YouTube

Online video distribution network Rightster is adding views with the bolt-on acquisitions of Viral Spiral and Base79. A placing of 75m new shares to raise £42m will help fund the deals – with a co-founder of YouTube coming on board and investing. Read more

Every six months Mediacom, the media buying agency, surveys 1,000 kids in the UK and asks the name of their favourite website. The big story over recent years has been the decline of Facebook.

In 2010 nearly half of kids (aged 8-16) said it was their favourite site – now that number is just one in six. The top performer is YouTube, which is quoted as the favourite of more kids than Facebook and Twitter combined (see graph below).

That’s interesting for a couple of reasons. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Vimeo, which has established itself as a niche video platform player next to YouTube, is launching an on-demand service where content owners will keep 90 per cent of their sales.

The 10:90 revenue split is exceedingly generous by existing industry standards – Google is reported to be considering taking 45 per cent of subscription revenues for its planned video channels on YouTube. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

How-to videos, cute toddler antics, music and people making “hilarious” gaffes when speaking foreign languages. Iran’s attempt to ape YouTube, Mehr.ir launched this weekend, with many of the features that made its predecessor so popular.

Of course, Mehr – which means “affection” in Farsi – isn’t competing with YouTube: it’s replacing it. According to newswire reports and Iranian state TV, the government-endorsed Mehr is designed to promote Iranian and Islamic culture. Read more

Richard Waters

Can you name this start-up?

Some 18 months after launching, it reaches 20m users and may be on the way to owning its category. An established internet giant, which has been trying to break into the same market, jumps in with a takeover offer worth more than $1bn – even though it’s not clear how the start-up will make money. With a market value that has soared to over $100bn, though, the acquirer feels it can afford the risk.

No, this is not Facebook buying Instagram – but the parallels are striking. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Disney and YouTube have reached an agreement to produce new Disney-branded content for the web, the New York Times reports. Read more

Tech stories from around the web:

Research In Motion is facing a possible class action lawsuit in Canada over the global outage that struck BlackBerry customers last month, Cnet reports. RIM said it would not comment on the suit, which was filed yesterday in Quebec Superior Court. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

YouTube has launched Merch Store, a feature where YouTube’s music partners will be able to sell artist merchandise, digital downloads, concert tickets and other experiences to fans and visitors, TechCrunch reports. The online video sharing site has also announced partnerships with a number of companies to launch the service: Topspin is being used to help in sales of merchandise, while Songkick will be involved in concert tickets and iTunes and Amazon will look after transactions for music downloads. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Music publishers have settled their part of a class action suit brought against YouTube, according to PaidContent. The suit, brought by them and other leading content providers such as the Premier League, alleged that the video site’s inattention to controlling copyright material violated the law. Terms of the deal  were not disclosed. Read more

Richard Waters

Are Chad Hurley and Steve Chen itching for another shot at the big time? That was the heavy hint the YouTube founders dropped on Wednesday as they stepped in to save Delicious (Yahoo botched its handling of the former Web 2.0 darling in December, provoking an outcry when it implied that it might consider closing the service. It eventually saying that it would look for a sale.) Read more

Tech news from around the web:

  • Google is working on an overhaul of YouTube to take advantage of the WebTV explosion, the Wall Street Journal reports.  The online company is also planning to spend as much as $100m to commission low-cost content designed exclusively for the web.  Meanwhile, The Hollywood Reporter says that Google is planning to open an office in Beverly Hills.

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Tech news from around the web:

  • Citigroup analyst Mark Mahaney has broken down some of Google’s opportunities for new billion-dollar businesses, says TechCrunch. According to his estimates, YouTube’s gross revenues hit $825m in 2010 and will reach $1.3bn in 2011 and $1.7bn in 2012.

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Tech news from around the web:

  • LivingSocial, the daily coupon website and rival to Groupon, is in talks with investors to raise around $500m to help fuel its expansion, The Wall Street Journal reports. The move comes just three months after it raised $175m from Amazon.com.

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Tech news from around the web:

  • Apple is lowering its minimum spend from advertisers on its iAds advertising platform from $1m to $500,000, says AllThingsDigital. The move, which follows the first run of iAd campaigns, is designed to appeal to smaller-scale advertisers who originally couldn’t afford the platform.

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Richard Waters

Representatives of a large part of the US media industry – with Microsoft also along for the ride – have lined up to back Viacom’s continuing legal battle with YouTube.

It is a timely reminder of how far Google still has to go to win friends in the media world. The transgressions of which Viacom complained now lie more than two years in the past, and a Federal court has already found in YouTube’s favour: but there is still deep concern over what some claim was the video site’s willful blindness to piracy in its early days. Read more

David Gelles

Though Google still makes the lion’s share of its revenues through search advertising, that may begin to change as Android, YouTube and display advertising mature, writes the FT’s Lex column.

Google is not the font of all knowledge, rather the rummage bag in which it resides. However, it has made bold predictions this week as it tries to grab the advertising industry’s attention. By 2015, the Googlers think mobile phones will be the most popular screen for web browsing, and the display advertising market will grow to $50bn. Read more

Maija Palmer

DailymotionDailymotion, Europe’s biggest online video challenger to YouTube, on Thursday said it had raised $25m in a new funding round led by the French Sovereign Fund (FSI). The French strategic investments fund, which is 49 per cent owned by the government, contributed $11m to the round, with all the existing investors, Advent Venture Partners, AGF PE, Partech International and Atlas Ventures,  taking part.

Dailymotion chief executive Cedric Tournay also said the company had now hit break-even and expected to make a profit next year. The site now attracts around 60m unique users each month, up from 35m a year ago.  Although it is dwarfed by YouTube, it is doing well to survive and grow in a market where competitors like Joost and Veoh have had to retreat. Read more

David Gelles

As Google celebrates its fifth anniversary as a listed company, the FT’s Lex column considers the search giant’s most costly acquisition — YouTube.

Bought in 2006 for $1.65bn in stock, the video streaming site has rocketed to a dominant position in online video . . . But Google shareholders are paying to provide the world with laughing baby clips. Estimates for the cost of streaming over 5bn videos a month range from $400m to $700m annually. While Google does not break out the figures, losses are likely to be in the hundreds of millions. Read more

Chris Nuttall

The evolution of video on the web has been far from smooth.

Many start-ups have disappeared, concepts have failed and even YouTube has proved to be a costly acquisition for Google.

But that has not stopped the industry from figuring out ways to make money and survive. Read more

Chris Nuttall

  • Lots of activity on the iPhone front. The reviews are now out for the iPhone 3GS and they are generally very positive. The phone goes on sale on Friday, but its new operating system update – 3.0 – became available on Wednesday and sparked an avalanche of downloads. Meanwhile, Apple’s ongoing irritation with its rival, the Palm Pre, continues. It has already made thinly veiled threats about the Palm device’s similar use of a multi-touch screen. Now, it is warning that newer versions of Apple’s iTunes software may no longer provide syncing functionality with non-Apple digital media players – a reference to a popular function on the Pre.

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