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YouTube, if you didn't already know, is seeing 3 billion videos viewed, per day. But, its also seeing 800 million people per month visiting the site, Google revealed in their third-quarter earnings report. Today, YouTube is announcing the ability to sell merchandise, tickets and more via the site. The new feature is called Merch Store, where YouTube partners will be able to sell artist merchandise, digital downloads, concert tickets and other experiences to fans and visitors.
YouTube has partnered up with a number of companies to launch these stores. Topspin is helping power merchandise sales, concert tickets and experiences; SongKick will dabble in selling tickets for concerts; and iTunes and Amazon will power transactions for music downloads. YouTube says the Merch Store will rock out to music partners globally over the coming weeks. YouTube remained silent on what the financial split will be for these sales, but did say that it takes a small percentage of sales just to cover costs.
However, the artist gets the same revenue no matter if they go through the Merch Store or through the affiliate on other channels. The new feature of the merchandise sales, ticket sales, digital downloads and more, really adds a few angle for artists with their fans. YouTube has now transformed from a place where people would visit just to watch music videos, to something that could really change up the industry for both fans and artists alike.
Google have just recently launched Google MapsGL. Google MapsGL takes the normal Google Maps and uses the power of Web Graphics Library (WebGL) to create far richer visuals and animations. WebGL is a new technology that uses hardware-accelerated 3D graphics and brings them into the browser without the need for additional installed software. With WebGL your maps experience is much better with 3D buildings, smoother transitions between imagery and the ability to instantly "swoop" into Street View, all without a plugin.
Google Maps with WebGL is currently working on just supported browsers (Chrome 14+ or Firefox Beta) with compatible video cards, you'll have to opt in to the early beta release, though. Visit maps.google.com and click "Try it now," or visit maps.google.com/gl to learn more. WebGL has been used to create experiences like their Chrome experiment "3 Dreams of Black" and "All is Not Lost", which is all happening within the browser.
Google are shutting down Google Buzz, its non-started Gmail-based social network that paved the way for such things as Google+. Google VP Product Bradley Horowitz wrote today in an announcement post on the Google Blog:
We learned a lot from products like Buzz, and are putting that learning to work every day in our vision for products like Google+.
Old Buzz content is still ok, and will be visible on users' Google profiles, users will also have the ability to export their data from Buzz before it becomes unavailable. This should be in a few weeks. Google is also shutting down some other social products such as Jaiku and iGoogle social features, not only that, but Code Search and a program that gives academic researchers API access to Google Search results.
This news bit is short and sweet, and doesn't add to your love handles, just in case you were wondering. iCloud gives you 5GB of free storage, not bad, eh? Well, Box.net are actually offering [for the next 50 days], iOS users the chance of grabbing 50GB of free storage. Free, that means $0. Not only is the deal bloody amazing, but there is no fineprint. No asterisks, no buts, nothing. Most of these types of offers expire after a certain amount of time, or are only open to fresh, new users, but this one is neither.
It is open to anyone and everyone and lasts forever. 50GB of free storage for iOS users thanks to Box.net, nice one!
iOS 5 is rolling out right now and for those of you who don't have it yet, the pieces of the puzzle are all being put together as we speak. Apple firstly released the new version of iTunes - 10.5, and now Apple have rolled out the red carpet for their iCloud website, where customers can sign up for the service that seamlessly backs up your data to the cloud. In order to use iCloud, you'll need the latest version of Mac OS X Lion or iOS 5.
If you have neither, you can still try and sign into the iCloud site (which requires your Apple ID and password) where you'll be greeted with the message: "To set up iCloud, go to iOS 5 Settings or OS X Lion System Preferences." Most users should be getting close to being able to access iCloud, so let us know how you go.
Google have released a new extension for their popular web browser Chrome, the new extension is called Chrome Remote Desktop BETA and is the first instalment on a capability allowing users to remotely access another computer through Chrome. The BETA is just that, a beta and Google want feedback on the core Chrome Remoting technology included.
This version of Chrome Remote Desktop BETA allows users to share with or get access to another computer anywhere in the world (as long as its connected to the Internet) by providing a one-time authentication code. Access is given only to the specific person the user identifies for one time only and the sharing session is completely secure.
A potential of Chrome Remote Desktop BETA is support roles, a helpdesk can use the Chrome Remote Desktop BETA to help another user, while the user can receive all the help they need all at the comfort of their chair. Additional use cases such as being able to access your own computer remotely are coming soon. Chrome Remote Desktop BETA is fully cross-platform which means you can use it on any computer that has a Chrome browser including Windows, Linux, Mac and Chromebooks.
Unreal Engine, one of the world's most popular 3D engines that powers some of the best AAA titles such as Gears of War and Mass Effects now works in Flash 11. Epic Games today announced that Unreal Engine 3 now works in Adobe Flash, demoing a Flash-based version of Unreal Tournament 3. What this means, is porting existing Unreal Engine 3-based games would definitely be an option.
Of course, the Flash-based version of Unreal Engine 3 is not as powerful as the non-browser-based engine, but its still a very "real" 3D experience. On top of this, developers will be able to migrate their games from say, iOS over to a browser-based environment without much hassle, making it possible to sell browser-based games that play the same games as apps on mobile devices.
What is more exciting, is every game on Facebook runs on Flash, and now Flash can run hardware-accelerated 3D, just like Real Games.
YouTube is finalizing deals with well-known personalities such as skateboarder Tony Hawk, and major media companies to produce original content for its popular website, as it seeks to become a next-generation cable provider that oversees dozens of free online "channels" with professional-grade shows. YouTube is putting $100 million into the deal, directly from cash advances to get some content produced. YouTube will recoup the funds from advertising revenue it sells against the content.
The Wall Street Journal mentions some potential partners such as: Tony Hawk, Warner Bros, News Corp's ShineReveille, FremantleMedia Ltd, BermanBraun, Electus, Everyday Health Inc, Iconic Entertainment LLC, DECA and Verso Entertainment. Oh, and, The Wall Street Journal "may produce news content for a YouTube channel".
The shows associated with some of the companies listed above include, X-Factor, Mob Wives and Ugly Betty - so we might just see similar shows produced for YouTube. Ad rates for YouTube are pretty low, which could pull advertisers away in droves from the cable-TV market.
Microsoft are going to rollout a bunch of new features to their 365 million or so users over the upcoming weeks. These new features include two-way e-mail, contact and calendar syncing, a bunch of update to Hotmail's web interface and also, an Android app. The new interface will allow you to automatically categorize incoming mail as newsletters, and then either trash them or sweep them to a folder.
There's now an "Unsubscribe" feature that also lets you do just that, with Hotmail handling the work of blocking future newsletters from that sender as well as asking that company to stop spamming you. Flagged messages will not sit at the top of the inbox so that they don't get lost in your sea or incoming mail. You can also set Hotmail to automatically flag messages with a particular subject line, from a certain sender, etc.
"Scheduled Cleanup" automatically deletes messages after a certain number of days past, while other updates include the ability to manage and edit folders and apply categories to individual emails - all inline. Instant Actions is also featured, which brings up options such as "delete" and "flag" when you hover your mouse cursor over them.
Microsoft's two-year old search engine, Bing, is losing close to $1 billion per quarter. Since Bing launched in 2009, Microsoft have lost $5.5 billion, but their losses actually pre-date that. And while we're at it, did you know that Microsoft's online services division has never made money? Since Microsoft began breaking out that unit's finances in 2007, they've lost a total of $9 billion. In the past 27 months, Microsoft has proudly claimed that it has gained search market share from Google.
Bing as it stands, has 14.7% of the search share market, up from 8.4% when it launched. Google currently has 64.8% down just two-tenths of a percentage point from the 65% it had when Bing launched. Microsoft has clawed market share traction from third-place rival, Yahoo. The rest of it has come from Ask.com and AOL. Also remember that Yahoo's search is Bing-powered, meaning that half of Microsoft's share growth has come from its search partner.
Microsoft President of Online Services, Qi Lu, said that Microsoft could not and would not try to "out-Google" Google. Instead they must "change the game fundamentally".