that don’t have the same restrictive encoding process of YouTube.

UC Berkeley Premieres Complete Lectures on YouTube

October 7, 2007

UC Berkeley has launched a channel on YouTube, where professors can post lectures on chemistry, physics, biology.

At, 300 hours of taped lectures are now freely available to the public — making Berkeley the first university to do so with full lectures.

The Making of YouTube

September 26, 2007

YouTube just released video clips documenting their early days — from founder Chad Hurley brainstorming on a whiteboard to the move into their first office. This is an inside peek into a piece of online video history.

YouTube fans rant, threaten to leave over new ads

August 27, 2007

A number of YouTube users have spoken out with their frustration and disappointment over the ads now appearing on their videos. Most users responding to a YouTube blog post asking for feedback gave the idea a resounding thumbs down.

Some respondents have voiced their opinions in the comments on the blog post announcing the appearance of the ads. One person made a video wherein he shared his opinion.

Reasons cited by those against the ads range from a lack of creativity to the loss of control the uploaders now have. At least a few people did point out that YouTube hosts their videos for free but it still has to pay for the server space, so ads aren’t all that bad.

YouTube Taps 50 Cent to Find Next Great Hip-Hop Star

August 2, 2007

YouTube is seeking the next hip-hop star in the US with the help of artists 50 Cent, Common and Polow da Don.

The competition, titled OntheRise Rap Edition, is a follow-up to last year’s Underground contest, and according to TechCrunch, three hip-hop stars will judge the acts that enter.

Unsigned artists who have big dreams have until August 17 to submit their demo video to YouTube. The final winner will be announced Sept. 7.


The future American Idol ?
The strategy of YouTube is cleared up. They become THE Channel.