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App-Rising.com covers the development and adoption of broadband applications, the deployment of and need for broadband networks, and the demands placed on policy to adapt to the revolutionary opportunities made possible by the Internet.

App-Rising.com is written by Geoff Daily, a DC-based technology journalist, broadband activist, marketing consultant, and Internet entrepreneur.

App-Rising.com is supported in part by AT&T;, however all views and opinions expressed herein are solely my own.

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March 17, 2008 1:27 PM

YouTube Gets Serviced, May Help It Go Niche

YouTube has made a name for itself as the leading site for sharing user-generated video.

Last week it announced its intentions to expand upon its core competencies to become more than a site but a service, a service that empowers website owners to deliver video sharing to their users.

But wait: doesn't YouTube already allow anyone to upload video and embed their player in any webpage?

Yes, and by making that process simple while bringing together a massive audience, YouTube in effect became the Internet's video platform, with producers choosing to host their video on YouTube rather than on their own.

Well now YouTube's taking that a step further. With their new API, website owners can develop private label video sharing services that feature their own branding while leveraging the player technology and hosting capabilities of YouTube.

Yeah, but why is this such a big deal?

While many sites use YouTube to host video, it's far from an elegant site when it comes to sharing video between members of a site's community. For example, uploading video meant having to go to a third-party site like YouTube, which is also where all the management of that video had to be done.

Now, when site owners build their own private YouTubes, users will be able to do all of this without leaving their site.

OK...so what?

The overall upshot is that we should see more sites offering video sharing, which means more users, and ultimately more content.

But since YouTube's services will likely be affordable to all, there's another potential outgrowth of this: the rise of niche-oriented websites and content.

Today, much of what constitutes "user-generated content" is focused on either more private videos to be viewed by friends and family or more public videos intended to reach as large an audience as wants to watch it.

Niche-oriented content is that which is relevant and interesting to a particular niche of people.

As private video sharing should now be easier and more affordable than ever, I expect we'll start to see more and more niche sites offering it as a service.

As more niche sites begin offering video sharing, we'll start to see a lot more niche content be created.

As more niche content is created, we should have a lot more usage, assuming the content is good.

So ultimately what YouTube's announcement may mark is the beginning of a revolution in the way niche sites relate to user-generated content.

What excites me about this is that with each new site that introduces video sharing capabilities we gain a new node through which content can aggregate and flow. We've seen the impact of video sharing and user-generated content on bigger picture arenas like entertainment. But what I'm curious to see is what impact it will have as more niche sites come online.

It's hard to say how much this may explode, but one thing I do know is that it will undoubtedly drive greater demand for bandwidth, both upstream to upload videos and dowstream to watch them. So we end up back where we always do: neck deep in another example of why we need 21st century broadband in America.


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