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August 5, 2008

YouTube grabs part of online Olympic pie

YouTube logo Considering that the 2008 Summer Olympics start on August 8th, there was a rather odd announcement by the International Olympic Committee yesterday that Google’s YouTube will provide "about three hours a day of exclusive content from the IOC’s Olympic Broadcasting Services on a dedicated channel during the Games." The content will include highlights and daily wrap-ups provided by the IOC, but not live coverage. No word on how many languages will be supported.

Hold on a sec – what about NBC which has partnered with Microsoft’s MSN to show the Games online in the USA? Not to worry – the IOC sells exclusive national online rights just like they sell national broadcast rights and YouTube will be geotargeting the Olympics channel so that only Internet users in "77 territories – South Korea, India and Nigeria among them – that aren’t officially covered by Olympic sponsors" can view it.

This likely isn’t a bonanza for YouTube since they will only be allowed to sell ads to Olympic sponsors and and if there was much online video viewing interest in the Olympics in these countries, someone would already have picked up the franchise. While all of this makes sense from a monetary view, doesn’t the national restriction of Internet rights seem a trifle wacky?

The national franchises do get around the language problem and provide enhanced coverage of contests of particular national interest, but I guess the bottom line is that there is no single online site that could (or wants to do) the whole worldwide job. On the other hand, bootleg Olympics videos have already started appearing on regular old garden variety YouTube.

Posted at 12:41 pm. Filed under Companies, Internet, Streaming video, Video Sharing, YouTube

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June 27, 2006

Warner Bros selling TV shows and movies via Guba

Greg Sandoval at ZDNet:

Warner Bros. Entertainment on Monday began selling full-length feature films and TV shows over the Internet via Guba, one of a legion of companies presenting amateur-videos on the Web.

Guba customers can rent a film for $1.79 per day or pay $9.99 to own an older title. Newer movies cost $19.99 (actually TV shows rent for $1.79 and movies for $1.99 a day – ed.). All the content is protected by Microsoft-developed digital rights management software, the companies said.

The agreement is the latest sign that at least some in Hollywood may be ready to deal with Internet sites that some in the movie business consider a threat. Warner Bros. last month announced that it had chosen file-sharing technology from BitTorrent to distribute films.

The difference is that the Guba content can be copied to DVDs:

Under the Guba-Warner Bros. agreement, people will be able to make a copy of a video onto a DVD, but, because of industry licensing agreements, it can only be played on the computer from which it was burned. Wuthrich said he hopes consumers will be able to watch the copied DVDs with a DVD player within a year or so.

while purchases from BitTorrent cannot be copied to DVDs at all.

For Guba, the partnership is a coup. Like most other competitors in the video-sharing space, Guba has seen its public profile eclipsed by the juggernaut, YouTube. Thomas McInerney, the Guba’s CEO, said he hopes the Warner Bros. partnership will help the company stand apart from rivals.

There is some interesting background on Guba by following the link, but the bigger story is studios embracing download services in the apparent hope that the widespread availability of legal content will cut down on piracy. It might even work.

Note that Warner Bros. did a separate deal with corporate cousin AOL for distributing old TV shows for free.

Update 8/23: This post was heavily revised.

Posted at 10:27 am. Filed under BitTorrent, Companies, Guba, Internet, Microsoft, Video Downloads, Warner Bros., YouTube

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April 9, 2006

Internet video sharing services reviewed

Nearly rivaling the number of new VoIP services are the Internet video sharing services that seem to pop up daily. When it comes to video, I’m strictly a consumer, not a creator, but one can’t help but notice all the YouTube embedded videos appearing on blogs and elsewhere. To attempt to bring order out of the chaos, Digital Video Guru reviews 10 Internet video sharing services (out of the at least 40 available):

Hit the link for all the details on a variety of considerations, but for my interests this sums it up:

For posting: If you just want to get a video clip online and share it with friends via email or on your own blog, Vimeo wins for its speed, ease-of-use, and simple playback functions.

For viewership: If you want to step up to more community features and get widespread viewership of your viral clip, YouTube gets the job done…

Posted at 7:17 pm. Filed under Companies, Eyespot, Google, Grouper, Internet, Jumpcut, Ourmedia, Revver, Video Sharing, Videoegg, Vimeo, vSocial, YouTube

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