3 to launch one-touch YouTube mobile phone in UK early next year


With all the fuss surrounding the likes of the iPhone (O2) and the HTC G1 (T-Mobile), it seems that 3 is feeling a little left out, and so has said that it will launch a Sony Ericsson Walkman phone offering one button access to YouTube.

Due to be launched first in Italy, followed by the UK early next year, the phone will allow users to upload videos directly to YouTube. Sounds like a recipe for disaster as it becomes even easier to upload videos of drunken nights out. According to 3 Italia, mobile service usage increases by around one-third when direct access is supported — in other words, stick a button on a mobile phone that gives access to just one service, and people are more likely to use it. Magic…

MPs want age certificates and watershed for online video sites


When it comes to “the Internets”, MPs do seem to ask the near-impossible. While I’m all in favour of protecting children from online nastiness, I don’t think trying to push existing methods on to the Web works.

The Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee has warned that the Internet has a “dark side”, and protested over the delays in taking down images of child abuse once reported. Indeed, I agree.

However, they’ve also called for video sharing sites such as YouTube to create an age classification system for violent or sexually-explicit content, as well as introducing a watershed time before which such videos can’t be shown…

Viacom wins right to sift through YouTube user data, all four terabytes of it

viacomyoutube.gifIn the long running battle between Viacom and Google over YouTube hosting copyrighted videos, Viacom has now won a ruling to allow it to access a complete set of video viewing records, totalling some four terabytes of data.

Google argues that the data, which lists every IP address and the videos watched, would infringe on its users’ privacy. The judge used Google’s own argument — that IP addresses don’t personally identify an individual — to throw out that objection.

Warner Bros to set up branded channels with major online video services


Warner Brothers has announced that it has signed a number of deals with large online video networks to show ad-supported branded channels such as TheWB.com, KidsWB.com, plus two new channels showing classic and science fiction programming.

The channels will be available on Joost, TiVo, Sling Media, Daily Motion, and Veoh networks, with WB hoping to attract viewers from the 16-34 age group who are increasingly using mobile and Internet services in preference to traditional TV channels…

Netflix set-top box brings internet movie streaming to the living room


A set-top box for streaming movies right off the internet and straight to your telly? We’ve heard that one before. Apple TV does it, Xbox 360 does it… and although each of those are technically impressive, they haven’t set everyone’s world alight. So at first glance it seems that the Netflix Player by Roku doesn’t have a whole lot to offer.

However, where its rivals have let themselves down – being limited to fairly narrow selection of content – Netflix might be able to find an edge. As the US’s largest online DVD rental service, it doesn’t lack for potential content…

iPlayer streaming demand appears to be levelling off, according to one UK ISP


The extraordinary demand for the BBC’s iPlayer service appears to be reaching a plateau, at least for now, if one ISP’s usage statistics are anything to go by.

PlusNet has been monitoring the effect of its customers streaming content from the BBC iPlayer, and has seen modest percentage rises in usage since March. February’s figures were up 25% over January, but March was around 6.6% higher than February, and April just 3.2% over March…

Joost retreating to US, BBC iPlayer reigns supreme in the UK


According to a report in the Sunday Times business section, online video portal Joost could be about to retreat back to the US, following ongoing problems with getting media and sports companies to sell it global rights to show programming over the web.

“The company is expected to rein in its global ambitions to focus solely on the US market,” the article says. Of course, that’s a huge market, and it may be easier to convince rights holders to allow content to be shown within one country…

Babelgum launches new Web TV platform


Babelgum, the global online free TV network, has revamped its web TV platform, adding a number of new features and expanding the number of platforms it works on.

Great news for Mac users hoping to use the service… you can! In addition, there are now three new Communities: Films & Festivals, Motorcycling, and Nature & Conservation. Don’t worry, that’s just the first of a growing series. Each of these communities offers up an interactive message board, video clips, and links to member profiles. Users can also create their own personal video playlists and customise their profiles…