Joost will compete to cable television but no to YouTube
Joost said it will be online sometime before this summer. Joost.com is meant to replicate the way viewers watch television at home, in a platform piracy-proof. It will stream for free programs in full-screen format in a TV-like experience. Users will be able to flip through channels everything from clips to entire episodes, while seeing links to websites and using a variety of applications as instant messaging, message boards, and news tickers. It won’t allow users to upload videos
“It’s not Web video; it’s TV, we are the world’s first broadcast-quality Internet television service,” one its founder said. Analysts say that Joost is not a competitor to YouTube but to cable television. They consider that Joost has the potential to change how consumers watch television on the Web.
Viacom programming (MTV, Comedy Central and VH1) will be available after the deal reached last month, and whose terms were not disclosed. The MTV dismissed to have clips on YouTube, and now is seeking to bring their websites up to Web 2.0 standards.
Joost will have content that is, for now, unavailable elsewhere on the Web.
More interactive opportunities in the redesigned USAToday.com
How would you design a web 2.0 newspaper? Take a look at the new redesigned USAToday.com, with more social functionalities than any newspaper. It is called networked journalism. “You\'re going to see USA TODAY journalists around the site: creating profiles, joining you in conversation, asking you for your thoughts and experiences around different stories, and looking to create connections that help build better journalism”, the newspaper says.
Users can create their own profiles, add friends and start their own blog, vote for stories, share and comment. Readers are also encouraged to upload photos. The most surprising feature is an aggregated list of the competitors’ headlines. There is a recommendation list on the home page, and most-commented stories are also ranked.
USA TODAY has integrated social-networking power from Pluck, an Austin-based technology start-up, and hand-crafted many other features. Video section is not very usable. And comments from readers have not been very encouraging. Main problem is the lack of compatibility with some versions of Firefox.
The Internet’s impact on journalism
What is the Internet’s impact on journalism? An extremely well-done examination of what’s happening to the news is conducted by PBS Frontline series, News Wars. From the turmoil at Tribune’s Los Angeles Times to the vanishing of old journalism boundaries thanks to the Internet media.
This is a mandatory viewing for Media industry, and it is online, for free.
Live TV service for Verizon mobile phones
The long-awaited next wave in cellular technology is coming. Verizon Wireless has launched a live TV service for mobile phones, featuring access to eight 24-hour channels:
CBS Mobile, Comedy Central, ESPN, Fox Mobile, MTV, NBC 2Go, NBC News 2Go and Nickelodeon.
The $15 to $25/month service went live in 20 markets including Seattle, Chicago, Las Vegas, Dallas and Denver. It requires a new handset capable of receiving the broadcast signal in addition to the regular cellular signal. The first dual-mode handset from Samsung costs $200.
At the same time, MobiTV of Sprint, which offers a similar service — although frequently at less quality — announced it had reached 2 million subscribers. Cingular/AT&T’s live TV service, MediaFlo, isn’t expected to launch until later this year.
The AP makes its video available to embed
The Associated Press has decided to allow people to embed its videos on their websites. The AP announced a deal with the syndication site TheNewsroom.com to distribute the clips on the web. The clips will be running pre-roll ads before their content.
In order to obtain the code necessary to embed videos users are required to provide a valid e-mail address to TheNewsroom.
TheNewsroom “provides a vehicle for AP to allow non-traditional customers to post individual stories, photos and video clips while maintaining control over its intellectual property,” said Jane Seagrave, VP and director of AP Digital in a prepared statement.
The video sites that pay the most
Which user video sites pay the most money? Blip.TV leads the list, with Revver close behind, according to Light Reading. Blip splits all advertising revenue generated from user content 50/50 with the users.
This is the scenario: If the site gets 1 million hits in one month, books $100,000 in total ad revenues, and your content on that site 10,000 page views and helps serve $5,000 worth of ads, you would earn $2,500 with Blip.TV and with Revver… and still nothing with YouTube. (They have announced that it will share revenue with user, but it has yet to disclose the details).
V-me, a new digital cable network in Spanish-language
A new national Spanish-language television network branded as V-Me has been launched this week in the U.S. It is backed by PBS, who took a minority stake. The Baeza Group, an Hispanic-owned merchant bank, is serving as lead investor in the network, with additional seed money being provided by venture capital outfit Syncom Funds.
Programming on the 24-hour network is divided into four genres: kids, life-style, factual, and movies/specials. According to V-me President Carmen Direnzo, the commitment to quality children’s content is what convinced PBS to invest in the network.
The Hispanic media marketplace is poised to explode, and V-me is trying to take advantage of it. V-me has initial distribution in 28 million homes in 18 markets featuring large Hispanic populations, among them New York, Miami, Los Angeles, San Diego and Denver.
The network launches as a 24-hour digital broadcast network presented by public television stations and carried on basic digital cable and satellite. It is programmed for the more than 30 million bi-lingual and Spanish-language dominant US Latinos.
Company revenues will come from the development and launch of strategic partnerships, the international syndication of its originally produced and co-produced programs, and sales of post-broadcast products such as DVDs and other program related products.
Now coming multi-touch screens
Fundamental advance in video field will be mature shortly. Watch this clip. Soon you will be able to interact with footage and material in multi-touch displays. One company, Perceptive Pixel, is working hard on it.
CNBC taps live webcams in show
The worlds of Web 2.0 and broadcast television are starting to converge. The primetime CNBC show Fast Money is encouraging viewers to hook up their webcams and ask a question live on the show. Viewers who want to participate send in an email, and producers then decide to pop on the air.
The technology is powered by WebEx on-demand platform, and the segment is sponsored by webcam-maker Logitech. According to CNBC, Fast Money is the first financial program to include viewer video as a component of a regular segment.
Great web-based tools for developers
There are many useful web-based tools for developers, designers and project managers. This website has assembled a great list of them.
Some of the best are project management applications Basecamp.com and Planix.com, business plan application PlanHQ, and Competitious.
Social networks everywhere
Social networks will soon be as ubiquitous as regular Web sites. Big corporations as Cisco, who bought this month Tribe.net, envision that those networks provide tools to let ordinary people, large companies and even presidential candidates, as Barack Obama, create social Web sites tailored for their own customers, friends, fans and employees.
MySpace and Facebook, with tens of millions of users, are the reference. But new social networking players like Ning.com, the latest venture of the Netscape co-creator Marc Andreessen, are allowing people to create their own communities.
New networks develop ways of communicating with niche audiences
Next New Networks, a New York-based start-up dedicated to micro-networks, has received $8 million in seed capital to begin a series of video-oriented Web sites on niche topics like do-it-yourself fashion, comic books, car racings and cartoons. This company, run and backed by former executives of MTV and Nickelodeon, is focusing on niche video combining its own programming with external contributions.
Now they have six Web sites, including Fast Lane Daily, which features a daily news program for auto enthusiasts, and ThreadBanger, which offers a five-minute weekly show with MTV-style anchors who discuss the homemade-clothing culture. Also they have Channel Frederator, a weekly program on animation, and VOD Cars , a collection of video clips from the car culture. Some experts consider that Next New Networks is challenging the idea that the chaotic terrain of sites like YouTube and MySpace can be a friendly place for advertisers.
Though it is beginning with just six Web sites, Next New Networks, with 13 employees, plans to begin or acquire 30 new shows in the next two years, each serving a specific hobbyist community. If the business flourishes, the plan is to expand to 100 programs in five years.
What will happen after Viacom’s $1 billion copyright lawsuit against YouTube?
Google’s YouTube was slapped with its first major copyright lawsuit. After demanding YouTube remove its clips on February 2nd, Viacom filed last week a $1 billion copyright infringement lawsuit against YouTube. The suit alleges that almost 160,000 unauthorized clips of Viacom’s programming have been available on YouTube and that these clips have been viewed more than 1.5 billion times.
The statement released by Viacom says: “YouTube is a significant, for-profit organization that has built a lucrative business out of exploiting the devotion of fans to others’ creative works in order to enrich itself and its corporate parent Google. Their business model, which is based on building traffic and selling advertising off of unlicensed content, is clearly illegal and is in obvious conflict with copyright laws. In fact, YouTube’s strategy has been to avoid taking proactive steps to curtail the infringement on its site, thus generating significant traffic and revenues for itself while shifting the entire burden - and high cost - of monitoring YouTube onto the victims of its infringement.”
Viacom’s $1 billion suit is a wake-up call for user video sites a test of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which provides a safe harbor against copyright liability if online service providers promptly remove copyrighted material when asked to do so. What will happen when users continue to upload copyrighted material faster than the site can remove it? Viacom alleges that the takedown orders and removals and resubmissions of content provide a lag time that YouTube is profiting on. Without filtering technology Google has a real legal challenge on its hands.
Hoping to become the Google of audio and video
A Silicon Valley start-up called Divvio.com hopes to become “the Google of audio and video”, and for that its technology searches several multimedia sites (YouTube, Grouper, iFilm, Google Video, etc.) and brings them into its own player. Divvio, which doesn’t own or license any content, has a Web-crawling in a beta test version.
This company, with 12 employees, is trying to set itself apart from Blinkx, Joost, MyWaves, Podshow and Truve, which aggregate different types of multimedia content from YouTube, MTV, ESPN, National Public Radio and thousand of other outlets. For that, Divvio offers a platform for letting users create profiles and rank content. Software monitors user behavior and rankings, and then recommends additional content..
TMZ.com will feature politicians and media in D.C.
TMZ.com, one of the most popular entertainment site on the Internet, will launch a spinoff site in DC called TMZDE and focused on lawmakers, administration officials and media personalities instead of Hollywood stars.
TMZ.com, which is now part of AOL Entertainment, grew out of a canceled TV show and became a success online due to sort of guerrilla approach to video –freelances equipped with mini-DV cams joining the paparazzi on streets of Hollywook- and freshly updated blog braking entertainment stories.
Flash Media Encoder for live broadcasting
Adobe has announced the release of Flash Media Encoder, a free Windows desktop program to streaming live using On2’s VP6 codec in combination with Flash Media Server or the Flash Video Streaming Service (FVSS). However, any live Flash on the web had to be encoded using the Sorenson Spark code.
Two big media companies, the News Corporation and NBC Universal, announced this week their joint venture to distribute video clips and entire shows and movies via a new Web site on an advertising-supported basis.
The venture, which does not have yet a name or a management team and is expected to start this summer, is a long-anticipated challenge to YouTube and other video sites. It has been conceived as a response to the popularity of YouTube-Google. The two companies have secured distribution deals with AOL, Yahoo, MSN and MySpace, four of the most popular destinations on the Internet (together they reach 96 percent of the Internet’s audience in the United States). Terms are undisclosed.
Those sites will feature the latest video clips and shows from their TV and film libraries for viewing on a free basis supported by advertising. Visitors to the site will also be able to edit the content and post their own videos. “For the first time, consumers will get professionally produced video delivered on the sites where they live,” said the president of the News Corporation.
Viacom, which sued YouTube for $1 billion, accusing it of copyright infringement, hasn’t decided so far to join the venture.
This is one of the boldest efforts yet by conventional media companies to try to maintain control over their content and advertising relationship on the freewheeling Web.
Watch CNN live for free on your home page
See how cool is this new widget created from an Amsterdam start up. It allows you watch live cable TV from a variety of channels such as CNN, MSNBC, ESPN, Al Jazeera, and CNBC.
It is available to embed even at your Google home page. It is featured as Google Gadgets for your webpage. The only problem is that it breaks U.S. copyright laws. So enjoy while it lasts.
MySpace imposes limits to widgets and software tools
MySpace, owned by the News Corporation, is imposing growing limits on the software tools, like music, video players and other widgets, that users can embed in their page, to ensure that his parent company can commercially capitalize on its 90 million visitors each month.
Many formerly enthusiastic MySpace users say that the new restrictions hamper their abilities to design their pages and promote new projects.
”Why shouldn’t they call it FoxSpace or RupertSpace? (…) We find it incredibly ironic and frustrating that a company that has built its assets on the back of its users, is turning around and telling people they can’t do anything that violates terms of service,” says the CEO of Indie911.
In the past, MySpace executives have said that the service failed to block companies like YouTube that began successful businesses from MySpace’s pages. “YouTube wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for MySpace. We’ve created companies on our back, ” said Fox Interactive Media.
MySpace and Fox are finding ways to exploit the growing widget economy. Fox Interactive Media introduced last year a service called Spring Widget. The service provides tools to help developers create widgets for use both on computer desktops and online networks like MySpace.
In a recent use of its technology, the studio behind the horror film “Dead Silence” used a Spring Widget tool on its promotional MySpace page to count down the minutes until the film’s release.
Apple TV, an iPod for your TV
Internet downloads are the future, and Apple has found a way to play them on the TV. Its solution is a box that can connect computers and TVs without wires called Apple TV, which finally went on sale last week for $300.
However, there are plenty of companies performing similar PC-to-TV bridging function, like Microsoft’s Xbox 360 ($400), and Netgear’s EVA8000 ($350). They both can stream photos, music and videos.
Apple TV, one-inch tall, 7.7 inches on a side, doesn’t work with traditional TV and requires a widescreen TV, preferably an HDTV (but it does not play HD video). It has only 40-gigabyte hard drive; so it holds about 50 hours of video. It doesn’t come with any cables.
Basically it’s an iPod for your TV. It copies the iTunes library (music, podcasts, TV shows, movies) from one Mac or PC on your wired or wireless home network to its hard drive.
Apple TV cannot record television shows like a TiVo. Menus and photos appear in spectacular high-definition, but not TV shows and movies, since all iTunes videos are in standard definition. Definitely, their approach is very limiting.