Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

What YouTube’s New PS3 App Tells Us About YouTube’s iPhone App

When Apple announced that it wasn’t going to build another version of its YouTube app, many corners of the Internet assumed Apple had “kicked Google off” its iOS platform.

More likely story: Google bears a good chunk of the responsibility for this one, because Google wants its own YouTube app on the iPhone.

Neither company has been willing to talk publicly about what happened, but here’s another clue about Google’s strategy: The new YouTube app for Sony’s PS3.

The app, built by YouTube, comes with new bells and whistles, like the ability to play clips using your phone as a remote control.

But the most crucial difference is that the app will give PS3 users full access to YouTube’s catalog — and will also play ads. It replaces a cruder, browser-based version of a YouTube app that didn’t feature the full catalog — or ads.

Sound familiar?

The parallels here aren’t exact. For instance, the original PS3 app was also built by YouTube; in the case of the iPhone, it was an Apple-built app created with YouTube’s blessing. But the gist is the same: YouTube, which is spending a lot of time and money to make its videos more advertiser-friendly, wants to make sure it gets full advertiser credit for all of its video views, no matter what device people use to watch them.

And in theory, that’s what will happen when Google gets its own YouTube app up and running on the iPhone. Now, about that app-approval process …

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