TIME NFL

The NFL Is Finally on YouTube

NFL: NFC Championship-Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks
January 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks tight end Luke Willson (82) catches a pass for a two point conversion against the defense of Green Bay Packers free safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (21) during the second half in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports - RTR4LX3U © USA Today Sports / Reuters

Its YouTube channel won't feature live streaming but will have analysis, non-live highlights and recaps

The National Football League and Google have partnered up to allow content and clips to be posted on YouTube.

The NFL YouTube channel, which has already launched, offers game previews, in-game highlights and recaps. It will not, at this point, include live-streaming, according to the Associated Press.

”The focus is on non-live highlights,” said NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy.

Under the deal, Google will pay a multi-million dollar up-front fee annually for the right to broadcast the videos and will split additional revenue with the NFL, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The NFL meticulously protects its video content and until this new agreement legal videos were only available on its website, or that of a broadcast partner.

Previously, transcendent moments like Odell Beckham Jr’s “greatest play ever” were uploaded to YouTube by amateur videographers pointing a camera (or more likely a camera-phone) at a television set. The official YouTube site already features a playlist called “Best of Odell Beckham Jr” where viewers can find a much higher quality version of his amazing catch.

[Associated Press]

TIME Media

YouTube Will Host Its Own Super Bowl Halftime Show

YouTube Harley Morenstein Streamy Awards
Internet personalities Harley Morenstein (L) and Lloyd Ahlquist speak at the 4th Annual Streamy Awards presented by Coca-Cola in Beverly Hills, Calif. on Sept. 7, 2014. Kevin Winter—Getty Images

The stream will include performances, stunts and fake advertisements

Looks like Katy Perry and Lenny Kravitz just got some competition: While the pop stars sing their hearts out during NBC’s broadcast of the Super Bowl, YouTube will be airing its own halftime show, starring Internet celebrities like Harley Morenstein, Freddie Wong and Toby Turner.

The stream will include performances, stunts and fake advertisements, Bloomberg reports, as well as the real ones, which are popular every year on the Google-owned video service. Last year, users spent 6.3 million hours watching Super Bowl ads on YouTube.

It remains to be seen whether this new show will draw viewers away from the TV or just add a second screen to young viewers’ Super Bowl experience.

[Bloomberg]

TIME Media

Here’s How Vimeo Is Poaching Some of YouTube’s Talent

YouTube
A picture shows a You Tube logo on December 4, 2012 during LeWeb Paris 2012 in Saint-Denis near Paris. AFP—AFP/Getty Images

Maker Studio stars will offer videos on Vimeo first in an exclusive timed window

Online video site Vimeo is aggressively recruiting some of YouTube’s talent.

The company has just signed a deal with Maker Studios, one of the biggest multichannel networks on YouTube, to bring some Maker videos to Vimeo first for an exclusive timed window. While most content on YouTube is free, the videos created through the Vimeo deal will be part of Vimeo on Demand, the site’s online store where it sells films and episodic content.

Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

Vimeo has long billed itself as a premium alternative to YouTube that caters to filmmakers. The site doesn’t show pre-roll ads, instead encouraging creators to charge viewers for their content in order to make money. Vimeo takes a 10% cut of video sales, a smaller portion than the 45% of ad revenue YouTube typically takes for videos hosted on its site.

Maker Studios, which was purchased by Disney for nearly $1 billion last year, counts among its ranks huge online stars like PewDiePie and Andrea Brooks (however, neither Maker nor Vimeo have yet disclosed which creators will be crafting videos as part of the deal). The Maker videos funded by Vimeo will cover a wide variety of genres and will be both short and long form, Vimeo spokeswoman Jessica Casano-Antonellis said in an email. The exclusivity window for different videos will vary, so the content could still end up on YouTube with ads at a later date. For now the initiaitve is only running through 2015.

The Maker-Vimeo partnership is the latest in a series of attacks on YouTube’s dominance of online video. A startup called Vessel is planning to offer paid subscriptions that give fans access to video creators’ content before it arrives on YouTube and Facebook has also reportedly been trying to recruit YouTube stars to make content for its fast-growing video platform. For its part, YouTube already offers creators the ability to charge money for their videos if their channels have at least 1,000 subscribers.

TIME Media

This Is the Craziest New Feature YouTube Has Added in Years

Gangnam Style Psy Breaks YouTube Counter
South Korean singer Park Jae-Sang, also known as Psy, speaks during a press conference after returning from a US trip, in Seoul on September 25, 2012. Kim Jae-Hwan—AFP/Getty Images

A totally new way to watch stuff may be on its way

Online video is about to become a lot more immersive. YouTube has plans to add 360-degree videos in the coming weeks, according to Gizmodo. The Google-owned video site isn’t yet divulging details on how the videos will work, but 360-degree videos on other sites operate similarly to panoramic photographs, allowing the user to click and drag across an image to pivot the camera angle as the video plays.

No word yet on whether this new feature will be compatible with the growing number of virtual reality devices headed to market. Google has its own low-tech VR device called Google Cardboard that could help YouTube’s 360-degree videos spring to life.

[Gizmodo]

TIME movies

Rogen and Franco Will Live-Tweet The Interview as It Hits iTunes

The platform joins Google Play, YouTube and XBox in offering the previously canceled movie

Correction appended Dec. 28, 2014

The Interview will be available for download on iTunes, Apple announced Sunday. The platform joins Google Play, YouTube and XBox in offering the previously canceled movie.

“We’re pleased to offer ‘The Interview’ for rental or purchase on the iTunes Store,” Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr told Reuters in a statement.

Though the film has largely been panned by critics, the movie’s stars remain upbeat about it on Twitter and elsewhere. The lead actors, James Franco and Seth Rogen, prepared to live-tweet a viewing of the movie at 5 p.m. E.T.

Read more: The Interview, the Movie You Almost Never Got to See

The Interview, which had its release canceled amid threats to attack theaters that showed it, ultimately opened in more than 300 primarily independent theaters Christmas Day and earned more than $1 million in box-office revenue. While the sum is significant, it is far less than it was expected to earn had it been released widely, and it remains to be seen whether Sony Pictures will be able to earn back the $44 million cost of making it.

The original version of this story misstated the start time for Rogen and Franco’s live tweets. It is 5 p.m. E.T.

TIME Music

YouTube Faces $1 Billion Lawsuit From Pharrell Williams, the Eagles and Others

Lawyers demand removal of around 20,000 videos

A representative for dozens of music superstars, including Pharrell Williams, is telling YouTube that it had better remove about 20,000 videos or face a $1 billion lawsuit.

Music-business heavyweight Irving Azoff, who founded the new legal group Global Music Rights, has told the video juggernaut that it does not have performance rights to thousands of songs by about 40 of his clients, including the Eagles, Chris Cornell and John Lennon, the Hollywood Reporter says.

Meanwhile Google, which is planning to launch Music Key — its own subscription music service to compete with Spotify and Pandora — has said it does have the rights, prompting concerns of a music-industry showdown.

The threat of a lawsuit against YouTube comes amid a broader debate about the rights of musicians in a freewheeling era of digital access to songs. In December, Consequence of Sound reported that Williams’ megahit, “Happy,” generated just $2,700 for 43 million plays on Pandora.

[THR]

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TIME viral

This Video of a Guy Proposing in a Photo Booth Is the Sweetest Thing You’ll See Today

"What do we do for this one? Smile?"

When Kevin Moran decided to propose to his high school sweetheart Tuesday, he didn’t employ a Broadway bound flashmob or get down on a knee in the center of a heart made up of 99 brand new iPhone 6s.

Rather, Moran took his girlfriend Molly to a photo booth to pop the question.

Watch the short, sweet and Internet approved video above.

TIME motherhood

YouTube CEO: America Needs Paid Maternity Leave

Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit - Day 2
Youtube CEO Susan Wojcicki speak onstage during "Who Owns Your Screen?" at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit on October 9, 2014 in San Francisco, California. (Kimberly White--Getty Images for Vanity Fair) Kimberly White—Getty Images for Vanity Fair

It's not just good for women, it's good for business

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal Wednesday reminding everyone that paid maternity leave isn’t just good for women, it’s good for business.

She cited a 2011 survey from California’s Center for Economic and Policy Research that found that, after California implemented paid leave, 91% of businesses said the policy had either a positive effect on profitability, or no effect at all. Wojcicki, who was the first Google employee to go on maternity leave and now runs YouTube, which is owned by Google, says she’s seen this firsthand:

That last point is one we’ve seen at Google. When we increased paid maternity leave to 18 from 12 weeks in 2007, the rate at which new moms left Google fell by 50%. (We also increased paternity leave to 12 weeks from seven, as we know that also has a positive effect on families and our business.) Mothers were able to take the time they needed to bond with their babies and return to their jobs feeling confident and ready. And it’s much better for Google’s bottom line—to avoid costly turnover, and to retain the valued expertise, skills and perspective of our employees who are mothers.

Best of all, mothers come back to the workforce with new insights. I know from experience that being a mother gave me a broader sense of purpose, more compassion and a better ability to prioritize and get things done efficiently. It also helped me understand the specific needs and concerns of mothers, who make most household spending decisions and control more than $2 trillion of purchasing power in the U.S.

As Wojcicki notes, paid maternity leave can reduce risk of post-partum depression, keep babies healthy, and encourage mothers to stay in the workplace, yet only 12% of private workers and 5% of low-income workers in the U.S. have access to these benefits. Every other developed nation in the world has government-mandated paid maternity leave, and when the UN‘s International Labor Organization surveyed the maternity leave policies of 185 nations, the U.S. was one of two countries that don’t guarantee paid maternity leave. Papua New Guinea is the other.

She wants America to get cracking on paid maternity leave, stat.

[WSJ]

TIME Advertising

How Facebook Is Going to Battle With YouTube

Facebook Said to Plan IPO Filing for as Early as Coming Week
In this file photo the Facebook Inc. logo is reflected in the eyeglasses of a user in this arranged photo in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011. Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Facebook is suddenly a serious player in video

Facebook is well on its way to developing its next big cash cow, and it has nothing to do with the social network’s splashy billion-dollar purchases of messaging and virtual reality startups.

This year, the company dusted off its oft-neglected video feature and quickly made auto-playing clips ubiquitous in users’ News Feeds (with a big assist from the wildly viral ALS Ice Bucket Challenge). People are now watching videos uploaded directly to Facebook one billion times per day — and that big number is starting to whet marketers’ appetites. As the social network ratchets up its plan to lure brands to place video ads on the site, its efforts could eventually threaten YouTube, which has dominated the online video space for nearly a decade.

This holiday season, Facebook is partnering with brands such as fashion design house Kate Spade and retailer Gap to develop targeted video ads that play automatically in users’ feeds. The Kate Spade spot, a two-and-half minute short starring Anna Kendrick, has managed to rack up 1.8 million views and 49,000 likes, comments and shares since launching in November. A YouTube version of the commercial released the same day has about 150,000 views. (Facebook’s view metrics automatically lean in the social network’s favor because videos auto-play by default and only have to be seen for three seconds to register as a view; a Google spokesperson says a YouTube video must be watched “many times longer” to count as a view).

Kate Spade’s new spot was the first time the brand used Facebook’s native video player instead just posting a YouTube link onto Facebook. Chief Marketing Officer Mary Beech says the company is happy with the results, which came from a mix of paid promotion and organic sharing by users. Kate Spade now intends to launch another video ad on Facebook in the spring. “Facebook has been wonderful in terms of the shares,” Beech says.

Facebook’s video pitch to marketers is much the same as it’s always been: thanks to the social network’s massive trove of user data, Facebook believes it can show video ads to precisely those people who will be most receptive to them. “[Marketers] are looking at Facebook to deliver very personalized messages,” says Nicolas Franchet, head of retail and e-commerce on Facebook’s global vertical marketing team. “Video is now one of the ways they can do that.”

Videos also give Facebook another key data point it can use to try to ferret out its users’ intent. For example, Kate Spade was able to serve ads for certain products featured in the Anna Kendrick commercial specifically to users who saw the video. “If you’ve viewed a video, you’ve certainly formed some sort of interest in the brand and so the brand can capitalize on that,” Franchet says.

While Facebook has found fast success with video, YouTube continues to lead in the space by many metrics. An analysis of 10 holiday ad campaigns by the advertising research firm Unruly found that that the commercials earned 13 million views on Facebook, but about 32 million on YouTube. The YouTube versions of the videos were also shared more across the Internet, gaining 630,000 shares compared to 530,000 shares for the Facebook versions. And in terms of raw usage, YouTube is still king—the video site had 4 billion views per day way back in 2012, compared to Facebook’s current 1 billion (YouTube no longer regularly discloses overall viewcounts, but the amount of content being uploaded per minute to the site has quintupled since 2012). Compared to Facebook’s videos, YouTube videos are easier to find weeks or months after they’ve been posted, and they’re easier to embed on websites or competing social networks.

“With YouTube watch time up 50% [year-over-year] and data showing that people are watching more ads than ever, advertisers are finding that their campaigns have staying power on YouTube,” a Google spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

But Facebook’s video ambitions are still young, and the company has some key advantages that previous YouTube competitors lacked. With more than 1 billion monthly users each, Facebook and YouTube already boast similar scale globally. Facebook also drives some portion of YouTube’s traffic and could use its control of the News Feed to give its own videos preference over YouTube ones (Facebook videos are already the only ones that auto-play, and they appear as larger posts within the News Feed). And Facebook has reportedly been trying to use its substantial amount of cash (its annual revenue now exceeds $11 billion) to poach YouTube stars to get them to make Facebook-exclusive content.

Still, experts say the two sites currently offer different video viewing experiences. “If you go to YouTube, you’re kind of in a serach mode. You kind of want to sit back and watch something,” says Debra Aho Williamson, a social media analyst at eMarketer “On Facebook, it’s all about discovery–almost serendipity. It’s kind of a different mindset.”

Brands will likely continue to experiment on both platforms. Kate Spade, for instance, used portions of that Anna Kendrick ad to create pre-roll spots to place on YouTube. But with finite ad dollars available, companies will have to make a conscious decision about where they spend their online video ad money. And for the first time in a long time, the answer isn’t necessarily YouTube by default.

TIME Social Media

This Is the Best New Feature YouTube Has Added in Years

YouTube
A picture shows a You Tube logo on December 4, 2012 during LeWeb Paris 2012 in Saint-Denis near Paris. AFP—AFP/Getty Images

Convert a video into a GIF in two mouseclicks

YouTube has quietly launched a new GIF creation feature that could trigger an explosion of looping, frenetic clips across the web.

The GIF creator tab, now available on a limited selection of videos, makes selecting and sharing a clip dangerously tempting. The feature is buried in the “Share” tab, beside the usual options to share by “Email” or “Embed.” A new tab labeled “GIF” shows the video laid out frame-by-frame like a film strip. Drag two sliding brackets around any 6 seconds worth of frames and voila, the GIF appears readymade along with shareable links.

The feature was first spotted by former Kickstarter CTO Andy Baio, who enthusiastically spread the news to his Twitter following. So far it only appears beneath a tiny subset of YouTube videos, including some from PBS Idea Channel and Epic Rap Battles of History. Fans of the GIF rejoice, and have patience.

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