Friday, 17 December 2010

YouTube Symphony Orchestra 2011: Help your favourite Aussies make the final cut

We recently announced the shortlist for the YouTube Symphony Orchestra 2011. Musicians from around the world are ready to play their part, and we need you to play yours! With 336 finalists selected from 46 countries, help our fellow Aussies get to the Sydney Opera House in March.

Here’s a few words from Maestro Vladimir Ashkenazy, Principal Conductor of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra:

So have a look at our 12 Aussie finalists, get voting, and stay tuned to find out who makes the final cut!

Monday, 13 December 2010

Double rainbows, annoying oranges, and bed intruders: The year on YouTube

It’s time to rewind back through the YouTube videos that people in Australia and around the world were watching and searching for in 2010. These lists of most-watched videos reflect the people, places and events that captured our collective attention and imagination throughout the year. During 2010 you all watched more than 700 billion YouTube videos, and uploaded more than 13 million hours of video. We met new faces, some new words and phrases entered our shared lexicon, and we celebrated as some new YouTube partners hit the big time with millions of views. Remember these moments?

And now … the moment you’ve all been waiting for … here are the most-watched videos of 2010, compiled based on the view counts of videos uploaded during 2010 (in some instances aggregated across multiple versions of the same video):

In Australia, the most-watched music videos on YouTube were:
  1. Auto Tune The News: Bed Intruder Song
  2. TIK TOK KESHA Parody: Glitter Puke - Key of Awe$ome #13
  3. Old Spice: The Man Your Man Could Smell Like
  5. JUSTICE CREW ~ WINNER of Australia's Got Talent 2010
  6. Cody Simpson - 'iYiYi' ft. Flo Rida [Official Video]
  7. Yosemitebear Mountain Giant Double Rainbow 1-8-10
  8. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Trailer Official HD
  9. Annoying Orange Wazzup
Globally, the most-watched YouTube videos were:
  1. BED INTRUDER SONG!!! (now on iTunes)

  2. TIK TOK KESHA Parody: Glitter Puke - Key of Awe$ome #13

  3. Greyson Chance Singing Paparazzi
  4. Annoying Orange Wazzup
  5. Old Spice | The Man Your Man Could Smell Like
  6. Yosemitebear Mountain Giant Double Rainbow 1-8-10
  7. OK Go - This Too Shall Pass - Rube Goldberg Machine version
  9. Jimmy Surprises Bieber Fan
  10. Ken Block's Gymkhana THREE, Part 2; Ultimate Playground; l'Autodrome
The most-searched for queries on YouTube during the year show what was on our collective minds as 2010 played out. Like Google Zeitgeist these lists reveal the interests, issues, and entertainment that connected us - is that what you were searching for each month?
January - iPad
February - luge
March - eclipse trailer
April - dog man
May - airplanes
June - california gurls
July - old spice
August - teenage dream
September - x factor
October - commonwealth games 2010
November - firework

For more reminders of the people, places and events that played out on YouTube during 2010, visit or check out YouTube trends for more detailed lists including the most-watched videos in the US.

Posted by Mia Quagliarello, YouTube Community Manager.

Friday, 10 December 2010

YouTube Symphony Orchestra 2011: The Shortlist Is In, Let The Voting Begin

Musicians from Finland to New Zealand, from Austria to Vietnam, have done their bit - submitting their audition videos for the chance to be part of the YouTube Symphony Orchestra 2011 at Sydney Opera House. Now, with 336 finalists from 46 countries selected, it’s your turn to play your part: voting is open for who you think should make up the orchestra.

Your votes at over the next seven days will help decide which of these talented musicians will be packing up their trombones, violas, and timpani and heading to Sydney Opera House from March 14-20, 2011, to perform together for a global audience.

You can vote once per video, per day, until 23:59 EST on December 17 to help YouTube Symphony Orchestra Artistic Advisor Michael Tilson Thomas boil the 300 shortlisted hopefuls down to the final 96. Your votes are also needed to help choose four solo improvisers. “Mothership” composer, Mason Bates, will be using your input to choose from 36 soloists, including show-stopping performances on instruments like the guzheng, the musical saw, and… the udderbot.

Congratulations to those in the running, and to all of those who submitted an audition -- thank you for your hard work. We've been blown away by your talent and determination.

Check out the channel now and vote for your favourites.

Posted by Jamie Dolling, Marketing Manager, recently watched “Magic Moments: The Udderbot

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Aspiring filmmakers invited to enter Tropfest 2011

This post also appeared on the YouTube blog

This is a guest post by John Polson, the founder and director of the world’s largest short film festival, Tropfest. Entries are now open for Tropfest 2011, and for the first time it’s a truly global initiative - finalists will be flown from anywhere in the world to the festival screening in Sydney on February 20, 2011. John talks here about how Tropfest came about.

There are two things I know about good ideas: They almost never happen overnight and they’re almost never borne of a single person.

Certainly, that’s how it was for Tropfest. Today, the world’s largest short film festival attracts a crowd of around 150,000 in Sydney each February, as well as thousands more in New York and other cities at other times of the year.

But it certainly didn’t start out that way. I made a short film when I was 27 and, unable to afford a cinema, decided to screen it at the Tropicana café in Sydney where much of it was shot. Expecting around 20 cast and crew to show up, I arrived on the night to find 200 people there, waiting to see my movie.

The film was pretty average (it was called “Surry Hills: 902 Spring Roll” so that gives you some idea…) but the night was an undisputed triumph. Dozens and dozens of people crammed into the café, trying to get a glimpse of the screen I’d borrowed for the occasion.

Almost immediately, this one-night event took on a life of its own, largely because of the enthusiasm of a whole new breed of young filmmakers that were hanging around the Tropicana Café at the time, looking for something to pour their creative energy into.

So what was it that grabbed us all that night? I believe, without realizing it, we were tapping into something that’s inside all of us: the basic human desire for story.

People need stories. Cavemen would come back after a big hunt, frustrated that they weren’t able to convey the emotion and excitement of what they’d been through, so they’d tell stories – paint pictures – so that others could feel like they were right there with them.

Stories about other people give context to our own lives. They’re used for entertainment, for teaching, and for passing on knowledge and wisdom. The technologies we use today may be new, but storytelling itself is anything but.

Speaking of technology, there has never been a better time in the history of the planet to pick up a camera or a mobile phone and tell your own visual story. People share their stories every day (see here for some Tropfest highlights from the past few years). This year, we’re proud to continue to empower storytelling through YouTube, and we’re calling on you to submit your short film for the 19th annual Movie Extra Tropfest competition. You can be of any age and nationality, and for the first time ever, any filmmaker from outside Australia whose film is chosen as a finalist to screen at the festival will be flown to Sydney, Australia, for the event on February 20, 2011.

You can find all the guidelines for submission here, and entries close on Thursday January 6, 2011 at 6pm (Australian Eastern Daylight Time).

So if you’ve got an idea, or even if you haven’t, pick up a camera and see what happens.

Here’s a story for you: a guy makes a short film and 150,000 people show up. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

John Polson, Founder and Director of Tropfest, recently watched Lucky.

Friday, 3 December 2010

AdNews Curates: The Year in Viral

The following is a guest post from AdNews. Check out their curation of the year's top 20 viral hits, featured on today's homepage.

Today, AdNews is curating the front page of YouTube to help tell the story of the year in viral. The AdNews Top 20 viral videos of the year demonstrate that online videos have come of age, becoming a sophisticated marketing tool with which smart advertisers can target a myriad of online communities.

If the content is rewarding and engaging, users will share the video among their friends, peers and social networks. A lucky few become viral sensations, notching up millions of views on YouTube across continents all over the world.

This year, we've seen Nike's “Write the Future” kick goals for the sportswear giant and Old Spice turn a little known former American football player called Isaiah Mustafa into one of the most recognisable faces on the planet, while resurrecting a long forgotten brand. And internet users all over the world are still asking if Roger Federer's trickshot for Gillette really did happen.

So, what's the secret of a killer viral? The answer is there's no magic formula as such. The irony is that as digital communication channels, such as YouTube, become more sophisticated and popular, the old rules of advertising remain timeless even in the digital age. Knowing your audience, shock tactics, the element of surprise, humour, a good yarn well told, are all key ingredients for viral success if expertly executed.

AdNews' Top 20 viral videos of the year takes a look at advertiser funded videos uploaded to YouTube in the current calendar year. We're sure you'll agree with some of our choices and maybe you will disagree with some too. It's all part of the giant, global conversation YouTube enables.

In judging the most outstanding viral videos, the editorial team at AdNews took into account views and creativity, but also natural sharing as measured by retweets on Twitter, Facebook shares, blog post mentions, and other indicators of social media effectiveness such as UGC mash-ups.

You'll see examples of all that and more here today. Enjoy our Top 20 of 2010.

Posted by Darren Davidson, Deputy Editor, AdNews

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

What’s it like to have the Best Job in the World

cross-posted from the Google Australia Blog

How does a salary of A$150,000 and living in luxury accommodation on a remote island in the sun sound to you? Too good to be true? Well, there was one person who had the luck to live this dream for one summer. Ben Southall was the winner “The Best Job In The World” - a job offer from Tourism Queensland that had over 34,000 applicants across the globe apply.

We had the privilege recently to have Ben come into Google and tell us about what it was like to have “The Best Job In The World”. Ben is an active contributor on YouTube so we felt it was time to ask him about his job on the island and post the video on our own YouTube channel. This is what he shared with us:

Since interviewing Ben, Tourism Queensland announced that Ben's contract has been extended and he is now to embark on a 1,600 km journey. In May 2011 he will set off on an expedition along the Great Barrier Reef from the Town of 1770 all the way north to Cooktown winding through the islands and along the reef. His ‘Voyage of Discovery’ will retrace the route taken by the original English adventurer and seafarer Captain James Cook. Below is a short video of Ben talking about his next adventure:

If you want to know more about Ben’s adventures visit his YouTube channel and Blog.

Posted by James Toepfer, Product Marketing Manager