This week’s Reel Web covers a ton of information from YouTube’s home page redesign, new analytic tools and b-roll videos from YouTube videos, to the ongoing debate between short form content and long form content, how you can watch the Olympics without cable and more.

Twitter to Provide Original Content

People seem to always be starting original web content series, to promote, push or for fun.  Twitter is reported to be getting into the game.  They’ll have a slightly different approach.  They’re bringing on some MTV producers to produce something that’s kind of like the Real World or The Hills.  Supposedly we’ll be able to interact with the video through Twitter instead of just consuming the content.  The things that we tweet about will actually influence what’s happening in the videos.  It’s exciting to see how Twitter, social media, Facebook and online videos are starting to verge together in ways that all influence each other.

YouTube Updates Homepage and Other Changes

As discussed a few weeks ago YouTube is presenting a design change to their home page.  It’s going to feel a lot like Google +, however, if you are not signed into YouTube and want to know what it will look like you now have the ability to get a glimpse of what the new format will look like.  Basically the new view will have a carousel of sliding top videos that are currently trending on YouTube.

The new analytics for annotations on YouTube videos were just released.  This is an important update for all video creators to let creators know just how effective the annotations are, whether viewers are turning off the annotations completely or utilizing them.  This tool can be found in the analytics section of your YouTube account.

YouTube has over four million videos in its Creative Commons Library.  If you want to have B-roll in your video, but don’t have the money to buy a lot of stock photos or have time to go out and shoot video, this can be a big help.  You have a lot of video material you can use in your videos.  You probably have to use the YouTube Editor, but if you use YouTube Editor anyway, this could be a great asset.

If you live in Europe, you can go to London and go to the YouTube headquarters there.  They have a whole video studio with state of the art equipment set up just for YouTube creators.  You just need to book time to use any of their state of the art equipment, green screen, editing stations.

In order to educate you, they have classes and a lot of other things to help, train, equip, and serve YouTube creators.  You do have to pay to get to London, but once you get there, you can use all of their equipment and have access to people who can help you make your video content the best.

Petition Signed for Right to Record Copies of YouTube Videos

There is a website that used to let people just take whatever URL they want from a YouTube video, copy and paste it into their website.  In a few seconds, it gives you the MP3 audio of that video.  It was most commonly used to download free music from YouTube’s videos.  The company argues that what they’re doing is what people used to do by taking a cassette tape and recording a song off of the radio.  A petition was started, and over a million people have signed it to get Google/YouTube to change their mind.  They’re has been no comment from Google/YouTube.

Watch the Olympics Without Cable TV

A lot of people these days are totally ingrained in online video, and don’t have cable or satellite TV.  It’s a great thing, but with the Olympic season, you wish you had access to NBC.  There’s something very helpful from ReadWriteWeb, which shows you how you can access the Olympics without a cable TV subscription.  You can do this on your iPad or computer legally.  It is very helpful.

Netflix Gains Streaming Subscribers

Last week Netflix came out with their second quarter results and they reported that they had gained a half million streaming subscribers, while also losing 850,000 DVD subscribers.  It seems online video streaming or on demand service is the place to be.  If you have a content distribution strategy that relies on physical media, you might want to rethink that and go more digital.  That definitely seems to be where everything’s headed.

Short Form vs Long Form Content

Last week, in two different business publications, Fast Company said short form content is where everything is going.  Because of this, your marketing strategy should be around short form video content online.  Forbes, however, said long form content is the way of the future.  These are two major publications with two completely different opinions.

In reality, it probably depends on the content you’re creating, the audience you’re trying to reach, what you’re trying to accomplish, or many other variables.  The old “two minutes or less” rule is not necessarily true anymore.

New App for XBox 360

Lions Gate, MGM Studios and Paramount Pictures have teamed up to form Epics, which is an app coming to XBox 360.  They’re going to launch it with Star Trek freely available to all Xbox Live subscribers.  If you are an XBox person, and you watch online video on your console, that’s an app you might want to check out.   Amazon has struck a licensing deal with Warner.  This means that there is more and more content coming to your XBox 360.

iMedia Connection

ReelSEO’s very own Greg Jarboe wrote a piece on iMediaConnection.com that gives his take on how we can score the success of our channels on YouTube.  He discusses a lot of different matrix-like views and other things that don’t seem to matter by themselves.  The formula is basically taking the number of subscribers you have and dividing that by the number of videos you have on your channel.  This gives you a number you can then use to score how your channel is doing against other channels.  He shows why some are doing well, while others aren’t.   It will give you a lot of really good insight into how YouTube channels work from a marketing perspective.  You can evaluate what you’re doing against other people and learn from the people who are doing better than you.