1. YouTube’s Game-Changing New Feature for Nonprofits
A Guest Post by Michael Hoffman on Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media highlights “YouTube’s Game-Changing New Feature for Nonprofits,” which enables organizations to use YouTube’s overlay advertising feature to create “Call To Action” donation links.
According to Hoffman, “If you still aren’t sure what all of this means, it means that nonprofit YouTube videos can have buttons built into the videos that say DONATE NOW or SIGN THE PETITION and these buttons will work—they will link to any site you point them to. You can even go back to all your old videos that are on YouTube and make your logo into a clickable link, add annotations to donate with a link, and otherwise make your video into a center of engagement. This is now, by far, the most important reason to be in the YouTube Nonprofit Program.”
2. Classicaltv.com launches performing arts on a virtual stage
“Classical TV” is a for-profit website based out of Bristol, England that seeks to make vast libraries of filmed opera, dance and classical concerts available on your computer. The streaming site, which seeks advertisers whose commercials precede the free videos, had its soft launch five months ago and has gradually been building its catalog of video offerings, which includes 1,100 full-length performances from such prestigious organizations as the Met, the Salzburg Festival, the Paris Opera Ballet and more.
The company does not create any original video content. Instead, it licenses existing videos from performing-arts companies around the world. The Met and other partners take a revenue share and sometimes are paid a certain amount in advance on the revenue so they are guaranteed a minimum amount. Although the majority of the videos on Classical TV are free for users to watch, the site also offers premium content at prices similar to cable video-on-demand and pay-per-view, generally ranging from $4.99 to $9.99 per video for a 72-hour period.
3. Stations grasp handheld solution
Cell phones, laptop computers and other mobile devices are about to become the next frontier in digital TV in the U.S. as local stations begin to harness the capability to beam out a special signal that can be received by these devices over the air.
The technology is already there to turn cell phones into portable TVs. The last hurdle the biz has to overcome is coordinating the interests of the key constituencies -- broadcasters, content owners, portable device manufacturers and wireless carriers -- to develop a business model for mobile DTV.
Broadcasters are pushing for an ad-supported free service similar to what they already serve up on their mothership channels. The great hope among stations is that extending their programming to more viewers via mobile DTV will generate additional revenue. However, the challenge is magnified by the prolonged local TV ad slump and the thicket of rights issues that have to be sorted out with content owners.
4. From a Porch in Montana, Low-Power Radio’s Voice Rises
A bill now before Congress, and considered by some low-power radio advocates to have a good chance of passage this year, would potentially double the number of licensed, low-power stations from about 800 now to perhaps 1,600 or more. At the same time, technology is shifting the boundaries and definitions of what it means to be local, and even what it means to be radio.
Internet streaming and digital wireless reception are combining in ways that could allow almost any station, even one broadcast from a front porch, to be heard anywhere in the world from the next generation of hand-held devices and smartphones.
5. Google Aims to Wrest Display Ads From Yahoo
Google has built its fortune almost entirely on the back of small text ads, which appear alongside its search results and on sites across the Web. Now it is stepping up efforts to make inroads into graphical display ads, a business long dominated by Yahoo. The company recently introduced a long-awaited new version of an ad exchange, like a stock market, where advertisers and publishers can buy and sell advertising space, filling spots in Web pages on the fly.
An internet ad exchange works nearly instantly to match the interests of buyers and sellers of ad space. When a person requests a Web page from a site that is participating in the exchange, the publisher notifies the exchange that space on that page is available. It might also let the exchange know something about that person, based on his or her past online activity or shopping habits. Advertisers bid on the ad space, offering different amounts depending on the person’s attributes, the time of day and other factors. The winner’s ad is then slotted into the page. All of this happens nearly instantly.
6. Specticast Announces New Content Partner: The Curtis Institute Of Music
Specticast has announced a new content partnership with the Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia's world-renowned conservatory on Rittenhouse Square. SpectiCast, a Philadelphia company broadcasting live, professionally directed and produced events to Multi-Viewer Venues using a proprietary digital video technology, will add several Live from Curtis programs to its Music Collection in the 2009-10 season.
7. The Beatles, Yo-Yo Ma and the Box Set
The cellist Yo-Yo Ma’s complete albums are coming out in a luxury box set in October (although you can order ahead of time online; at least 100 buyers have already done so). For a mere $789, Mr. Ma’s 30-year recording career can sit on your shelf. On the pop side of the aisle, a 13-CD Beatles box set in both stereo and mono was released earlier this month; both versions have been selling briskly. AN article in the New York Times discusses the appeal of box-set recordings, despite their relative high price.
8. Post-Medium Publishing
An online essay by Paul Graham analyzes the economic challenges faced by “content” creators, caused by technological changes that have been disruptive to traditional business models. He argues that:
- Consumers never really were paying for content, and publishers weren't really selling it either
- People will pay meaningful amounts for information they think they can make money from.
- iTunes is more of a tollbooth than a store, making money by taxing people, not selling them stuff.
- Those in the music business who hope to get listeners to pay for subscriptions are unlikely to be successful, if they're just streaming the same files you can get as mp3s.
- If you can't sell content, you have two choices: give it away and make money from it indirectly (e.g. ads, ancillary products), or find ways to embody it in things people will pay for.
He says that, “when you see something that's taking advantage of new technology to give people something they want that they couldn't have before, you're probably looking at a winner. And when you see something that's merely reacting to new technology in an attempt to preserve some existing source of revenue, you're probably looking at a loser.”