It's been a busy old week in online video, what with the news that YouTube hit a billion unique views per month and the launch of potentially the biggest (and most lucrative from the makers point of view) online talent contest ever, but there are also some gems that you may have missed. We take a quick look at the new web series from Reddit, how Twitter users can keep up with March Madness, and YouTube's foray into the Middle East and possible paid subscription features.
Twitter Gets March Madness Video Highlights In Almost Real Time
I love my sports but as a Brit, I hadn't even heard of March Madness, NCAA or Brackets until last week. Now, after a bit of research it all makes more sense (go Michigan State!) and I, along with anyone that follows @MarchMadness on Twitter, will be able to see highlights from the games, as quickly as 20 seconds after they air. Hosted by SnappyTV via Turner Broadcasting, the short clips not only create advertising revenue for Twitter (from AT&T and Coke) but provide a powerful second screen experience for users. We can't wait for the data to come out on this one, the possibilities and potential for future sporting, and other, events is immense.
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 24, 2013
Read More: Lost Remote
Reddit Launches Web Series To Explain Things Like You Are 5
If you have spent any significant time at all on the interweb's biggest time suck, Reddit, you'll have come across one of their most popular subreddits /ExplainLikeI'mFive. As the name suggests, it's a place to go and ask questions regarding any topic that you need to understand in more detail, the answers being provided by other Redditors who aim to make complicated subjects as simple to understand as possible. It's a very active and wildly popular forum on the site with over 250,000 subscribers so it makes complete sense that Reddit would take the idea and launch their own web series around it. The YouTube funded venture, which debuted this week with 3 episodes, aims to be a catalyst for the Reddit community to participate in the creation of video content itself, rather than Reddit lead. Erik Martin, Reddit general manager confirms that:
For us, it’s more about encouraging the Reddit community and bigger community of producers, filmmakers and animators out there to create content, video, web series, shows ... based on Reddit content.
I for one hope that it does because I don't think that the videos that Reddit have released work as well as they could have. Watching a group of fidgety 5 five olds listen to grown ups explain the crisis in the Middle East or how the Stock Market works isn't the most compelling thing I've ever seen. I understand the literal interpretation but there is so much scope for creativity within the Reddit community that hasn't yet been tapped into. If you want a taste of how good the ELI5 subreddit can be take a look at these threads:
Read More Hollywood Reporter
YouTube Extends Partner Program To Egypt, Saudi Arabia and UAE
YouTube announced that they were opening up their Partnership program to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and Egypt in a bid to encourage more activity from those countries, and to reward those who are already active. If their account is in good standing, users in these regions can monetize their videos via their YouTube settings. The decision comes soon after YouTube was temporarily banned in Egypt over politically sensitive content although that was lifted earlier this month. YouTube's Strategic Partners Development Manager for the Middle East and North Africa, Haisam Yehia states that:
YouTube has seen dramatic increases in Egypt. Opening up the YouTube Partner Program in Egypt is a great step to help content creators develop their skills and provide original local content.
Read More The Next Web
YouTube To Charge For Premium Subscriptions? It's Looking Likely
It's been much speculated upon but could YouTube finally be at the point of enabling paid subscriptions on the site? YouTube Vice President Robert Kyncl dropped a heavy hint on Wednesday when he told reporters that
it is incredibly important that subscriptions should be available to create “additional revenue streams” for content creators
Although Kyncl confirmed that they had nothing to announce at the present time, Machinima may be one of the first to sign up to the new feature.
Read More WSJ
Harlem Shakes Vs Gangham Style: Twitter Showdown
Harlem Shake + Gangham Style + Twitter = awesome infographic