MediaFile

Hulu breaks into top 3 US video sites

Hulu continues its rapid ascent up the video charts, cracking the top three online video sites in the U.S. for the first time in March.

Some 380 million videos were viewed on Hulu.com, up 14.3 percent from February, according to market research firm comScore.

That allowed the NBC Universal and News Corp joint venture to steal the No.3 spot from Yahoo, whose total number of videos viewed in March actually declined by roughly 5 percent from February. Hulu held a 2.6 percent share of the 14.5 billion videos viewed in the U.S. last month.

Hulu has seen its popularity grow following TV ads that ran during the Super Bowl in January. In December, it was the No.7 ranked video site in the U.S.

Impressive as Hulu’s growth has been, the site is still not even in the same universe as YouTube, owned by Google. Google remained the No.1 video site in March, according to comScore, with 5.9 billion videos viewed, for a 40.9 percent market share.

Google’s Schmidt Joins Obama’s Tech Team

Google CEO Eric Schmidt is back at work for Obama.

The White House announced on Monday that Schmidt has been appointed to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

The 20-member group consists of the nation’s leading scientists and engineers who will help the President and Vice President formulate policy in areas where understanding of science, technology and innovation is key, the White House said in a statement.

Schmidt, who has a Ph.D. in computer science, is among a group of largely academic types specializing in everything from climate change to biology. Craig Mundie, Microsoft’s head of research, is the other prominent tech industry executive in the group.

Google Labs speeds up new product releases

Google wants to put its products in people’s hands sooner, even if they’re not fully baked.

The company unveiled a pair of interesting new products on Monday that promise new ways to search for photographs online and to view graphical representations of information over specific periods of time.

The products, dubbed Image Search and Google News Timeline, are still not 100 percent polished and are limited in their capabilities – and that’s exactly the idea, says Google.

Google still king of search, Microsoft grows faster

Google remains the undisputed leader in U.S. Internet searches, but Microsoft can claim it is the fastest-growing, according to the latest figures from digital tally-keeper comScore.

Google claimed 63.7 percent of “core” U.S. internet searches in March, not counting mapping, directory or video sites like YouTube. That is up 0.4 percent from February.

Meanwhile, Yahoo and Microsoft, which are still umming and ahhing about combining their internet search efforts in some way, traded some gains and losses.

Google loses another executive

Another high-level Google executive is jumping ship.

Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, president of Asia Pacific and Latin American operations at Google, is joining venture capital firm Accel Partners as CEO-in-Residence.

Singh Cassidy, a six-year Google veteran, was responsible for Google’s commercial operations across 103 different countries in APAC and Latin America, according to an announcement by Accel Partners.

Singh Cassidy is no stranger to Accel Partners: she co-founded an online finance start-up in the late 90s called Yodlee, which was backed by the venture capital firm.

How much is Google to blame for newspapers’ woes?

The Web is abuzz over Eric Schmidt’s speech on Tuesday at the Newspaper Association of America’s annual meeting in San Diego — a speech, as the New York Times points out, in which the Google leader sidestepped any controversy and instead delivered “a lengthy discourse on the importance of newspapers and the challenges and opportunities brought about by technologies like mobile phones.”

So why all the fuss? Because newspapers are in deep trouble, and Google is an easy target for blame. The web search leader is weathering the recession relatively well and some have argued that Google News is making money off the back of newspaper publishers.

As Reuters puts it, “Some journalists have complained that search engines run by Google and Yahoo Inc make millions of dollars off their news, and that it should belong to them instead.”

Google coins new mantra amid Twitter Talk

Google famously made “don’t be evil” its official mantra a few years ago.

But a new, 7-word phrase may well end up Google’s most-used, unofficial slogan, as company officials take turns repeating “we don’t comment on rumor or speculation” in response to reports that Google is in talks to buy microblogging startup Twitter.

The topic inevitably came up at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco on Friday morning, where Google Engineering VP Vic Gundotra was on stage for a keynote presentation.

Gundotra, who oversees Google’s mobile applications, said he was a big fan of Twitter, which lets people broadcast 140-character text messages to a network of friends. He also confessed that he was enjoying the online debate/blog-battle about whether his company was preparing to acquire Twitter.

Could Google buy Twitter? Ask Arrington, then ask Swisher

******We sprinkled updates into this blog. We’re highlighting them like this.******Thanks to TechCrunch, U.S. tech reporters are about to spend another weekend working instead of playing. UPDATE: Or maybe Kara Swisher at All Things D will save them!******Two sources told proprietor Michael Arrington that Google “is in late stage negotiations to acquire Twitter.” He wrote:***

We don’t know the price but can assume its well, well north of the $250 million valuation that they saw in their recent funding.

***

Twitter turned down an offer to be bought by Facebook just a few months ago for half a billion dollars, although that was based partially on overvalued Facebook stock. Google would be paying in cash and/or publicly valued stock, which is equivalent to cash. So whatever the final acquisition value might be, it can’t be compared apples-to-apples with the Facebook deal.

***

Why would Google want Twitter? We’ve been arguing for some time that Twitter’s real value is in search. It holds the keys to the best real time database and search engine on the Internet, and Google doesn’t even have a horse in the game.

Google CEO to keynote newspaper convention

This ought to be fun.

Eric Schmidt, who will keynote the Newspaper Association of America’s annual convention, runs the search engine company and advertising beast that many journalists at sick and/or dying newspapers blame for sucking up some of their advertising dollars.

(They also blame Yahoo, which touts its newspaper consortium that tries to help the papers make at least some honest dollars off ad sales)

Google also is the company that deep-sixed its program to sell newspaper advertising because it didn’t make enough money.

Now showing: The cable show

The big story in the media for the rest of the week is the annual National Cable Telecommunications Association Show, or “the cable show,” as its commonly called.

This year’s primary topic looks like it will be how the big, traditional operators in the business will adapt to an age when the Internet is giving people more options to watch shows, and not always in a way that feeds the bank.

Here is our own take on the show from the Reuters wire:

Both sets of companies will be brainstorming on how to cope with or benefit from disintermediation: consumers can now watch decent-quality video online whenever they want, and often for free.