Archive for the ‘DRM’ Category

Pay Wall Video Platform VHX Is Now Open To All – Not Just Bill Murray!

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014
Pay Wall Video Platform VHX Is Now Open To All - Not Just Bill Murray!Paywall video platform VHX is opening up its distribution services to the public. It's a company that has built a reputation as a one stop, out-of-the-box solution for film content creators and independent art content distributors.

Kaltura Offers Native Video App for Out-of-the-Box Video Portal

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013
Kaltura Offers Native Video App for Out-of-the-Box Video PortalOpen source video platform Kaltura has launched its new mobile video app which not only allow users to browse and view video but it also allows uploading of captured video, both live and pre-recorded. It's a single piece of software for a full-featured social video platform on mobile devices.

The Pros And Cons Of DRM for HTML5

Friday, November 8th, 2013
The Pros And Cons Of DRM for HTML5DRM in HTLM5 has been a hot topic for years but what does imposing restrictions on digital content mean for the industry? Google, Microsoft, Netflix, and the W3C have all come out in favour of it which could mean huge changes in the future for every consumer of online content.

The Week In Video: The Internet Is a Bad Mad Thing. Also, Psy

Sunday, April 21st, 2013
The Week In Video: The Internet Is a Bad Mad Thing. Also, PsyIn our weekly look back at the news in online video we cover the plans to go HTML5 from Netflix, how the American Family Association is up in arms over Kmart and how Psy has done something that we are all going to watch eventually, you know it.

Website Link Annotations, Creator Playbook 3.0, Foreign Language Captioning, & More… [Reel Web #68]

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012
Website Link Annotations, Creator Playbook 3.0, Foreign Language Captioning, & More... [Reel Web #68]

On this week's ReelWeb, we cover several YouTube news updates from the past week including yet another update to the Creator Playbook along with a revamped Creator's Hub, new YouTube annotation functionality that lets you link your videos to your own website, and additional foreign language closed caption translation capabilities.  Additionally, we discuss a new promotion that FullScreen is running to help partners with promotion as well as a new business model for focused on helping creators sell their content.

Click here to watch this video.

YouTube Creator’s Hub & Playbook Update - Version 3.0

The new YouTube Creator's Playbook and Creator's Hub was released this past week.  In it you will find many new updates and changes including; the new focus around channelization, watch time, and the new statistics and analytics tools, and annotations.

New Website Link Annotations Feature in Action

It is now possible for you to link your annotations on your videos off-site to your own domain.  To do that:

  1. Have your domain verified under your Google webmaster tools.  It has to be under the same Google account that your YouTube account is tied to.
  2. Go to YouTube settings.
  3. Click on Associated Website.
  4. Verify your domain in the box
  5. You will have an option in your annotations drop-down menu to link to your associated website.

Automatic Foreign Language Closed Captioning

The closed captioning feature on YouTube is important for search engine optimization on YouTube and in Google.  If you want your videos to rank well in search, taking the time to caption files can be beneficial.  Make sure YouTube knows exactly what content is in your video. This way, it can rank it appropriately.

YouTube has been trying to do that automatically for a while now by providing this for Japanese, Korean, Spanish, and English.  Last week they added six new languages to their repertoire: German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, French, and Dutch.  The captions aren’t perfect, but they get them fairly close.   You can go into the captions editor on YouTube, fix a few words, and update it. Direct Pay to Own Feature

Since we first started talking about the website has gone through a couple different iterations.  The most recent one is that they are now providing a platform for content creators to sell their content directly to consumers.  The format is different than Vimeo's paid-per-view type of model and more like an iTunes model where it's pay-to-own, but completely DRM-free.

Fullscreen Giveaway

The YouTube Network Fullscreen is doing something a little different.  They're giving away $1 million to their partners over the next few months.  They've established several different categories with a prize for each category of $10,000 worth pf promotional TrueView ads and placement and assistance from YouTube to push your brand and channel.

QUESTION: If you were given $10,000 for promoting your videos, how would you use it?

Chill Direct to Sell DRM-Free Content, Discovery Rules Are Still the Same

Thursday, November 29th, 2012
Chill Direct to Sell DRM-Free Content, Discovery Rules Are Still the Same

We spoke to Chill recently at Vidcon.  Chill is a social video-discovery site where people share videos, and as a user you can "follow" someone who shares particularly good videos.  It all comes down to who you trust, as you are more likely to watch a video suggested by your friends or a trusted source than you are from a random person or website.  Today, Chill is getting some buzz for their DRM-free direct-sale service, or what will likely be known as the "Louis CK Model" in years to come.  It's another way to generate revenue, but the rules of the game are still the same whether you use YouTube, Vimeo, or any other site.

Chill's Direct, Allows Content Creators to Sell Directly to Fans

The idea is that content creators can sell their content directly to fans, to own and use as they please.  This is different from the "pay-to-view" model as is currently being tested by Vimeo, where literally you are paying to see the video once.  Louis CK made a bunch of money from trying this, but of course, he's Louis CK.

Chill will take 30% of the money earned for doing all the hosting and worrying about encoding, bandwidth, and things that in general content creators hate doing.  They have kicked this service off with 8 different productions, one an unreleased Maria Bamford comedy special, previewed here:

Here's the list:

  • Maria Bamford: The Special Special Special!
  • Please Subscribe.  Documentary about YouTubers.
  • Thank You For Judging.  Documentary about high school speech/debate competitions.
  • The New Kind.  Sci-Fi series with a psychic couple at the core.
  • Battlefield Of The Mind.  Documentary about homeless veterans and battles with Post Traumatic Stress.
  • Ari Shaffir Comedy Special
  • Julien & Claire.  Feature film about an American dancer and French musician who meet in Paris.
  • Unknown Sender.  Suspense series from Steven de Souza, who was a screenwriter on Die Hard and tons of other action films.

Here's the thing about any kind of content that you decide to watch, and especially pay for.  You still have to build an audience somehow.  You still have to have perceived value from potential buyers/viewers.  The reason why Louis CK was able to make a ton of money on his special is that the guy has been building an audience through his stand-up, TV appearances, and TV show for years.  It was only recently he started getting the reputation as one of the best stand-up comics around, and he released a comedy special by announcing it on his website and getting a ton of other media outlets to pick up on the idea.

So I think it's a great thing that there are so many options for creators out there: the YouTube ads model, the Vimeo "Tip Jar" and "Pay-to-View" models, the Chill DRM-free model, and the countless other sites out there that provide a way to monetize videos.  But in the end, the rules are still the same.  The ideas put forth by the YouTube Creator Playbook, (which by the way, has been updated yet again), still apply for any video discovery.  When you set up a video behind some sort of paywall, then I'm assuming you have proven value to viewers in the past so that they are more likely to pay for it.  Or you're offering a preview of that video and making people want to see it, and you're embedding that preview on social media and getting other blogs, websites, and media outlets to talk about it.

We like to uphold those great stories of Kickstarter successes where people have raised hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars, but those success stories would be nothing without the same theme: something in which people have been made aware and something in which they believe provides value.

Browser Adoption of HTML5 Video Continues to Grow, But Still Not Complete

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012
Browser Adoption of HTML5 Video Continues to Grow, But Still Not Complete

LongTail Video just released the update to their longstanding State of HTML5 Video which gives everyone a clear cut, easy to read guide to what parts of the HTML5 <video> tag are supported, by what browser and to what extent. At present, 79% of the market can now play HTML5 video, that's a pretty good percentage and shows that if you've been dragging your feet it's time to think about compatibility.

Aside from the old versions of Internet Explorer (6-8) and some mobile phone browsers, HTML5 video will play just about everywhere. Chrome and Firefox lead the way with 49% of the market and the non-Flash platforms make up for just 17% (iOS, Android and other mobile phones).

Browser/Device Market Share HTML5 Video Flash Video
Chrome 30% Yes Yes
Firefox 19% Yes Yes
Internet Explorer 9 16% Yes Yes
Internet Explorer 6/7/8 13% No Yes
Safari 4% Yes Yes
Opera 1% Yes Yes
iOS 5% Yes No
Android 4% Yes No
Other (feature phones) 8% No No

Connected TVs and game consoles aren't included in the report. They say it's because the first has too small an install base and the second doesn't have adequate browsing. Additionally, both are more app based anyway.

HTML5 Video File Format

Over the past year we've seen support for WebM dwindle. Android, Google's own OS, only supports MP4 which doesn't bode well for the upstart free media format. Currently only Firefox and Opera are listed as supporting only WebM while Chrome supports both. On the audio front it breaks down the same way, AAC and MP3 are supported on all but Opera and Firefox which are still pushing Vorbis. Meanwhile, Chrome supports all three.

The WebM project hasn't had a blog update since May 11th but over the last year gained hardware decoding and a lot of other support. It seems that everyone's energies have shifted from the MP4/WebM "war" to the HTML5/Flash "war." I know, I often call them wars myself but it's not really, all of them can co-exist and right now, need to because there are some things that can't be done in HTML5 and WebM, plus, competition is good for technology as it helps push things forward.

Browser/Device Video Formats Audio Formats Multiple Sources
Chrome MP4, WebM AAC, MP3, Vorbis Yes
Firefox WebM Vorbis Yes
Internet Explorer MP4 AAC, MP3 Yes
Safari MP4 AAC, MP3 Yes
iOS MP4 AAC, MP3 Yes
Android MP4 AAC, MP3 Yes
Opera WebM Vorbis Yes
View Details View Details View Details

From the LongTail report:

Note we have not included the Ogg video format in our tests. This format is not widely used and of lower quality than MP4 and WebM. Firefox 3.6, which is quickly phasing out, is the only browser version that supports Ogg but not WebM today.

What Is and Isn't Supported?

As I just mentioned there are some limitations in what each format can and cannot do and some things that browsers do and don't support. IE doesn't support Preload and it's completely ignored in iOS and Android, as is Autoplay. The mobiles usually skip some controls like volume, as they have buttons for it.

As for IE 9:

Internet Explorer ignores the preload=noneattribute, which prevent the desktop browsers from reaching a perfect score. The implication here is that IE9 loads a part of your MP4 upon each pageview, instead of waiting until a user actually starts the video. This may add to a substantial increase in your streaming costs.

The Javascript API is a bit more complex, still. Android? Nope. (Come on Google!) iOS? Sure, but not Playback or Volume (already discussed). Other than that, loading, buffering, playback, seeking and volume are all supported in the browsers.

Fullscreen is a mixed bag with Opera and IE skipping that control and playback function, everyone else is green light for go!.

HTML5 Text Tracks

Pretty much a major fail all around (except for Safari) is Text Track support. I have to believe there's a major push to get it implemented with the new mandates on closed captions for online video ramping.

Along with closed captions, keyboard control is also needed for accessibility compliance. Chrome and Safari haven't got it. iOS and Android don't always have keyboards which leaves FF, IE and Opera all supporting it. Shame on Chrome and Safari!

Live and Adaptive Streaming

Finally, live streaming is growing in popularity and its business uses, but none of the browsers support it except for Safari and iOS. Meanwhile on the adaptive streaming side….NONE support it. BOO! You would think that iOS and Android would be hard at work to support that. However, LongTail had this to say about it:

Note that every HTML5 browser supports seeking to not-yet-downloaded portions of the video by using HTTP 1.1 range-requests. Compared to Flash (which cannot do that), it reduces the need for adaptive streaming, as it enables the fast seeking feature.


The LongTail State of HTML5 doesn't address things like DRM which is a key capability if the major studios are going to get on board with allowing their content to flip over. Without DRM they lose control of their content and we all know how much they hate that. Adaptive bitrate streaming might not be a major deal anymore with faster mobile data networks and the abundance of Wi-Fi these days, but it, and live streaming, are still major pieces of the puzzle that need to be solved before HTML5 becomes the overall standard in my opinion. Additionally, there's still that thing about the MP4 license not being completely royalty free as it's owned by a licensing group. That means it's not a completely open and free protocol and that goes against the spirit and letter of the HTML standard.

The War on Adobe Flash is Rekindled in Internet Explorer 10

Thursday, October 11th, 2012
The War on Adobe Flash is Rekindled in Internet Explorer 10

Oh Microsoft… all those anti-monopoly sanctions quietly end, and you go right back on the attack. This time with Internet Explorer 10 and its Metro version which will not easily support Adobe Flash. I think I smell another anti-competition lawsuit in the making.

The No-Flash Internet Explorer 10 Scare

For those of you who are Brightcove users, uncrap your pants, there will be a version of Internet Explorer 10 that will support plug-ins, including Adobe Flash. It just won't be the default version as the new Metro interface is set to be the default for Windows 8 and with it IE 10 Metro.

Here is the email that went out to Brightcove users recently

We wanted to make you aware of a development with Microsoft around Windows 8 that may affect your video content delivered through Brightcove Video Cloud.

Microsoft is expected to release the next version of Windows, Windows 8, on October 26th. With Windows 8, Microsoft has made a decision to limit the use of Flash as a means for delivering content and move toward a concept of a plug-in free experience in Internet Explorer 10. As a result, sites will not be allowed to serve Flash in Internet Explorer 10 unless they have been given prior approval and have been whitelisted by Microsoft.

What this means for you
The default browser experience in the new Windows UI will not allow Flash unless the site has been approved and granted access by Microsoft. Therefore, if a Brightcove Video Cloud customer is looking for a full featured playback experience that is on par with Windows 7 today, they will need to submit a request to Microsoft in order to be whitelisted.

When a site is whitelisted, all aspects of the Video Cloud player will work as it does on Windows 7, including Smart Player embeds, Flash Player embeds, Smart Player APIs, Flash-only APIs, etc.

OK, so, first off, none of you should be using a standard flash embed anymore, and shouldn't have been for quite some time now that HTML5 is in the pipe and nearly everyone supports it on their OVP. So if you are, shame on you!

Secondly, there will be a standard version of Internet Explorer 10 that will support Flash, Silverlight and a whole slew of other plugins.

Two Versions of Internet Explorer 10

Here is an excerpt from Ars Technica from September 6th

Early users of Windows 8′s built-in Internet Explorer may find themselves at risk of exploitation via the Flash plugin, as the version included with Windows 8 is out of date. Adobe patched Flash on August 21 to resolve known security flaws, but the patch can't be applied to Internet Explorer 10.

Internet Explorer 10 bundles Adobe Flash, with Microsoft taking on responsibility for shipping updates to the integrated plugin. One repercussion of this arrangement is that Adobe's patches and autoupdate mechanism can't be used; they can update the standalone version used by Firefox, but not the embedded version in Internet Explorer. The same is true of Chrome; it includes an embedded version of Flash, and the only way to update that is with a Chrome update. Adobe's updater can't touch it.

What really makes me scratch my head is… what the hell is Microsoft doing?! Oh I get it, they are too lazy to have a dedicated team to patch the bundled Flash and so are trying to push everyone into the Metro UI so they don't have to worry about it as much.

They did just, ironically, do a massive update to it yesterday:

Today we released an update that addresses vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash Player in Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 8. The majority of customers have automatic updates enabled and will not need to take any action because the update will be downloaded and installed automatically. For those manually updating, we encourage you to apply this update as quickly as possible.

This update addresses the vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash Player by updating the affected Adobe Flash binaries contained within Internet Explorer 10. For more information, see the advisory.

All of this has drawn the ire of some developers who have some very non-flattering things to say about MS on the IEBlog:

If flash would run properly in metro IE 10 then this would [sic] be an issue. However since Microsoft added the flash censorship list we can't even submit our content for approval yet.

Some, though, are on the side of MS on this one:

In a year, flash content will be even more dead then it is now.

Big Brother is Censoring Content for Your Own Good

The problem is really that MS is making IE 10 Metro the default, with its Flash censorship implementation, instead of actually giving users a choice. If there's not a user option at install/setup, I can see it being part of another anti-competition lawsuit. It should be a class action lawsuit including every Flash-based site on the web. After all, Microsoft is putting you all through its own nebulous, currently, non-existent approval process which unnecessarily complicates things.

Who is Microsoft to dictate on what sites we, the end-users, can view Flash? To me, this is akin to Big Brother telling me what I can and cannot do and see. Why are they deciding it all? If I have a tablet and want to view a video in a flash player, why should they give a crap? They say that it is in the best interest of the users because of battery life issues. Do they think we don't know that videos sucks down the battery life? They seem to believe that we do not know how to operate our own equipment in fact.

If they are going to include Flash support, then include it. If they don't want to, like iOS and Android, then don't and we will all go use other browsers or find other ways around it. Don't do this half-ass censorship  bull and appoint yourself the gatekeeper. You're not the Flash police?

But this all is a moot point to us savvy online video content publishers, right? We're all on board with the HTML5 deal already…unless you need DRM, or text tracks, or adaptive streaming…or DRM…oh wait.

So basically Microsoft is saying that if you need to secure your content with DRM, tell people not to use Internet Explorer 10, or something like that. At least don't use IE 10 Metro, until they set up the vetting process for whitelisting sites and then catch up on what is sure to become a massive backlog.