Posted in: Broadband Video Companies, News, Video Start-Ups, Video on Demand by Dave Parrack on December 27, 2013

Vdio is no more, with parent company Rdio deciding to shutter the online video service. The reasons for the closure remain unclear, but it seems that there just wasn’t room for Vdio in an already-crowded market. It didn’t help that Vdio took so long to move from being just an idea to being a legitimate company.

The Short History Of Vdio

Vdio was founded as long ago as 2009, with Skype founder Janus Friis investing both time and money into the venture. Friis had previously experienced failure within the online video spectrum with Joost, but Vdio was going to be different.

Vdio was first imagined as a Netflix competitor, with a streaming subscription service being the planned positioning of the company. For unexplained reasons, Vdio was turned from a Netflix clone into an online video store.

Vdio enjoyed a soft launch in April 2013 for existing Rdio subscribers, with a full launch happening in June 2013. Throughout this time Vdio was still considered a beta, which isn’t surprising given its limited life cycle of just six months.

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Posted in: Broadband Video Companies, Google, Legal, DRM, Piracy & IP, News, Video on Demand, YouTube by Dave Parrack on December 20, 2013

youtube-copyright-errorYouTube’s recent crackdown on Let’s Play videos, with an aggressive new Content ID update, has left a bad taste in the mouths of everyone involved. Except the companies making money from videos they really had no business making money from, of course.

Content ID Crackdown

YouTube recently embarked on a Content ID crackdown designed to clean up videos potentially infringing on copyrights. Particularly hard hit by this were gamers who upload Let’s Play videos, which feature someone playing a video game and commentating over the top.

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Posted in: Broadband Video Companies, Legal, DRM, Piracy & IP, News, Video on Demand, YouTube by Dave Parrack on November 26, 2013

YouTube 3D LogoGoogle has finally addressed the issues affecting the new YouTube comments system, controversially rolled out earlier this month.

Unfortunately, while small changes are being made to plaster over the cracks, the elephant in the room that is Google+ is going nowhere. In fact, Google refuses to even address the part its social networking integration has played in the mess.

Google Admits Problem

In the weeks since the new YouTube comments system was pushed out to an unsuspecting public, things haven’t gone well. But Google has remained silent on the issues, both big and small, preferring instead to make small changes behind the scenes.

Now, finally, Google has admitted there are problems inherent in the new Google+-powered system, though it won’t admit Google+ is at fault for any of them.

In a post on the YouTube Creator Blog, “the YouTube comments team” admits the new system “introduced new opportunities for abuse.” These include the allowing of ASCII art and links, and the promotion of popular comments.

These are, according to YouTube, all being fixed, while threaded conversations, formatted comments, the moderation of old comments, and bulk moderation for new comments are being rolled out now or in the future.

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Posted in: Broadband Video Companies, Google, News, Video on Demand, YouTube by Dave Parrack on November 8, 2013

new-youtube-logoGoogle has rolled out the new YouTube comments system, which is designed to stop the absurd levels of spam and trolling which have plagued the site in recent years. Unfortunately the new system requires Google+ integration, and this hasn’t gone down well with a significant section of the YouTube community.

YouTube Comments

The new YouTube comments system requires users to have an active Google+ account. This removes some, though not all, of the anonymity that allowed people to make atrocious comments under videos they disliked.

This change means relevant comments are listed first, meaningful conversations are much more likely to take place, conversations can be made public or private, and channel owners have more power to moderate comments.

Of course there’s a desire from Google to force us all to start using Google+, but like it or not that does appear to have been the best solution to the problematic comments system that has made YouTube a cesspit of hatred.

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New-YouTube-LogoGoogle is set to launch a YouTube music streaming service before the end of 2013, at least if current persistent rumors are to be believed. This service will work the same way as Spotify, with a hefty catalog of music available for users to play.

Music On YouTube

Music has been a key part of YouTube since the site’s inception in 2006. In those early, heady days it was a result of people illicitly uploading music videos without a care for the copyright laws being flouted, but it’s now (mostly) all above board thanks to a stringent copyright ID system.

Music videos are often the most-viewed pieces of content on the platform, with Gangnam Style being an obvious example. This eventually led to the number of YouTube views a video generates counting towards its placing on the Billboard charts.

It’s no wonder then that Google is keen to turn this popular element of YouTube into a money-making machine.

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Posted in: Broadband Video Companies, Legal, DRM, Piracy & IP, News, Video on Demand by Dave Parrack on October 16, 2013

pirate-logoDo people pirate things because they’re cheap and want to get whatever they can for free? Or is the practice less sinister and more about getting hold of things that aren’t available in the format they favor? These are important questions, and ones which new research is hoping to answer.

Piracy Data

A new website called Piracy Data has been set up to build a dataset connecting the dots between the content that is pirated in vast numbers and the availability of that content. It’s doing this using a combination of TorrentFreak and Can I Stream It?

The 10 most-pirated movies are listed alongside their availability online: to stream, to rent a digital copy, and to buy a digital copy. The results so far aren’t all that surprising, showing how the newer titles on the list aren’t available anywhere, while the older titles are available in one form or another.

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Netflix LogoOriginal content looks like being a small but significant part of the future of online television.. It’s certainly an area Netflix, amongst others, has explored, and one which, according to a new report, looks to be working for the company.

Netflix Originals

Online video streaming services are evolving, and have been for several years. Not merely satisfied with giving people old content when and where they want it, some of the more successful services have recently started producing original content.

Netflix is one of these services, and has, arguably, had the most success at doing it. While still maintaining the huge back catalog of television shows and movies, Netflix has plowed serious money into funding the production of original shows.

The question is, has this push into original content been worth it?

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