Google this evening has sent out an email to YouTube partners revealing details about the upcoming launch of a new subscription-based model for the service. The email states that YouTube viewers will soon have the ability to remove all advertising from the website for a flat monthly rate.
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 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…
According 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.
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.
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
According 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. …
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.
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
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).
President Obama is set to give the State of the Union address this evening at 9PM ET/6PM PT and one of the best ways to watch it will be live on the White House’s YouTube channel. The stream is available to watch on the desktop and mobile devices and can be flung to the big screen via a Chromecast or Nexus Player.
YouTube is typically the place people go to find their favorite Super Bowl ads before and after the game, but the video streaming service wants to serve an even larger purpose this year. According to the official YouTube blog, the site is planning to produce its own halftime show to stream during the game on February 1st.
The event will be hosted by EpicMealTime’s Harley Morenstein and feature content from top YouTube stars. YouTube specifically lists Freddie Wong, Toby Turner, and duo Rhett & Link as producers who will participate, along with others. Some of the acts will include stunts, musical performances, and comedy sketeches setup as fake Super Bowl ads.