Google Ups Ante For Original Programming Efforts
With First YouTube Comedy Week
Posted: 26 Apr 2013 04:41 AM PDT
For one week in May YouTube is going to (try to) be the funniest website on the planet. The Google-owned property already boasts a multitude of funny clips, but YouTube Comedy Week is something altogether more ambitious. This represents the changing face of YouTube; from a site where anything goes to one which brings together the best people in a particular genre, whether they’re famous or not.
YouTube is fighting hard to change its reputation from being an online destination full of short clips of random people (and pets) doing funny things, to something more professional, more serious, more like network television.
It’s a tough sell, but it has already managed to shake off its reputation as a place where piracy reigns supreme. And now it’s trying to straddle the line between longform and short-form, professional and user-generated.
YouTube Comedy Week
YouTube Comedy Week is the first in what is likely to be a long line of concerted efforts to change the nature of YouTube. Or at least change the perception most people have of YouTube.
Overseen by former Jimmy Kimmel Live! producer Daniel Kellison, YouTube Comedy Week will kick off with a live stream from Culver Studios in Los Angeles on May 19. In the seven days that follow YouTube will play host to a mix of famous comedians and comedy actors, as well as YouTube stars known for their comedy.
Known names appearing include Seth Rogen, Sarah Silverman, Rainn Wilson, and Andy Samberg’s Lonely Island. Popular comedy channels on YouTube taking part include Funny Or Die, College Humor, The Onion, and Nerdist.
The appeal for YouTube is to bring in audiences who wither wouldn’t normally visit youTube or who wouldn’t normally stick around after watching the latest viral video phenomenon. The appeal for the performers is the freedom to do whatever they want and to gain exposure on a growing global platform.
Google has clearly put a lot of work into the inaugural YouTube Comedy Week, and it has already laid plans for future themed efforts grouped around particular genres. Which is great news for viewers, particularly those who have cut the cord.
T-Mobile could be first to offer ‘5G’ LTE Advanced,
thanks to late LTE rolloutBy Devindra Hardawar | VentureBeat.com
It’s a year of late firsts for T-Mobile: The fourth-place carrier just launched its LTE network, and it finally received the iPhone a few weeks ago.
But even though it’s late to the party now, T-Mobile could be one of the first to offer the 5G wireless technology LTE Advanced.
“I think we’ll probably be able to move faster [to LTE-Advanced] because we have the latest hardware in place,” said Yasmin Karimly, head of T-Mobile’s radio network and evolution strategy, in an interview with VentureBeat last week. “Others may have hardware that’s two years old, so they may have to rip and replace.”
While it’s unclear what other carriers will need to do to upgrade to LTE Advanced down the line, it will most likely involve swapping out some of their older infrastructure. In this particular case, being a bit slow may be better for T-Mobile in the long run.
The latest LTE Advanced specification calls for simultaneous download and upload speeds of up to 300 megabits per second, around three times faster than LTE’s current theoretical speeds (theoretical, as in you’ll never actually see that in the real world). LTE Advanced could end up performing much faster once it’s actually rolled out — it’s based on the ambitious IMT-Advanced specification, which called for maximum speeds of 1 gigabit per second.
T-Mobile’s LTE network is currently up and running in seven cities, and the company expects to cover 100 million people by the middle of the year and 200 million by the end of 2013. While I had the chance to briefly test out T-Mobile’s LTE service during its New York City launch event, the company only lit up the LTE network for that particular event. Karimly tells me T-Mobile plans to get LTE going in NYC by this summer.
March 14, 2013
Hype ahead of Thursday’s launch of Samsung’s new Galaxy smartphone is reaching levels typically reserved for products from top smartphone rival Apple.
Tech blogs have obsessively catalogued predictions about new features and rumored prices for the company’s next smartphone, which many expect will be called the Galaxy S4. Samsung itself has released teaser shots of the phone on Twitter. The company even pulled a major publicity stunt ahead of the launch: a promotional, tap-dancing flash mob in Times Square.
This is new territory for Samsung, which has clawed its way to a leading 29 percent of the global smartphone market by releasing a broad range of devices at different price levels but hasn’t released a single model that can sell better than Apple’s iPhone.
Samsung has been pouring large amounts of money and energy into making its Galaxy smartphone a flagship device, and the success of this new device will be crucial to Samsung’s ability to keep its leading position in the smartphone market.
The key will be for Samsung to secure an iPhone-like following for its highest-end phones and develop devices at lower price points for new smartphone users.
“This is the time to grab mindshare — hopefully, marketshare will follow,” said International Data Corp. analyst Ramon Llamas.
The timing is right. Apple’s next iPhone isn’t expected for months, giving Samsung plenty of time to frame the competition’s current phone as “last year’s model.” Apple, meanwhile, has been struggling to convince the tech community and consumers that it hasn’t lost its innovative touch.
It’s a narrative Apple’s been eager to combat. Apple’s chief marketing officer Phil Schiller took a rare public stab at Samsung Wednesday in interviews with the The Wall Street Journal and Reuters , arguing that Samsung and the Android operating system don’t work as seamlessly as Apple’s products.
Apple’s grip on the global smartphone market has slipped over the past few years, falling to 21.8 percent in 2012.
Samsung is keeping up a steady stream of television commercials that take not-so-subtle digs at the iPhone, which has a smaller screen than Samsung’s Galaxy phone models and lacks features such as a near-field communications (NFC) chip that allows users to easily share data or and make payments.
Analysts expect Samsung will continue to highlight those features when it reveals its newest phone, and it may add other features such as mobile payment software that the company announced at an industry trade show in February, in partnership with Visa.
Samsung can use these features to frame itself as the cutting edge smartphone maker — taking that mantle from Apple, Llamas said. “It amps up the pressure on Apple to respond in some way shape or fashion to the prevailing market trends that are out there,” he said.
Samsung has also gone aggressively after the business market as more employees clamor to bring their personal devices to the office, too. Security is a major concern for Android users, and being recognized as the platform’s “safe” alternative would be a major feather in the company’s cap. It also positions Samsung well against competitors such as Microsoft and BlackBerry, who are both vying to be the third-place smartphone operating system.
All smartphone makers, Samsung included, are facing a potential slowdown in growth this year as U.S. and Western European markets approach smartphone saturation while the markets with the most potential for growth — China, the Middle East, Latin America and Africa — have yet to develop an appetite for expensive premium phones.
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