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OSC Media Aid: YouTube Leads Internet Social Broadcasting Platforms in Germany
FEA20091118975491 – OSC Feature – Germany — OSC Media Aid 17 Nov 09
Popular Internet-based social broadcasting platforms in Germany — led by YouTube — include sites based in Germany and abroad. Prominent Germany-based platforms MyVideo and Clipfish are facing a strong challenge from Sevenload, which focuses most of its efforts on Internet-based television programming.
Social broadcasting — posting or sending audio and video content to members of a social network — allows people to share multimedia material using Internet-based technologies. In Germany, OSC has observed that major political parties — hesitant to campaign on the Internet for fear of losing control over their messages — have nevertheless begun to use Internet social networks and video portals as a communication tool. New smaller parties without an established financial or voter base also appear to prioritize Internet-based campaigning. For example, Germany’s Pirate Party won a better-than-expected 2% in the 2009 national election primarily through making use of Internet-based communications.
YouTube, a commercial video portal in 12 languages, is a video-sharing website where users can upload, view and share video clips. It was created in February 2005 by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim, and taken over by Google in October 2006, retaining Hurley and Chen as directors. The US-based service uses Adobe Flash technology to display a wide variety of content, including movie clips, TV clips, and music videos, as well as amateur content such as video blogging and short original videos (youtube.com, October).
YouTube Germany, launched in November 2007, is the leading Internet video portal in Germany. Data published by the Video Matrix service run by comScore, a global leader in digital measurement, indicate that 24 million users in Germany watched 2.7 billion YouTube videos in August 2009 (openPR.de, Background Social broadcasting — posting or sending audio and video content to members of a social network — allows people to share multimedia material using Internet-based technologies. In Germany, OSC has observed that major political parties — hesitant to campaign on the Internet for fear of losing control over their messages — have nevertheless begun to use Internet social networks and video portals as a communication tool. New smaller parties without an established financial or voter base also appear to prioritize Internet-based campaigning. For example, Germany’s Pirate Party won a better-than-expected 2% in the 2009 national election primarily through making use of Internet-based communications.
The German-language site replicates the layout and feature set of its international counterparts. YouTube prohibits postings that infringe copyrights, and removes such content upon request, although a large amount of such content continues to be uploaded. When launching the German site, YouTube agreed to cooperate with public television station ZDF, the FC Bayern Muenchen soccer club, the Financial Times Deutschland newspaper, and other national partners. YouTube’s German site is also discussing a new agreement with German music industry watchdog GEMA to replace a license contract that expired in March 2009, although a prominent German newsmagazine reports that the two have been unable so far to agree. YouTube allows users to link their account to their profiles in social networking sites such as Facebook or StudiVZ. YouTube also offers services for mobile phone users (youtube.de, October 2009; Der Spiegel, 2 November).
In Germany’s September 2009 federal election, all major German political parties posted campaign commercials on their YouTube channels and other online portals. The most popular German campaign video on the Internet, however, appeared to be that of the upstart Pirate Party, which collected a total of 260,000 viewers in the first week of September, according to VideoCounter.com, a service that provides the number of times a video has been watched (VideoCounter.com, September).
German businesses, such as Volkswagen and outdoor clothing manufacturer Jack Wolfskin, also appear to be increasingly using the platform for new marketing strategies known as “guerilla marketing,” or “viral marketing.” In October 2005 and 2007, studies by Robert & Horst Agency Group for the opinion pollster GfK revealed that German managers are increasingly inclined to give these alternative marketing methods a chance (Robert & Horst Marketing GmBH, October 2005 and 2007).
Neo-Nazi propaganda and Holocaust denial videos, which are illegal in Germany, and Islamist videos can also be found on German YouTube (youtube.de, October).
Registration: Unregistered users can watch most videos on the site, and registered users can upload an unlimited number of videos. As a rule, videos should not be longer than 10 minutes nor larger than 2 gigabytes (GB), although a few users retain the ability to upload longer videos. While YouTube asks users to attest that they are old enough to view restricted content, no age verification features are built into the registration process, which has caused criticism from Berlin’s youth protection agency and the media regarding dangerous views presented by right-wing radical videos (youtube.de, October 2009; jugendschutz.net, Computerbild, Der Spiegel, July 2006).
Founded in 2006 in Romania, the MyVideo commercial video portal was taken over by Germany’s ProSiebenSat1 media group in 2007. It offers premium TV content, music videos, exclusive Internet TV productions, and user-generated video clips. The portal offers special channels and cross-media partnerships to promote talented athletes, comedians, and entertainers. In addition to the site’s focus on entertainment, MyVideo representatives note that the portal has a large number of politically engaged users (myvideo.de, October).
MyVideo is the most popular Germany-based social broadcasting portal. The German Internet research institute Working Group for Online Media Research (AGOF) reported that MyVideo had 5.78 million monthly unique users in the first quarter of 2009, which represented a decline of 1.23 million users, or 17.5%, compared to the fourth quarter of 2008. MyVideo targets adults aged 20 to 49, but is trying to attract younger users by offering clips from popular TV shows and music videos (AGOF Internet Facts 2009-I, April; myvideo.de, October).
Similar sites exist for Austria, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Romania, and Hungary. A new MyVideo community, MyVideo Mobile, offers video and entertainment services for mobile phones. In cooperation with news broadcaster N24, MyVideo offered an interactive platform where users could find information about the 2009 federal election and contact candidates directly through live video chats. A link to Facebook Connect also enabled Facebook users to post questions and to follow the chat through a live feed (myvideo.de, October).
Registration: Users must register to upload videos, and the registration process does not include age verification. File uploads are limited to a maximum size of 100 megabytes (MB) and length of 10 minutes. The site offers its users free video and music downloads (myvideo.de, October).
Affiliations: MyVideo lists a Bucharest address, MyVideo Broadband S.R.L., Calea Victoriei nr. 54, et. 1, ap. 6, sector 1, 010082 Bucharest. Its official e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org, and it lists a telephone number of (40) 31 410 19 11. It is listed in the Bucharest Commercial Register as J40/6849/21.04.2006, and names Anca-Alina Seghedi as its authorized representative. MyVideo is marketed by SevenOneMedia — the marketing agency of ProSiebenSat1 Group — which is located at Beta-Strasse 10 I, D-85774 Unterfoehring (Administrative District of Munich), Germany (myvideo.de, sevenonemedia.com, November).
Clipfish is a German video community started in June 2006 by RTL Interactive, an affiliate of the RTL Germany media group. It offers a mix of RTL content — including movie and TV clips, music, comedy, and news videos — as well as video clips by “content partners,” such as the do-it-yourself channel Wawerko or the animal-lovers’ channel Tier TV. Most portal content appears to focus on entertainment. A Clipfish video player is available on Facebook, and a highlights service for mobile phones has been available since January 2009 (clipfish.de, October).
Clipfish had 2.2 million monthly visitors in the first quarter of 2009, according to AGOF, which represented an 11% decline compared to the previous quarter. AGOF opined that the decline in viewership might be tied to a drop in consumer interest in online video services in Germany or YouTube’s market dominance. Young males appear to be the most avid users of Clipfish services (AGOF, April).
Registration: Users must register to upload videos, without age verification. Clipfish’s maximum file size is 100 MB (clipfish.de, October).
Affiliations: Clipfish GmbH & Co. KG lists its headquarters at Am Coloneum 1, 50829 Cologne; its telephone number is (49) 0221 7800 and e-mail address is email@example.com. Mathias Bluem is listed as the company’s director. The company is listed on Cologne’s commercial register under HR A 24512 (clipfish.de, November).
Launched in April 2006, Sevenload is a Germany-based international social media network with more than 1,000 content partners providing videos, pictures, Internet TV, and other user-generated content (sevenload.com, October). According to AGOF, Sevenload had 1.68 million monthly users in the first quarter of 2009, up 33% compared to the previous quarter, leading AGOF to predict that Sevenload would strengthen its leading position in premium-content web TV. Most Sevenload users are 20-49 year-old male professionals with a high school or college diploma (AGOF, April). In April 2009, Sevenload started cooperating with Universial Music, providing “branded channels” to stream music videos of national and international artists. As of August 2009, Sevenload users could view DVD trailers on Paramount’s Sevenload channel a week before they were officially launched elsewhere. Ahead of the 2009 federal election in September, the site hosted an interactive section entitled “Election Time,” providing interviews, comment, and discussions on the campaign (sevenload.com, October).
The Sevenload business model focuses on premium TV content and marketing solutions for companies. The site offers interactive Internet shows available in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, Russia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, and China. Sevenload describes itself as a provider of cross-media marketing and advertising solutions and modern video technology. Part of its core business is the development and production of IPTV-based Internet platforms, software solutions for Web 2.0 applications, and other technologies (sevenload.com, October).
Registration: Content may be viewed without registration. Users must register to upload or comment on videos or create web TV shows (sevenload.com, October).
Affiliations: Sevenload GmbH is headquartered at Vogelsanger Strasse 78, 50823 Cologne, Germany. Company executives include Ibrahim Evsan (founder and chief technical officer), Axel Schmiegelow (CEO), and Andreas Heyden (COO). Company investors include T-Online Venture Fund, DLD, Media Ventures, and dw capital GmbH (sevenload.com, October).
Dailymotion is a Paris-based video-hosting website that allows users to access, view, upload, share, and comment on videos. Founded in 2005 in France, the community offers more than 10 country-specific sites, including portals for the United States, Spain, and Germany (dailymotion.com, October).
Dailymotion is one of the world’s most popular independent video entertainment websites and one of the fastest-growing video web portals, with more than 59 million visitors in April 2009 and a 63% annual growth rate. Dailymotion also ranks 85th among all Internet sites and 195th among users in Germany, according to Internet usage tracker alexa.com. German online marketer “reachnet.de,” an AGOF licensee, reported just over 1 million monthly visits to Dailymotion’s German site, based on April 2009 comScore data. 58% of these users were male, and 89% were between 18 and 49 years of age (comScore Media Metrix Data, April 2009; alexa.com, reachnet.de, October).
Dailymotion covers a wide range of topics, including news, society, lifestyle, film and music, creative arts, hobbies, education, and research. In late September 2009, ahead of the German federal election, a terror video threatening attacks in Germany was published on Dailymotion. The site offers a mix of user-generated content, official content, and professional content. Dailymotion operators highlight the site’s advanced technology, which automatically filters copyright- infringing material when alerted by content owners (dailymotion.com, October).
Registration: Users must register to upload videos, without age verification. Dailymotion limits most users to uploads of 150 MB and 20 minutes in length, although advanced users with “MotionMaker” or “MotionPartner” status are allowed to upload longer films with a maximum file size of 1GB (dailymotion.com, October).
Affiliations: Dailymotion S.A. is a French limited company (society anonyme) that lists Benjamin Bejbaum as its authorized representative and Cedric Tournay as its head of publication. It is listed on the Paris Commercial Register under Paris – B 483 487 112, headquartered at 49/51 rue Ganneron, 75018 Paris, and lists a telephone number of (33) 1 77 35 11 00 (dailymotion.com, November).
[This item was originally filed as EUF20091117496001]