Media News Roundup: Facebook’s New Content Play

Here’s a collection of media business and tech news that caught our eye this week, with a touch of explanation and commentary:

This week, we’re focusing on the news surrounding social networks and a search engine. Facebook is making more moves to get into content, in a big way — and to keep people within its (controlled) ecosystem.

Facebook May Host News Sites’ Content

  • Facebook aims to have news content embedded directly onto its site in an effort to attract and maintain users’ attention. Content would load more quickly if embedded directly onto Facebook than it does currently when linked to the publisher’s website, which requires the content to load in a separate browser window.
  • This would shift the amount of control publishers have both on their revenue from ads and on the monitoring of users who see those ads. Says one source: “There are a lot of implications for publishers.”
  • The format would allow revenue sharing for publishers.
  • Some news organizations have reacted coolly to the proposal. Several employees of The Guardian, for example, have informally suggested to colleagues at other publications that publishers should band together to negotiate deals that work for the whole industry, and should retain control of their own advertising, whether content is hosted on Facebook or not.

Facebook Unveils Embeddable Videos and Unified Comments for Publishers

  • Facebook announced that videos uploaded directly to the site will now be embeddable and that comments on a site made with a Facebook account will now show up on Facebook in addition to the original site.

YouTube Ditches Flash For HTML5 Video Format

  • Youtube has now made HTML5 the default for its videos, going along with the general shift of the online video industry toward HTML5 and away from Flash.
  • In 2010, around 75% of the video market was powered by Flash, but now HTML5 controls around 80% of the market.
  • This reflects Youtube’s attempts to integrate its content across mobile and desktop formats, and perhaps to make video available to devices beyond mobile and desktop devices, such as gaming consoles, for example.

WSJ: YouTube Isn’t Making Money, Even With a Billion Viewers

  • Despite the large number of views that YouTube videos amass, the site makes virtually no profit due to its surprisingly small reach (9% of viewers account for 85% of total views) and the tendency of users to arrive at YouTube via a link as opposed to visiting the site’s homepage, on which Google charges the most for ads.
  • These viewer tendencies discourage advertisers from investing a fair amount of money into advertising via YouTube.
  • It will be interesting to see how this massive facet of social media deals with this issue, and what changes users could experience because of this.

Google Brings Ad Targeting from the Web to TV

  • Google is implementing a trial run of placing targeted ads in TV programs for users of its Google Fiber internet and video package in Kansas City.
  • Google is attempting to transfer the advantages that stem from online advertising, such as being able to track users’ general internet activity and tendencies and collecting information from them, to the world of TV.
  • Television networks have already begun to include more targeted ads, but Google’s scope and the information it has already collected offer an advantage that many networks do not have.
  • This could represent an integration of the television and internet landscape, which would have a very profound impact on television and its development as an industry.
  • Dorian has taken a lead role in some writings on this topic, sometimes called “Programmatic TV.”