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 YouTube.com/music (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.

 

 

Rumors of AppleTV Revamp. Hulu Charges. BestBuy May Fire Funnyman.

Rumors on NY Times of an AppleTV overhaul that may make it more than a “hobby” (a term Steve Jobs used to describe the somewhat limited device). I, for one, already love the AppleTV so I’m bound to be excited about a new version. Heck I’d chose my AppleTV above my iPhone4G… which continues to boast crappy connection (even when the bars show otherwise) and has underwhelmed me for consistently posting on YouTube without errors.

And Hulu starts a pay-for-content model, and Apple offers a free Hulu Plus app on the iPhone (I’ll bet dozens sign up for it).

It’s like the online-video space found out I’ve just filed my book manuscript and want to see how quickly they can date it.

All we need now is for YouTube to launch a new television network.

Oh- and Best Buy continues to charm the online-video community, most recently scolding Brian Maupin. Turns out the former Best Buy employee is responsible for the hysterical video about the iPhone4G vs. Evo (you may have read about that one here last week).

AP is reporting Maupin, 25, said he was told Thursday he had a “choice to either quit or the HR people can decide what they want to do.” He said he would not quit and was told he could be fired over the matter.

Was probably told that by the nut job that called the cops on me.

Hey Brian (tinywatchproductions on YouTube)- unless you’re planning to keep your job or sue your employer, why not join me in a Geek Squad parody collaboration? Continue with videos as funny as the HTC Evo vs. iTunes video and you’ll earn far more from YouTube advertising than at Best Boob.

I used to love your employer until the Geek Squad ape when nuts on me, and Best Buy or Geek Squad never bothered to even acknowledge me.

AppleTV & iTunes Dissintermediates Cable? Bigger Than Balloonboy Story.

Wowzer. Your’e going to want to read this post, because it’s hot news. And because I put some effort into some seriously solid metaphors that damned well better be scraped by some bigger bloggers.

For years I’ve been bitching and moaning about Apple not putting its little heart into AppleTV (instead of screwing with these ridiculous iPhone toys and their petulant little “apps”).

stevejobsfeces

And all the while, the little Steve Jobs may have his eye on dissintermediating cable television. Fast Company provides some saucy news, and sources “All Things Digital.”

But this isn’t about the AppleTV, idiot. No it’s not about software or hardware. Apple is basically envisioning a $30-per-month iTunes television offering, which would give networks new reach via 100 million iTunes users. And that means you, like the 100 million iTunes users, would start watching shows via Apple both on your computer and (via some box) that big-ass monitor you call a Plasma or HDTV.

Do I need to repeat that? Television shows when you want, and on whatever damned screen you want. Oh, and a gentle reminder that technology companies will control your fate more than telephone, cable, publishers and networks (never mind that whole AOL/Times Warner hickup).

Alas, it’s hard for me to envision a scenario where cable companies don’t start tossing fecal matter like angry apes. But it’s a game of chess, not the beloved “toss-the-feces” we’d play at birthday parties. If Disney, as an example, slept with Apple… what could the angry ex (cable companies) do? They can’t very well drop Disney. And since Disney’s move would be the “tipping point” this all needs, Disney gets to set the terms. Girl, you know those Mickey Mice could nibble up an Apple like Piranha to a cow.

Fundamentally the broadcast networks have to decide whose bitch they want to be. Cable television or Apple’s.

If the music industry feels that iTunes was a good thing (additive revenue that didn’t exactly kill radio or CD sales entirely), then maybe the television networks go the same route. And to keep Apple “in check” they can replicate the terms via Hulu, YouTube or even some genius that manages to build a television-manufacturer standard.

The bottom line, however, is the train already left the station. I’m an example of a fast-follower (not early adopter), and I’m spending more each month on $1.99 television episodes than I am on a cable bill! I loath Verizon’s interface and on-demand library, and persist only because my wife likes depressing news and Nancy Grace, and my kids need their Nick Jr.

To be fair, I’m discovering I liked the control of “lean forward,” but I want to lay down on the couch and bed too. Love my TiVo, but it didn’t catch any fresh fish (like during this damned Fox Fringe hiatus), I dive into AppleTV and try out a new show… maybe buy a few episodes or a season pilot because $1.99 ain’t a bad price for 45 minutes of some boob-tube love making. I’m less often surfing YouTube’s most-popular list because it’s just a sad reminder remind of how much better Sxephil, Shaycarl, CharlesTrippy and ShaneDawson are than me. Last night me, Charlie and Grant and me did start a YouTube binge that began with Edbassmaster, then progress on a downward spiral that culminated in farts and babies. But then we jumped back to paid episodes of Angry Beavers. Damn that intro is hip.

Speaking of YouTube, those trained monkeys better get their own poop in palm. They’ve cornered the market on searchable video, but this is a bidneth model that can move faster than ad-supported web video. I think this crap (you know the kids are saying that now like it means nothing anymore) is bigger than the Balloonboy story. Except the Falcon hiding in the attic and puking on CNN might just be… Comcast, Verizon and other cable providers. I predict Hulu maintains its relevance if this shakes out, unless Apple iTunes makes itself incredibly easy to purchase and view via both web and those BIG ASS televisiony-like monitors. Hell in a few years, maybe we don’t even know or care where our video content comes from.

Yeah- I even think this story might be bigger news even than last night’s AppleTV upgrade:

“WTF? A vertical menu?” he says, tossing his mini white remote that has been chewed to near obsolescence. Fade to black.

Online-Video Changed Forever Today: Google/YouTube Takes on iTunes & Cable TV

Organize the world’s information. That was the initial mission of Google, so I have found it ineresting that the company has taken significant steps (like buying YouTube and launchin Knol) to host and distribute it.

You see, there’s a big difference between organizing information for easy search… and actually hosting it with ads

In a non-trivial move, YouTube today announced that it’s offering a new pay-for-download service (using Google checkout, of course) which allows viewers to buy and download select creators’ videos. 

YouTube launches download for pay

While this may not seem like a significant move, it’s actually the start of a major threat to Apple’s iTunes and other cable and phone providers — as well as any comany that charges flat or variable fees for video distribution.

Content owners will participate (I know I will when invited) and viewers will use it (and I know I’ll buy select content). Then, friends, Google/YouTube is just one step away from making my AppleTV and Verizon Fios obsolete… it just needs to create or sanction Google player boxes that allow us to surf from my television set without the monthly fee of a cable service. And based on Android, that’s not far away. It’s content ala carte… just the way I’d like it.

I currently live on my Apple TV because I like surfing YouTube and Apple’s easy navigation for buying TV shows and movies. I’ve bought more movies and television shows in the past two months than in the 3 years prior. The Verizon Fios highspeed boxes, by contrast, are horrible, slow, and cost me a cursed monthly rental beyond my regular plan. So I long for the day I can return these boxes, and go web only. Of course I still need cable service for my kids, and for access to whatever select television shows we watch regularly (almost never live). But many of these shows are now available on Alec Baldwin’s Hulu.com, which could be accessed with an AppleTV-like box.

I can’t believe there’s a device for viewing web video on my TV available at Best Buy for $199.00. There will be in 2010, and there are some limited devices here reviewed by DeviceGuru.

Manufacturers I beg you… work with Google and create the killer Cable TV busting device. Consumers will love it, content creators will get wider distribution and revenue, and we can stop pretending we need Comcast or Verizon television. Sorry, I’m not a big fan of middle men that get greedy with high fees, poor service and rented boxes. And I trust Google to run all of this reasonably — at least more than I do my cable or phone service.

Naturally, a competitor would ensure that Google doesn’t have a complete monopoly on web distribution, but I’ll let the FCC worry about that.