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Half of Americans will spy using cam phones

spy 225x300 Half of Americans will spy using cam phonesCameras have become the de rigeur feature for practically every portable electronic device out in the market today. You can find it in tablets, music players, and probably 99 percent of every phone that is being manufactured today. But such a benign tech feature is being used for more creepy purposes, if we’re to base it on a new survey released by Harris Interactive.

The survey, which was conducted with more than 2,300 people in the United States, revealed that half of American adults would have no qualms filming secret videos of other people without their knowledge. The surveyed people didn’t necessarily get into a situation or an opportunity to film or spy on others, but they did mention several scenarios that will compel them to bring out their smart phones and film other people. More →

YouTube Still King, Leaps Past 3 Billion Daily Views

youtubeinfographic 276x300 YouTube Still King, Leaps Past 3 Billion Daily ViewsAfter six years of existence Google’s social video king still remains on the thrown, as the YouTube team revealed a couple of impressive stats regarding the site’s popularity.

Today, more than 48 hours (two days worth) of video are uploaded to the site every minute, a 37% increase over the last six months and 100% over last year. [...]

We’re amazed that over this last weekend, you drove YouTube past the 3 billion views a day mark, a 50% increase over last year. That’s the equivalent of nearly half the world’s population watching a YouTube video each day, or every U.S. resident watching at least nine videos a day. (Official YouTube Blog)

Note: Emphasis theirs.

Despite fierce competition from rivals like Vimeo as well as Facebook, users and businesses continue to flock towards YouTube to power their videos online.

While YouTube has pioneered the path towards making videos more social, the service has yet to embrace live streaming en masse (although they do allow select partners to broadcast videos in real time).

Note: It will be interesting to see if rivals like Microsoft (who just purchased Qik) will make a second attempt to challenge YouTube in the future, or leave it up to Facebook to steal Google’s crown.

YouTube Live Streaming Sports Soon?

youtube YouTube Live Streaming Sports Soon?It looks like Google is on the verge of slaying another industry with reports that the search giant is attempting to live stream sporting events which include one popular sports league.

Google Inc.’s YouTube is in talks with the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League to show live games, building on the popularity of cricket’s Indian Premier League last year.

YouTube aims to show more live sports in the second half of the year, said Gautam Anand, Google’s director of content partnerships for Asia Pacific, in an interview in Seoul yesterday. Google is in talks with “most pro sports leagues” including NBA and NHL, as well as soccer leagues in Europe, Brian Suh, head of YouTube Partnership at Google’s Korean unit, said separately. (Bloomberg)

Thanks in part to services like Hulu, Netflix and online live news (at least on CNN and Fox), I barely watch television as it is with the exception of American Football (which you have to see live in order to enjoy the game).

There is no word on whether YouTube will live stream events upon mobile devices and large touchscreen devices (at least upon Android tablets), which would make it easier to watch ones team when a TV isn’t readily available.

While live streaming games online will not kill off television entirely (as there are probably more people with TV’s than internet service, at least within the US), it could help sporting leagues reach a larger audience, not to mention generate more revenue via mobile ads as well.

YouTube Gives Musicians Another Reason To Love Android

youtubeandroidapp YouTube Gives Musicians Another Reason To Love AndroidMusicians big and small will now have a new reason to rejoice about Android as Google has just provided a new way to generate some revenue off of the millions of users who watch their music videos everyday.

Starting today, we’re welcoming VEVO’s extensive library of official music videos from artists like Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Kanye West and U2 onto the YouTube 2.0 app for Android, available around the world. To watch these videos your mobile phone needs to be running Android 2.2 (Froyo).  [...]

In addition to these features, tens of thousands of YouTube partner videos will also now have pre-roll ads appear on the YouTube 2.0 app for Android. This not only expands distribution opportunities for partners like VEVO, but also opens up more revenue to partners distributing their content to mobile. Although we’ve tested ads on mobile over the years, this is our largest step in mobile monetization to date. (Official YouTube Blog)

Google also announced that the mobile ad market is on course to generate $1 billion in 2011, which should help convince a few artists to allow their music videos to be viewed upon mobile devices (as many artists only allow them to be viewed by desktops and notebooks).

With more users sporting an Android device, extending the ability to view their favorite videos upon their smartphone makes sense as it can help “starving artists” pay the bills (especially as the world climbs out of a recession).

YouTube Channels A Billion Subscriptions, Launches New Widget

youtube YouTube Channels A Billion Subscriptions, Launches New WidgetThe boys and girls at YouTube are celebrating reaching a billion subscriptions over various channels by releasing a new widget for web masters and bloggers alike.

Early on (we’re talking ’06 here, people!), the yellow subscribe button made its debut so the latest videos from your favorite channels could make a beeline to your inbox/eager eyes. Today, the button that’s been immortalized as a throw cushion hits an important landmark: it’s been clicked over one billion times. And who was the lucky channel to get that billionth hit? It was MachinimaSports, who are, not coincidentally, on our homepage on Friday. [...]

So what’s next for subscriptions? Turns out, we’ve got a spankin’ new widget that any video-maker can embed on his/her website or blog. It lets people subscribe to your YouTube channel with a single click, without having to leave your site to log into YouTube or to confirm their subscription. The entire process happens in the widget. (Official YouTube Blog)

YouTube seems to borrow a page (no pun intended) from Facebook, in which the company removes any barrier that may hinder a reader from subscribing to your videos.

Being the geeks that they are, the Google folks provided users with the raw html in order to create a widget upon one’s blog or website, although over the next few days we will hopefully see various widgets, plugins or modules created by third party developers (or perhaps even YouTube themselves).

YouTube’s billion subscriptions puts the site well ahead of Facebook (who currently boasts 500 million users), and with the social video king experimenting with live streaming we may see the day where YouTube reaches its 2 billionth subscriber in the not too distant future.

Is Google About To Kill Another Industry? (YouTube Live Stream)

youtube Is Google About To Kill Another Industry? (YouTube Live Stream)After allowing users to upload longer videos to YouTube, Google has announced to the world that they will be testing out a new video service which has the potential of (once again) disrupting an entire industry.

Today and tomorrow, tune in as we open a new chapter of YouTube live streaming. Starting at 8:00 a.m. PT, we will begin a limited trial of a new live streaming platform in conjunction with four of our partners: Howcast, Next New Networks, Rocketboom and Young Hollywood.

This new platform integrates live streaming directly into YouTube channels; all broadcasters need is a webcam or external USB/FireWire camera. Included in the test is a “Live Comments” module which lets you engage with the broadcaster and the broader YouTube community. For the purpose of the trial, this offering will only be available today and tomorrow. (Official YouTube Blog)

More →

YouTube Not Welcome In Germany? (Copyright)

youtube YouTube Not Welcome In Germany? (Copyright)After knocking out Viacom in the US over copyrighted videos submitted by users, it looks as if the German courts did not rule in YouTube’s favor.

Google Inc.’s YouTube video service lost a Hamburg court ruling over copyrighted video material that was posted online without permission for rebroadcast.

YouTube may be liable for damages involving material shown in violation of copyright law, the Hamburg Regional Court said today in an e-mailed statement. (SFGate.com)

Even though Google has a fairly strong content ID service, it seems as if a few videos sneaked through its defenses (thus the reason for the lawsuit).

Google is already appealing the ruling, which has the potential of handicapping not only YouTube, but every other hosting service in the country (as manually pre-screening every user submitted content could stall the growth of many German tech companies).

Hopefully the higher courts will be able to see YouTube’s reasoning (or rather the reasoning behind America’s Digital Millenium Copyright Act) lest Germans lose out on one of the largest video sites on the web.

YouTube Grants Users 15 Minutes Of Fame (Provided You Can Create It)

youtube YouTube Grants Users 15 Minutes Of Fame (Provided You Can Create It)After receiving numerous complaints over the 10 minute limit, it looks as if the boys and girls at Google are going to expand everyone’s current video allotment by an extra 300 seconds (or 5 minutes for you time geeks).

We want YouTube to be the best place to upload video. Without question, the number one requested feature by our creators is to upload videos longer than 10 minutes. We’ve heard you, and today we’re pleased to announce that we’ve increased the upload limit to 15 minutes.

We encourage you to take full advantage of this new time limit by making a video of your “15 minutes of fame.” Imagine that this video is all the world will ever know about you: what would you want to communicate? What will be the enduring stamp you’ve left on us all? Tag your video with “yt15minutes,” upload it by Wednesday, August 4, and we’ll select a handful of people to truly gain their 15 minutes of fame by featuring them on the YouTube homepage in a future spotlight. (Official YouTube Blog)

YouTube goes on to explain that the reason they are expanding the time limits is due to the success of their content ID system which prevents users from uploading pirated content (which Viacom sued YouTube over and lost).

Although YouTube has yet to attract some of the premium content that is becoming common place amongst rivals (like Hulu), the extra 5 minuets may attract short film creators who can help bring more quality videos to the Youtube universe (beyond dogs on skateboards and deodorant commercials).

Google To Finally Kill Off YouTube Accounts

youtube Google To Finally Kill Off YouTube AccountsAfter buying YouTube in 2006, it looks as if the search engine giant has finally decided to do away with YouTube accounts, and force all of their users to accept assimilation into the Google account universe or find a new home.

In May 2009, we started requiring all new YouTube usernames to be powered by Google Accounts.

Now, we’re gradually asking all remaining pre-May 2009 users still using the older YouTube account system to connect a Google Account to their YouTube username. For now, it’s an optional step, but eventually it’ll be required in order to continue using your YouTube username. (Official YouTube Blog)

Although the Google account assimilation makes sense, a few stubborn YouTube elders (or those who had a YouTube account before Google took over) will probably not be thrilled with this news, despite the logic of a universal account system.

This will probably help free up more time and energy for Google’s security team as well (who are probably tired of supporting dual account logins).

YouTube Mobile Makes Native iPhone App Irrelevant

youtubehtml5 489x246 YouTube Mobile Makes Native iPhone App Irrelevant

It looks like the boys and girls at YouTube have for the first time (at least in my iLife) demonstrated how a web app can be superior to a native app on the iPhone.

Lovers of the iDevice visiting m.youtube.com will be greeted with a page that not only offers users more features than the (stagnant) native app, but also displays videos in higher quality as well. More →