Entries in YouTube (13)


New YouTube Paid Channels Could Shake Up Industry

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Google’s YouTube is venturing into the world of paid subscription content with Thursday’s announcement of a pilot run of paid channels. Subscription prices start at $.99 monthly, but many offer a discounted yearly rate.

The program is launching with channels from National Geographic Kids, the Professional Golfer’s Association, Ultimate Fighting Championship and HDNet. Every channel currently offered has a 14-day trial period with monthly billing beginning immediately after.

Revenue for YouTube content creators have, up to this point, been ad based, but most of the paid channels in this initial offering are ad-free. Channels have subscription price and advertising information clearly posted by the “Subscribe” button, so users will know whether the channel will contain ads before signing up.

“YouTube’s decision to allow channel operators to charge monthly subscriptions gives YouTube a huge competitive advantage over Netflix and Hulu when it come to new episodic programming,” TJ Walker, a media analyst and producer/host of YouTube news channel T. J. Walker News and Comment, told ABC News. “This could be the beginning of the end for traditional cable TV companies as well.”

Walker said he won’t be charging for his channel anytime soon, but certainly understands the desire for some YouTubers to create a sustainable business model by way of paid subscription offerings.

“If producers can reach viewers and charge them subscriptions directly through YouTube, it means a brave new world where middlemen like Netflix and Hulu get squeezed out and become as irrelevant as AOL dial-up service,” said Walker.

The Google TV platform, sold in the form of set-top boxes and televisions from companies like Sony and Vizio, features a dedicated YouTube app that supports the new paid channels.

A spokesperson for YouTube told ABC News, “Currently you can watch paid channels on many recent TVs running the new YouTube TV app, Xbox and Boxee devices.” The Apple TV is not yet supported, but the YouTube representative said, adding: “We’re working to expand this to more devices, as well as giving you the ability to subscribe to paid channels from these devices.”

Walker does believe, however, the ability to easily stream this YouTube content on the big screen means huge things moving forward.

“Younger people simply think in terms of video they want to watch when and wherever they want to watch it. And thanks to devices like Apple TV and iPhones that turn into great remote controls, the traditional TV set is now just another extension from the cell phone screen and the iPad screen,” Walker said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


PSY’s "Gangnam Style" Is $8M Blockbuster Hit on YouTube

Andreas Rentz/Getty Images for MTV(NEW YORK) -- PSY’s “Gangnam Style” video already holds the title as the most watched YouTube video of all time.  Now, Google’s revealing how those numbers translated into advertising revenue.

“It generated over $8 million in online advertising deals,” Nikesh Arora, the senior vice president and chief business officer at Google, said on Google’s earnings call Tuesday evening.  

The video broke a billion views late last year and as of Wednesday has 1.23 billion views.  Google said in November that “Gangnam Style” was still being watched between seven to ten million times every day.

According to Quartz, the video generates an average of 65 cents every time someone hits the play button.  The YouTube creator keeps half the money, which suggests PSY and his record company have made at least $4 million from YouTube so far.  

Of course, the South Korean rapper earned a lot more than that with revenue from downloads and other music distribution and, of course, now, his advertising deals.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Microsoft Fuels Antitrust Battle with Google

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Microsoft is making a last-ditch effort to get government regulators to crack down on Google.  

The Windows company claims Google is abusing its dominance of online search, online video and the lucrative smartphone market. Microsoft also says Google has been unfairly squashing competition to the detriment of consumers.  

Microsoft's claims come as regulators in the U.S. and Europe wrap up several probes into Google's business practices.  Microsoft is worried Google will settle with the governments without having to make any major changes.  

Microsoft Deputy General Counsel Dave Heiner wrote Wednesday in a blog post about Google's potential deal to ward off a lawsuit by the Federal Trade Commission.

"You might think that Google would be on its best behavior given it’s under the bright lights of regulatory scrutiny on two continents, particularly as it seeks to assure antitrust enforcers in the U.S. and Europe that it can be trusted on the basis of non-binding assurances that it will not abuse its market position further," Heiner wrote. "However, as we enter 2013, that is not the case."

One example, Heiner highlights, is that Google still has not allowed Microsoft to offer a fully featured YouTube app for the Windows Phone.  Microsoft has taken issue with Google's refusal to allow YouTube on the company's smartphone since at least 2011, according to the Wall Street Journal.

If Google can agree to make "'voluntary commitments' to reform its behavior," Heiner wrote, "the FTC may close its investigation," an outcome Microsoft hopes it won't see.

According to Heiner, any agreement between Google and the antitrust authorities "appears to be less demanding than the pledge the U.S. Department of Justice received from Apple and Microsoft nearly a year ago."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


A Tough Week for the Internet as Major Sites Experience Outages YORK) -- Last week it was YouTube for a few minutes, but this week it was more than just the streaming video service that wasn't available to Internet users.

Earlier this week, Amazon's Web Services went down causing sites that rely on Amazon's servers to go down too. Popular sites like Reddit, Pinterest, and Foursquare all experienced outages as a result. The outage lasted for a few hours on Tuesday, and naturally many took to Twitter to complain about the fact that people couldn't get to their services. Twitter itself experienced its fair share of outages.

On Friday a separate outage occurred. Google's App Engine, which powers other sites, along with Dropbox and Tumblr experienced outages. The outage lasted close to two hours for many of the services.

"At approximately 7:30 am Pacific time this morning, Google began experiencing slow performance and dropped connections from one of the components of App Engine. The symptoms that service users would experience include slow response and an inability to connect to services," Google wrote on its site.

Similarly Tumblr tweeted about the outage: "Tumblr is experiencing network problems following an issue with one of our uplink providers. We will return to full service shortly." Two hours later, Tumblr tweeted that the errors had been fixed and it was back online.

"It used to be back in the day, four or five years ago, systems weren't dependent on each other. But now even standard websites -- the things people go to all the time -- are made up of 50 or 100 services that are serving ads and tracking information," Brian Gracely, a Cloud computing expert and editor of, explained to ABC News. "If one of the big services or an Amazon or Google goes down it can affect hundreds of other services."

Tuesday and Friday's outages don't appear to be related, but according to the Internet Traffic Report, traffic across the web in North America declined Friday. The Next Web points out that the same report shows that there was a loss in packet data, which measures reliability of Internet connections.

These issues do not appear to be weather related either. However, many Internet providers will be preparing as Hurricane Sandy makes its way to the East Coast.

"These companies, like Google and Amazon, run the equivalent of what used to be 20th century factories. They are really large and occasionally they have an outage because they have a power failure or weather issues," Gracely said. "It happens periodically, and it used to happen more than we knew, but nowadays we are so connected we know about it more," told ABC News.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


YouTube Goes Down; Not Google’s Best Day

YouTube/ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Those who visited YouTube Thursday got a "500 Internal Server Error" starting at around 4:15 p.m. ET. The very popular video service went down for about 15 minutes Thursday afternoon. Service was restored for most by 4:30 p.m. ET.

“Some users encountered errors, or a slower than normal experience on YouTube today. Our engineers worked quickly to address the issue and fixed the problem within minutes. We’re sorry for any inconvenience this caused our users,” a Google spokesperson told ABC News.

The outage was just one of the hiccups for Google, the owner of YouTube, Thursday. The company mistakenly released its earnings results early Thursday morning, halting the stock and causing the price to take a hit. Ironically, YouTube went down as it was about to begin live streaming its earnings call on the service.

The outage was short-lived, but all it took was a few minutes for people to start airing their complaints on Twitter and asking others if it was universally down. Luckily for all those people, Twitter, which experienced its own outage a few months ago, stayed up for YouTube’s brief outage.

Turns out that even Google’s pretty server rooms aren’t foolproof.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


More People Getting Rich Off YouTube Videos

LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- People getting rich from posting videos on YouTube isn't news.  It's the rate at which it's happening.

"We have thousands of people, now, making six-figure incomes," says Bing Chen, head of YouTube's Partner Program, which helps amateur video-makers become prosperous.  "It's enough for them to create a sustainable business."

A year ago, Chen says, the number of people was just a few hundred.  Income earned by YouTube partners, he says, has doubled every year for the past four years.  And all kinds of people are cashing in -- Pilates instructors, musicians, dog trainers, comedians, chefs and cosmeticians.

He cites as a prime example Michelle Phan, 25, whose videos instruct women how to shop for and use cosmetics.  While Phan was still an art school student, Chen says, she began uploading videos as a hobby.  Today, she has more than two million YouTube subscribers.  Her videos have earned 624 million views.  

Not only is Phan making money, she has become, says Chen, "a global brand -- the premier destination for makeup tutorials."  Cosmetics company Lancome has hired her as its official "video makeup artist."

YouTube's partners make money several ways, says Chen.  Once their following grows above a certain threshold (the number differs according to each partner, Chen says), they start to get a percentage of the revenue YouTube owner Google gets from selling ads to run beside the partner's video.

Eric Letendre, The Amazing Dog Training Man, makes videos on such topics as "shedding" and "secrets of leash walking" that have earned 9.2 million views.  He gets $300 to $500 a month, he says, from ads that Google sells.  But he makes "a lot more" by using his YouTube channel to sell his books and services.

Blogilates, the channel for fitness- and Pilates-instructor Cassey Ho (16 million views), has an e-commerce feature through which she sells her own line of Pilates clothes and gym bags.  The revenue she gets from Google's ads, she says, varies depending on the number of views and the number of followers she attracts.

Is Ho making a six-figure income?

"Oh, absolutely," Ho says.  "Sometimes I can't believe it!"

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


YouTube Won’t Come on Next iPhone

File photo. iStockphoto/Thinkstock/YouTube(NEW YORK) -- Get a new iPhone or iPad and you’ll get a handful of preloaded apps — Apple’s Calculator, Newsstand, App Store, and YouTube, just to name a few. But when Apple releases the next version of its iOS software — iOS 6 — in the fall, the YouTube app won’t be on the list.

“Our license to include the YouTube app in iOS has ended. Customers can use YouTube in the Safari browser and Google is working on a new YouTube app to be on the App Store,” Apple’s Trudy Muller told ABC News. Google, which owns YouTube, didn’t immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

While the YouTube app will stay in iOS 5, those who update their iPhones or iPads to iOS 6 in the fall will no longer have the YouTube app out of the box; they’ll have to download it separately from the App Store. And YouTube isn’t the only Google app that will be missing in iOS 6 — Apple’s replacing Google Maps with its own Maps app, which was previewed earlier this summer.

Apple and Google have continued to battle it out in the mobile phone market as Apple sues Samsung for copying its products, including its hardware and software. Samsung’s phones and tablets all use Google’s Android operating system. AllThingsD suggests that Google might have already been compromising on the app with the lack of ads and missing content.

iOS 6 is expected to launch in September alongside the new iPhone (which many think will be called the iPhone 5). Google has not said when it plans to release its standalone YouTube app.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


How 'Charlie Bit Me,' the Most-Watched YouTube Clip Ever, Changed a Family's Fortunes

YouTube(LONDON) -- The rambunctious boys spinning wildly on the chair in the family living room look like any over-energized kids, until the one doing the spinning opens his month.

"Charlie, get off me," says 8-year-old Harry Davies-Carr.

But "Charlie" comes out as "Chaw-leeee" and suddenly there's a ring of familiarity.

Harry and his brother, 6-year-old Charlie Davies-Carr, are the stars of "Charlie Bit Me," the most-watched viral video on the Internet. The oh-so-cute video posted in 2007 runs just 56 seconds and shows the two boys -- then ages one and three -- playing in a chair. Harry tempts his little brother with a finger. Charlie promptly bites it and laughs mischievously.

A sweet little moment of innocence from Thames Valley, England, that has been viewed more than 436 million times on YouTube.

Their dad, Howard Davies-Carr, posted the video five years ago to share with the boys' godfather, who lives in Colorado.

"To me, it was just a lovely moment," he says.

Howard shared the link with family and friends. After a few weeks it had about 200 views. He let it languish for a few months.

"I went to YouTube to take it down," he remembers. "There was no need for it to stay on YouTube any longer. At that point, I realized that it had a few thousand views and then pretty much every day it was almost doubling in the number of views it was having, which I thought was rather strange. You know, why are all these people watching our video?"

What Howard Davies-Carr was witnessing was -- at the time -- a new Internet phenomenon: the viral video. With thousands of copies of the clip rocketing through cyberspace, he realized he had lost control of a private family moment. The genie was out of the bottle.

"So I had to make a decision: Is this something that we accept is us and do something more with or is it something we just park and say, 'That's really nothing to do with us,' and then everybody else will be exploiting it and making money from it?"

It wasn't until viewership hit 50 million that Howard discovered he could partner with YouTube to share ad revenue.

It's like they won the lottery. "Charlie Bit Me" has brought his family -- now four boys -- close to half a million dollars, all of it going to private schooling and eventually a college fund for the kids.

Their parents have resisted offers of American talk shows and public appearances and the boys remain oblivious to their inadvertent but enduring fame.

Five years later, they are sitting in that same chair, squirming and easily distracted. I ask if they know how many people have seen their little video.

"Three million," offers Harry.

"Eight million," adds Charlie, changing his answer quickly. "I mean 800 million." And he giggles.

It was the viral success of "Charlie Bit Me" that inspired London lawyer and music producer Damian Collier to start what he says is the world's first viral video management company. He calls it Viral Spiral.

"I call them 'accidental content owners' because 95 percent of them have found themselves in this position by mistake. They've uploaded a video to YouTube and there they are all of a sudden owning a valuable piece of copyright."

Viral Spiral has placed snippets of "Charlie Bit Me" in ads for Sprint, Google and Tripit. A Charlie iPhone app is in the works and so are Charlie children's books.

Howard Davies-Carr says people who own videos that unexpectedly go viral need to be careful.

"There are an awful lot of unscrupulous people out there who will try and take advantage of people that don't understand what they have."

Other owners of viral videos are catching on and cashing in, too. A Brazilian bank used a video of baby ripping up paper to promote paperless banking. An Internet security company uses laughing babies to promote protection. A contact lens company uses a cute wide-eyed baby to promote its lenses. And then there's Fenton the deer-chasing dog in London -- soon to be the subject of a children's book.

"Generally, we find that animals and babies the world over are popular," says Collier. "Those tend to be the videos that people gravitate towards, but there is no science to it, in truth."

And no viral video has come close to the viewership of "Charlie Bit Me."

Maybe it's Charlie's devilish laugh at the end that has won the world over.

"I don't quite understand why people keep watching it and why they find it so exciting, but people do," says Davies-Carr. "You know, people leave lovely comments back to us saying we watch this video almost every day."

He says he and his wife, Shelley, struggle with balancing their children's accidental good fortune with the pitfalls of fame.

"It's difficult. It's something I probably worry about every day," he says."If people want to watch them, that's great, but we've never gone out to say to people, you know, 'You should do something with the children. They should be in films or they should be models or this kind of stuff.' That's of no interest to us at all.

"When the boys get to 18, I'd like them to think back and think, 'O.K., I've got something in my life which is more than just what I was when I did the 'Charlie Bit Me' video.'"

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Georgia Couple Pleads With Bank of America in Music Video

Jin Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images(ATLANTA) -- A frustrated Georgia couple whose closing date for a Bank of America loan has been delayed three times decided to plead their case through song in a homemade music video that quickly caught the bank’s attention.

The couple, Ken and Meredith Williams, has been waiting 79 days to close a loan for a new house. They have been paying fines to the seller for the delays, including $50 a day for the past week.

“Bank of America you’re making me so mad. I want to buy this house, really bad,” Ken Williams sings in the video while playing the guitar. “My credit score is 798. Don’t worry ’cause my payments will never be late.”

Friday is their fourth scheduled closing date and, as of that morning, they had not yet heard from the bank. But it looks like their musical plea was a success. In a statement to ABC News, Bank of America spokeswoman Christina Beyer Toth said the following:

“We apologize for the delay in closing Mr. Williams’ loan. We are on target to close his loan today.  For the inconvenience, we have provided him a credit at closing.”

One of places where Williams sings in the video is in front of a Bank of America in Lawrenceville, while his wife dances around in the background.

Meredith Williams initially had the idea of putting together a timeline of all of the delays and using Twitter to get someone’s attention using Bank of America’s customer service Twitter account, @BofA_help.

“We’re more than qualified. We’re buying a really cheap house and it shouldn’t be really difficult,” Ken Williams told ABC News. “We just felt really powerless like we had no leverage.”

Ken Williams works in marketing and his wife works in development. Both work at large organizations in downtown Atlanta and wanted to move to a smaller house closer to work.

While Meredith Williams was writing the timeline, Ken Williams began writing the song. Meanwhile, their friends were bombarding the Twitter account with messages about the couple. They set up a blog with the timeline, their story and the video.

“We didn’t want to sound unreasonable,” he said. “A lot of people are mad at Bank of America for different reasons and I didn’t want to be another angry voice with profanity, so we thought we’d take a different angle with it.”

The upbeat video is both funny and direct.

“Why can’t a house go fast when a buyer’s got cash, pre-approval and two cats?” he sings. “It takes time, obviously, a month or even two but now we’re looking at three.”

Ken Williams made the video on Saturday and posted it to YouTube on Sunday afternoon. By 10 a.m. on Monday morning, Bank of America called the couple.

“I can certainly tell that a fire has been lit under the people who have been working on our loans,” Ken Williams said. “They’ve become very responsive all of a sudden.”

He said the matter “escalated really fast” and the couple received phone calls from a representative of the bank’s CEO.

Even though Ken Williams has not heard from the bank yet about today’s scheduled closing, he hopes this will be the big day.

“All I want is to have a home, and a front yard for my garden gnome. Bank you’ve got to close this loan!” Williams sings at the end of the song. “We can sign the papers and grab a beer, then you take my money for 30 years. Bank you’ve got to close this loan!”

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Report: YouTube Set to Launch TV-Like Channels

Jason Alden/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- YouTube is said to be expanding its business, with the goal of making your television obsolete.

The online video site is closing in on agreements to create the first of more than a dozen channels that will stream regularly scheduled content, according to The Wall Street Journal.  Programming will revolve around sports, fashion and other subjects.  The channels could debut early next year.

Google, which owns YouTube, would earn money from the channels through advertising, just as it does with popular videos it currently hosts.  The Wall Street Journal says Google's hope is to divert viewers' attention away from television programming and to their channels.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio