YouTube gets it.
With the launch of YouTube Direct, it’s clear they now “get” online news video even better than most of us in the news industry. YouTube Direct is a new service that will help news organizations aggregate, solicit and take ownership (in a way) of citizen produced videos of newsworthy issues and events. I just hope news organizations don’t look—or overlook—this gift horse in the mouth.
This service will allow video producers, be they citizen journalists or average folks in your community, to upload their videos to YouTube THROUGH your site WITHOUT LEAVING YOUR WEB SITE! News organizations then review the videos and approve or reject them. Once approved, the video appears on your web site. Here are a few responses to questions about the use of YouTube Direct from their FAQ page:
“By submitting it through your site, the user may grant you a license to use the video according to a set of Terms of Service that you set forth, assuming it does not conflict with YouTube’s Terms of Service.”
“All of the videos submitted via YouTube Direct are stored and hosted by YouTube, and live on the user’s own YouTube channel.”
“You can choose how, when, and where to display videos on your own web domains. Inside the moderation panel, you can create playlists of video submissions, or you can embed individual videos into different story pages.”
“Because YouTube Direct is an open-source platform, you may integrate your own site registration process into this sign-in flow if you choose to.”
“To moderate the videos submitted via YouTube Direct, you will need a Google App Engine account. All of the moderation by your editors is done within the App Engine moderation panel interface. Learn more about how to get started with an App Engine account here: Getting Started Guide.”
Potentially, this will allow newsrooms with limited resources to tap into the vast community of video producers throughout their coverage areas. Think of it, an accident happens late on a Friday evening and a guy with his iPhone captures video of firefighters prying the driver free from his crumpled car with the jaws of life. No need to send a reporter. The guy can upload this footage to your news site.
Imagine, you write a story about a popular new sport at the local high school. Two days later you’ve got three or four video posts from parents or teens of last Friday’s game posted up alongside your story!
The possibilities are endless and very exciting.
Of course, YouTube Direct is a tool and must be applied properly, used effectively and not neglected in order for us to benefit fully from it. Don’t just install it on your site and wait for the videos to roll in. You’ll need to engage with the community to get them to fork over the videos. Through social networks encourage them to send in their videos. Seek out video producers already active on YouTube and ask them to contribute. Invite video submissions on your web site, in your print edition and through op/eds.
Check out http://www.youtube.com/direct and get on it!