YouTube set a new record for live streaming as the skydiver Felix Baumgartner smashed a number of records with his “edge of space” freefall.More than eight million people worldwidse watched on their devices the skydiver break the speed of sound live on Google’s YouTube site.
It is the largest number of concurrent live streams in the website’s history Google claimed.
Mr Baumgartner broke the record for the highest freefall.
He jumped from a capsule taken to 128,100ft (24 miles) above New Mexico in the USA by a giant helium balloon.
It took nine minutes for him to reach the ground.
The adventurer plummeted at an estimated 833.9mph, hitting Mach 1.24 in the process.
The capsule from which the skydiver fell was equipped with cameras to provide a live internet feed to millions of people around the world.
The Red Bull Stratos scientists said the stunt had provided invaluable data for the development of high performance, high altitude parachute systems, and that the lessons learned would inform the development of new ideas for emergency evacuation from vehicles, such as spacecraft passing through the stratosphere.
“Part of this programme was to show high altitude egress, passing through Mach and a successful re-entry back to subsonic speed, because our belief scientifically is that’s going to benefit future private space programmes or high-altitude pilots, and Felix proved that today,” said Art Thompson, the team principal.
The world’s most valuable company- Apple Inc has clocked up another accolade- it has been voted the “coolest brand” in the UK. It beat Aston Martin, which has taken the top spot in six of the previous seven annual CoolBrands surveys.
Online and technology brands performed well, with YouTube pushing Aston Martin into third place. Twitter came fourth, followed by Google and the BBC’s iPlayer.
The results are decided by responses from 3,000 consumers and a panel of 39 experts.
Twitter, Skype and Nikon were in the top 20 for the first time in the 11 years of the survey.
Some of the luxury brands have dropped out of the top 20, including Maserati, Ferrari, Chanel, Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen, which all featured last year.
A quarter of the top 20 brands are free to consumers.
“It is interesting that in this age of austerity our perception of cool has increasingly shifted from aspirational, luxury brands to free or more affordable brands that provide us with pleasure,” said Stephen Cheliotis, chairman of the CoolBrands expert council.
YouTube was among the biggest risers, having come in tenth place last year.
YouTube’s ownsers Google has revealed that it removed about 640 videos that allegedly promoted terrorism over the second half of 2011 after complaints from the UK’s Association of Chief Police Officers.The news was contained in its latest Transparency Report which discloses requests by international authorities to remove or hand over material.
The firm said it terminated five accounts linked to the suspect videos.
However, the firm said it had rejected many other state’s requests for action.
Canada’s Passport Office was among the organisations rebuffed. It had asked for a video of a Canadian citizen urinating on his passport and then flushing it down the toilet be removed.
Google also refused to delete six YouTube videos that satirised Pakistan’s army and senior politicians. The order had come from the government of Pakistan’s Ministry of Information Technology.
But Google did act in hundreds of cases, including:
requests to block more than 100 YouTube videos in Thailand that allegedly insulted its monarchy – a crime in the country;
the removal of a YouTube video that contained hate speech that had been posted in Turkey;
the termination of four YouTube accounts responsible for videos that allegedly contained threatening and harassing content after complaints by different US law enforcement agencies.
Overall, the firm said it had received 461 court orders covering a total of 6,989 items between July and December 2011. It said it had complied with 68% of the orders.
It added that it had received a further 546 informal requests covering 4,925 items, of which it had agreed to 43% of the cases.
Google’s senior policy analyst, Dorothy Chou, said the company was concerned by the amount of requests that had been linked to political speech.
“It’s alarming not only because free expression is at risk, but because some of these requests come from countries you might not suspect – Western democracies not typically associated with censorship,” she said.
“For example, in the second half of last year, Spanish regulators asked us to remove 270 search results that linked to blogs and articles in newspapers referencing individuals and public figures, including mayors and public prosecutors.
“In Poland, we received a request from the Agency for Enterprise Development to remove links to a site that criticised it.
“We didn’t comply with either of these requests.”
The real suprise is that Google have reacted at all.
A few years ago they tried to argue that as they were the recipients of so many videos they could not possibly police and delete videos. Now as they are becoming more corporate they are slowly realising that yes they too have to accept governmental requests.
YouTube and Google could face a huge bill for royalties after it lost a court battle in Germany over music videos.A court in Hamburg ruled that YouTube is responsible for the content that users post to the video sharing site.
It wants the video site to install filters that spot when users try to post music clips whose rights are held by royalty collection group,
The German industry group said in court that YouTube had not done enough to stop copyrighted clips being posted.
YouTube said it took no responsibility for what users did, but responded when told of copyright violations.
Gema’s court case was based on 12 separate music clips posted to the website. The ruling concerns seven of the 12 clips.
If YouTube is forced to pay royalties for all the clips used on the site it will face a huge bill.
Gema represents about 60,000 German song writers and musicians.
If enforced, the ruling could also slow the rate at which video is posted to the site as any music clip would have to be cleared for copyright before being used.
Currently, it is estimated that about 60 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube worldwide every minute.
The court case began in 2010 and came after talks between YouTube and Gema about royalties broke down. In 2009, the stalemate meant that videos from German recording firms were briefly blocked on the site.
Gema has rung up several victories against sites it has claimed are using music without paying royalties.
In 2009, file-sharing site Rapidshare was told to start filtering songs users were uploading following action by Gema. In March, 2012 a second judgement told Rapidshare to be more proactive when hunting down content pirated by users.
Music streaming site Grooveshark pulled out of Germany claiming licencing rates set by Gema made it impossible to run a profitable business in the country.
Facebook’s share of the UK online usage has fallen by more than seven percentage points in the last year- raising concerns that it may have hit saturation point.The social network – which is expected to make an initial public offering (IPO) this year – still attracted significantly more online time than its nearest competitor, accounting for 52.6pc of all visits to social networks in December.
However, Facebook has lost substantial ground since the previous December, when it took a 58.5pc share of the UK’s social networking market, according to data from Experian Hitwise.
It slipped 1.3 percentage points last month alone.
The decline has raised concerns that Facebook is running out of steam in the markets where it is best established, whilst its competitors gain ground.
“Facebook’s growth is levelling out,” said James Murray, market research analyst at Experian. “Because Facebook had such a clear lead, it was always going to be difficult for Facebook to maintain [its position]. It has probably reached near enough its maximum growth.”
The figures will come as a blow to the company, which has been investing heavily in extending its reach and enticing users to click on its adverts, ahead of its long-awaited IPO. Facebook is expected to float with a possible valuation of £65 billion ($100 billion)- the biggest technology IPO ever.
By contrast, YouTube, the user-generated video site owned by Google, grew its traffic by 45pc last year.
It accounted for just over a quarter of all UK visits to social networks in December, putting it 7.4 percentage points ahead of the previous year.
“We’re expecting video to be even more influential as a marketing channel, and marketers will have to adapt their strategies to incorporate a multi-channel approach in order to secure customers both on and offline,” said Mr Murray.
Twitter and Yahoo! Answers also made gains, but remained tiny by comparison, with 3pc and 2pc of all visits to social networks respectively.
Google’s social network, Google +, did not register in the top 10 most visited social networks at all.
However, Google grew its share of search engine usage market in the UK, edging up from a 91.3pc share of the market to 91.8pc.
Microsoft, its nearest competitor, was a minnow by comparison. Its suite of sites accountted for 3.6pc of all search engine visits in the UK in December, whilst Yahoo!’s popularity for searches fell nearly a percentage point to 2.5pc.
Google was the most visited website with US users in 2011 but Facebook was not far behind according to market researchers.Nielsen suggests more than 153 million visitors clicked onto Google branded pages each month, as Facebook attracted close to 138 million visitors.
Yahoo came third with about 130 million visitors each month.
But analysts warned Yahoo’s tally might be at risk if young people continued to turn away from web-based email.
The study is based on data collected between January and October and included visits from home and work computers. It involved a sample from a global panel of 200,000 people.
Website Unique visitors per month
1. Google 153,441,000
2. Facebook 137,644,000
3. Yahoo 130,121,000
4. MSN/WindowsLive/Bing 115,890,000
5. YouTube 106,692,000
6. Microsoft 83,691,000
7. AOL Media Network 74,633,000
8. Wikipedia 62,097,000
9. Apple 61,608,000
10. Ask Search Network 60,552,000
Although Google trumped Facebook as the most popular web brand, the search giant’s Google+ network came far behind Mark Zuckerberg’s site in Nielsen’s ranking of the most popular social networks and blogs.
Google+ came eighth in the list with 8.02m unique monthly visitors.
That also put it behind Google’s weblog publishing tool Blogger, as well as Twitter, Wordspace, Myspace, Linkedin and Tumblr.
Google’s YouTube was identified as the most popular destination for online videos, attracting more than three times the number of monthly visitors as the music video service Vevo.
While Yahoo maintained its position as one of the top three web brands, an earlier study cast doubt over its ability to retain the position over coming years as it’s email system faces a declining market share.
Visits to video sharing websites by UK users have gone up by more than a third in the last year.The biggest driver of traffic to those sites is music videos (33%), followed by TV shows (17%), film (11%), gaming (10%) and news (9%).
The figures, from internet research company Experian Hitwise, show YouTube accounts for nearly 70% of all video website hits.
It’s now the third most popular site in the UK after Google and Facebook.
Lady Gaga was the most in demand for artist within music searches.
The research was gathered between September 2010 and September 2011.
During that time 240 million hours every month were spent by British internet users watching videos online.
UK’s top 10 websites:
Windows Live Mail
Yahoo! UK & Ireland
Yahoo has reported a quarterly profits fall of 26% as it struggled to boost earnings from online advertising.Net profits in the third quarter were £188 million compared with £247 million during the same period last year.
Last month, Yahoo sacked chief executive Carol Bartz after its online earnings failed to keep pace with those of rivals Google and Facebook.
However, its performance beat market expectations, and its shares ended 3% higher.
Yahoo’s net revenue in the three months to September was £668 million, compared with £700 million the year before.
“My focus, and that of the whole company, is to move the business forward with new technology, partnerships, products and premium personalised content,” said interim chief executive Tim Morse.
Yahoo has been looking for a new chief executive since firing Ms Bartz in September amid mounting frustration at failed efforts to turn the firm around.
Analysts say that in recent weeks there has been increasing speculation that Yahoo, or parts of its business, might be sold to an assortment of buyout firms.
There have been rumours that Microsoft is considering a second attempt at a takeover. Microsoft last offered to buy Yahoo for £29 billion in 2008.
China’s internet firm Alibaba has already said it might be interested in buying Yahoo- however american political sensivities will complicate any chinese purchase due to data spying senstivities of the Yahoo email system.
Online video content creators are now making significant amounts of money from a range of ways.
Since the explosion of streaming video several years ago, hosting sites have become home to a growing numberof video makers attracting devoted followings for everything from music and sketch comedy to make-up tips.
Meanwhile, online video has become a career for thousands of video creators, with some making hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.
As online video viewership has grown – YouTube draws 500 million unique visitors each month – marketers hope to take advantage of the dedicated audiences and low barriers to entry.
Video creators in turn are making money from hosting sites such as YouTube, DailyMotion and Blip.tv, which share a portion of the profits derived from video and banner advertisements.
YouTube, for one, has distributed millions of dollars in advertising revenue to its 20,000 most popular amateur producers since 2007.
A still from an episode of Annoying Orange on Blip.tv Blip.tv, which hosts the Annoying Orange comedy show describes its content as “the best in original web series”
“We share millions of dollars with our partners every year,” said Tom Sly, the site’s head of strategic partner development.
The amount advertisers pay varies with the popularity and quality of the videos, with creators receiving as much as $20 (£12.70) per thousand views.
“Across the board we’re seeing those numbers increase as we see higher quality content and the ability to target users so that advertisers have more fine-grained control,” Mr Sly said.
In 2010, the number of YouTube partners making over $1,000 (£600) per month from advertising revenue went up 300%, the company said.
The company declined to release specific figures, but Mr Sly said “hundreds” of video creators make more than $100,000 a year and “thousands” make more than $10,000 a year.
The top performing web shows on Blip.tv are on target to take in more than $1m in advert revenue each, said Eric Mortensen, senior director of programming.
“There are certain class of people, and it’s not that they are rejecting TV, they never even thought to be like TV in the first place,” he said. “And because of that they are doing new and different things and that’s how they end up making money.”
Industry analysts say that online video audiences are loyal and attentive and feel a connection to the creators.
In addition to advert revenue sharing, some video creators make as much as $150,000 a year by cutting sponsorship deals with major companies, said former YouTube executive George Strompolos, founder of Fullscreen, a start-up that aims to facilitate connections between corporate sponsors and video creators.
Aware of the power of recommendations from such seemingly personal relationships, companies like Ford, GE, and Lancome are directly reaching out to video makers to hawk their products.
Online video creators work without the need for teams of agents, managers, markets and developers, Mr Strompolos said.
“Online video tends to be a one-stop shop solution,” Mr Strompolos said. “You get not only the creative development and the authenticity of voice you’re looking for, but you also get distribution and reach.”
As the online video advertising and merchandising infrastructures become more sophisticated, analysts say more and more people are likely to strike out on their own in web video.
This is becoming the new television- a place where the average person has a much better chance of getting noticed and making money than if they were to go the traditional route via Hollywood.
Alan Lastufka, author of YouTube: An Insider’s Guide to Climbing the Charts, said: “The money may not always be headline-worthy, but it’s enough to quit your day job, stay in the basement on your computer and spend your time connecting with fans.”
The overall result is that traffic to both YouTube and Twitter has increased whilst Facebook’s dominance of social media has declined.
This month’s search and social analysis release confirmed some interesting trends in the Social Networking and Forums category, including a bumper month of traffic for Twitter, continuing growth for YouTube and a declining market share for Facebook.
Last month Hitwise noted the growth of YouTube and how the video website now accounts for 1 in every 5 visits to all social networking sites. In May YouTube continued its growth, accounting for 20.52% of all visits to the Social Networks and Forums category.
Meanwhile Twitter had its biggest month of traffic ever, in part because of the super-injunction revelations, but also because the micro-blogging platform has carved a niche for itself as an excellent platform through which Internet users can share and consume news.
Recent examples like the death of Osama Bin Laden, the Egypt crisis and the resurgence of the ash cloud have all been shared and discussed on Twitter.
What’s interesting is that the growth of YouTube and Twitter is coming at the expense of Facebook.
Since the beginning of 2011, Facebook’s market share of visits within the Social Networks and Forums category has fallen from nearly 58% to hover around the 54% mark.
Despite the drop in market share in recent months, Facebook needn’t panic. Although its market share is declining slightly, Facebook still commands over half of the visits to the fastest growing category online, and having a slightly smaller proportion of an ever increasing pie is still a very healthy place to be.
However, it does raise the question: has Facebook now finished its growth phase in the UK? This is something that Dr Search will continue to monitor closely over the coming months and confirms our blog post of a couple of days ago when I posted: Facebook faces saturation claims as growth stops