The Morning’s Web Media News

December 15, 2006

Some highlights from the morning’s news reading.

ftlogo.jpgHedge fund manager Cody Willard writes at the Financial Times, Buy Into the Internet Video Business While You Still Can. Take that, cynics who say the market is oversaturated! Willard writes, “YouTube is certainly a home run, but it is a home run on the fourth pitch in the first inning of internet video. YouTube is to internet video as the original three TV networks were to television.”

Speaking of YouTube, the AP published quite a solid article last night on the Top 10 YouTube Videos of 2006. It went beyond videos and really described memes that have flourished on the site. Or, if the top 10 was too chipper for you, there’s an AP story this morning on YouTube’s role in the world’s misery over the last year. I thought the role of YouTube in the Iraq war was one of the biggest omissions in last night’s Top 10. Anyone else thinking of things that were missed?

Bebo launches widgets

bebologo.jpgGiant social networking site Bebo began offering limited 3rd party media widgets for embedding in user profiles yesterday. Bebo, if you’re not familiar, is said to be one of MySpace’s biggest rivals internationally. Photobucket, RockYou and Slide are the three companies selected for the initial widget offering. It’s a slow start, but it’s moving in the opposite direction of MySpace, whose statements and actions have long pointed towards a deep hostility towards 3rd party widgets. Initial coverage at Mashable, where it’s reported that Bebo users created more than 100k new widgets in the first 12 hours they were available.

As Steve Bryant pointed out in a post yesterday titled In a Web Powered by Video, Pageviews Are Passe, web analytics and thus advertising are changing. While the navigation of MySpace piles up pageviews, the company’s in-house widget dominance will let them have their cake and eat it too by capturing media plays as well. I wonder whether sharing analytics, media plays and advertising was part of the agreement between these select new Bebo widget providers. That’s something that would be much harder to achieve with an API that was open to all widgets. Just for reference, the SplashCast player will be embeddable in social networking profiles and will roll up the functionality currently offered by many of these individual service providers.

Widget talk makes me look forward to the day when we simply no longer presume that the contents of a web page come from a single source.

VideoCage Opens For Premium Video Producers

VideoCage announced today that the pre-launch site is now accepting video uploads that producers will be able to charge viewers for access to beginning in the new year. Good coverage at E-Commerceblog. Producers can set any price to view videos, viewers pay with PayPal and VideoCage takes a %30 commission. The front end of the site doesn’t look too hot yet and it was even reported to have been hacked early this morning, but it’s an interesting concept. I’ll be curious to see how it looks and performs at launch next month.

Video Mashups Accelerating

John Musser of ProgrammableWeb, the premier site for tracking mashups, writes that video mashups are being added to the site’s database at more than twice the pace in the second half of this year as they were in the first half. The first half of 2006 of saw 21 video mashups added, so far there have been 51 new services added that incorporate video in the second half of the year. It’s great to see cross-site creativity ramping up in the video space.

That’s a morning wrap up, check back later today for more. Hopefully we’ll have some highlighted media items here today.