YouTube just got a massive redesign and it looks a whole lot more… Googly. “The way you watch YouTube keeps changing, so we’re making a few tweaks to YouTube to keep up with you,” Google said in a post on its YouTube blog late Thursday. “Starting today you’ll see some changes to make it easier to find what you want to watch on YouTube and collect playlists to watch again and again.” YouTube’s new look definitely aligns better with the design and flow of other Google sites. While there’s bound to be some blowback from users initially — there always is — we think that they’ll come around to enjoy the new look soon enough. A couple more screenshots follow below. More →
For a brief period of time, the Internet at large served the consuming masses. For those who can recall the day the mainstream public discovered YouTube, you’ll fully grok this concept. Janitors, executives, students, engineers, hippies, and baby boomers all sat down to watch video after video (after video). In a way, this defined the consumption era. The public began yearning for home-based Internet services, not satisfied with having to report to work, a local library, or a coffee shop in order to catch up on the latest news and converse over AIM. The thirst for knowledge shaped the business models surrounding Internet service providers, but those days are long gone. Unfortunately for us, the ISPs haven’t yet realized it.
A decade ago, the average Internet user logged on in order to be quenched. They desired to consume news. To read articles. To watch multimedia. There were exceptions, of course, but the vast majority of those breaking into the Internet scene were doing so in order to swallow up content produced by professionals. Pros produce, the masses consume.
Because of that, asymmetry became an accepted Internet delivery method, but as the technology continues to empower mere mortals to produce richer and more engrossing content, I’m left to wonder: when will the upstream get the respect it deserves? More →
If ever something sounded like a dream job, it’s making $100,000 a year just from creating your own YouTube content. However, as a New York Times profile of YouTube celebrity Olga Kay makes clear, it’s a pretty nerve-wracking way to make a living. The trouble is that popular YouTube content creators can never really rest on their laurels since they face limitless competition from other YouTube videos and they have to constantly create new content just to make sure they aren’t forgotten. More →
It has been hard to escape the endless barrage of next-generation console coverage over the past several months. The launches of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 were accompanied by two of the more extensive marketing efforts of 2013, but it appears that Microsoft might have taken its strategy a step outside of legal boundaries. Ars Technica has rounded up evidence that shows Microsoft offered incentives to Machinima video partners for mentioning the Xbox One in their videos, but the coverage couldn’t be negative. More →
YouTube has been in hot water with its content creators and its viewership ever since Google+ integration began seeping into the site. Interaction between those who make videos and those who watch their videos became more difficult and awkward then ever before. Many YouTube creators simply turned off comments altogether as a sort of strike against the inadequate comments section that has replaced the perfectly functional system that had served the site for years. It was supposed to be just another way to persuade users to join Google+, but instead it caused a firestorm that hasn’t let up since. More →
The methods of ingesting music over the internet are nearly limitless. Some services offer nothing but endless radio stations, others let you pick and choose which songs you want to listen to, but none of them are quite as extensive as a simple search on YouTube. The only issue with trawling through YouTube for your favorite songs instead of simply starting up a Pandora station is the total lack of convenience. That’s where Whyd comes in. More →
Under constant pressure and foot-stamping from copyright holders, Google has implemented a new system within YouTube that automatically flags videos that may contain copyrighted material. The trouble, as Computer and Video Games reports, is that the new system is flagging a lot of gamers’ “Let’s Play” videos where they give multipart walkthroughs of popular video games overlapped with their own commentary. While such videos may technically violate gaming companies’ intellectual property rights, game publishers have long tolerated and even encouraged them since they’re great ways to promote games online.
Google will not launch a second music subscription service this year, people familiar with the matter told AllThingsD, as the company is not happy with the final product, which is now expected to arrive at some point in the first quarter of 2014. Not too long ago, code traces found in the Android YouTube app hinted that a YouTube music subscription service would be launched later this year, but it appears that Google decided only recently to postpone the launch. More →
Google has its own streaming music service now that “Google Play Music All Access” is available, but the company may soon look to double down and launch a separate streaming service aimed at a younger crowd. The company recently released an update to its YouTube app for Android, and the new build was subsequently picked apart and examined by developers. According to Android Police, several references to a “Music Pass” service were found in the app’s code along with references to background music playback, offline playback and an ad-free listening experience. Several earlier reports have stated that Google’s YouTube plans to launch its own music streaming service, and it looks as though the service’s debut is fast approaching.
It’s not shocking that Netflix and YouTube generate a lot of web traffic but it is somewhat surprising to learn just how much bandwidth they consume. AllThingsD points us to a new study from broadband service company Sandvine that estimates YouTube and Netflix combine to account for just over half of all peak-hour download traffic in the United States and around 45% of all total traffic including uploads. What makes this particularly interesting is how much more traffic Netflix generates compared with rival video streaming services such as Amazon and Hulu, which at peak hours combine to account for less than 3% of all U.S. traffic. Sandvine’s chart showing how much of all U.S. traffic major websites account for follows below. More →
Count YouTube cofounder Jawed Karim among those who’s not a fan of forcing YouTube commenters to have a Google+ account. As The Guardian notes, Karim this week posted a comment on his YouTube page asking “why the f— do I need a Google+ account to comment on a video?” Google has claimed that it’s requiring commenters to have Google+ accounts to help them “see posts at the top of the list from the video’s creator, popular personalities, engaged discussions about the video, and people in your Google+ Circles,” and thus deliver a more personalized experience. Even so, Google’s assurance that the new comments system is being put in place for users’ benefit is unlikely to quell critics who think the company is cynically trying to find yet another sneaky way to foist Google+ on everyone.
The music streaming market has become especially crowded with the addition of Apple’s iTunes Radio, but another major player in the online world is supposedly preparing its own service to complicate matters even further. Billboard reports that YouTube is close to launching its own premium music streaming service, complete with a subscription-based model and a free component, similar to Spotify. More →
Although Google turned in a very strong earnings performance last quarter, one of the few troublesome spots was the continued decline in the company’s cost-per-click rate that it charges to advertisers. One of the reasons for this decline has undoubtably been that Google has had more difficulty generating ad revenues for its mobile websites and applications, which are quickly replacing its desktop websites as the most popular way to access its services. More →