On this week's Reel Web, Tim gives an overview of several recent updates and new features launched at YouTube including over the past week. Just yesterday we reported that you will now be able to link your YouTube channel to a Google+ brand page so as to be able to maintain your brand name identity. Merch annotations were officially released which allows creators to sell merchandise from within video annotations. And, with a new airplay-like app for Nintendo and Android, YouTube is making strides to move the viewing experience into the living room. Finally, Vimeo is taking further strides to bring about monetization capabilities with new pay-per-view movie rentals.
Linking YouTube Channel Brand Identity to Google + Pages
As you all know, how you identify yourself on YouTube is important. For awhile now, you have been able to connect your Google+ profile to your YouTube channel if you wanted that to happen. In the past, if you had used your YouTube user name and wanted to now show your name or company name instead, you could successfully link your Google profile account to your YouTube account. By doing this, it would display your name and Google profile name instead of what you have set up in YouTube.
But what about creators utilizing YouTube to create a brand? For you, the ability is coming in the next couple of weeks as a way for you to link your Google+ page to your YouTube account. What’s cool about this is that if you have multiple managers on your Google+ page, those managers can now manage your YouTube channel. If there are a couple of you who upload video content every week, you can share the same log in and password. Now, when you link your YouTube account to your Google+ page, those managers on that page will automatically be able to manage the YouTube account as well. The full details of what kind of integration or administrative access levels you’ll be able to permit are still unknown. You’ll know more when that releases in a couple of weeks.
YouTube Merchant Annotations
YouTube has dropped their store tab in favor of merchant annotations, and those merchant annotations are here. When you go and add an annotation to any of your videos from the dropdown menu, you’ll see an option there that says “merchant” and from there, you can paste in links from a variety of different merchants including iTunes, Shopify, Google Play, District Lines, CafePress, Top Spin, Spread Shirt, Sound Kick. Ironically, Amazon seems to be missing and that’s the one most people would probably use the most. If you are selling t-shirts or music tracks you can now just annotate directly and send people directly to wherever it is that you’re selling stuff off of YouTube.
There is one major caution however. Remember, that the way in which YouTube ranks videos has a lot to do with the total watch time that your video contributes per viewers so be aware that sending your viewers away from YouTube to purchase your items could influence where your video ends up on the ranking totem pole. So, use the merchant annotations, but use them wisely and realize that they could have a detrimental effect on your overall video SEO. Maybe you don’t care about that as much if you’re making a lot more money by selling stuff versus getting more views from search.
YouTube AirPlay-Like App - Switch from Mobile to TV Screen
Another update from YouTube this past week is the ability start watching a video on your phone, then, if you decide you’d rather view it on your TV, you just hit a button and it shows up instantly on the other device.
This does require two very specific devices to work. The first is an Android phone using the YouTube app and the other is Google TV connected to your television. Both of those devices need to be on the same WiFi network. It probably sounded really awesome until you read all that, but there is a way you can get around it. You can use the YouTube remote app on your phone, queue up what you want to watch there, and then control the TV if you have the YouTube app on XBox, console or YouTube is built into your smart TV. The effect is basically the same but doesn't quite work as seamlessly as utilizing the app that was created. Until they provide an option to make this work with non-Google TV devices it might be better to just stick with using the YouTube remote.
If you are watching YouTube on your television through consoles, YouTube has finally released an app for the Nintendo Wii available now. It can be downloaded through the Wii store.
Vimeo Monetization Strategy
Vimeo is now previewing the pay-per-view option to monetize videos. The preview is being featured with six documentary films that can be rented for $5-$9 each. When the full program launches in 2013 Vimeo may choose to lower the rental price. While Vimeo currently has the Tip Jar to allow creators to generate revenue, this could be an additional or even better option for those who are making longer form content and want the ability to charge rental fees for people to view the entire video. This ability is on YouTube, but the process is a bit more complicated than it looks like Vimeo will be making it.
QUESTION: What do you think of the new YouTube app for Nintendo Wii?