Google is ready to take the next step with YouTube and will launch an on-demand video rental service in which viewers will be able to stream Hollywood flicks, according to reports. The service could launch as early as next week, providing instant competition to Netflix and Apple's iTunes, and give Hollywood studios yet another revenue stream.
Google last week sent out an email letting users know they had until April 29, 2011 to download any videos they had uploaded to Google Video, after which time they'd lose access to them forever. That must have not sat well with some armchair Steven Spielberg types, because over the weekend we received a second email from Google, this one telling us that it's taken user feedback to heart and removed the deadline, and is offering to help users shuttle their videos to YouTube.
Feeling snubbed by the royal family in Britain because you didn't receive an invitation to the wedding of Prince William to university sweetheart Kate Middleton? Dry your teary eyes, because even though you can't be there in person to see the royal couple exchange their vows, you and perhaps billions of others can tune in to YouTube to watch the event unfold in real time.
Google sent us an email over the weekend letting us know that video content hosted on Google Video will no longer be available for playback later this month. For most users, this won't be an issue, but if you happen to have videos uploaded only to Google Video, your window of opportunity to both view them and download them is rapidly closing. Assuming you don't procrastinate, Google has made it easy to grab your videos.
YouTube has a message for video uploaders who run afoul of copyright law: You better check yourself before you wreck yourself. To help offending users check themselves, anyone who receives a copyright notification for one of their videos will be required to attend "YouTube Copyright School." This entails watching a copyright tutorial video and taking a quiz afterwards to make sure you didn't simply hit 'play' while you head out to go smokin' in the boys room.
Some analysts believe Google paid too much for YouTube when the search giant acquired the video sharing portal in 2006 for $1.65 billion. Whether or not Google overvalued the site ultimately remains to be seen, but in the meantime, the sultan of search is dipping into its treasure chest and will pour another $100 million into YouTube to fund low-cost original content designed exclusively for the Web.
While several sites and companies try to outright prank visitors with fake news stories and bogus announcements, YouTube's taking a bit of a different approach. In a bit of a roleplay scenario, YouTube is pretending to celebrate 100 years on the Web with a look back at what the video sharing site would have been like in 1911. Say what?
Fans of the National Basketball Association (NBA) may be able to tune in and watch live streaming games of their favorite teams on YouTube next year (assuming owners and players can hammer out a new collective bargaining agreement in time to avoid a lockout). According to a report in Bloomberg, the Google-owned video site is in negotiations with the NBA and "most pro sports leagues" to show more live sports.
Evan Daniel Emory, a 21-year-old from Muskegon, Michigan, may have the next 20 years to ponder what prompted him to edit a YouTube video that subsequently caused such an uproar. The video, which as since been removed from YouTube, makes it appear that Emory is singing provocative lyrics to a group of children in a first-grade classroom. He was actually singing Adam Sandler's "Lunch Lady Land," but later altered the video, earning him a lengthy felony charge, MLive.com reports.
Making a million dollars is apparently far easier than any of us ever thought. Rather than go out in the real world and toil away for 'the man,' you can just hop on YouTube and ask for the money. Don't roll your eyes, it actually works.
So maybe it won't work for everyone, but it did for Craig Rowin, a 27-year-old comedian who posted a video on YouTube imploring millionaires to give him a million bucks for no particular reason. He even suggested some potential donors, such as Stephen Spielberg and Lady Gaga.
According to ABC News, Rowin's plea for cash worked.
"Hi Craig, Benjamin, I was hoping to catch you in person," a caller told Rowin. "I want to talk about how to make you a millionaire."
Some have accused Rowin of shenanigans and say this all amounts to nothing more than a publicity stunt, but Rowin insists that's not the case.
"I have my doubts," said Brian Sercus, who previously performed in a college improv group with Rowin. "But I have never known him to be a practical joker, just a funny guy, not a guy who would go to such lengths to pull off a prank."