February 9, 2012 by admin · Comments Off
Lana Del Rey, who likes to think of herself as a “gangsta Nancy Sinatra,” is the latest YouTube sensation to make it to the mainstream, but she’s still working out some of that transition’s kinks. Del Rey, whose off-stage name is Elizabeth “Lizzie” Grant, enthralled millions of YouTube viewers and has some impressive bragging rights when it comes to Internet fame and notoriety. She’s already performed on “Saturday Night Live” and has been on several magazine covers, like UK Vogue, to the dismay of quite a few.
Though the singer remains popular — the power of the social Web to generate interest is undisputed — some of the kinks the singer’s ironing out are major. For instance, she isn’t a very good live performer. This much was patently demonstrated during a January “SNL” show she appeared in: her singing and stage presence were unanimously panned. But music lovers and critics continue to write and show wordy consternation about what it is about the singer that irks and captivates. Perhaps it’s just her wavy hair.
For now, the same folks who propelled her music career forward on YouTube and indie blogs are the ones derailing her album tour. But given the immense interest audiences have shown, her second shot at touring can’t be too far off in the horizon.
January 16, 2012 by admin · Comments Off
At seven years old, and swaggering with all its 800 million unique monthly visitors, YouTube is on the verge of something new: original, non-amateur video content. The site even has a swank-ily revamped interface from which to present its offerings of polished content.
The video-sharing leviathan, whose parent company is Google, has gotten more than its feet wet in the waters of entertainment production by hiring professional writers, directors, and producers. One hundred-plus channels will be inaugurated, possibly before the summer, by these pioneers of professional YouTube content. Amy Poehler, the comedian pictured at the left, will be one of them.
John Seabrook has been keeping tabs on YouTube for some time, and he rendered his observations in a New Yorker essay that appeared today. According to Seabrook, YouTube is going after a larger chunk of the $60 billion advertisers shell out on television; they currently only spend $3 billion on the Web. But that’s not it; YouTube is also positioning itself to be able to sell its professional channels to television networks and the cable guys.
In the future YouTube is betting on, fifty percent of homes will be hooked up to view Web channels on their TVs. Without a doubt, the company Chad Hurley, Steven Chan, and Jawed Karim founded is also hoping its professional content will persuade users to stay on the site longer than the 15 minutes they’re currently spending there each day.
November 8, 2011 by admin · Comments Off
Disney Interactive Media and YouTube have agreed to jointly invest a total of $10 million to $15 million to turn out original video material online. Disney will be in charge of production (big surprise, there!) while both companies will share distribution credits. As of now, the plan is to set up a shared channel on the Internet’s most famous Tube. Media outlets are announcing that the deal will be revealed November 14th. Apparently, the new channel will also broadcast amateur video content that posted to YouTube — expect said material to be preselected and preapproved by Disney’s meticulous censor-editors.
So what does each company stand to gain from the deal? Commentators have not been hesitant to note that “credibility” in terms of production and quality is not something YouTube is particularly rife with, and that it’s something Disney can generously bring to the table. In a related vein, Disney Interactive’s website itself has been suffering from depleted relevance and allure. To youngsters, it seems irremediably lackluster when compared with the unexpected, if not exactly fantastically filmed treasures of YouTube. But at the core of it all, it’s clear that both companies seek to improve their individual bottom lines by teaming up on this project.
November 3, 2011 by admin · Comments Off
YouTube has been the property of Google for a good number of years now, but as its parent company reaches out for improved sociability and “sharing” features, the famed democratizing broadcaster of video content still has some maturation to undergo. To help YouTube achieve its full social potential, Google acquired the startup Fflick, along with its sharp development team. The goal is to have Fflick’s developers helm YouTube’s integration into Google+, the online behemoth’s newfangled social network.
Out of Fflick’s team of four developers, Ron Gorodetzky has been getting especially good press — Nathan Olivarez-Giles, a Los Angeles Times tech writer, recently profiled him. In the piece, Gorodetzky says that selling Fflick to Google, a mere six months after launching it, was not a decision he took lightly. Google zeroed in on Fflick’s ability to take social data and content — like tweets and online conversations about movies — to create useful applications. Fflick’s most prominent product was a movie recommendation website based on just such materials.
Although Gorodetzky did not divulge any technical details of how the integration of YouTube was going, he did mention that his bosses were trying to extract more useful information form YouTube comments. He also made it clear that Google had most definitely turned its focus to “sharing.”
October 18, 2011 by admin · Comments Off
Not too many people would contest YouTube’s assertion that it has a very large audience worldwide, but just for good measure, the six-year-old company is flaunting some figures: apparently it receives 800 million unique visitors from across the globe each month. But to its naked dismay, there’s a glaring incongruity between its huge audience and the percentage of ad dollars it’s getting from businesses. These latter folk are not ponying up the money because while 38 percent of their advertising dollars are doled out gladly for old-school tube publicity, only a paltry one percent allocation is made for online video.
YouTube is more than ready to tilt the balance. To do as much, the company has poached itself some new talent: Lucas Watson, former head of digital business strategy at Procter & Gamble. Watson is now vice president of online video global sales at YouTube. The regroup kindles the video-sharing site’s prospects for gaining more advertising money, but all is not all certain. While advertising companies are waking up and inviting people with online video knowledge on board their ships, YouTube is losing ground as the dominant force of personalized advertising through online video because television itself is hooking up to the web.
August 1, 2011 by admin · Comments Off
It’s more than likely that Asian characters are not super abundant on your living room’s TV screen. Well, that’s only if your TV still doesn’t connect to the internet. The New York Times is reporting that a new generation of Asian Americans is finding its voice on YouTube.
Among the most popular channels on the YT (get it together people!) are three whose owners are Asian American. Broadcasting all the way from Sin City, Ryan Higa has so far accumulated twenty-one years and 4.1 million channel subscribers. Ryan is Japanese American. Just what is he putting out on the Tube? A sketch comedy show. He only just recently lost the top spot as the channel with the most subscribers.
Not too far behind Higa is Michelle Phan. She’s twenty-four, Vietnamese American, lives in L.A. and has 1.5 subscribers on her makeup tutorial channel. Some other benefits she’s reaped from her YouTube fame? She obtained a position as a Lancôme spokeswoman after making it big on YouTube; before her internet star shot up Lancôme had the audacity to refuse to take her on to work glassy makeup counters.
What’s to account for the popularity of Asian Americans online? Professor Kent A. Ono told the NYT that it might have something to do with the fact that the Pew Research Center is reporting that Asian Americans are the demographic group with the most pronounced use of the internet: in 2010, 87 percent went online.
May 31, 2011 by admin · Comments Off
Last week, YouTube held a Content Creator Camp — its first — at the Google Manhattan Offices. During the camp, winners of a talent show sponsored by the Google-owned website got to hear expert advice on viral-video creation, audience-building, and brand-strengthening. The camp comprises an important element of YouTube’s latest effort to amass a big heap-up of novel video content of quality. Margaret Healy, a lead for strategic partnerships at YouTube, summarizes the effort’s direction: “We would like it if everyone who had the talent, interest and potential to gain an audience to come on YouTube and start a channel and make original content.”
Currently, YouTube uses its Partner Program to share advertising gains with video content creators with big audiences on the site. It’s reported that the Partner Program garnered 100 billion views and multi-million dollar profits in the last year alone. Next New Networks, a video production company bought by Google in March, has been tapped to provide production support to video content generators working under the Partner Program.
Although the last quarterly report showed a doubling of YouTube’s profits, the site remains well aware of the competition posed by its rivals like Hulu and Netflix, to name a few. Thankfully, for YouTube’s big effort, Samantha — real name still unknown — has just posted a viral video of a Bigfoot sighting in Spokane, Washington that’s got even the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization speaking out to the media. In a bit of a discredit to Samantha, however, they proclaim the sighting’s location to be historically unlikely.
February 10, 2010 by admin · Comments Off
In an effort to put pressure on the Iranian government to free the three American hikers who accidently crossed over the Iranian border six months ago, the “Free the Hikers” group continues to collect petition videos as the 200th day approaches, according to the YouTube Blog Citizen Tube. Led by Alex Fattal, brother of one of the three hikers, the “Free the Hikers” group has collected more than three dozen videos from people around the world including Nobel Prize winner Desmond Tutu.
Hikers Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal have been detained in Iran since July 31, 2009 for, according to their families, accidently crossing an unmarked border while hiking the mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan. Although Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last week suggested a swap of Iranians in the U.S. prisons for the three American hikers, BBC News reports that Secretary of State Hilary Clinton rejected the proposal saying that, “We believe they [the Iranian government] should unilaterally release our detained citizens.”
To join the important cause and create your own video to be shared on YouTube, please visit freethehikders.org.