Pilgrim’s Picks for June 19 – Back Home Edition

If you travel (and blog) you know that returning to the office is a dreaded event. Not only has the email backed-up, but so have the blog posts.

Rather than keep you all hanging–while I dig out–here’s what’s buzzing today.

Watchout Netflix & iTunes, YouTube Might Offer Movies for Free!

Just when it looked like services such as iTunes and Netflix were going to define the online video rental business, along comes YouTube. With the Google-owned video site announcing a new, larger 1GB file size limit for its content partners, YouTube is pushing closer to offering feature-length films.

From the YouTube memo, posted on Silicon Alley Insider:

Long Form Content
You now will be able to upload and monetize videos in your account that are longer than 10 minutes. This feature is exclusively for partners. Independent Film makers that partner with us will now be able to upload their feature films on our site. Please note that for long form content, the maximum file size is 1GB.

1GB is not enough for a two-hour HD-quality movie, but plenty for a 60-90 minute standard definition video.

Linky Goodness, June 18

Oh, geez, is it Wednesday already?

And, conversely, is the week over yet?

Ask Takes Google to Task on Privacy

Forget the fact that privacy watchdogs are all over Google threatening legal action for not linking prominently to their privacy policy—now other search companies are out to steal their bacon. Ask.com is circulating news that they’re now prominently linking to their privacy policy.

From the email:

At Ask, we take our commitment to user privacy and data protection very seriously. We’ve demonstrated this not just through words, but through deeds and actions. We were the first major search company to announce that we would be placing privacy tools directly in the hands of our users, as we said we would do in July 2007. Then, we did it: we launched AskEraser in December 2007. Ask remains the only major search company to develop and deploy a privacy protection tool that that empowers web users to make decisions as to data retention by Ask. The AskEraser tool is right there on our homepage, a one-step mechanism to deleting a users’ search data from Ask.com servers.

Updated: Microsoft Extends Advertising Reach by Partnering with YuMe

UPDATE: YuMe tells us that the deal is a partnership, not an acquisition.

If the race between the Soviet Union and the United States to get the first man in space was coined “the Space Race,” perhaps we should call Google and Microsoft’s race to plaster the digital frontier with ads “the AdSpace Race.”

This week, Microsoft purchased YuMe, the largest provider of online video ads on the web. YuMe represents more than 500 million streams each month and reaches more than 68% of the total US online population (more than 120M uniques). YuMe will now offer advertisers MSN inventory and was also selected as the video ad platform to serve and manage all of Microsoft’s unsold and excess video inventory.

The Continuing Fallout from the Google/Yahoo/Microsoft Love Triangle

Google, Yahoo and Microsoft are still getting plenty of attention, despite the apparent finality of recent decisions to end talks between Y&M and to start a search advertising deal with G&Y. Once again, we’ve herded together some of the best and most insightful stories to give you the big picture. Think of it as an extended Linky Goodness with editor’s commentary—you know, like a special feature on your daily DVD of marketing news. Moving right along. . . .

Curious to know what the rest of the industry thinks about it? Former Ask.com CEO Jim Lanzone weighs in, with coverage by MediaPost:

Microsoft Acquires Navic for More TV Ads

Microsoft will give Google a run for its money in any arena they can—and the latest effort looks to be focused on television advertising, with Microsoft’s acquisition of Navic, a TV advertising company.

Google’s slow foray into television advertising began last March, with confirmation coming last April. By January of this year, they had only 200 advertisers. The biggest announcement we’ve seen in Google’s television advertising was the integration with Google Analytics this month.

But slow-and-easy ain’t Microsoft’s style. Navic will be joining Microsoft’s Advertiser and Publisher Solutions Group, home of the company formerly known as aQuantive. While Microsoft has made attempts to break into television advertising before, this acquisition supposedly signals a new level of focus on the industry, especially with Navic’s emphasis on “addressable” (which sounds an awful lot like “targeted”) and, yes, interactive TV advertising.