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YouTube: APIs Aren’t White-Label Video

We just got off the phone with YouTube product manager, Jim Patterson, who provided more detail on the new APIs the company released today (see: YouTube Widgetizes).


YouTube sees this as a way to boost traffic and the quality of its videos, said Patterson, mentioning direct imports from the new EA game Spore as a future source of high-quality videos. API users, in turn, get access to the huge YouTube audience, whether it’s by their users logging in using YouTube credentials or new viewers happening upon their videos when browsing the YouTube library.

Patterson told us the YouTube APIs are “not meant to be directly competitive” with white-label service offerings from companies like Fliqz, Brightcove, Twistage and others. “We wouldn’t consider this a white-label solution at all,” he said. “It’s very much a co-branded offering.”

While web sites will be able to customize the chrome of the player their videos show up on, all videos will continue to have the overlaid YouTube logo as a watermark.

“It’s also different from those other providers because, for one, it’s free,” added Patterson. But it’s undeniable that YouTube will take business away from these white-label companies, because people who want a simple, reliable, cheap solution and don’t care about their own branding now have the option.

Will web sites have the opportunity to monetize views of videos seen on their sites, or the videos they contribute to the YouTube library? “With this launch we’re not announcing or introducing any new ways of monetizing new videos on YouTube,” said Patterson. “Nothing’s changed with regards to their eligibility for existing programs.”

We asked for more details about how people will be able to upload directly from outside pages. Users can enter their YouTube or Google credentials without ever leaving a web site, said Patterson. New users can create an account online. Videos are uploaded directly to YouTube without waiting through the approval of the web site on which they’re uploaded. On YouTube, the videos carry information about and links back to where they came from.

Patterson declined to go into detail about what the YouTube viewing experience will be like on TiVo devices, but digital media hardware expert Dave Zatz says he thinks the tie-up between the companies portends TiVo supporting H.264 playback.

9 Responses to “YouTube: APIs Aren’t White-Label Video”

  1. as far as i understand, another reason this is not a white label service is that the users have to provide their own youtube login data if they want to upload a video through your site. so all your users have to have their own youtube accounts if you want to use their services. you can of course create an account and upload all the videos there, but there is a limit to the number of videos which can be uploaded to a single account (200, i believe).

  2. steveking today announces YouTube Robot 2.0, a tool that enables you to download video from onto your PC, convert it to various formats to watch it when you are on the road on mobile devices like mobile phone, iPod, iPhone, Pocket PC, PSP, or Zune.

    YouTube Robot allows you to search for videos using keywords or browse video by category, author, channel, language, tags, etc. When you find something noteworthy, you can preview the video right in YouTube Robot and then download it onto the hard disk drive. The speed, at which you will be downloading, is very high: up to 5 times faster than other software when you download a single file and up to 4 times faster when you download multiple files at a time.

    Manual download is not the only option with YouTube Robot. You may as well schedule the download and conversion tasks to be executed automatically, even when you are not around. Downloading is followed by conversion to the format of your choice and uploading videos to a mobile device (if needed). For example, you can plug in iPod, select the video, go to bed, and when you wake up next morning, your iPod will be ready to play new YouTube videos.

    Product page:
    Direct download link:
    Company web-site:
    E-mail: [email protected]

  3. And if the upload process is as slow as i remember the last time I made a test with a “hack” way to get the videos to load into a custom player… that process will not make it worth uploading files. Just slow, and useless for professionals. Let me upload a flv, or mp4 that requires no conversion upfront.

  4. Will this be a flash watermark? Or directly in the video? I ask that because they currently don’t include this within the video.

    If i converted my clients site over, I don’t foresee a way for that watermark to show unless i use a component they created or there is a segment of code loading in the external item and pushing a Sprite above the video container in a set location. Which should be removable.

    Just curious of the watermark. Considering what video delivery costs, i highly doubt my client would even care if the watermark was there.