YouTube reportedly testing new video player design with mobile inspirations

Images via Google Operating System

Google is working on a redesigned desktop video player that takes its influence from the site’s mobile applications, a new report suggests. The player, seen above and below, features transparent playback controls overlayed directly on the video rather than the opaque black bar we’ve gotten used to over the past few years.

Like the current player, the controls disappear after a few seconds, leaving the full space dedicated to the video. Controls for settings like autoplay on playlists, annotations, and video speed and quality have also gotten a bit of a makeover, as seen below.

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YouTube Kids app “deceptive to children,” say consumer groups in FTC complaint

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The YouTube Kids app, launched in February to provide access to family-friendly videos on both Android and iOS, has been accused by around a dozen consumer groups of being “deceptive to children” in the way it mixes ads into programming. The NY Times reports that a formal complaint to the Federal Trade Commission is expected to be filed today.

[The complaint] argues, in essence, that YouTube is using advertising tactics like “host selling” – having cartoon characters sell products inside their show – that would be illegal if they were on television instead of online.

The groups argue that the app should be held to the same standards that apply to TV shows …  Read more

YouTube experimenting with 4K at 60 FPS, and you can watch a few demo videos now

How Paintballs Are Made at G.I. Sportz - YouTube 2015-03-27 10-45-36

YouTube has been beefing up the capabilities of its video player for quite some time now, and it first introduced 60 FPS support in June of last year. Now, some videos on the site seem to be able to play back not just at 60 FPS, but at 60 FPS in super high-def 4K resolution. It looks to be an experiment that Google is slowly introducing, as only a handful of hand picked videos are capable of this at the moment…

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Report: YouTube planning to relaunch live streaming efforts w/ focus on esports

youtube-logoAccording to a report from The Daily Dot, Google is preparing to relaunch the live streaming platform aspect of YouTube with a renewed focus on gaming. YouTube is reportedly looking to take on popular streaming service Twitch and focus on esports and gaming with the refreshed YouTube Live. Google infamously attempted to acquire Twitch last year, but failed as Amazon ended up buying the platform.

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YouTube exploring subscription video service, competing with Netflix, Hulu & others

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The subscription-based video on demand market could see a significant shake-up this year as it was reported that YouTube has started to negotiate licensing deals for its own service to compete with services like Netflix and Hulu.

Variety quoted an unnamed YouTube partner as saying that the company not only wanted to discuss a licensing deal, but was extremely aggressive in its approach.

An exec at one YouTube partner says reps from the vidsite reached out late last year about an SVOD licensing deal. But the offer came with a warning: If the partner didn’t agree to the terms of the subscription service, it would be excluded from any future ad revenue — a tactic YouTube has used in dealing with independent music companies that refused to get onboard with Music Key.

This is the same approach YouTube was said to have taken to persuade independent music labels to sign-up for the company’s subscription music service …  Read more

YouTube adds support for 360-degree video on mobile & web

YouTube is adding support for 360-degree video uploads alongside a new viewing experience for the video format on both mobile and the web.

Users viewing the 360-degree video (like the one embedded above) will be able to do so by dragging with their mouse in Chrome on the web or by physically moving their Android device (and soon iPhone and iPad) in the mobile app: Read more

WSJ: YouTube planning new ad-targeting system after earning $4B in 2014 without profit

youtube-croppedAccording to a new report out of The Wall Street Journal, Google’s YouTube unit posted a revenue of nearly $4 billion in 2014, but did not earn a profit of any kind. The $4 billion in revenue during 2014 is up from $3 billion in 2013. YouTube accounted for about 6 percent Google’s overall sales last year.

In an effort to remedy remaining unprofitable, YouTube is planning to launch a new ad-targeting system later this year, the WSJ says, though details remain unclear. …

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Google preparing kid-friendly version of YouTube app for Android for launch next week

In App Kids

Google revealed last year that it was working on versions of YouTube, Chrome, and other products specifically designed to be kid-friendly. Now it seems the service, called YouTube Kids, is finally ready to make its public debut next week. YouTube is preparing an Android app specifically targeted at kids looking to browse its collection of videos.

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YouTube experiments w/ non-stop radio stations based on current video

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YouTube appears to be experimenting with a new feature dubbed “YouTube Radio” that expands on its current “YouTube Mix” playlist feature to offer non-stop radio station based on the currently playing video (via Google Operating System).

The feature, as pictured above, is described as “a non-stop radio station based on the current video.” Users will be able to customize the experience somewhat with options to “like, dislike and dismiss videos to tailor your Radio Station to your taste.” Read more

Five years after introducing the feature, Google makes HTML5 default on YouTube

YouTube 2015-01-27 15-00-53

Google has announced today, five years after introducing a test version of the feature, that HTML5 video on YouTube is now the default setting for video playback. Before today, Adobe Flash was used for playing YouTube videos, and users needed to go to YouTube.com/HTML5 (pictured above) to toggle the HTML5 player (if your browser supported it).

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