Hey Youtube! What about the little guy?

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Google has been making a lot of noise lately about how Youtube can make as much money for artists and labels as they can by selling their music. The idea is simple enough and has been working for big artists like Lady Gaga who make a small amount of revenue for each ad-supported video play. But when that number stacks up to over a billion views, that’s a lot of moolah. Labels which are using the ad-supported model, have seen a 200-300% increase in revenue in the last year, which Google are putting down to more viewers watching on mobile phones, more profitable ad formats along with online curators that use blogs and social networks to share their tastes.

“If you were to look at the numbers for Lady Gaga, the number of views she gets on YouTube versus downloads that she gets on iTunes, obviously, a single download on iTunes will pay her more than a single view on YouTube,” said Phil Farhi, a product manager from Google’s YouTube monetization team. “But when you look at the traffic — the number of people that are coming back and watching her videos over and over again, watching her videos before they download the song, or discovering them on YouTube — you can see how that scale can compete with a paid service.” (more…)

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Band of Blogs: Fleet Foxes, Oh Land, The Go! Team & Hunx And His Punx

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Oh Land

Denmark’s Nanna Fabricius turned to music, specifically electro upbeat pop after a spine fracture ended her ballerina career. Signed to Epic Records, her album comes out this year and will feature production from Pharrell Williams. Think Lykke Li meets Eliza Doolittle with added Denmark cool.
http://www.ohlandmusic.com

Fleet Foxes

Seattle’s finest folk band released the title track of their forthcoming album Helplessness Blues for free download last week. The song doesn’t deviate much from the band’s sound but hey, who wants them to make German-inspired techno?
http://bit.ly/fleetblues
(more…)

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Storymap & other sites of the Week

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Storymap

A new Dublin website is aiming to collect stories of the people of Dublin through video interviews and Google Maps.
http://www.storymap.ie

Letters Of Note

Hundreds of letters which tell fascinating stories penned from all walks of life including well-known personalities like Buddy Holly, Gertrude Stein, Marilyn Monroe and John. F Kennedy.
http://www.lettersofnote.com

General Hilarity

A self-explanatory Tumblr blog consisting mostly of odd and funny imagery.
http://generalhilarity.tumblr.com

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Top 10 Superbowl ads of 2011

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The “brandbowl” during the biggest sporting occasion in North America is just as exciting to many as the game so of course, you can watch all of the videos in one place. Here’s our pick of the best commericals aired…

1. Darth Vader kid advert

The clear winner of the pre-Superbowl orgy of adverts involves a kid in Darth Vader costume hilariously attempting to move objects using the force until his father tricks him into believing he can actually do it.

2. 2011 Kia Optima: “One Epic Ride” Big Game Commercial

A big budget car ad…

3. NFL Best Fans Ever Super Bowl Commercial

A host of TV characters celebrate NFL…

4. Chrysler Eminem – Imported From Detroit

An ode to the Motor City… Also, not the only advert Eminem appeared in.

5. Official Best Buy Big Game Spot with Bieber and Ozzy

This is just odd…

(more…)

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Ireland’s online movie services

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One of this column’s regular topics is online music services. In the last few weeks, we’ve seen Irish launches of streaming services like Eircom MusicHub and We7. If you want to download songs, there’s iTunes of course, 7Digital, eMusic, Amazon, Play.com and many more available to you.

When it comes to watching films legally online though, our options are a little bit more restrictive. There’s myriad of services which will send out physical DVDs to your address like ScreenClick, O2 Click and more but why is there a dearth of online streaming services for movies when they are established in other territories?

Two factors worth considering are the geographical size of the country and poor, though improving broadband penetration nationwide. While a report by Cisco in October last year said Ireland’s broadband speeds have jumped 87% since 2008 yet Ireland still ranks low in the overall broadband penetration stakes.

As for the relatively small population and country size, Ireland ranks second highest in the world for per capita cinema admissions so surely there would be a market for more online movie services? Or are we a nation happy to be at the mercy of online DVD rental clubs and an ailing number of video shops?

Another factor cited often is the reluctance from movie studios to license their films to potential streaming sites . Yet, in the U.S., Netflix have been successfully offering online streaming of movies alongside a DVD by mail service for years now while Hulu offers movie and TV streaming from major networks. The UK-based and Amazon-owned service, LoveFilm recently launched an online service also.

Yet, Ireland’s scarcity hardly seems to make sound business sense anymore when films are so easily available unauthorised on file-locker sites (Rapidshare, Fileserve etc) and BitTorrent well before general release in this country. A quick glance at a now annual report from Waxy’s Andy Baio’s pirated Oscar movie list, shows that 23 of 29 nominated films are already available for copyright-infringing download.

So what do we have? Xtravision still has yet to recognise the move to digital services, having repositioned their physical stores as entertainment hubs over the last decade.

Apple finally launched an iTunes movie rentals and downloads service here last year ranging from €2.99 for rental and from €7.99 to €13.99 for purchase. The company is also pushing its Apple TV to accommodate these offerings in homes too.

Sky now offer an online on-demand of movies and TV with their new Sky Player service which is available to non-Sky customers. Prices for movie rentals from Sky are €4.50 per film.

If you’re looking for a solution for independent film, Mubi offers a library of world cinema to devour throughout Europe for €3.59 with a decent selection of little-known titles available for free. Mubi is also available on Playstation3 consoles while Xbox also offers a Zune store for movie downloads.

So it’s not all bad news. Add to that the rumour that Google is in talks with movie studios to acquire rights to stream full films on Youtube and Ireland’s future in online movie streaming may yet be in glorious HD.

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