Video ad viewability is 54% across the web, but as high as 91% on YouTube (Infographic)

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Advertisers want to know that when they pay for a video ad on YouTube or elsewhere across the web, that the advertisement can actually be seen by viewers. A lot can effect an ad being seen, such as the viewer never scrolling to the part of the page where the ad is placed, or users simply scrolling past the ad too quickly to really catch a glimpse. Taking a look into these things, Google recently published the results of a study identifying the “5 factors of viewability,” or, in other words, the things that impact the chance of a video ad being seen.

Unsurprisingly, YouTube and Google’s video ad strategy seems to be strong compared to the rest of the web…

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comScore releases U.S. smartphone subscriber market share for March 2015

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comScore today released a new U.S. smartphone manufacturer and platform market share report for the three month period ending in March. The data suggests that while the continued strength of iPhone 6 adoption has resulted in market share gains for Apple, Android is still the most popular smartphone platform in the United States.

During the measured period, comScore reports that 187.5 million people in the United States owned smartphones, which equates to 77 percent of the total population. Of that, Apple was the most popular OEM (original equipment manufacturer) with 42.6 percent of U.S. smartphone subscribers (up 1% from December), followed by Samsung with 28.3 percent market share (down 1% from December), and LG taking third place with 8.4 percent (up 0.4% from December).

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WSJ: Google was going to build Periscope/Meerkat years ago, but didn’t have the resources

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Google-owned YouTube had a chance to beat Twitter’s Periscope and its biggest competitor, Meerkat, to market by somewhere in the ballpark of 8 years, but decided against the move due to the fact that a large portion of the company’s resources were engaged in fending off a Viacom lawsuit and creating the Content ID copyright detection system.

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YouTube announces plans for 4 original series, feature length films in development

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Today YouTube is announcing partnerships with some of its top creators to bring original series and feature length films to the video network. 

Today’s launch brings four original series to YouTube from content creators Fine Brothers’, Prank vs Prank, Joey Graceffa, and Smosh, as well as news that YouTube plans to release feature length films in the coming years: Read more

YouTube losing support on older devices as Google begins sunsetting Data API v2

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Google announced today that it is beginning the retirement process of YouTube’s Data API v2, and that means that some older devices, including older Apple and Google TV set-top boxes, will no longer be able to access the video streaming site. The change is also going to affect users of older gaming consoles and iOS devices as the deprecated built-in YouTube apps will be unable to access the service… Read more

YouTube reportedly testing new video player design with mobile inspirations

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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

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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