Steve Jobs announces MacBook Air + iTunes movie rentals at MacWorld

January 16, 2008

News: MacWorld is the annual pilgrimage for all the obsessed Mac devotees in the world. Steve Jobs’ keynote presentation is, of course, the main event. This year, Jobs announced a new super-thin laptop called the MacBook Air, as well as some tinkering with the disappointing AppleTV. Tech Crunch has the play-by-play.

As techdirt reports, another significant announcement was Apple’s entry into video rental market via iTunes. You can now rent movies through iTunes. Techdirt, though, questions Apple’s per-video rental fees, instead of the NetFlix “all you can eat” subscription plays. Techdirt also questions the use of DRM on the iTunes movies, something that has backfired in the music world — in part because Steve Jobs criticized it.

The new MacBook Air is priced at $1,799, which Tech Crunch says is too expensive.


Newteevee interviews Steve Chen

November 15, 2007

News:  Newteevee interviewed co-founder of YouTube Steve Chen.  The transcript is here.

Analysis:  The most revealing part of the discussion was Steve Chen’s explanation why YouTube isn’t improving the video quality of its site (to the level of other video sites).  Here’s the exchange:

LIZ: Have you watched HD online?

STEVE: I want to be watching HD on his couch, not online. The type of content that they have on the site — 30 seconds — where you have to do something proactive (click on the next bit).

Audience person yells out HD. She wants HD. Loudly. With claps.

STEVE: They haven’t disregarded HD, it’s more about getting people all over the world being able to watch it. In parallel, they can implement higher quality. Up until now, it’s been “good enough” — but we’re interested in promoting higher-quality.

My take:  I do wonder why it’s taking YouTube a while to upgrade the quality of video.    People tolerate lower quality video on YouTube because the site has far more videos than other sites.  But if you’d ask people, I’ll bet they’d prefer higher quality video on YouTube, at least to the level of some of the other video sites already out there.


Oprah on YouTube: YouTube changed the world

November 7, 2007

News: Oprah started out the show today on YouTube with this pronouncement:

“You know, there are a few inventions that I think kind of rock the world. Wouldn’t you agree? The telephone would be in there, right? I think about that every time I dial. There’s just 7 digits, and then you’re talking to somebody. The light bulb would have to be there. And the airplane, of course, because most of you got here by airplane. Of course, the computer, look at how our world has changed since the computer.

“And then there are a couple guys in their twenties who launched YOUTUBE! … [APPPLAUSE] And then it just exploded, virtually exploded. This website allows anybody to post a video and become world famous instantly. Over 200 million–MILLION!–videos are watched on YouTube every single day.”

Analysis: The show today was pretty amazing, as was Oprah. Oprah definitely gets it. She really gets the incredible power of YouTube. She’s not a techie, but she is perhaps the most astute media celebrity/mogul around. As I’ve been saying to anyone who will listen, YouTube is, hands down, the most important website in the 21st century. It is revolutionary. And now Oprah is a part of the revolution.

For all of my posts so far on Oprah, visit here.


Oprah interviews Chad + Steve of YouTube

November 6, 2007

Video click here.  Oprah conducts an excellent interview of co-founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen.  Oprah even has her own flip video camera. 

The best line by Oprah:  “The genius of [YouTube] is how simple it is, and the fact that it includes everybody.”  I couldn’t have put it better myself. 


Oprah launches the Oprah channel on YouTube

November 5, 2007

It’s official: Oprah today has launched her own YouTube channel.

Chad Hurley and Steve Chen welcomed Oprah to YouTube in the video below:

But it appears that Tyson, the skateboarding dog, stole the show on Oprah and YouTube:

Analysis:  I have so much to say about the importance of Oprah to YouTube that I don’t know even where to begin.  After I watch Tuesday’s Oprah show, I will be back with some further thoughts.  This may well be the biggest coup for YouTube, even bigger than’s Google’s acquisition last year.


Oprah does YouTube on Tuesday, with singing sensation Esmee Denters

November 3, 2007

News: How do you know you’ve finally arrived? Oprah Winfrey invites you to be on her show. This Tuesday, Oprah is devoting an entire show to YouTube and its celebrities, including Dutch singing sensation Esmee Denters. Oprah will eventually interview co-founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen (although I’m not sure it’s on the Tuesday show or not). Hands down, this is the single biggest moment for YouTube as a cultural phenomenon. As I’ve often said to those who ask me about YouTube, YouTube is, without a doubt, the most important website to come along in the 21st century. It has transformed entertainment, music, politics, and the way in which we disseminate information. No wonder that Oprah Winfrey — a phenomenon herself and whose No.1 talk show is seen by 49 million viewers a week — is featuring an entire show on YouTube.

oprah.jpg

Here’s Esmee’s announcement about being on Oprah:

Analysis: Being on the Oprah show will give YouTube incredible exposure to millions of people, especially women, who probably know next to nothing about YouTube. I wonder how Oprah became interested in YouTube. I can’t wait to watch the show! I love Esmee, but my favorite probably will be Tyson, the skateboarding dog.


Chad Hurley and Steve Chen meet Bill Clinton

October 24, 2007

News: Bill Clinton touts YouTube’s new non-profit program.  For more about the program, visit my earlier post.

Analysis: The Resident took this video. Apparently, the lighting was too strong because the picture looks washed out — until the very end, when the picture suddenly looks great.


The Real History of YouTube in 3 minutes

July 5, 2007

Hello, YouTube. Here’s my latest video. One thing about the title: the video was 3 minutes and 20 seconds, but I added credits at the end, which made it longer.

The original song at the end is “Song for Paige” by Lee Wadlinger, one of my former students. He’s great. Go here for more about his music: http://www.myspace.com/leewadlinger and http://nextbestrecords.com/

I hope to make a few more YouTube videos this month, so stay tuned.


BBC interview with Chad Hurley + Steve Chen

June 20, 2007

News:  A full write-up and video can be found here.


Video of the week: The real story behind YouTube’s founding

June 15, 2007

Chad Hurley and Steve Chen reveal the “secret sauce” behind YouTube.  A must see!


Steve Chen in Taiwan: YouTube on cellphones by year’s end

June 12, 2007

News:  Taiwanese American Steve Chen, co-founder of YouTube, spoke at a conference of tech leaders in Taiwan.  Chen said YouTube will be on cellphones by year’s end, and he suggested the possibility of a Taiwanese YouTube.  According to one report, Chen also spoke about Web 3.0:  “Chen said the Internet was moving from the so-called Web 2.0 era — user-generated content in a user-oriented environment — to the Web. 3.0 era, in which users are no longer tied to their PCs, while enjoying much more personalized and individualized content and services on the go.”


Webby Awards: YouTube co-founders, David Bowie, “lonelygirl15,” and “Ask a Ninja”

June 7, 2007

News: The ceremony for the Webby Awards (the so-called Oscars of the Internet) was held in New York. YouTube co-founders Chad Hurley and Steven Chen won the Person of the Year Award. Jessica Rose, who plays “lonelygirl15,” won for Best Actress. The Best Actor Award went to “Ask a Ninja” guys Kent Nichols and Douglas Sarine. Obviously, YouTube did well this year! (More)

David Bowie also won a lifetime achievement award for his web visual art work on Bowieart.

The best part of the evening: all acceptance speeches must be 5 words or less! Chad and Steve said, “YouTubers, this is for you.” Jessica said, “Being traditional and saying thanks.” Ask a Ninja guys said, “Thanks mom. Thanks Internet fans.” David Bowie got to say more because he’s David Bowie and just won a lifetime achievement award: “I only get five words? Sh*t, that was five. Four more there. That’s three. Two.” (more)


Mossberg interview w/ Chad Hurley + Steve Chen

May 31, 2007

News: WSJ writer Walt Mossberg interviewed the YouTube co-founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen.  According to a PC World account, Mossberg grilled the two cofounders about copyright issues.


YouTube founders bet on user-generated content over big media

May 20, 2007

News:  Here’s the highlight from the recent AP interview with YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen.  YouTube is betting on user-generated content (not big media productions) to be the mainstay of their business:

“What our users want to watch is themselves,” he said. “They don’t want to watch professionally produced content. There are so many people with cameras that have the opportunity to create their own content and so many more people with editing tools to tell their stories, we feel this is just the tip of the iceberg.”

Because of its emphasis on grainy, homemade videos, YouTube isn’t worried about the efforts of NBC Universal and News Corp. to launch their own Internet video channel. Nor are they concerned about another site, Joost, which has gained the backing of major media companies like Viacom and CBS. Those alternatives all seem interested in providing slick, lengthy videos akin to traditional television programming rather than invading YouTube’s niche of serving up two- to three-minute clips, Hurley said. “We have never been about full-length programming. We have never been about high quality. We don’t really see ourselves building the largest audience by moving in that direction.”


AP interview w/ Chad Hurley + Steve Chen

May 18, 2007

News:  Chad and Steve had an hour long interview at AP.  Highlights are here.  Duplicate copy w/ different photo here.