Quick News: YouTube Redesign, Charging for Video, Local Search Numbers, Dex Mobile and EU Papers

I’m with spring-breaking offspring today (my lovely wife has escaped for the weekend) so I’m not going to be able to write much here. But here are a few items that caught my eye:

YouTube is redesigning to make it safer for brand advertising. YouTube is making money on ads but envies Hulu’s success; so it’s making it easier to distinguish between professional and UGC content (what about that which falls in between?). From ClickZ’s story:

The new design will offer four tabs: Movies, Music, Shows, and Videos. The first three tabs will display premium shows, clips, and movies from Google’s network and studio partners, all of which will be monetized with in-stream advertising. Meanwhile the Videos channel will house amateur and semi-pro content of the sort major brand advertisers have shied away from.

“They’re putting up walls between all the UGC stuff, which will live within the video channel,…and the brand safe content,” said one senior agency exec who was briefed on YouTube’s plans.

The redesign also touches YouTube’s video player. The new player interface closely resembles the video experience on Hulu, the News Corp.- and NBCU-owned video portal that’s grown by leaps and bounds since its launch last year. Like Hulu, the new video player displays visual markers in places where ads are scheduled to play. Also like Hulu, the YouTube player allows users to “dim the lights,” reducing the brightness of screen real estate outside the video frame.

“It’s totally a Hulu approach, but that’s best practices right now,” said the exec.

According to another agency source, Google is not selling whole episodes to a single advertiser or brand. In that respect it will differ from NBC and ABC, both of which offer advertisers exclusive presence on any given episode on their own sites. CBS, meanwhile, sells to multiple sponsors within a single episode. Hulu, for its part, offers a blend of single-sponsor and multi-sponsor episodes. 

In a related item, Cable Companies are trying to develop ways to charge for their content online so that what’s happened to almost every other traditional medium doesn’t happen to cable. From the NY Times:

In the last couple of years, the television industry has made a big push onto the Web, giving viewers hope that they might one day reach nirvana: every show ever made, available online for immediate free viewing. 

But many in the industry are now questioning whether free is a sustainable model. And some are trying to make sure people have a reason to keep paying hefty cable bills.

Time Warner Cable, the second-largest cable operator in the country, is working with customers here to test a subscriber model for online TV viewing. Residents who pay for HBO can watch “Big Love,” “Entourage” and other programs on their computers, using special software and a personal log-in. People who are not HBO subscribers are barred from the service.

They need the online distribution but want to protect revenues. Stay tuned. 

Sebastien Provencher blogs about the recent YPA-related comScore data re local search and IYP usage. His headline discusses the 12% of search is local numberLet’s step back; this 12% figure obscures something more basic because it only captures: 

  • Search using explicit geographic modifiers 
  • Search on local sites and IYPs (there are lots of sites that aren’t included in the counting)
  • Doesn’t reflect “local intent” queries and lookups, which I would argue includes most product search

If you could see the entire purchase path from query to transaction, we would see that much more than 12% of search is about “local” (offline action/transaction). 

RHD formally launches Dex mobile apps. Wrote about them here before I spoke to Dex and will do a follow up shortly. The “Feelin’ Like” area in the iPhone is the most thoughtful part of the app and based on the categories of online content that Dex saw its users on mobile devices accessing. BTW: it’s “Local Mobile Search” 🙂

Some newspapers are reportedly doing well in Europe through diversification of products and heavier reliance on subscriptions than advertising (via NY Times).

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Related: MediaPost reports on how some journalists are joining AOL to create content for its expanding vertical blog network.

5 Responses to “Quick News: YouTube Redesign, Charging for Video, Local Search Numbers, Dex Mobile and EU Papers”

  1. Stever Says:

    I’ve seen from PPC that even broad keyword searches often are local in intent, ultimately. Using IP based geo-targeting so the ads only appear in a local area they still generate local sales for a broad term like “air conditioner”.

  2. Rich Hargrave Says:

    For sure Steve – 12% way low! And the “local market share” discussion continues! My view: local search = impicit or explicit local queries from algorythmic search, as well as everything generated via IYP/local search sites. Amazing that the industry cannot yet agree on the numbers…

  3. Stever Says:

    The headline on that article, to key into the important point there, should have been “Year over year, local search volume grew by 58% (vs. 21% for regular search)”.

    Regardless of how they are determining what they called a local search, and assuming they used the exact same determinant from previous years data, that number is what is truly impressive.

    And Rich, you’ll like this one too “Internet Yellow Pages and locally-focused online business directories also saw double-digit growth of 23 percent in the same period, totaling 4.6 billion searches in 2008.” 🙂

  4. Greg Sterling Says:

    The challenge is tracking and scoping. ComScore has made it manageable for itself by using only LS, IYP and geomodified queries in conventional search.

    But we could do an exercise that measured monthly uniques on “local sites” across the Internet: newspapers, verticals, search, etc. We’d see lots more “volume” than local gets credit for if we cast a wider net across the Web.

  5. What is Search Engine Optimization or Seo? | Intrepid SEO Blog Says:

    […] Quick News: YouTube Redesign, Charging for Video, Local Search … […]

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