Disney is buying YouTube network Maker Studios for as much as $950M

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Reuters reports that Disney is about to buy Maker Studios, one of the largest YouTube networks, for $500 million with the possibility for that amount to rise to $950 million:

Maker, founded in 2009, helps produce and distribute videos to more than 380 million subscribers worldwide across more than 55,000 channels. Its videos now collectively garner some 5.5 billion views every month, according to the source.

The company distributes content through partnerships it has with a long list of YouTube content creators such as the popular PewDiePie gaming channel and also provides a platform that gives creators access to royalty reporting, analytics, and other services to help maximize earnings.

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Turkey asks YouTube to remove videos accusing government of corruption, Google declines

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The Turkish government sent requests to YouTube for the removal of specific videos that it deemed critical of government officials, according to the Wall Street Journal. Google refused to comply with the request, saying that there was no legal basis for the removal of the videos.

The move by the government comes after a nationwide blackout of Twitter, which officials say is due to what they deem false allegations of corruption being circulated on the network. That block can be worked around by using Google’s DNS server to access the web, though it seems that won’t be necessary to keep accessing YouTube videos critical of the nation’s leadership—unless the entire website is blocked, that is.

Google and Viacom finally settle legal battle over YouTube copyright issues

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In a legal fight which has stretched over seven years, Google seems to have finally resolved their issues with Viacom over copyright violations of videos uploaded to YouTube. Information on the details of the settlement have not been publicly released.

Re/code received this rather bland statement from the two companies.

Google and Viacom today jointly announced the resolution of the Viacom vs. YouTube copyright litigation. This settlement reflects the growing collaborative dialogue between our two companies on important opportunities, and we look forward to working more closely together.

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YouTube tweaks site design, puts more emphasis on playlists in the sidebar

Google launched a few tweaks to its YouTube page design, which brings back a design feature long thought to be gone forever: center alignment. With the last major redesign, YouTube started pushing all content to the left side of the screen, a decision that many found so irritating they created browser extensions to revert the change.

The “What to Watch” feature and subscription list have been given more prominent placements on the home page.

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Google just made it easier to find music videos with prioritized Youtube search results

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Finding a playable music video can sometimes involve a bit of trial-and-error, where the top link might be only a short clip, or indeed something unrelated that was mislabelled. To solve this, Google is now offering prioritised links to the first playable music video in a separate box above the remaining search results …  Read more

Google ad head Susan Wojcicki to head-up YouTube in bid to boost ad revenues? (Update: Google confirms)

Photo: makers.com

Photo: makers.com

The Information is reporting that the head of Google’s advertising products team, Susan Wojcicki, is likely to replace Salar Kamangar as the head of YouTube.

The move would send a clear signal that Google CEO Larry Page wants to zero in on the site’s ad products. While YouTube’s growth has continued, the site has struggled to charge more for its ads as the supply of videos continues to outstrip advertiser demand across the Web …  Read more