If you’re part of a small business, chances are you’re always looking for ways to save money. What many business owners and managers don’t realize is that they can get all the software they need to run a business — quite literally all of it in most cases — 100% free of charge. That includes operating systems, word processing programs, accounting software, email servers, graphic design programs and more. If you put in some time to do some research, you might find perfectly free software alternatives that work just as well as Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop (Adobe Photoshop), QuickBooks, and other better-known programs.
HTTPS Everywhere is a Firefox add-on created by The Tor Project and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. It encrypts your web communication with several major websites that support, but may not default to secure, HTTPS connection. The add-on, currently in beta, makes sure you connect securely to the following sites: DuckDuckGo, EFF, Facebook, Google Search, Google Services, Identica, Xquick, Mozilla, NYTimes, PayPal, Scroogle, Torproject, Twitter, The Washington Post, Wikipedia, GentooBugzilla and Noisebridge. Of course, you can make sure that you connect to these sites via HTTPS individually, but this script makes it a far simpler affair.
Sezmi is making its broadband and broadcast set-top setup available in 10 new markets, expanding beyond a limited trial of services in Los Angeles that began earlier this year. But while the company called its LA trial a success, we’re skeptical that consumers will be eager to pay $299 plus an additional $4.99 per month to get live access to content, most of which is readily available through Hulu or can be picked up over the air with a $30 digital antenna. Residents of Boston; Detroit; Houston; Kansas City, Mo.; Phoenix; Portland, Ore.; Miami, Orlando and Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; and San Francisco will now be able to use the Sezmi hardware to get live and on-demand content from broadcasters like ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC, as well as broadband Internet video from YouTube and other online video providers. But unlike in LA, the system won’t be sold in Best Buy stores (though it will be on sale through bestbuy.com), and users won’t have access to certain premium cable content.
FFmpeg published release 0.6 of its set of multimedia tools and libraries this week. The release is code-named “Works with HTML5″ since it incorporates support for Google’s WebM open source video codec, as well as improved decoding for H.264 and Ogg Theora. FFmpeg is used by more than a hundred video players, transcoding applications and home theater solutions to support a wide range of video codecs, with VLC, Boxee, MythTV, Handbrake and MPLayer being some of the more popular projects utilizing FFmpeg. WebM was open sourced by Google at its developer conference in May and is based on On2′s VP8 video codec. It is meant to offer an open source alternative to the H.264 video codec, which is controlled by the MPEG LA licensing body — a fact that has stopped the makers of Firefox from supporting H.264 for Flash-free HTML5 video playback. Firefox and Chrome support the playback of Webm video content via preview-releases instead, and Adobe has announced that it will also bake WebM support into Flash.
Mashable is hosting the first-ever worldwide Social Media Day celebration on June 30 and you’re invited. Last week, we announced Social Media Day — a global celebration of the revolution of media becoming social. Readers responded enthusiastically by signing up to organize or attend more than 340 meetups in 74 different countries. Today, we also launched Smday.com to help showcase the social discussions around the event with featured photos tagged with #smday on Flickr (Flickr), tweets that include #smday, your Facebook comments, and, of course, the Meetup widget showcasing the events closest to your community. Our staff will be attending meetups in New York City, San Francisco, Atlanta and Austin, so come say hello (other cities may be added).
The Huffington Post has acquired its first company in a small cash deal, and it is not another blog or media site, but a pure technology startup called Adaptive Semantics. The two-person startup provides a semantic analysis engine (aka JuLiA) already used by the Huffington Post to help moderate the 100,000 comments published on the blog every day. Prior to the acquisition, the Huffington Post was already Adaptive Semantic’s largest and only outside investor, buying a 20 percent stake in April, 2009. Adaptive Semantic’s two co-founders, Elena Haliczer and Jeff Revesz, will join Huffington Post to oversee its social news and community technology R&D. The acquisition price was not disclosed “Technology is very critical to us,” says CEO Eric Hippeau. “In this case, the technology has implications for our content. It makes moderation hyper-efficient.” With close to 3 million comments a month, the only way to moderate them is through automation tools (as well as a corp of about 30 professional human moderators).
The rumors are true: hedge fund Criterion Capital Partners is indeed the buyer of Bebo. As we reported yesterday, AOL is offloading the social networking service for less than $10 million (other media are reporting a purchase price of around $2.5 million). To remind you: AOL paid $850 million for Bebo back in 2008. Ouch indeed. In a press release that just went out, Criterion acknowledges that it has acquired the Bebo business from AOL and that it will “assume the rights and complete operating control over the global social platform business”. The acquisition and financing was led by CCP partner Adam Levin in partnership with business strategist Paul Abramowitz and web entrepreneur Richard Hecker. Criterion Capital Partners will take over Bebo’s global operations immediately and retain its San Francisco-based headquarters.
There’s good news and bad news for Yahoo’s TV Widgets. The good news is that Sony is expanding the number of markets where those widgets are available nearly seven-fold. The bad news is that Yahoo partner Sony is also spearheading the introduction of a competing platform by Google. Yahoo announced today that its TV widgets will soon be available on Sony Bravia LCD TVs in more than 100 countries around the world, a nearly seven-fold increase over the number of markets that they are available in now. With Yahoo TV Widgets on their TVs, customers can get access to thousands of content sources for news, weather, sports and social networking, as well as over-the-top movies, TV shows and other Internet content. The only problem is that Google also wants to make Internet content available through connected TVs and other devices, and plans to do so with the help of Sony. The search giant introduced Google TV at its I/O conference last month, with Sony as its first major CE partner to introduce connected TVs and Blu-ray players that leverage the new TV operating system.
Encoding.com has introduced a new API that will let major customers — like large video publishers and video distribution platforms — offer its cloud encoding services as a white-label solution. And a group of its customers have already signed up for the white-label service, including Cisco Eos, Giant Realm, Kaltura and Vzaar. Encoding.com’s new features allow video management firms to create sub-accounts on the fly, enabling them to sign up their own customers for the cloud-based encoding service. By extending its API, video hosting and distribution companies can integrate the service into their own platforms, therefore making encoding in the cloud a seamless part of the video production workflow. The startup has also made sample scripts available for various programming languages to let its customers get up and running quickly.
Popular live video platform Ustream is adding a new product to its repertoire today: an iPhone application platform called Ustream Live Mobilizer that offers brands, celebrities, and bands a customizable iPhone application that features Ustream’s live steaming capabilities. Each Mobilizer app is branded to the artist’s specifications (in other words, they don’t look like generic cookie cutter apps). The biggest feature here is support for watching an artist’s live video feed through Ustream, but the app also includes support for sharing to sites like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube. It also has Ustream’s ‘Social Stream’ feature, which lets you submit questions to the artist during a live stream and syndicate it out to other social networks.
Vanessa Pappas is Vice President of Audience & Strategic Partnerships at Next New Networks, where she oversees key partner relationships, builds out audience growth strategies and advises programming of the networks which include Indy Mogul, Hungry Nation, and Barely Digital. Online video has moved from the niche to the mainstream and become a part of our regular media consumption. After five years, YouTube (YouTube) hit the milestone of serving one billion video views per day in October 2009, and just seven months later crossed the threshold of two billion view day in May. With online video viewing rivaling some of the biggest television ratings, how can you stand out in this sea of content on the world’s largest video platform? Whether you’re a Fortune 500 company, a media outlet, a small business, or an individual, the questions are the same: How do viewers find your videos online, and what keeps them coming back for more?
Up until now, if YouTube users wanted to combine multiple clips into a single video, they had to use offline editing tools. But YouTube today rolled out cloud-based video editing tools, giving users a whole new way to remix their existing video assets online. As detailed in the Google operating system blog, the new YouTube editor allows users to trim video, mix and match clips — even add music. And while the new offering won’t replace more robust video editing software — like Apple’s Final Cut Pro — it will enable users to combine their videos in new and interesting ways.
So… whatcha doin’ over there on that laptop, denizens of the world? Well, according to a new study from Nielsen showing Internet usage in April 2010, 22% of the time, you’re engaging with social media. Yeah, 22% might not seem like a mammoth percentage, but you have to take into account the fact that this finding is on a global scale. Also, a few more telling takeaways from the report: * Currently, three quarters of Internet (Internet) users worldwide visit a social network or blog when they go online — that’s a 24% increase over last year. * Joe Average (the international version) spends 66% more time on these sites than he did a year ago — for example, your average user spent 6 hours on these sites in April 2010, while last year he spent 3 hours, 31 minutes. * Facebook (Facebook), YouTube and Wikipedia (Wikipedia) make an appearance among the world’s most popular brands. We’ve seen ample proof of the burgeoning popularity of social media in the past — just two months ago, Nielsen reported similar growth — and it makes sense. Facebook has been giving Google (Google) a run for its money when it comes to traffic, and YouTube (YouTube) recently surpassed two billion views per day. We’ll have to see how social media usage shakes out as Facebook continues to accrue users, and YouTube dips its toe into the newsfeed business in an attempt to become a legit news source. In the meantime, check out a few more highlights from the study: * Brazil boasts the largest percentage of Internet users visiting a social network –- 86% * Australians spend the most time on social networking sites: an average of 7 hours and 19 minutes in April — the U.S. and Italy came in second and third with six and a half hours each. * Facebook has the greatest share of the market in Italy in April 2010, garnering two-thirds of the active unique audience in April 2010. Australia (Australia), the U.S. and the UK came in on Italy’s heels with more than 60% of active users visiting the site. How much time do you spend on social networking sites? Has your hunger for social media contributed to this global increase?
4G is in the air! Or, at least for T-Mobile, 4G speeds are in the air. While T-Mobile isn’t technically allowed to pitch their HSPA+ network as 4G, its speeds can exceed that of the networks that some carriers (read: Sprint) have been toting as 4G for the last few months. This morning, T-Mobile is officially debuting their HSPA+ network in 15 new cities, from Los Angeles, CA to New Orleans, LA. While a handful of places — New York, Philadelphia, Vegas, and Memphis, to name a few — are already blanketed in T-Mobile’s latest radio juice, the new roster is pretty impressive. If you’re in Atlanta, Houston, Seattle, Tampa, Orlando, Pittsburgh, Charlotte, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, New Orleans, or Charleston, fire up your device and give it a speed test — chances are, you’re surrounded in 4G(ish) radiowaves right this second.
Apple has updated the Mac Mini, beefing up the processor to a 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, allowing for up to 8 GB of self-installed memory thanks to a removable panel and providing a graphical boost with Nvidia’s GeForce 320M chipset. A single cord connection for audio and video output to a monitor or HDTV set has also been added, and the small desktop computer is now housed in a larger aluminum case. Aside from the new look, the updated video capabilities stand out as rumors have swirled around the Mini becoming the new Apple TV of the future. Recent talk indicated that the company might leverage the rebadged iOS4 platform for an Apple TV device, which would add tens of thousands of software apps to the living room. But with the new hardware, notably Nvidia’s graphics solution and the new HDMI port, the Mac Mini could easily function like an Apple TV through the use of iTunes and Front Row — two pieces of software that provide simple playback controls when paired with a wireless Apple remote. The price tag has also changed — at $699, it’s $100 more expensive than the previous version.
Last week, we asked readers to define and submit answers to the elusive question, “What is Social Media?” To make it fair for readers submitting answers via Twitter, we limited the responses to 140 characters. Despite this limitation, we received some fascinating answers that ranged from the simple (i.e. “Twitter.” from Connor Jack) to the complex (Conduit collecting, catalyzing & closed-circuit circulating collaborative citizen comments, contextual contributions & co-created content” from Tim Davis) and even the predictive (“Currently a term for user-generated web content, but will soon become obsolete when the whole web becomes social” from Dominick Soar).
UK-based startup Shoply wants to allow anyone to sell anything online. The company offers free SaaS that allows people to sell their goods in an online marketplace, with their own storefront and website. The idea behind the site is fairly simple. Shoply aims to compete with eBay and other marketplaces by not charging setup or listing fees. Shoply makes money by charging a small transaction fee, which is 6 percent of a total transaction, on all purchases made through its platform as well as through monthly subscription plans for premium packages. Payments are made via PayPal. Shoply also lets sellers integrate their virtual shops with social networks like Twitter and Facebook, allowing people to Tweet products out and use Facebook Connect to push updates. The ambition is to create a virtual shopping mall of sorts, where users can come to Shoply and try to find an item by doing a keyword search in the marketplace. And Shoply handles the SEO for the shop owners. The idea sounds great in theory, but it may be a challenge for Shoply to attract seller who already have an established base on Amazon, eBay and even Etsy. At the moment, Shoply has under 30 shops on the site. I think for the startup to start standing apart from these established competitors, it may have push a more disruptive model, such as such as that of marketplace on Facebook. Shoply’s founder Liad Shababo says that the site currently offers this functionality, which will compete with fellow Facebook marketplace Payvment.
Boxee, the popular home theater PC program, has received another serious blow in its quest to become a living room mainstay, as the release of its much-anticipated Boxee Box has been pushed back to November of this year. In fact, the delay might prove fatal to Boxee’s set-top hardware. In a blog post, Co-founder and CEO Avner Ronen announced that the device is being pushed back from Q2 2010 (which ends this month) to November because the “time-frame proved overly ambitious.” From Ronen’s announcement: “Earlier this week we got confirmation that the Boxee Box by D-Link will ship this November in US and Canada. We realize many of you have waited months to purchase the Boxee Box, and we know how frustrating this is. Believe us when we say that both Boxee & D-Link want to start selling Boxee Boxes yesterday.” While delays are normal in the development of any piece of hardware, Boxee cannot afford this delay, as Google TV approaches its high-profile release with the velocity of a high speed train.
Content security, advertising and tracking — these are all things that HTML5 video lags behind Adobe’s Flash. For most publishers, lack of support for any or all of these capabilities can be a deal breaker — which is why many have chosen to tread lightly or stay away from HTML5 video implementations altogether, despite the fact that HTML5 is the only way to get video on Apple’s iPhone or iPad. Because Flash has been used for years as the de facto standard for video publishing on the web, an ecosystem of tools has sprung up for reporting and analytics, monetization and content security. As a nascent web standard, HTML5 video still lacks the same kind of toolset that is available to Flash publishers for years. But some startups — like mDialog — are emerging to help video publishers tackle these problems. mDialog got its start in building video apps for iPhone publishers, but since the iPad uses the same formatting for video publishing, it was able to extend that expertise to those that want to publish on the new Apple tablet. As a result, mDialog’s HTML5 player already offers advertising support and reporting features for iPad publishers — and was one of the first companies to do so. Now the startup is extending its tool set to include content security.
TypePad users who installed the Facebook “Like” widgets on their blog sidebars have experienced a 50% increase in referral traffic from Facebook collectively, TypePad revealed in a blog post. Facebook unveiled the “Like” feature at its F8 Developer Conference in late April. Readers can click the “Like” button on an article to share it with their Facebook friends without leaving a publisher’s website. Approximately 1,500 TypePad bloggers have installed the “Like” buttons on their blogs since the widget became available on the platform in early May. Shortly after releasing the sidebar widget, TypePad released a second feature that enables users to attach a Facebook “Like” button to the bottom of each blog post. 2,400 bloggers have added the feature, and have enjoyed a 200% growth in referral traffic from Facebook as a whole, according to TypePad. Have you experienced a spike in referral traffic from Facebook after adding “Like” buttons to your blog? If so, by how much?
One of the many neat features of the new HTC EVO 4G is its ability to record 720p HD video. Of course, the resolution alone doesn’t say much about how the videos look, which is why we decided to take the device for a spin and have it directly compete against a Flip SlideHD. I took both devices for a spin outside our office and recorded some additional footage in our hallway and elevator to challenge them on their ability to handle low light scenes. The results, in a nutshell: Flip maker Cisco can relax, at least for now. The EVO 4G doesn’t even come close to the crispness of the Flip, which also deals much better with challenging recording situations.
As big brands move more of their ad budgets online, what they want most is not just to capture clicks, but to capture the attention and mindshare of consumers. The buzzword in the online advertising industry for this attention capturing quality is “engagement.” Every ad platform out there is promising to deliver more consumer engagement. Today, Glam Media, which itself is both a publisher of women’s sites and an ad network, announced an entirely new ad-serving technology platform called Glam Adapt it’s built over the past 18 months to help brands find and target the most engaged consumers. GlamAdapt works with existing ad-serving technologies and networks such as DoubleClick, Atalas, and iBlaster, but Glam CEO Samir Arora has bigger ambitions for it. ”It also can be used as a complete replacement for Doubleclick,” he says. GlamAdapt came out of his own frustrations as a publisher and ad network. ”We were running into a wall in terms of having technology that do what the brands are asking,” says Arora: “targeted properly, engaging, detailed analytics and reporting, the aha of television. I decided to build a third generation ad-serving stack that can work with existing technologies.”
Twitter is a mix of fail whale “over capacity” messages and significantly delayed timelines this morning, with the microblogging service experiencing a host of technical issues that are frustrating users. The timeline has been creeping further and further behind over the last hour or so –- as of 11:45 EST, the most recent tweets we’re seeing are from 11 minutes ago. This isn’t an unprecedented problem at Twitter, and usually the timeline can be brought back up to speed fairly quickly (Update: Twitter now says they’re working on the issue). We’ll update here when we know more. Meanwhile, let us know “What’s Happening?” in the comments!
Google has announced that it has completed the rollout of Google Caffeine, the new and improved web indexing system that now powers the world’s largest search engine. In August of last year, it was revealed that Google was working on a new version of its search engine. The project, dubbed “Caffeine,” was initiated in order to create a faster, more accurate indexing and search system. It was also meant to better handle rich media and real-time content.
SponsorPay, Europe’s leading provider of advertisement-based payment systems, has secured a further €3.8m of funding. The new round comes from Hasso Plattner Ventures, Moscow’s Kite Ventures, and Team Europe Ventures who are the original backers of the Berlin-based startup. The injection of capital solidifies SponsorPay’s dominant position in Eurpope, having recently acquired its equally young rival, Hamburg-based GratisPay, in early February. The combined properties’ customers cover the majority of the major online and social game publishers across Europe, including Gameforge, Bigpoint, InnoGames and Frogster. SponsorPay enables online gamers to earn virtual currency by taking part in offers from its various advertising partners, such as signing up for a product trial etc. It currently has 40 employees speaking languages covering 100 countries.
Group buying site Tippr.com has acquired Austin-based deals site FanForce for an undisclosed sum. This follows the company’s acquisition of fellow deal of the day site ChicagoDeals last week. FanForce offers a white-label Groupon of sorts, allowing small businesses to create their own deals. FanForce takes care of the promotion of deals and offers, sell the vouchers and collect payments. It’s similar in theory to TC Disrupt startup ChompOn, which launched a few weeks ago. The founders of FanForce will join the Tippr management team, including Samy Aboel-Nil who joins Tippr as President/COO, Dane Knecht who joins Tippr as VP of Product Management, and John Whitmarsh, who joins Tippr as CFO. The collective buying space has seen considerable consolidation as of late. Tippr’s competitor Groupon just bought European deal site CityDeal. And with the growing number of similar sites joining the space, I’d expect the consolidation to continue.
Our buddy Jack Deneut of Nelso looked at some of the AdMob mobile metrics reporting and came away with an interesting look at the penetration of iPhone/Touch/iPad (iOS) around the world. The biggest user of iPhones by population? You’ll never guess. Jack looked at the total numbers and compared it to population. For example, China has .05% penetration with 922,138 iPhones and Touches in a population of 1,338,612,968 while the US has 18 million devices in a population of 309 million for 3.45% penetration.
According to the analysts at Hitwise, social networks in general are more popular than search engines in some parts of the world. In fact, networks such as Facebook (Facebook) have been pushing hard against the biggest names in web search, including Google (Google), for several months now. As Hitwise reported recently, Facebook’s overall web traffic pulled ahead of Google’s for the first time in the U.S. in March of this year. Now, we’ve learned that in the UK, people are visiting social networks more than they’re visiting search engines. Facebook dominates the current crop of social networks, accounting for the majority (55%) of all social site visits. When compared to the wider web, Google gets around 9.3% of all web traffic, while Facebook captures just over 7%.
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is taking a cold, hard look at the market for advertising on the iPad and other tablet devices, launching a new “Tablet Task Force” and issuing a report on the future of “tabvertising.” (We didn’t come up with it — blame the IAB.) And while some may see the iPad’s lack of Adobe Flash as a potential barrier to advertising on the device, the IAB says that’s easy enough to overcome with a little HTML5.
Critics were up in arms last week when AT&T revised its wireless data plans ahead of today’s WWDC keynote, in which Apple’s new iPhone HD is expected to be announced. The new plans, which essentially cap data usage on AT&T’s wireless network, take over for the company’s older unlimited data plan. While the new 2GB data plan, at $25 a month, is $5 cheaper than the old unlimited plan, it also limits the amount of content that can be viewed on Apple devices. AT&T claims that 98 percent of its subscribers use less than 2 GB per month, while another 65 percent use less than 200 MB a month. But the iPad and iPhone are built for content consumption, specifically web video consumption — so just how much web video can one watch under the new 2 GB data plan? To find out, video search startup Clicker tracked data usage of different video applications on the iPad and measured just how much video users can expect to view on each.
Facebook Grows Video Presence; data from comScore’s Video Metrix suggests the number of unique US users viewing video content on Facebook has grown from 13.3 million in April 2009 to 41.3 million a year later. (ClickZ) Vevo Passes Hulu in Users, Finds Hispanic Niche; in five months, Vevo has surged, hitting 44 million unique users in April, according to comScore. (MediaWeek) Metacafe Lands $5M for Curated Movie Site; online video sharing site Metacafe has secured $5 million of an expected $6 million in debt, options, warrants and securities, according to a filing with the SEC. (VentureBeat) Adobe Tries Creeping Back Onto the iPad, With Help From Greystripe; the software company, along with mobile ad network Greystripe, says it will be creating ads in HTML5 that work on the iPhone and iPad’s Flash-free Safari browser. (MediaMemo)
CNN’s Skype Deal Broke UK TV Regulation; UK regulator Ofcom says Skype’s sponsorship of the Connector Of The Day segment in host Becky Anderson’s Connect The World show contravened rule 9.1 of the UK’s Broadcasting Code. (paidContent)
HTML5 Video Made Hackable By Handroll.tv; Serial entrepreneur Scott Rafer has unveiled Handroll.tv, an HTML5 video delivery platform that allows you to put any video file’s URL in and you’ll get an HTML5 embed code. (ReadWriteWeb)
Smartclip Launches New Multi-Screen Video Advertising Platform in Europe; the new video ad platform allows advertisers to use the same ad format on a number of devices, including PCs, smartphones, TVs and game consoles. (press release)
Facebook is increasingly becoming a hub for online video viewing, with more than 20 million videos being uploaded to the social network each month — and more than 2 billion videos being watched. Those two stats, given exclusively to NewTeeVee by a Facebook spokesperson, underscore the growing importance of video as a communications medium on the social networking site. The number of uploads, in particular, has grown pretty substantially over the past year. Last March, Facebook said that it received on average 415,000 video uploads a day, or about 12 million a month, 40 percent of which came directly from webcams. And as more mobile devices that are video-ready enter the market, we can expect the number of mobile videos to increase. Last summer, for instance, Facebook released an update to its iPhone app enabling users to directly upload video to the site.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs just announced the highly anticipated fourth-generation iPhone at WWDC, and the device is bound to make some people at Cisco pretty nervous: The iPhone 4 features 720p HD video recording at 30fps, an LED flash that doubles as a spotlight source for video recording and the ability to edit any video footage right on the device. Video editing on the iPhone is enabled through a custom version of iMovie, which can be bought in the App Store for $4.99. The development of iMovie for the iPhone was led by Randy Ubillos, whose previous credits include the design and development of Adobe Premier and Final Cut Pro. The software features a number of themes and transitions and makes it possible to export video in 360p, 540p and 720p, all of which can be shared immediately via Wi-Fi or 3G networks.
Driven by ubiquitous broadband, increasingly smart devices and free, easy-to-use video chat services, the number of video calls that consumers make is expected to increase nearly ten-fold over the next five years. That will lead to an explosion in mobile video chat revenues, which are expected to reach $3.4 billion by 2015, according to a new report by GigaOM Pro. (subscription required) The report, entitled “Can You See Me Now?: The New World of Consumer Visual Communications,” forecasts that consumers will make 29.6 billion video calls in 2015, up from just 3.2 billion this year. During that time, most video calls will be made over PCs, but by 2015, the number of video calls made over the computer will level out as consumers take advantage of video chat services available on mobile devices and Internet-connected TVs.
As everyone on the Web knows by now, Steve Jobs does not think too highly of Flash and therefore you cannot watch Flash videos on the the iPad (or the iPhone). Apple’s position has stirred a lot of debate about how much video on the Web is iPad-friendly. It turns out that about two thirds of new videos are currently being encoded in the H.264 format, which is playable on the iPad, but media sites still need to either package that video in an app or in an HTML5 video player viewable in the iPad’s browser. Streaming Media decided to shed more light on the issue by surveying 1,147 online media professionals about their iPad and HTML5 video plans in a report available here. According to the survey, 49 percent plan to support HTML5 video on their media sites by the end of next year, and 36 percent plan to support video on the iPad either through dedicated apps or an iPad compatible Website.
The number of people that turn to the web for video entertainment continues to increase, with almost 70 percent of all US Internet users now watching videos online, according to new data from The Pew Research Center. But the research firm’s latest State of Online Video report shows much of that growth coming from Internet users that are young, educated and well-off. According to the latest data, 69 percent of Internet users have used the web to watch or download online video, which equates to about half (52 percent) of all US residents. Since 2007 — the last time the survey was conducted — Pew notes that the growth in online video viewing has been driven primarily by adoption among young Internet users (those aged 18 to 29), 84 percent of which have copped to viewing or downloading videos online. That compares to 74 percent of Internet users aged 30 to 49 that say they’ve watched or downloaded online videos, and just 53 percent of Internet users aged 50 and above.
According to recent research from the Pew Internet Project, 52% of the American population is watching videos online — that’s 69% of all Internet-connected American adults. If online video watching continues at its current rate of growth, in just under 5 years, almost every American with an Internet (Internet) connection (i.e., the vast majority of Americans, period) will be watching video online. This includes video streamed from the web and downloaded video and encompasses sites such as YouTube (YouTube), Vimeo (Vimeo), Hulu (Hulu), DailyMotion and others. In the current survey, Pew researchers found that the majority (61%) of American, adult Internet users watch short clips, television shows and movies on video-sharing sites such as YouTube. These sites have exploded in popularity over the past several years and are on a trajectory to dominate the space. By contrast, just 33% of Internet users in 2006 had watched a video on a vid-sharing site.
Apple is one of the biggest supporters of HTML5, and Steve Jobs clearly thinks this new standard is the future of the web. To show why Flash is no longer necessary, Apple has launched a HTML5 showcase displaying what an HTML5-capable browser can do without the need of additional plugins. In typical Apple style, the showcase consists of simple, elegant, yet quite impressive demos of the technology. In one demo, you can type in some text, quickly change the font, its size and transparency, rotate it and add a shadow effect. Another lets you browse through a horizontal, vertical or grid-shaped gallery of images, while a particularly impressive demo lets you spin a 3D object by clicking and dragging.
More people may be watching online video than ever, but Comcast doesn’t see initiatives like Google TV as a competitive threat, according to Steve Burke, the cable company’s COO. In an interview at the D8 conference today, the cable exec said that Comcast’s real competition comes from satellite TV providers and telco companies entering the pay TV market. After Comcast merges its cable networks with NBC Universal, Burke will be the guy running the combined entity. So his view of the competitive marketplace — particularly around the cable company’s competition with online video services — is important, especially in light of NBC’s stake in online video site Hulu. Hulu could launch its own subscription services soon, so some could see its on-demand programming as competitive with Comcast’s pay TV services. But Burke dismissed that notion.
MeFeedia, the Burbank, Calif.-based video search and advertising startup, is offering analytics capabilities to publishers that want to be able to track videos delivered via HTML5, for free. With the rollout of its new analytics suite for HTML5 video, customers can now track engagement metrics across the web and a number of mobile devices, including Apple’s iPad and those built atop Google Android. The new offering sorts metrics into sections, including Summary, Recent, Popular, Devices, Videos and Channels, each of which allows users to either drill down for granular data of individual videos or view aggregate data for all the videos in a library. Data can also be broken out by web address so that publishers with multiple video sites can view them individually, and all graphs can be exported for easy sharing. And the entire interface is built on HTML5, so it can be viewed on the iPad or other devices that don’t support Adobe Flash.
Starting today, when you conduct a Google search on your iPhone or Android device, you’ll get apps as results along with regular search results. These special links will take you directly to the app’s page in the Android Market (Android Market) or iPhone App Store (App Store), where you can buy or download the app immediately. Links will include star rating, number of reviews, price and the name of the app maker.
Market research firm Harris Interactive has launched Research Lifestreaming, a research platform that looks to give clients a full view of panel members’ online and offline lives by connecting participants’ social media activities — collected and categorized from sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn — with survey responses and behavioral data. The idea is to link traditional panelist profiles to panelist social networking updates. Panelists opt-in to the Research Lifestreaming platform and participate in online group discussions, optionally blog or create photo diaries about experiences, and respond to questions about their status updates. They are rewarded for participation with points that can redeemed for gift certificates and merchandise (a standard industry practice).
Fresh off the closure of its acquisition by Google, mobile ad network AdMob is officially launching an iPad-specific SDK to allow app developers to use the network’s ads within their apps. The SDK was previously in beta but is now available to the public. AdMob says that the SDK is unified across all devices running the iPhone OS, which makes it much easier for developers, who can can download one binary for development across all Apple iPhone OS devices – iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. The new also SDK supports two ad formats in native iPad applications: text & tile ads and image ads. Both of these ad formats are available in the three IAB standard ad sizes: 300×250, 728×90, and 468×60.
Events have just kicked off at the D8 Conference with Apple CEO Steve Jobs taking the stage for a conversation with All Things Digital producers Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher. After an introduction from Rupert Murdoch commenting on how content creators and technology companies are “finally getting along,” the trio took the stage to shed light on some of the most salient issues the company faces today. Jobs had much to say about the current slate of hot topics, from the company’s ongoing tussle with Adobe over Flash content on the web, the Foxconn suicides, the iAd mobile ad platform, the iPad’s role in saving journalism and potential replacing the personal computer, and more. We’ve shared an overview of the discussion below.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs had a lot of interesting things to say tonight at the D8 Conference. But to me, one of the most interesting topics he talked about was only brought up by a question from the audience: Apple TV. We all know that Apple considers the device a “hobby,” and tonight Jobs explained why. But he also may have tilted his hand a little bit when it comes to his thinking about this going forward. Jobs said that the Apple TV is still a hobby because there is a bad “go-to-market” strategy for such devices. In other words, this is basically what I wrote about a month ago: Apple TV will remain a hobby until Apple figures out a way to make money off of it. In the current ecosystem where subsidized cable boxes dominate, that will be very, very hard (just ask TiVo). And Jobs knows it.
What is social media? It is a question that is debated by media professionals and consumers alike. Some point to the revolutionary transformation of media, going from a top-down broadcast model to one that allows the former audience to communicate with one another and take part in the content creation. But with media evolving so quickly, what defines and constitutes social media becomes more difficult to ascertain. Next Tuesday we will be hosting the Mashable Media Summit with CNN in New York City that will explore some of these trends in digital and social media, and we’d like to hear your best answer in 140 characters or less to “What is social media?” We will feature the 10 best reader responses in a follow-up post. How to submit your answer: * The comments below * Twitter using #whatisSM * Our Facebook Page * In the comments of our Google Buzz account Quick guidelines: * Limit your answer to 140 characters or less (to be fair to those submitting via Twitter) * Use your real identity in case we feature your response in a follow-up post * Submit your answers by this Sunday, June 6
Gilt is closing in on Groupon’s turf. In April, Gilt quietly launched a beta version of “Gilt City,” a local deals service that offered a set of weekly deals for New York. Although City remains in beta mode and is only available to approximately one-third of Gilt’s NY membership, the well-funded company is preparing for an official launch in 15 to 20 U.S. markets.