GOOGLE has unveiled its piracy-fighting service for YouTube, calling it “YouTube Video Identification.” The system requires media companies to submit digital files to Google, who will process them and create a “digital fingerprint.” Videos uploaded by users will be checked against the fingerprint, and rejected if a match is found. The system was developed in-house, and tested with nine major media companies, including Time Warner, CBS, and Disney.
20TH CENTURY FOX will reach an industry first by releasing an upcoming DVD containing a digital video file that can be transferred to computers and portable video players. The file is said to be DRM-free, but users will have to enter a serial number to copy it to computers, similar to installing computer software. The catch? The DVD is for “Live Free or Die Hard” — so this “major advancement” only applies to hardcore Bruce Willis fans. Harry Potter supporters will get the same treatment next month, when Warner Home Video includes a similar feature on the DVD for “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.”
THE NAB has announced the expected costs for the digital-TV education campaign. Broadcasters will spend $697 million to create 98 billion impressions, in the attempt to educate consumers about the upcoming switch to digital-TV. $327 million of that amount will be spent on PSA’s. 95 broadcast companies are supporting the effort — representing 939 TV stations. If you can’t wait for the PSA’s, here’s a sneak-preview: on February 17, 2009, your analog TV will stop working.
EBAY is having a hard time selling TV ads through its auction-style online exchange. AdWeek reports that eBay has “fallen short” of its formerly grand expectations, with only two advertisers purchasing spots from only three participating networks. GOOGLE, on the other hand, is seeing early success selling TV ads. The company has sold over 100,000 spots to “dozens” of marketers, showing clear dominance over the online auctioneer. Both systems were launched six months ago.
VIMEO will announce the addition of HD capabilities this week, making it the first destination for user-generated video in HD. The company claims its 250,000 registered users are predominantly amateur filmmakers that demand a better online platform for their content. If Vimeo is telling the truth about its user-base, we may see some exciting new content in full HD-beauty. If not, we’ll just have better footage of skateboarding dogs.