Category: Video

No Embeds – a modern tragedy

Embedding disabled by request. Have you noticed these words on certain YouTube videos? This ha been around for a while, but usually there was a work around. Now, those videos don’t play at all. Check out OK GO‘s mega-viral clip for Here It Goes Again.

Doesn’t play right? You have to go to the YouTube page.

It sucks. We know.

Record labels, film companies and other video creators have pressured YouTube into this. And they backed down. As YouTube is owned by Google, we are surprised they did this. They are usually forward thinkers.

What’s the thinking behind disabling the embed feature? Money. People are demanding money for their content from YouTube. YouTube only make money from advertising. If no one actually goes to the YouTube page, YouTube makes no money and can’t pay the artists. That’s the big general overview.

But lets dig deeper.

YouTube has cried poor from day one. And we believe them. How many times have you clicked on an ad on a YouTube page? By YouTube‘s very nature, it’s mass market and impossible to target. The OK GO clip is inching towards 50 million plays. Name one other thing 50 million people may care about. Coke? McDonalds? Those are the only companies that need that reach, and are willing to pay for it. And when a company/brand is that mass market and ubiquitous, who needs to click on it? Really, who needs to click through to a McDonalds banner ad.

People who think YouTube are a fountain of money are wrong. YouTube, however, is valuable. Google didn’t create it, but it does own it now. And YouTube fits so nicely with Google. Google spent billions and billions creating services like Maps and News with the idea that, one day, later, we’ll figure out how to make money. It makes their shareholders nervous but they are almost always rewarded.

So we are waiting for the next dam to break, and for someone to work out how to make money off YouTube. Right now, it has to trap you into going to the site, to get their numbers up, and try to squeeze more money out of their ads.

(As we are (we think) three years away from every TV screen being connected to the internet, YouTube may well get even better viewing figures. Licensing out a YouTube channel for on demand broadcast could be one way to make some money.)

Although, it does seem odd that Google, arguably¬†history’s greatest ad placers, can’t seem to work this out.

The real tragedy though is the loss of the embed technology. The YouTube story has been tied to the red hot concept of viral marketing. It’s been the story of the decade. And now, it’s gone. No embeds takes a massive blow against what made YouTube so cool when it first appeared. And it leaves room for a competitor to find a clever way around it.

But the scarier thought is the death of viral marketing. People say things like – wow, no one is ever going to sell as many records as Thriller. It’s just not possible, the world doesn’t work that way anymore. As the user generated video world matures, maybe we will be saying – wow, no one’s ever going to get 50 million hits again.

Size Matters? – YouTube goes XL

YouTube XL - your fit?
YouTube XL - your fit?

YouTube is dancing a fine line between standard and pass√©. No doubt it has changed the world, and the way we view it. But it’s grainy player, dated website look and many hot competitors have made YouTube seem less innovative, more dinosaur. Add to the fact that YouTube has not been able to strike deals with many ‘rights holders’ – film, TV, music and other companies can provide official clips that people want so much. This week, it seems like YouTube have starting making steps towards the future. The first fruits of this is YouTube XL.

The thinking behind XL is the TV. The line between your TV screen and your computer monitor is blurring more and more, and that’s the place XL fits. If you can make the web appear on your TV screen (or you have one of those sexy Mac cinema displays), then XL is for you. The interface reminds us of cable TV screens – no scrollers, BIG writing etc. But we guess that’s a necessity in this space.

Most game consoles like Xbox can get onto the internet nowadays. It’s getting easier and easier to plug a computer into a TV. You can loop that Blu-Ray disc drive through your TV. AppleTV is a great device whose time is still to come (we reckon). Most major TV stations have online view-on-demand. Now the ubiquitous YouTube is heading to your TV as well. If YouTube can strike a deal with TV stations and other rights holders, then maybe we can throw our Tivos and Sky+ boxes away.

Also, we love how film quality, resolution and definition is back on people’s minds again. After some years of watching film clips made for a small YouTube screen, maybe we will head back to an era of widescreen film clips, full of detail. Technology and art follow eachother, after all. Now if they can do something about that audio…

Most of us will stick with our father’s YouTube for now. But just as it’s getting easier for people to hook up their iPods to speakers or the TV to play something for friends, soon it will be that easy for video. No more crowding around a laptop with terrible speakers to show someone a funny clip. Soon it will be prime time.

Check out YouTube XL here – http://www.youtube.com/xl

Empire Of the Sun’s Interactive Video

Empire Of the Sun
Empire Of the Sun

Technology is moving forward so quickly, and so many bands and artists are trying new things. It’s why this site exists. Our new favourite oddity is the latest video from Empire Of the Sun.

For their We Are The People video, the band have created an Interactive Video. It lives here – once it finally loads. It seems to take a while.

Links is video have started to take hold. They are all over embedded videos on Youtube, with links to outside sites, to buy CDs or other items. Big ugly banners covering the poor resolution video. Sound quality doesn’t matter. Why should video?

But Empire Of the Sun have made something creative out of this idea. The Australian duo are starting to become hot property worldwide. For their new video for We Are The People, little orbs appear throughout the clip. Clicking on the orbs lead you to extended footage, behind the scene stuff, and goodies to enter a competition. One link even leads you to an MP3 of their last single, Walking On A Dream, remixed by Van She.

It sounds slightly better than it is. The orbs look to be tacked into the clip, and not a part of it. The video player lacks any controls, meaning once you click on something, you’re out of that page. It doesn’t make for a very good viewing experience. The film clip itself is pretty wow. The band have a great image, and set in the backdrop of Spain – it’s just weird and looks great.

So is this the future, a new trend, or a one off? It’s a pretty cool gimmick, but we can’t imagine this setting a new bar for music videos. Maybe we’re wrong. Right now though, we’re going to watch the clip again, make sure we didn’t miss anything.

Empire Of the Sun Official site – http://empireofthesunsound.com/ – there is yet another free Walking On A Dream remix on offer.

We Are the People Interactive video – http://empireofthesunsound.com/wearethepeople