online video
Theft, Lies, and Facebook Video
Facebook says it’s now streaming more video than YouTube. To be able to make that claim, all they had to do was cheat, l…
By Hank Green

Facebook counts the “view” at the three second mark (whether or not the viewer has even turned on the sound) in the midst of a precipitous decline in retention. At that moment, 90% of people scrolling the page are still ‘watching’ this silent animated GIF. But by 30 seconds, when viewership actually could be claimed, only 20% are watching. 90% of people are being counted, but only 20% of people are actually “viewing” the video.


This might seem a little like this is a victimless crime, but it fundamentally devalues the #1 metric of online video. The view is the thing that everyone talks about and it’s the thing creators sell to advertisers in order to make a living. Applying that word to something far less valuable is going to be extremely disruptive to creators. Ad agencies and brands are confused enough without Facebook muddying the waters by calling something a view when it is in no way a measure of viewership.

When Facebook says it has roughly the same number of views as YouTube, what they really mean is that they have roughly 1/5th of YouTube’s views, since they’re intentionally and blatantly over-counting to the detriment of everyone except them.


According to a recent report from Ogilvy and Tubular Labs, of the 1000 most popular Facebook videos of Q1 2015, 725 were stolen re-uploads. Just these 725 “freebooted” videos were responsible for around 17 BILLION views last quarter. This is not insignificant, it’s the vast majority of Facebook’s high volume traffic. And no wonder, when embedding a YouTube video on your company’s Facebook page is a sure way to see it die a sudden death, we shouldn’t be surprised when they rip it off YouTube and upload it natively. Facebook’s algorithms encourage this theft.

What is Facebook doing about it?

They’ll take the video down a couple days after you let them know. Y’know, once it’s received 99.9% of the views it will ever receive.

A must read from edwardspoonhands (h/t johnman)

Online Video is Nothing Like TV (But it Will Be if We Can't Think Differently)


Everything about online video is different from television (aside from the fact that lots of images are displayed in sequence in order to create the illusion of movement.)

The way the content is made is different, the mindset of the audience is different, the way social structures and fandoms are built is different, the kind of engagement is different, the barrier to entry is non-existent, the rate of change is at least doubled.

But humans are not good at thinking about things differently. Something new exists and, unless we are very young, we attempt to put it in an existing box…or some combination of existing boxes. Online video looks like television, so let’s create “Networks.” Let’s call the page of each creator a “Channel.” Let’s call the thing they do a “Show.” And the people themselves are “Stars.”

Of course this is what we do…creating new words is a hassle, especially when you’re trying to convince existing structures (like your mom, Hollywood executives, and Madison Avenue) that this thing is legitimate and interesting. So you use those old boxes. 

The problem is, the more we use those old boxes, the more everything starts to look like the thing that came before it. 

If we call collections of YouTube channels “Networks” everyone thinks about them like they’re Networks (especially in legacy media.) Then eventually creators start thinking about them as “online TV networks” when really, the needs of online video creators are completely different from the needs of TV creators. 

Suddenly, online video starts looking more like TV not because it should or anyone wants it to, but just because we lack the collective imagination to think of it differently. 

This is an old problem…and not one that can be completely avoided. People aren’t very adaptable. It’s like complaining that it snows in Montana…it’s so expensive to plow the streets, and there are more car accidents, it’s a drain on the economy! But, like, you can’t make it SNOW LESS, that’s ridiculous. 

But to some extent (and maybe not a huge extent) you can change social structures and you can change people. Not to match precisely what online video would be in it’s purest state, but to let some of its unique properties shine through. This will happen no matter what, but I think it will happen /more/ if we’re conscious about it…AND if we put people who actually understand it in charge of some of its more influential structures (YouTube, MCNs, Awards Shows.)

But that’s not what we’re doing. For a few years, YouTube has been led by a guy from Hollywood…so has Maker Studios…so has AwesomenessTV. YouTube is now in the hands of a stronger CEO who is at least from the tech world, which has much less in common with online video than TV does.

That might seem like a bad thing, but I don’t think it is. I think coming at new media with fresh eyes is much better than coming at it with pre-defined boxes. Thinking, “Oh, I see, so this is kinda like a channel…but different in a few ways,” gives you a much less accurate picture than thinking, “This is like nothing I’ve ever seen before…what exactly is it?" 

I (and probably you) came at online video with entirely fresh eyes. I knew nothing about hollywood structures or the roles that networks or agents or awards or channels played in the creation of media. I knew media existed, but the structures that surrounded them were entirely unknown and opaque to me. 

But most people in the online video business did not enter with that innocence, and I think that’s too bad. There are very few people who understand online video solely within the framework of online video in this industry, especially people who have differentiated themselves and gained enough experience to not only /be/ experts, but to be recognized as experts (which are two very different things.)

We’re headed into a world where the people who really get it are getting old enough to differentiate themselves and bring both authenticity and expertise into this industry, but it’s a bit of a battle at the moment…especially because a lot of the bigger companies have already got it into their heads that TV and online video really are very similar. 

And if they think that for long enough, my fear is that eventually, it will become true. Not because it is, but simply because we lacked imagination. 

So if you’re into this…figure out ways to differentiate yourself as an expert who should be recognized as such…then please, send me your resume.

Love online video and learning random, fun stuff? Here’s a list of some of my favorite content providers!


  1. vlogbrothers 
  2. CrashCourse
  3. SciShow
  4. Healthcare Triage
  5. How to Adult
  6. The Financial Diet
  7. Thought Cafe
  8. TED-Ed
  9. TEDxTalks
  10. TEDxYouth
  11. Philip DeFranco 
  13. AlanBecker Tutorials
  14. AsapSCIENCE
  15. AsapTHOUGHT
  16. coolipra
  17. Cute Life Hacks
  18. DIY Creators
  20. eHow
  21. Geneva Vanderzeil
  22. Google Science Fair
  23. Half Baked
  24. Howcast
  25. LittleTranscriber
  26. Maqaroon
  27. MidiMelody
  28. Mental Floss
  29. MidiMelody
  30. minutephysics
  31. Scientific American Space Lab
  32. sexplanations
  33. Skill:Draw
  34. studyign
  35. Tasty
  36. The Fitness Marshall
  37. blogilates
  38. The Game Theorists
  39. The School of Life
  40. thebrainscoop
  41. Vsauce
  42. watchwellcast
  43. withwendy
  46. Documentary Movies - Topic
  47. appsademia (Credits to my girl @pyrogirl88)


  1. Watch Documentary
  2. Top Documentary Films
  3. CBC Marketplace
  4. The Passionate Eye
  5. National Geographic  (Credits to my girl @pyrogirl88​)
Looking for some Sunday reading? Here's what people are talking about in online video this week.
  • Susan Wojcicki is the new top boss of YouTube, replacing Salar Kamangar (videoink) (Wired)
  • New Year, New Job for a lot of people as Microsoft has a new CEO, Satya Nadella (videoink)
  • Feature on Bethany Mota* (The Guardian)
  • Google announces crackdown on fraudulent YouTube views (The Guardian)
  • YouTube reveals $1bn music payouts, but some labels still unhappy (The Guardian)
  • Hearst and AwesomenessTV launch new MCN for teenage girls (videoink)
  • “Why Startups Should Steal Ideas and Hire Weirdos” (Wired)

*Confirmed special guest at VidCon 2014!
There's A New 'Lizzie Bennet' Book On The Way, All About Youngest Sister Lydia
The hit web series 'The Lizzie Bennet Diaries' will continue in a book called 'The Epic Adventures of Lydia Bennet,' based on Lizzie’s youngest sibling.

Yes, it’s coming!  THE EPIC ADVENTURES OF LYDIA BENNET is coming!  (Sept 29th, but come on this year is flying how is it the second week of June already?)

Watch on

Atop the Fourth Wall: SPECIAL: Channel Trailer

Want to know what Atop the Fourth Wall? Well now you can in under 3 minutes! -Miss

Sunday Reading for the Industry Curious
  • “YouTube’s Big Plan to Turn Its Stars Into Real Celebrities (And Why It’s A Good Thing)” (Wired)
  • “A Soccer Star’s Transition From the Pitch to YouTube” (Mashable)
  • “Welcome to the Inaugural VI Power-Sixer: Who Are the Best Executives in the Online Video Space?” (thevideoink)
  • “German Audiences Look to YouTube Stars For Comedy Fix” (The Guardian)
  • “New Google research reveals that keen UK YouTube users are much older, more sociable and up to date on current events than you might expect” (Telegraph)
  • “Web comedy star Issa Rae: ‘I think TV will become the Internet’s poor cousin’” (The Guardian)
  • “YouTube Multichannel Networks at the MIPTV Conference in Cannes” (The Guardian)
  • “British Pathé has posted on YouTube about 85000 film clips, including newsreels and little-seen footage from all over the world.” (The New York Times)

If you enjoy reading about this sort of thing you’ll find plenty more of it at VidCon 2014, where you can hear from the leaders in online video. If you really enjoy reading about this sort of thing, consider registering for an Industry Pass, which allows you access to Industry Track content. The Video Ink has a list of the Industry Track content and speakers announced thus far.

So here’s a frustrating situation.

A non-profit organization ripped my video from YouTube, removed my vlog at the end, and posted it to their Facebook page without crediting me. It was getting thousands of likes and shares and a lot of people pointed this out to me and so I reached out to them letting them know that it’s not really cool to do things this way and asking if they could share the original link. They replied to me with an apology that they forgot to credit me and edited their post with a link to my Facebook page and to the original video (though their rip is still embedded there and is the one that plays in people’s feeds) .

At this point I figured that was better than nothing and I may as well just forget about it, because what more could I really do? They had shared my work, it was making the rounds, and even if a lot of people who watched it didn’t end up being able to find out more about me, some of them now could. 

Then today out of the blue they emailed me, attaching analytics for their post which they said they thought I’d find “interesting” and “thanks for creating awesome content and making us all smile :)”

Their video has been viewed 9,000,000 times. That’s 4 times what my video is currently at. For whatever reason this version of it went way more viral just through Facebook than the original did even with shares from the Huffington Post, People, Time, BoingBoing, Laughing Squid, 9gag, etc.

And I wish I didn’t know this. Because now I have this weird feeling where gratefulness and aggravation are duelling it out inside me. They posted their rip, and millions of people got to enjoy my work, and (after their edit) a small chunk of those people checked out my other stuff and maybe became fans. They could have not posted it at all, and I would never have reached any of these folks.

But they also could have just posted the original video, and made it way easier for the people who were interested to hear more of my music to find it, and added 9 million views to my channel. That is not a tiny number. I have 25 million total views on my channel after being on this platform for 8 years. This would have been a massive help in the career of an independent musician for whom word of mouth is the only way to build an audience. For whom view and subscriber numbers open up opportunities in the YouTube world. For whom financial stability is completely dependent on iTunes and Adsense (though I’m glad Patreon is helping to change that).

BUT. They could have not posted it at all. So it’s a weird position for me to complain from. But I have to say something because they seem to have a habit of using this exact same approach with lots of other people’s creations, and now they’re emailing me with analytics and smile emoticons?

Tumblr, we’ve gone through this learning curve before, you gotta show love to the creator. Beyond reminding people of that, is there anything I can do here?

PS. Please don’t contact AIME about this. I intend to respond to them and re-iterate how important it is for online creators to be credited and, with YouTube, for the original links to be shared. But I wanted to post this to help craft that response, and remind everyone to support their favorite indies. Whether that’s a share or a dollar or an encouraging comment, awesome fans are the reason why cool stuff can continue to be made and enjoyed.


(via [cc] [AD]

It’s time YouTube implement an audio description (AD) option into their editor/player for creators and viewers. Other online platforms have successfully integrated audio descriptions for TV shows and movies. It’s time we creators here on YouTube make our content more accessible for users of audio descriptions. In order to show support and make this a top priority for Google, I encourage you to make a video on your own talking about ADs and why you’d AD your videos or want to have the option to AD your own videos.

All about Audio Descriptions

[Thumbnail description: James Rath, a Caucasian male with blonde hair stands facing the audience. An Audio Description (AD) logo appears next to him. The text “Audio Descriptions for YouTube” under him.]




VidCon is hiring.

We are looking to add two people to our VidCon/NerdCon team in the positions of Guest Coordinator and Customer Service & Registration Manager!

If you’ve got excellent knowledge of the online video community and are willing to move to Missoula, MT, apply now! Both positions are full time.


Every year at VidCon we feature hundreds of creators from all over the online video community. They are innovators, community builders, business people, and creative geniuses. We are looking for people to help us give them the best possible VidCon experience and be their advocate inside the VidCon offices in Missoula, MT.

You’ve got to know and care about online video and the communities it supports, and that passion can’t just be limited to one area of creation. You’ve got to be pathologically organized and able to avoid miscommunication at all costs. You’ll be joining us at VidCons in Melbourne, Australia, and Anaheim, but will be working full time out of our Missoula, MT office. You will also be guests’ point of contact at our events, solving multiple problems simultaneously, and performing well under pressure.


We’re an events company. Our products are experiences and, if we’re doing our jobs well, they’re amazing, life-altering experiences. Nonetheless, sometimes things go wrong, and when that happens it’s our job (and maybe yours) to make it right again. 

VidCon is growing a lot right now, so we need someone at our office in beautiful Missoula, MT who is patient, empathetic, an excellent communicator, and absolutely baller at not being misunderstood. Your primary interface will be the internet and keyboard, but you’ll also be doing face-to-face customer service at our events all over the world.

Now I don’t know if markiplier is referring to something or someone specifically, but when I saw this tweet, it made me reflect on the culture of online video and Youtubers in general. 

Obviously this is Vidcon, everyone is there for the Youtubers and Viners that are attending as well. I can see why they can be very pretentious and egotistical, because the fans all there for meeting them. It also made me think about online culture and how it’s become the mainstream. There’s youtubers who are writing their own books, staring in their own television shows or movies, making music, etc. Not to say that is a bad thing for them, but with all of this fame and opportunity, some can lose sight of how they got at that point in the first place which are their fans. To me that sounds very sad, because these youtubers have fans who are/were in pretty dark places and their videos help them get through the day or to keep staying strong and some just don’t recognize that anymore. They only care about the self promotion, the money, or the subscriber count. Now I’m not saying this is how ALL Youtubers are, but some can get pretty air headed depending. 

So I guess to circle this back to Mark, I felt like that tweet just gave me more reassurance about how he tries to stay grounded and humble as much as possible even with all the opportunities he has been given. I knew how much he cares for his fans and the community even when I first subscribed to him, and I know how much he will continue to try to be there for the community as well as the people here being there for each other to do something amazing. <3 

Short Code or Feature Video

In addition to background videos, companies are also beginning to use short product or feature videos to highlight a specific use case. These short videos are great at bringing your solution to life, while not overwhelming the visitor with a long experience that they must sit through.

A strong example of this comes from the folks at InVision. They display this short illustrator of how easy it is to use their product by dragging-and-dropping a design directly on their homepage:

Why is it useful?

According to Inc. Magazine, 92% of B2B customers watch online video, and 43% of B2B customers watch online video when researching products and services for their business. Therefore, B2B companies need to create videos that explain their products because it is influential in the buyer’s decision-making process.

These short videos allow for your prospect to quickly understand value without watching a really long, in-depth experience. Sure, both have value, but the shorter videos allows for quick understanding that is best for top of the funnel.

Overall video viewing is on the rise, but 31.96 percent of the 466 survey respondents reported watching 15 minutes or less per day on mobile. Millennials reported watching one to two hours of video daily on mobile devices, 10.73 percent more than baby boomers.

Facebook has become the preferred video source for 37.28 percent of all respondents. Only millennials preferred YouTube over Facebook, with 35.66 percent reporting YouTube as their favorite. Interestingly, 6.84 percent of generation X respondents preferred Twitter for video. Additionally 63.5 percent of respondents report Facebook as their destination of choice for video sharing.


Survey: Facebook Is the Preferred Network for Video Sharing | SocialTimes

As we all know video viewing keeps growing but it is interesting to see the differences and preferences by age cohort.

Flawed implementations of autoplay have the potential to permanently damage the online video industry…as anyone who has encountered the hundredth video of Kate Upton advertising a mobile game can attest, an explosion of video advertising is creating consumer fatigue with video ads in general, let alone autoplays.

Today’s questions:


How do personal channels vs. websites work?


How do I get on [Channel Awesome/Chez Apocalypse/WEBSITE]?