June 28, 2007
News: Latest survey from Hitwise (which measures unique visitors to a site) shows YouTube with 60.2% of the U.S. traffic in May.
MySpace was second at 16.08% of the traffic. Google Video, 7.8%. Yahoo, 2.77%. MSN, 2.09%.
This means that YouTube has more U.S. traffic than the next 64 competitors in the market combined!
Analysis: For the companies looking for a “YouTube killer,” good luck.
June 27, 2007
News: Many media companies are plotting to create the so-called “YouTube killer,” the site that will take down YouTube in videos. Today, it’s MySpace’s turn. MySpace is launching a new, freestanding site called MySpaceTV.com. More about the new site here. Here are the key features:
1. Free standing website
2. Greater attempt to feature professional content over amateur ones. Sony is exclusively airing its “Minisodes” of Different Strokes, Silver Spoons, and Charlie’s Angels — which condense an episode into 5 minutes or less.
Analysis: MySpace is a serious competitor to YouTube. I would place it as No.2. As far as the changes go, I have a mixed review. First, I think having a free-standing site is a smart idea. That will help distinguish MySpaceTV from what most people will think about when they hear “MySpace,” the social networking site. On the other hand, I don’t like the design of the new website. It looks almost exactly like the regular MySpace website. MySpace needs to distinguish the look of the site more, so that people know it’s about videos. As it is, the site’s so cluttered. There’s just too much going on there to crowd out the video component. Finally, if MySpace wants to take a gamble on professional content over amateur content, then it needs to highlight the professional content on the front page. At least in my quick review, I couldn’t find any mention of Sony’s “Minisodes” of Different Strokes, Silver Spoons, and Charlie’s Angels. Although I probably wouldn’t bet against amateur user-generated content myself, I really love the Minisodes idea.
Here’s one Minisode video of Charlie’s Angels. If you go to MySpaceTV and search for the shows, you can find more.
May 2, 2007
I have just seen the coolest video interface ever made. Once you scroll over, the video images scroll over with your mouse. The look is similar to Windows Vista, only better. You can find it on the Washington Post website, for a new feature called “On Being.” Every Wednesday, the Post will interview people and post their videos discussing life; you can also add your own comment. It’s meant to increase community, aka “social networking” in the Web 2.0 world.
March 5, 2007
News: Washington Post writer Sara Kehaulani Goo has written an article titled “YouTube struggles despite dominance.” According to the article, Josh Bernoff of Forrester Research said, “‘I give them a C-minus [in dealmaking]. When you negotiate with a media company, you have to demonstrate respect for their content.” He said YouTube needed to use more sophisticated technology to prevent the unauthorized uploads, which would in turn help foster more trust between YouTube and the media companies. ‘There is software out there — it’s not perfect, but it’s out there.'”
Analysis: I agree there were a few hiccups in the past month with YouTube. Lost deals with CBS and Viacom, plus rumblings from Universal. But Google CEO Eric Schmidt did seem to right the ship by his public comments. And I still think it’s significant no big media content provider has sued YouTube yet. This may be because, as Scott Kessler of Standard & Poor’s said, “If these companies want to distribute their video content online for free or supported by advertising, they need YouTube more than YouTube needs them.”
December 14, 2006
News: The major TV networks or their parent companies reportedly (according to WSJ) are considering developing their own joint video site to compete with YouTube. Nothing’s definite yet, but at least there have been discussions.
Rick Aristotle Munarriz has doubts about such a venture’s likelihood of success, if attempted, in a wonderfully written article in the Motley Fool. One of the main criticisms is that the TV networks will have a hard time competing with truly user-created content or user-generated buzz for viral videos. The TV networks will be more of a top-down-approach, transplanting parts of their TV shows online, probably with ads that annoy users. But YouTube is more about mash-up, letting users do pretty much what their little hearts desire.
Analysis: Although I share the Motley Fool’s skepticism, I have to say that, in principle, I support the general idea of competition and letting the TV networks put out their own video website. They may be slow to the game, but they have a right to play. Let’s hope they give the fans (meaning users) something they really want.
December 5, 2006
News: At the ITU Telecom conference, Cisco CEO John Chambers predicted that businesses will follow the YouTube model in facilitating and promoting user generated content. Chambers suggested that we haven’t seen nothing yet in terms of the potential for businesses to foster user created content. “That’s our children – wait ’til we get hold of it. We will change business models on this. In the future it will be about producing it yourself” as businesses develop technologies that serve as collaboration tools. (More from CNET)
Analysis: This is a pretty bold statement from the CEO of Cisco. I would love to see what Chambers says happen. If more businesses develop technologies to promote user created content, that would be great for society. Of course, the new technologies, whatever they are, must allow for sufficient breathing room for users to create their own stuff. Otherwise, there’s a danger that a big business-driven environment for “user” created content will end up being nothing more than big business’s creation.
November 15, 2006
News: Is this irrational exuberance or what? Credit Suisse (which had worked on the YouTube deal, but now can cover Google since the deal is done) has an analyst Heath Terry, who set the target price of Google at $600/share (it’s currently at $491.93/share. Terry explains (see ZDNet):
The YouTube acquisition is certainly not without its own risks. The most significant issue facing Google following this acquisition is the potential for a deluge of litigation concerning copyrighted content on YouTube. A protracted legal battle in the courts could result in millions of dollars of legal expenses and settlement outside the courts is also a possibility. The worst case scenario can be seen in the fates of companies like Napster and MP3.com. Our analysis of the top 100 most viewed videos so far in November indicate that under 35% of these videos (by total views and number of videos) potentially contain contentious copyrighted material. This means that the majority of videos on the site are truly user-generated content. As a result, we believe the impact of Google/YouTube removing copyrighted content may be less than feared. However, it is unclear how much of YouTube’s traffic comes to site primarily for copyrighted content rather than user-generated videos.
Terry’s bet: The monetization of YouTube will outrun the copyright gnats. His price target for Google: $600.
Analysis: Wow. The stat on the percentage of user-created material that is the most popular (65% of the TOP 100 videos) is pretty amazing. If true, it shows the huge potential for ordinary people to find viewers of their works on YouTube.