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VideoDaily Roundup: Welcome!

Hi folks,

Welcome to the VideoDaily Roundup, a new daily news column covering everything and anything in the world of online video that you need to know, brought to you by yours truly, all the way from Johannesburg, South Africa — which is famous for, among other things, crime, slow Internet speeds, and pay-as-you-go mobile and online data plans. Indeed, not only do I have worse buffering problems than you do, but I must pay extra for it, too — practically by the megabyte.

In any event, I have recently assumed the role of Editor of this very OnlineVideoDaily that you have received in your inbox today, so if you have questions, comments, concerns, story ideas or ideas about how to make OVD better, please email me at ross@mediapost.com.

Without any further ado, here’s what’s doing in the world of online video for Tuesday, April 17, 2012:

New News From the NewFronts

Just in case you’ve been living under a rock (or in the third world), Google, AOL, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Hulu are all planning TV-style upfronts, branded the “NewFronts,” later this month and into next in a move that emulates the way the major TV networks sell ad space in their shows for the upcoming season. Yesterday, AOL became the first major media company to say it will offer “guaranteed audience delivery” for video campaigns bought across its properties, using reach, frequency and demographics data provided by Nielsen -- also known as the elusive online gross rating point.

Groundbreaking, perhaps -- but cNet notes that AOL’s “powwow” is but a “mere warmup” for Google’s video giant YouTube, with its 800 million monthly users who upload an hour of video per second. Last week, Google Chief Business Officer Nikesh Arora emphasized the Web giant’s big plans for YouTube, which include hosting its first upfront next month for brands and agencies. 

YouTube Self Service Ad Platform to Launch Next Month

Next month, Google plans to unveil a self-service ad-buying platform on its YouTube video-sharing site in hopes of attracting more ad dollars from small businesses. The platform, called AdWords for Video, will enable advertisers to create and manage video campaigns in a manner similar to Google’s search ads. AdWords for Video will also influence how Google prioritizes its search results. For example, if you build a promotional video using the platform and your competitor does not, Google will prioritize your business higher than that competitor in its search results.

TheStreet.com notes that the previous process for creating video ads with YouTube was more complex, involving sales reps, and was typically only used by large national advertisers. The full story includes a Q&A with YouTube Group Product Manager Baljeet Singh.

Ooyala Unveils Video Recommendation Engine

Ooyala on Friday unveiled a new recommendation engine for online video content, which it says increases engagement with video content by as much as 4 times. “Engagement” in this case means longer viewing sessions and more total videos consumed, which should lead to more revenue for content producers and distributors. The recommendation engine is powered by the data Ooyala collects from its network of video content providers, which includes ESPN, Telegraph Media Group, Rolling Stone and others, and whose audience totals 200 million-plus. The new product will also be available across devices.

Hastings Criticizes Comcast - Again

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings continued his heavy-handed criticism of Internet Service Provider and Cable TV distributor Comcast. On his Facebook page, Hastings pointed out that when Comcast’s Internet subscribers watch videos through the Netflix, Hulu or HBO Go apps on their Xbox consoles, it counts against their monthly data limits, while watching videos through Comcast’s Xfinity app on the Xbox does not. He said the ISP should “apply caps equally, or not at all.” Earlier this year, Hastings criticized the notion that it costs ISPs like Comcast a lot to deliver Internet video.

Vevo Launches in Australia, Denies Facebook Deal

The music streaming service Vevo launched in Australia today on the Web and across many mobile devices, which includes apps on the iPhone, iPad, Windows Phone 7 and Android.

In reporting the launch, ZDNet Australia also reminded readers that Vevo was reportedly in secret talks over moving its video content from Google's YouTube to Facebook, where it would enter into a similar ad revenue-sharing arrangement with the social networking giant. The move would enable Vevo to shift users from the countries it has launched in (U.S., Canada, Australia, U.K.) over to Facebook, in addition to removing the “stranglehold” that YouTube has over a significant amount of its new music video content. Vevo denied that any deal was imminent. Later this year, the music streaming service plans to launch in six more countries in Europe and Latin America.

India Ranks Fourth in Online Video Consumption

With the world’s second-largest population, it’s only a matter of time before India surpasses the United States in online video consumption. According to IndianTelevision.com, India is already the fourth-largest online video market, thanks to 50 percent growth over the last few years.

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