YouTube to take ads… Americans not so confident… Online fans fund their bands… Geek = success… Light bulb debate

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YouTube to take ads

Advertisers will soon be able to purchase “air-time” inside the video frame for select content on YouTube, ClickZ reports.

The ads will be in the form of animated bars that run along the bottom 20% of the video frame for a given clip. They start 15 seconds after the beginning of a clip, an interval YouTube says it selected because it found that users took 10 seconds to become acclimated to what they are watching.

The animated bars are 80% transparent and remain visible for approximately 10 seconds before shrinking to a small button users can later click to view the marketing message again. Clicking on an overlay ad pauses the main video and launches a more substantial advert in the frame.

YouTube says it serves three billion minutes of video each month, so the move could yield big money for the company. YouTube has set a $US20 per 1000 impressions for InVideo ad buys.


US economic optimism takes a beating

Almost half of 2500 Americans polled in August by Harris Interactive say the economy is declining, and over half are worried about their financial situation.

The poll suggests recent market wobbles, which were well underway when the poll was taken, are having an impact on consumer confidence in the world’s largest economy.

Of those surveyed, 45% say they believe the economy is declining, compared to 30% who say it is growing. Looking at their own personal finances, 32% say their personal economic situation is worse compared to a year ago, an equal amount to those who say it is better. Significantly, 56% of Americans say they now are worried about their financial situation.

When it comes to personal debt, 35% say they are having trouble paying down their credit card, mortgage or personal loan, while 33% say that paying down debt has become harder in the last year.


Online fans help with music success

Earlier his year SmartCompany reported on SellaBand, a site that allows fans of musicians and bands featured to invest in them by spending $US10 on a share, or “part”, in their future.

Well, Springwise reports that SellaBand is having some success, so much so that the site recently passed $US1 million in fan investment in band shares.

Three bands, Nemesea, Cubworld and Second Person have already received enough investment to produced and launch their first albums, while four more bands are in the production stage. The first band to get their album out, Nemesea, raised the $US50,000 required in just 83 days.

In total, 4806 artists signed up to SellaBand. SellaBand’s music director, Dagmar Heijmans, told Springwise: “Twelve months ago we didn’t know if it would work. Well, we’ve proven that it does. People are willing to pay $US10 to be part of an artist’s success.”


Tech geeks build businesses faster

The more tech savvy and geeky a business owner is, the more quickly his or her business is likely to become a success, according to a CDW Business Rearview Mirror survey reported in Small Business Trends.

Just over 70% of survey respondents who described themselves as “total geeks” reported double-digit average annual growth in their businesses over the past five years. Nearly half (48%) of the tech savviest reported that their businesses reached the 100-employee milestone within five years of launch, compared to just 30% of the total survey sample.

Similarly, 61% of respondents who said they viewed IT as a strategic or competitive investment reported double digit annual growth over the past five years, compared to only 43% for those who didn’t.


Light bulb debate

Like white light? New energy efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) do cut greenhouse gas emissions and save money, but there are still technical and environmental issues to be resolved, according to a Choice report.

“Compact fluorescent light bulbs are claimed to last about six to ten times longer than the old filament globes – they also use about a quarter of the energy,” said Choice media spokesman Christopher Zinn.

But the lighting industry still has to develop CFLs that work with dimmers and as downlights. Old-style globes waste up to 90% of the electricity they use, mainly in heat.

Lighting accounts for about 12% of Australia’s domestic greenhouse emissions. Over the next two to three years, the Government will phase out standard incandescent light bulbs in favour of CFLs.


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