In a move that is said to be for a “more powerful viewing experience” by the company official blog, youtube.com converts its player to 16:9 ratio (event though normal old fashioned “4:3 aspect ratio videos will play just fine” on the new player, the company said).
We don’t think this is the main reason.
Youtube needs to make money, to charge either its users or its partners (see youtube channels) or its advertisers, or all of them. The balance sheet is still on the red side: the aquisition made by Google was paid a lot, operating costs for the internet video broadcaster are huge, and the users watching billions of videos every month don’t cover the bill.
So everybody is expecting Youtube to move over it and find its profitable business model.
16:9 is the aspect ratio requested for showing films, TV series, shows and so on. This is about getting money from ads, from media partners and content providers willing to pay, from users soon to be customers.
You Tube is confirming the Hulu way is just right:
- there is a “traditional” video market also on the internet,
- this market is not only for tv and film broadcasters, and
- it promises to be a very big and rich market.
But there are also hurdles: 19:9 means 960 pixel videos, more bandwidth needed to serve its users (soon to be customers) and more raw space and TB on the servers, more load balancing issues (even though youtube has been proved to be a flawless and solid broadcaster from this point of view).
It’s a first step, but what a step forward!
Photo: “Stream” by Ajschu