YouTube Goes Music, Music, Music

It's just like this, only the radio is a laptop, and everyone's in a different room wearing gym clothes.

YouTube has agreed to pay licensing fees with the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA), which represents about 3,000 independent music publishers (LA Times). This deal is consistant with Vevo’s success, the significant percentage of music videos topping “most viewed charts” and the all-new (see promo video).

YouTube music vevo channel
YouTube "Music" Debuts: click to see promo video

YouTube, friends, is your new radio station, MTV, iTunes, Pandora, Jango, Live365. I’m Sirius.

This advances YouTube’s partnerships with music publishers to “monetize” user-generated videos that contain music written by artists represented by the NMPA. The four major labels (EMI Music Group, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment) already have separate licensing contracts with YouTube.

What’s relatively new is that these deals cover synchronization rights on behalf of songwriters. Yes, folks, this means independent musicians singing “covers” of a licensed song will be providing a percent of their ad-generated income to the owner (sorry jaaaaaaa). The terms of the royalty payments, however, are confidential. This, of course, is more than fair. Shouldn’t the guy who wrote the timeless classic, “Never Gonna Give You Up” get a chunk money from the ads that surround Rickrolls?

NMPA agreed to drop its class-action lawsuit against YouTube filed in 2007, but members of NMPA have until mid-September to decide whether they wish to opt out of the licensing agreement with YouTube or continue to pursue legal action against the video platform on their own.



Find Viral Videos Before They’re Viral

If you're just finding out about the "exploding whale" or "Friday, Friday" you may need this post.
If you're just finding out about the "exploding whale" or "Friday, Friday" you may need this post.

Remember that video curation was supposed to be all the rage last year and 2011? I’m still not seeing it get enough attention, but that will change as online-video consumption moves from desktop to simpler devices: mobile and remote controls. Why? Sans keyboard, it’s just not as easy to self-select videos, so we’ll need simpler controls (more Roku/AppleTV, less Sony’s 400-button, 2-dial TV remote control) … and better aggregators.

The answer lies in a careful mix of three (3) important variables:

  • crowdsourced (liked people like me),
  • editorial (someone whose taste I share) and
  • personalized recommendations based on my history/preferences.

In the meantime, I’ll offer a few favorite places that are directionally close, and invite you to add yours in comments (it’s participation time). Together we can perhaps create an aggregation of aggregators. A curation of curators. Then we’ll create a big ass website that collects them all, and we’ll sell $1 CPM banners on them and become hundredairs.

  • Reddit Videos: The kids at Reddit have good taste. Period. I want to be a Reddit influencer when I grow up.
  • There's no contextual purpose of this photo. I just wanted to get your attention and remind you to list any good places where you discover videos before they're cliches.

    Viral Video Chart is a good way to ensure you aren’t missing anything as vital as the “si, si, si, aquí” kid.

  • ReelSEO’s Jeremy Scott found some good pre-viral sources months ago, so check his list too. It includes:
    • Buzzfeed (see the “going viral” page),  the hiccupporcupine is going viral),
    • Devour (I wasn’t captivated on that one) and
    • Popscreen (which is kinda cool because you can search “now,” 7 days” and “30 days”).
  • eGuiders is a curated site, and I think I am/was an editor. But I forgot.
  • Martin Michalik pulls together the most viral videos on Viral Blog’s “Viral Friday.” At least you’ll know what to talk about on the weekend.
  • Zocial charts videos that are trending in social tweets/posts (Twitter, Facebook). Unfortunately I’d already seen most of what surfaced here.
  • YouTube Charts is a hidden gem on the website. It’s getting harder not easier to find recently popular videos, and instead becoming more “channel and theme” focused. But here’s YouTube “live” and here’s the page that should be more obvious on the website: the “chart” page which allows you to custom rank videos by category (humor, music), by period (day, week, month, all time) and finally by feature (most-viewed, highest rated, most liked).
One of the most valuable functions on YouTube ("charts") is hard to find

And don’t forget that if you’re a bit behind on your memes (viral ideas, behaviors, images, styles), there’s always “Know Your Meme” to catch up. It might not help you understand Jessica Black’s “Friday,” but at least provides some analysis.

If this is the last viral video you remember, then you're on the wrong blog.

P.S. If all else fails, you can check out my crap, watch “webcam girl fail,” or just piss off a few hours watching the stuff too “blue” for America’s Funniest Videos at Failblog.

“Bed Intruder” Song Performed by Liberty University Choir

Hide your kids. Hide your wife. News clip > autotune > choir > news

Liberty University’s Vision Ministries’ parodied the Gregory Brothers (shmoyoho) auto-tune spoof, “Bed Intruder,” last week (source: The performance were soon posted to YouTube by students, but after comments about poor audio, Liberty officials decided to post the university-filmed version of the song to Liberty’s YouTube channel.

The “Bed Intruder” was inspired by an interview with Antoine Dodson (see interview here) and the auto-tuned musical parody followed soon after (see here). Vision’s version is below and here.)

At 2:17 (two minutes and 17 seconds) in, the tempo picks up and the snapping and cheering commences.

Care to sing along? Lyrics below:

He’s climbin in your windows
He’s snatchin your people up
Tryna rape em so y’all need to
Hide your kids, Hide your wife
Hide your kids, Hide your wife
Hide your kids, Hide your wife
and hide your husband
Cuz they’re rapin errbody out here
You don’t have to come and confess
We’re lookin for you
We gon find you
We gon find you
So you can run and tell that,
Run and tell that
Run and tell that, homeboy
Home, home, homeboy
We got your t-shirt
You done left fingerprints and all
You are so dumb
Rou are really dumb–for real
The man got away leaving behind evidence
I was attacked by some idiot in the projects
So dumb, So dumb, So dumb, So
He’s climbin in your windows
He’s snatchin your people up
Tryna rape em so y’all need to
Hide your kids, Hide your wife
Hide your kids, Hide your wife
Hide your kids, Hide your wife
and hide your husband
Cuz they’re rapin errbody out here
You don’t have to come and confess
We’re lookin for you
We gon find you
We gon find you
So you can run and tell that,
Run and tell that
Run and tell that, homeboy
Home, home, homeboy

How to Find Videos Worth Watching

Just discovered via Steve Garfield, and it’s another example of a site built to solve the fundamental problem for those of us that don’t live in online-video.

What the hell do we watch?

Since I just spent more than a couple hours navigating Vidque, creating a profile and critiquing it… you’d better f’ing read this. Vidque allows you to bookmark, share and find good videos, and operates fairly seamlessly with Twitter and YouTube. At first it looks like a curator site (or another video-sharing site) because the homepage boasts some good videos. But you need to look deeper to find the cooler functions or see the potential it might have.

I’ve set up my own Nalts page (featuring, of course, only my own videos). I’ve got one follower and his name is Lukas. I’m following him now. We’re instant BFFs.


Here’s my critique… first, what I like:

  • I like the idea of a tool that easily integrates with Twitter and YouTube, and allows communities to help each other sift through videos. YouTube is working toward solving that, but it doesn’t appear to be Google’s priority.
  • Vidque got a smooth API with YouTube and it functions fairly well. Although this was not immediately apparent, there’s an easy bookmark tool so you can favorite videos (moving them into your Vidque favorites) right from YouTube. Click here for a video about how that’s done.
  • Very Web 2.0 design. Not too crowded looking.
  • The homepage had some great videos selected, and current/fresh ones. Someone’s picking them, or there is some intelligence behind it.
  • I am inclined to send people to my page because it was easy to customize, looks clean and allows me to sort out my best videos. I would expect the site gives us additional options for sorting (beyond stupid “category,” which is almost unnecessary). The networks will take care of that… I have business friends and humor friends and I’m damned sure not going to follow the eyeballs of by business friends. I’ll know if it comes from Jan it’s going to be awesome, funny or sometimes representing some weird political agenda that’s way over my head. Zack may “favorite” a few shitty Weezer videos, but hopefully he leads me to the last unboring Coffin video. I’m not touching the entertainment section because an entire screen full of Buckley‘s recent videos will frighten me. Mabye Marquis will tip me off to something totally wacked (as we await Beth’s return). If only he knew that my sister, Mathilde, and I speak of him more often than our siblings.

What I don’t like, and hope Vidque will evolve:

  • Biggest mistake is the homepage design. Because it focuses on a collection of videos and a category-style primary navigation it first feels like another video-sharing site. The site should put the people (now buried as “recently active users” in the bottom-left corner) at the center. Encourage people to curate, and reward them in non-monetary ways for finding stuff people like. Designate “editors” and “super editors” (by category if you must) and allow us to subscribe once we realize their favorites are consistently good.
  • It took me too long to understand it’s not just another video-sharing site or simply curated video, but crowd-sourced, community sharing. The cute but slow overview video helped.
  • I’d like the ability to search people, and find out what they’ve identified as good video. But beyond the “recently active users” I couldn’t search or sort curators unless we had done that via e-mail or the antiquated “invite your friends” option we all skip anymore. Basically I want to “follow” some people, but don’t know where to start. Twitter made that easy because as soon as I found one friend, I could quickly find a flock. Nutcheese invited me to Twitter, and I just followed all of her peeps. Then I found CharlesTrippy and followed his followers or followees.
  • I hope Vidque will give us what Twitter and YouTube don’t provide: allow me to “follow” people in different ways: some as “I like you and I’ll check your page now and then” and others as “I know what videos you identify will consistently amuse or interest me… I want them pushed to me via Twitter, Vidque, or even e-mail.”
  • I was disappointed to find very old videos on the humor section (puleez- that Dave Blaine parody again? Really?) because the homepage made me think I was getting fresh content. I would strongly suggest having an intuitive navigation separating fresh or newly popular content from old classics.
  • Until the site automates it, the homepage and “categories” should rotate more… right now it doesn’t feel dynamic.
  • Bit buggy (logging in, and some error messages when feeding it YouTube URLs manually. Feels like a beta.
  • I like how it grabs YouTube content and embeds it via API. It even grabs the thumbnail I chose, which isn’t even true with AppleTV (which is still using defaults). But it’s still too “stand alone” because I can’t import my YouTube favorites or a playlist… so only as worthwhile as we make it from now on. Populating favorites is very cumbersome and counter intuitive until you realize you can do this via a bookmark tool. For instance, when I’m done with one, there’s no “post another.”

I wouldn’t have spent the time reviewing this site (with an unfortunately forgettable name) if I didn’t think this is opening up a new door to video content identification and sharing. I’ve oversubscribed on YouTube and we know the “most popular” and “most watched” aren’t necessarily serving us.

If a few of my friends (or people whose taste I share in video) start using it, we’ll be able to swap videos without the intrusion of “StumbleUpon” or cluttering our Facebook, Twitter or other social-media tools overwhelming us all. I’ll give it a shot, and start saving some videos that aren’t mine. But Vidque better allow me to give my own videos top billing. 🙂

Hey WVFF back row: Jan? Marquis? Nutcheese? Zack? Reubnick? Coffin? Who’s in?

How to Find How-To Videos

One of the most profitable areas of online-video is and will remain “how to.” For most subjects, the content is “evergreen” (not requiring frequent updates), it’s highly sought after, and gives advertisers a way to target consumers by specific interest.

But how do you find the how-to video you need “just in time”? First, you can search Google and add “video” to your term.  Howcast is a site dedicated specifically to instructional videos that are standardized and simple. And here’s a list of how-to videos courtesy of the YouTube blog.

How to print your own T-shirt:
How to speed read:
How to look like @ladygaga
How to tie a tie:
How to make fresh pasta:
How to make fire without matches or a lighter:
How to open a beer with a pen:
How to knit
How to cut your own bangs:
How to make ice cream in a bag (preschool edition):
How to do a banana kick:
How to count to 20 in Japanese:
How to peel a melon:
How to get better mileage:
How to create perfect red lips:
How to escape from handcuffs:
How to flirt like a pro:
How to surf:
How to train your dog to stay:
How to make a bacon-infused cocktail:
How to build your self confidence:
How to beat writer’s block:
How to be funny on a first date:
How to be a DJ:
How to make mac & cheese, mmm:
How to use gel liner:
How to give a presentation:
How to make a how to video:
How to do the Windmill:
How to get watermelon nails:
How to shoot penalty kicks:
How to wrap a gift professionally:
How to make your own bicycle crank:
How to make chicken biryani:
How to make wine:
How to draw a “realistic” manga face:
How to understand integrals:
How to look sharp for a job interview:
How to play violin – lesson one:
How to properly chop vegetables:
How to make a camisole in one minute:
How to grow strawberries indoors:
How to shave:
How to crack a coconut:
How to buy a house:
How to make Rigatoni Carbonara:
How to make a BristleBot:
How to do makeup for small eyes:
How to make a custom beer pong table:
How to fuse plastic grocery bags into a reusable shopping bag:
How to fold a fitted sheet:
How to save money:
How to improve your memory:
How to sew a dress:
How to backflip:
How to curl hair:
How to recycle beer bottles with limes:
How to hem pants:
How to make a green screen:
How to polish shoes:
How to repair a bicycle puncture:
How to make kimchi:
How to recycle used computers
How to make veggie sushi:
How to record better webcam videos:
How to speak French – meeting and greeting:
How to make a “Where the Wild Things Are” Halloween costume:
How to do yoga:
How to cook Cola BBQ pork chops:
How to deliver a baby in an emergency:
How to melt away pounds:
How to wear different types of scarves:
How to Casper:
How to fold origami:
How to do self-defense when confronted with a gun:
How to make a camisole in one minute:
How to make ramen noodles:
How to care for a pet shark:
How to apply fake eyelashes:
How to make a card:
How to make simple, delicious compound butters:
How to dye your clothes:
How to transform a boring school uniform:
How to plant a vegetable garden in 30 minutes:
How to solder copper pipe:
How to make an upholstered headboard:
How to dress appropriately (according to Tim Gunn):
How to make sage risotto (as taught by a kid):

Want to Be Seen and Paid on YouTube? Your Relatives Matter…

naked vlogger view source

As many as 25% of the views of a video may come from people finishing a related video. This chart shows the percentage of views that come from various sources to my “The Best of Naked Vlogs.” This is not a representative example, but look at the percent of traffic that comes from “related video” (more than 50 percent). That means someone watched another nude vlogger and then saw mine show up as “related video” and stopped by. Or it means they saw one of the other nude vlogger videos that was posted as a response to mine (or vice versa).

So what’s this mean? Please don’t jam your tags with the same words of popular videos, because that used to game the system but frustrates people. YouTube/Google also has means for penalizing this trick if overused. But do try to make videos about things that are of high interest or topical, and you’ll get some help from relatives…

In other news — as you might have read — YouTube announced that it has paid out $1 million in cash to video creators that are part of its Partners program. Excerpt from NewTeeVee article

YouTube said today it has paid out more than $1 million to its user partners through its partner program. The figure came as part of an announcement that YouTube is expanding the program to users in Japan, Australia and Ireland. YouTube doesn’t disclose how it splits its revenue, but we’ll make do with what scraps of numbers we have. The site currently lists 100 partners, though that also includes entities that we’d think would be designated as professional partners rather than “user partners,” such as Universal Music Group and CBS.