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Apple Offers Tips to Video Bloggers

It appears Apple is listening to the blogosphere’s chatter that there’s really not many video podcasts that take advantage of the 720p capabilities of Apple TV. In response, Apple has emailed many video creators and suggest the following advice:

  • Encode at 640×480 or 640×360. This will look much better than 320×240 on HDTV, and will still port to the iPod. While 720p looks great, they say, it won’t work on an iPod.
  • Don’t make two formats for different resolutions – it dilutes the popularity of the podcast and reduces exposure in charts.
  • Don’t add letterboxing to make videos to a 4:3 aspect ratio. Leave them at 16:9.

They also point video makers to an iTunes podcast specs page.

TechCrunch has a copy of the email.

Hearst + Fox = YouTube Killer?

Last month Hearst announced their plans for 12 new online video channels to partner with their magazine websites. Now they are partnering with Fox Television Studios for their CosmoGirl and Popular Mechanics video channels, according to MediaPost.

The current plans entail short (<3 minute) semiweekly serial webisodes for each magazine website. MediaPost predicts that this will put them on equal footing with such enterprises as Time Magazine, which recently started its own in house online video production.

Is it a YouTube killer? Far from it. While the webisodes will feature a little bit of user-generated content (visitors can contribute plot ideas), Hearst’s proposal is more analogous to television than YouTube—passive entertainment rather than a community of users sharing funny, personal clips.

A TV Ad for just $39?

If you though the million dollar homepage was a great idea, you may like this one that utilizes video.

Jose Augusto is hoping to sell advertisers a single frame in a TV ad for just $39. From the press release…

“For $39, the price of one frame, everyone can have their 15 minutes of fame. Well, it’s not really 15 minutes, but only 1/25 of a second. But still, YOU can be on TV.

Of course the risk no one will notice it when buying only one frame is substantial, since video will be made of thousands of different frames rapidly flickering. However, one frame can still make a difference when putting imagination to work…

Google, Google, Google

It’s somewhat of a slow news day, at least when it comes to the search engines – they’re all in NYC for Search Engine Strategies. While we may hear some announcements later in the week, here are three Google items worth a quick look.

  1. Techdirt is spot on with their attack on the publishing industry’s claims that Google “stealing” their content. If publishers are so worried about this, go ahead and ban Google’s spiders from indexing your content. You’ll no longer have to worry about those pesky critters and the hundreds of millions of people that use Google each day! Let me know how that works out for ya!

Thailand Blocks YouTube

Yep, they’re at it again: user posts something offensive to country on YouTube, country blocks YouTube. First it was Brazil protecting beloved soccer star Ronaldo, then Turkey in a conniption over insults aimed at its founders. Now Thailand is upset because a video insulted their king. As Search Engine Land quoted Mail & Guardian:

The most offensive to Thai Buddhists was the juxtaposition of a pair of woman’s feet, the lowest part of the body, above his head, the highest part of the body.

Uh. . . okay. I’m not sure how to deal with this, but according to the Thai Communications Minister, Sitthichai Pookaiyaudom, YouTube is:

Sitthichai said YouTube had told Thai officials it did not find the clip offensive, so it turned down the request to remove it.

More Mainstream Media Do Social

I’ll just have to assume that these announcements aren’t April Fools jokes.

The Washington Post launched a reader loyalty program for subscribers to earn points by reading stories online. Earn enough points and you can get gift certificates, travel and more. The points can also be earned in the real world with a keychain used at participating companies like CVS.

Steve Hills, president of Washington Post Co., says that you can earn their PostPoints as well as retailer’s own incentive programs when shopping at participating companies, and credit card incentive programs when paying for those purchases, effectively “triple dipping.” The effort to get more customers reading will probably be better received than USA Today’s change, since it’s far less dramatic. (via)

Yet Another Reason to Do Online Video

Now that we’ve established that you can use the exact same commercial is more effective online than on TV, we should also point out how much more effective video is than static advertising, even online.

A DoubleClick (they’re for sale, folks!) study released this week that states that Internet users itneract more with video ad than they do image ads.

Here are the hard numbers:

Online video ads experience click-through rates ranging from 0.4 percent to 0.74 percent depending on the online video format. By comparison, the click-through rate for plain GIF or JPG image ads ranges between 0.1 and 0.2 percent, based on DoubleClick data.

The study’s conclusions include:

  • A healthy portion of exposed audiences interact with video ads (8%)