Thursday, 27 March 2008

YouTube Reveals Video Analytics Tool For All Users

Whether a YouTube video has 10 views or 10,000,000, people always want to know the same thing: who's watching this? Where do viewers come from? How did they find my video?



Finally, we have some answers. Today we're releasing YouTube Insight, a free tool that enables anyone with a YouTube account to view detailed statistics about the videos that they upload to the site. For example, uploaders can see how often their videos are viewed in different geographic regions, as well as how popular they are relative to all videos in that market over a given period of time. You can also delve deeper into the lifecycle of your videos, like how long it takes for a video to become popular, and what happens to video views as popularity peaks.



How does this help you? Well, using these metrics, you can increase your videos' view counts and improve your popularity on the site. For instance, you might learn that your videos are most popular on Wednesdays, that you have a huge following in Spain, or that new videos that play off previous content become more popular more quickly. With this information, you can concentrate on creating compelling new content that appeals to your target audiences, and post these videos on days you know these viewers are on the site. (Maybe even post your next video in Spanish?) And for those of you who are also partners, the more popular a video is, the more advertising revenue it can generate.



We'll be making new features and additional information available fairly quickly -- like a specific breakdown of how viewers discovered the video -- so keep an eye out as we roll out new features. As for now, you can find currently available metrics by clicking under the "About this Video" button under "My account > Videos, Favourites, Playlists > Manage my Videos."



The YouTube Team

Monday, 24 March 2008

YouTube Videos in High Quality

You may have noticed that we're now giving you the option of watching some YouTube videos in higher quality. We're making these streams available on certain videos, based upon the source file uploaded to us, and over time you'll find a greater percentage of the library is available to view in higher quality. This feature applies to all eligible videos uploaded from the YouTube community, and is not restricted to partner content, so everyone can enjoy this upgrade.







How do you watch higher quality videos? On your Account page you're now able to choose "always show me higher quality when available" or "never show me higher quality." We suggest you select "always show me..." only if you have a fast internet connection, otherwise you might find that videos don't play as quickly or smoothly as you're used to. Higher quality videos also have a link right below the video player which will allow you to select between the normal or higher quality settings.



We want to help everyone understand that YouTube will continue to evolve with the videos you're creating. We're especially excited about offering this upgrade in video quality to our community of filmmakers and animators, who have been requesting this feature for some time. As more of you guys produce great-looking videos, we want to make sure they can be seen in all their glory. So we'll continue to increase quality behind the scenes and make tweaks to support your uploads. (Remember, we can now support uploads up to 1GB in size.)



You may also wonder how video quality is chosen. Our general philosophy is to make sure that as many people as possible can access YouTube and that videos start quickly and play smoothly. That's one reason why you don't see us racing to call this "Super Duper YouTube HD," because most people don't want to wait a long time for videos to play.



Keep creating and watching...

The YouTube Team

Friday, 21 March 2008

YouTube Awards -- Winners Announced!

And the results are in! Hundreds of thousands votes were cast during the week-long voting process, and 12 videos emerged victorious in their respective categories. Head over here to see the winners or click here to review all the nominees, which were largely defined as the videos you favourited to watch again and again, that generated the most discussion or views, and/or made some kind of societal impact.



Tell us what you thought about this year's awards experience and how we could make it better in the future. More community involvement is definitely on the top of the list, as is giving the event more of a real-world presence (beyond the the mammoth trophy winners will receive).



Meanwhile, upload those videos and start building up an audience for them. Anything could happen in 2008...



Best wishes,

The YouTube Team

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Make Films. Win Stuff.

Why do people make videos? At YouTube we understand that there are as many answers to this question as there are film-makers. At the same time we are always working to provide you with even more incentive to pick up a cam or endure the editing process – one aspect of this being to support competitions on YouTube organised by our partners.


Now that YouTube is launched in the UK and Ireland, we are seeing a lot more projects being tailor-made for local entrants. And with top prizes ranging from seeing your video crop up on TV to cold, hard cash, we thought you might be interested in learning more.


MOVIE MADNESS


Does the prospect of providing stream-of-consciousness voiceover for natural history footage appeal? If so, check out the UK channel that has been created for forthcoming film release Strange Wilderness. Their example is well worth watching and learning from:






In a similar vein, if you’ve always wanted to release your inner Spartan, then the Spartans film channel is the place to head. If you prevail, the island paradise of Ibiza beckons for you and a group of similarly toned friends.


ADVERTISING GENIUS


Aspiring creative ad dynamos should cast their sharp eyes over the Doritos You Make It page. Not only will the winner walk away with a cool £20,000 (the runners up prizes are equally exciting), but their work will grace ad breaks everywhere. Similarly, if you’re adept with a ball, then the Gillette Trick Stars channel is offering you the chance to showcase your tricksy skills for Sky Sports viewers. You never know: yours could be the next Ronaldinho video:






Here’s hoping you find inspiration in one of these ideas – and remember: it’s not the winning, it’s the taking part. Just don't forget us when you bag the big prize...


Have fun,

The YouTube Team

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

The Vancouver Film School/YouTube Scholarship Competition

Film schools have helped produce some of the greatest filmmakers of all
time -- Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola, to name a few. But, in
many ways, they've also been restricted to a select few.




Which is why I'm pleased to report that today marks the start of a
partnership between YouTube and the Vancouver Film School

to make film school accessible to up-and-coming filmmakers all over the world!




Aspiring directors, actors, animators, screenwriters – even sound
designers – in all of YouTube's 19 countries are invited to step up to
the challenge in order to win one of three scholarships to any of
Vancouver Film School's 14 outstanding educational programmes.








After Vancouver Film School whittles down the submission pool to top applicants, the YouTube community will vote for the three scholarship winners.




This is your chance to continue the democratization of filmmaking and to determine who some of our brightest future film stars might be.



Check out the competition and visit our FAQs to confirm your eligibility and pick up tips on creating a top-notch entry.



Happy filmmaking,



Sara P.


YouTube Film

Thursday, 13 March 2008

The YouTube Awards Are Back

In 2007, we witnessed an explosion of ideas and creativity on YouTube. You showed us that online video is not just a way to share pet and baby videos (though it is certainly good for that, too), but rather it can be so much more: a showcase for aspiring artists, a megaphone for everyday people, a way to learn new skills and even to change the political process.




In recognition of all of these vibrant uses of and communities on YouTube, we expanded the awards this year to include five new categories -- Best Short Film, Best Political Video, Best Sports Video, Best Eyewitness Video, and Best Instructional Video – for a total of 12. Each category now has six nominees instead of 10 (a special nod to those of you with short attention spans). If you want to vote local, tracecats and juliapot are flying the flag for the UK.




You'll also notice that the structure of the awards and the way voting works look a little different this year. Every time you refresh the page, the order of the categories and the featured thumbnail change in a random order so there can be no bias in the way the content is viewed or presented.




As you might imagine, whittling down any category to six videos was a gargantuan task and already we'll say we're sorry to the hundreds/thousands of deserving content creators who didn't get nominated. But you can't exactly blame us - you made these videos memorable and helped them rise to the top of the YouTube charts. The nominees reflect some of the most buzzed-about videos on the site, particularly the ones you bookmarked to watch later (and presumably again and again).




So head over to the YouTube Video Awards channel to start watching and voting for some of the videos that defined '07. You can vote once per day (though you may not change your vote on the same day) and you have until 11:59pm PT on March 19, 2008, to do so. Winners will be announced on March 21, 2008, at which point we'll feature them on this page as well as courier them a trophy like no other (and believe us when we say this). Winners will also get a special invitation to a YouTube event later this year.




Good luck and have fun!




The YouTube Team

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Spanish Elections On YouTube

Elections were held in Spain this weekend, with Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero winning re-election after a fierce race with conservative opponent Mariano Rajoy. We're proud to have played a role in this political process with our Elecciones '08 initiative, a partnership between YouTube and Radio Television EspaƱola (RTVE), Spain's public broadcasting channel. More than 600 video questions for the candidates were submitted here, including these highlights:







In all, 53 questions were posed on TV to the candidates, like this provocative one about abortion rights submitted by the Catholic Church. (It has already received in excess of 400,000 views.)



Reflecting a wide range of concerns and opinions, Elecciones '08 gave Spanish voters an opportunity not only to voice their views about the candidates, but also to engage with them like never before.


Yours,

Steve G.

YouTube News & Politics

YouTube Everywhere

We try really hard to make YouTube as open as possible. Anyone can upload and view videos, which can be embedded anywhere and viewed on all kinds of different devices. And, of course, anyone can participate in our community by commenting on videos, rating them, and sharing them with friends.



Nevertheless, we worried that we weren't open enough. So, we pulled some all-nighters and added some powerful new ways to integrate YouTube content and community into other websites, desktop applications, video games, mobile devices, televisions, cameras, and lots more.



For users, the exciting news is that they will be able to actively participate in the YouTube community from just about anywhere, including the online destinations and web communities they already love and visit regularly. For partners and developers, YouTube has grown into much more than a website. It has become an open, general purpose, video services platform, available for use by just about any third-party website, desktop application, or consumer device. We now provide a complete set of (CRUD) capabilities for uploading, managing, searching, and playing back user videos and metadata from the YouTube "cloud," managed by us. We do all of the hard work of transcoding and hosting and streaming and thumbnailing your videos, and we provide open access to our sizable global audience, enabling you to generate traffic for your site, visibility for your brand, or support for your cause. Meanwhile, we provide full access to our substantial video library, enabling you to attract users and enhance the experience on your site. It's all free, and it's available to everyone, starting now.



Technically, we have introduced some new APIs. (This is just a geeky acronym for Awesomely Powerful Interactions, which is what users are now capable of performing from just about anywhere.) Building upon our existing APIs for querying the YouTube library and playing embedded YouTube videos, we have added the following new API services for external developers and partners:



  • Upload videos and video responses to YouTube

  • Add/Edit user and video metadata (titles, descriptions, ratings, comments, favorites, contacts, etc)

  • Fetch localised standard feeds (most viewed, top rated, etc.) for 18 international locales

  • Perform custom queries optimised for 18 international locales

  • Customise player UI and control video playback (pause, play, stop, etc.) through software


The number of possible new applications is endless. Electronic Arts has enabled gamers to capture videos of fantastical user-generated creatures from their upcoming game, Spore, and publish these directly into YouTube. The University of California, Berkeley is bringing free educational content to the world, enhancing their open source lecture capture and delivery system to publish videos automatically into YouTube. Animoto enables its users to create personalised, professional-quality music videos from their own photos and upload them directly to YouTube. Tivo is providing its users a rich and highly participative YouTube viewing experience on the television. For more details about the innovative ways these other partners are utilising YouTube APIs, see our case studies.



What will you build with our new APIs? The possibilities are endless. Learn more about the exciting new features in this release from our engineers or visit Google Code to get started now. We can't wait to see what you create.



Enjoy,



Jim Patterson, Product Management

The YouTube Team

Friday, 7 March 2008

Sigur Ros Take Over

We are thrilled to let the shy and beguiling Icelandic post-rock quartet Sigur Ros take over our home page with a full, 97-minute presentation of their DVD Heima, along with 10 videos created by their fans out of unused footage from the film.



What is this otherworldly road trip? Heima documents Sigur Ros' 2006 free tour of Iceland and it's their first-ever concert film. With the shows announced only by word-of-mouth, the band ended up performing in deserted fish factories, far West fjords and tiny regional community halls. "Heima" means both "at home" and "homeland" in Icelandic.



Sigur Ros invited their fans to participate in their film project by creating a video contest on YouTube asking users to create their own "little Heima" with extra footage from the DVD. After sorting through nearly 150 videos, the band selected their favorite, by sdewitt108, whose film has been referred to as "The Cosmic Sheep."



We'll let Sigur Ros tell you (in their own reluctant manner) about the contest, the cosmic sheep, and their unique and magical film:







We hope you enjoy this peaceful journey of music and epic landscapes from Heima, as presented by Sigur Ros and, of course, you.



Takk,

Michele K-Tel

YouTube Music