Digital Bytes: YouTube considers paid channels

Welcome to FWM Digital Bytes, where we discuss all the biggest digital marketing and digital media news doing the rounds. This week, YouTube considers paid channels, Manchester United top the load league and Twitter becomes the world’s fastest-growing social network…

YouTube considers paid channels

YouTube is considering launching pay-to-view channels in a bid to rival traditional television, according to new reports. The video sharing website is keen to prove it’s a viable competitor to television and sees the high quality content paid channels would bring as the best way to do that. It’s thought subscription would cost between $1-$5 a month, with the paid channels rolling out in the second quarter of this year. At a conference last year, YouTube CEO Salar Kamangar laid out the company’s plans for paid content, explaining: “We have long maintained that different content requires different types of payment models. The important thing is that, regardless of the model, our creators succeed on the platform. There are a lot of our content creators that think they would benefit from subscriptions, so we’re looking at that.”

United top load league

Manchester United are currently topping two different leagues – the Barclays Premier League and the website load speed league. According to new research condusted by web performance specialists Apica, United’s site takes just 0.4 seconds to load, with Liverpool’s being second-quickest (0.5 seconds) and Arsenal’s being third-quickst (1.3 seconds). West Brom, Wigan and Everton occupy the relegation zone with load times of 6.2 seconds, 6.3 seconds and 7.3 seconds respectively, and six teams have load time s in excess of five seconds all in all. “That so many teams in the Premier League have web sites with load times of five, six seconds is quite surprising,” said Apica CEO Sven Hammar. “Less than three seconds is considered acceptable without risking visitors leaving your web site because it is too slow. These slow response times are damaging to the clubs’ brand, fan loyalty and revenues.”

Twitter flies high

Twitter is the fastest-growing social media platform in the world, according to new data gathered by the Global Web Index. The company found that Twitter’s number of users grew by 40% in the fourth quarter of 2012, pushing its total monthly active users to 288 million. This is a huge increase on the 35.47 million the site had in July 2009 and it is estimated that over 21% of the entire population of the internet uses Twitter on a monthly basis. Global Web Index found that Facebook enjoyed the second highest growth in the fourth quarter of 2012, with Google+ in third place.

Businesses embrace m-commerce

Almost three-quarters of businesses have sites that are optimised for m-commerce, according to a new report from Sage Pay. The company surveyed over 1,500 online businesses and found that 73 per cent of them have now embraced m-commerce. “The results of the report prove that taking advantage of the mobile opportunity is critical to stimulating economic growth in the UK,” said Sage Pay CEO Simon Black. “With almost half of the businesses surveyed planning to introduce mobile apps in the coming months, Britain is poise for a bright future at the leading edge of mobile innovation.” The report found that 22 per cent of the businesses surveyed built a mobile app last year, and 56 per cent of those businesses said they are now generating 10 per cent of transactions through them.