YouTube Changes Afoot

YouTube is apparently about to undergo some changes. “With the exception of a few video rentals, YouTube has always been a free, ad-supported service. But the company is about to get serious about subscription services, offering new ways for the users that create videos to make money. While two subscription offerings for the same service might seem odd to some — with one music industry source calling it ‘strange on top of strange’ — YouTube’s thinking was likened to that of a cable company offering different packages for sports and movies.” Here’s hoping YouTube cleans up its spam and gets some better search tools.

Blab Is An Alternative to Google Hangouts

Brian Fanzo has a big writeup on an alternative to Google Hangouts called Blab. And he really, really likes it. “While we’ve only been using Blab.im for the last month or so, we have been so impressed that we’ve migrated our client-sponsored video Twitter Chatss off of Google Hangouts to Blab.im. There will undoubtedly still be some occasional use cases that will require our team to use Google Hangouts, including having more than four guests (which is never advisable) and the need for occasional private, off-air shows. However, when Google Hangouts were the only solution, it made sense to put up with its quirks and to try to ignore the fact that the team at Google didn’t care much about community. Now, when we have something like Blab.im to use that is the exact opposite, and brings a team wholly focused on creating a great user experience based on feedback […]

Google Is Doing Something About Autoplay Video in Chrome

Google is shutting down autoplay video in Chrome (yay!) “In a post on Google+, Chromium evangelist François Beaufort laid out an upcoming change that should pop up in Chrome pretty soon: autoplay media will no longer autoplay unless you’re looking at the tab. If you open a new tab and there’s a video set to autoplay, it’ll load — it just won’t actually start playing until you focus on that tab.”

Vine Adding Music Tools

Vine is adding music tools. “Vine is rolling out a new music-focused tool for video creators on its network called ‘Snap to Beat’. The option, Vine says, will make it a doddle to create looping six second videos that sync perfectly.”

YouTube Officially Launches YouTube Gaming

YouTube has offically launched YouTube Gaming. “As promised, and after some excellent road-testing by thousands of dedicated gaming fans (thanks, folks!), YouTube Gaming is now available. Blending gaming videos and live streams, YouTube Gaming brings you closer to the games, gamers, and culture that matter to you.”

New Video Content Discovery Tool

Hmm. There’s a new video discovery tool in town, and it sounds quite good. “To sift through the heaps of crappy video content for us, Hyper has employed a team of journalists and filmmakers who hand-select anywhere from six to a dozen videos each day and package them into a visually appealing digital magazine of sorts. The videos range from one to twenty minutes in duration and span a broad variety of topics, from artsy foodie videos to emotionally draining war-zone documentaries.”

The Atlantic: Yale’s Project to Preserve Movies on VHS

The Atlantic has a fascinating article on preserving movies in VHS format. “VHS is a maligned medium. Libraries are rapidly culling it from their collections, a project in Ontario, Canada, wants to recycle the province’s 2.26 billion tapes, and the rise of digital streaming has made it mostly irrelevant to the general public. It’s often described as obsolete, even by those charged with preserving America’s cultural heritage. One reason Yale bought this video collection was to preserve rare titles—it’s been estimated that about 40 to 45 percent of content distributed on VHS never made its way into any subsequent digital format. But the primary focus of this collection effort was the physical nature of the medium and the cultures it changed and created.”

Surfacing the Least-Popular Stuff on YouTube

Oh I LOVE stuff like this. Anybody can look at the super-popular videos on YouTube, but what about the ones which have very few views? There’s an app for that. “…Zero Views for iOS is letting people explore the unseen videos lurking behind all the cute cat clips. Of course, this isn’t an entirely new concept, there are similar websites and apps out there but what I like about Zero Views is the endless stream. It kind of feels like Tinder… If Tinder was filled with badly-lit home movies shot on phones.”

Comcast Prepping Its Own Video Platform

Comcast is about to launch its own video platform. “Comcast is partnering with major digital publishers like Comcast-backed Vox and Buzzfeed, lifestyle, and comedy sites like AwesomenessTV, Refinery29, and The Onion, news sites like Mic and Vice, as well as legacy brands like NBC Sports to come up with a widespread digital-video platform that will rival YouTube and Facebook’s online video efforts. It will also rival the rumored video platform Verizon is preparing to unveil.”

CBS to Livestream Superbowl Commercials

If you’re like me (and I know I am), then your interest in the Superbowl is mainly in the commercials. In that case you’ll like the news that CBS will livestream the Superbowl commercials next year. “The internet has changed the way we watch the Super Bowl, and media is following suit. Variety reports that CBS, in a game-changing move, will live stream every national ad during next year’s big game in near-real time. It’s an incredible decision that will change how advertisers spend money on the event, and helps turn Super Bowl 50 into a much bigger spectacle.” It also means that a 30-second ad slot will run almost 5 million smackers — and that using a Superbowl ad as the linchpin of an advertising campaign will be a huge, dangerous gamble. Cough RADIO SHACK cough