Reading List: YouTube Wants Repeat Audiences

Each day we provide a roundup of five stories from around the Web that our editors read and found noteworthy. Follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day @digiday.

Will YouTube Make the Right Moves?: YouTube is finally close to announcing more details on its Hollywood-driven, original-programming channels strategy, according to the Wall Street Journal. It will be very interesting to see what sort of content YouTube is going for — typical Web fare, such as comedy and reality/talk shows, or scripted dramas and sitcoms, or something new. It’s hard to read the site’s content direction based on the names that have been reported — Is Tony Hawk going to produce some skateboarding videos, or something more? Is Anthony Zuiker of “CSI” fame going to unveil some kind of Web crime show, or something completely different. Regardless of what it announces, YouTube has a difficult task at hand. Many content producers complain that the site is great at generating viral clips, but lousy at building repeat audiences. In order to succeed in becoming a content hub, YouTube needs to retrain viewers on how they visit and frequent the site. Wall Street Journal — Mike Shields @digitalshields

Groupon Goes Upscale: One can only take so many leg-waxing offers, it seems. One of the knocks on Groupon has always been the low quality of its offers. And any subscriber knows there’s some truth to this. Meanwhile, higher-end services like Gilt have thrived. Now, Yipit has detected moves to go into the higher end with Groupon Reserve. The first deal, offered to some New York users, is a discount at the nice Italian restaurant Bice. The question is whether Groupon’s brand, which is often associated with leg waxing, can have credibility with high-end merchants, who can be forgiven for wondering if the association will hurt their own brands. Yippit — Brian Morrissey @bmorrissey

The Data Wars Have Begun: It was only a matter of time before the ad tech startup craze crossed over to data-driven social. Unthink and NextDoor are two startups hoping to shift consumers and their valuable data away from Facebook. Has this ever worked? It hasn’t yet for Google, and Google has considerably deeper pockets than Tampa-based Unthink, which promises to start a “social revolution.” One element that most pundits overlook is that the power of Facebook is its data, but that data comes from consumers. Consumers aren’t loyal to platforms, they’re loyal to their networks. If Unthink or any number of other “kill-the-beast-that-is-Facebook” startups can manage to get consumers to surrender their data en masse, they really might have the beginnings of a “social spring”.  The Washington Post — Carla Rover @carlarover

Survey Says: Americans may be losing interest in the Occupy Wall Street movement. The proof? Google searches on the topic are way down, according to metrics from Google Trends.  Even though traditional pollsters are reporting findings that don’t gibe with Google’s, and even though Google admits that the data is “subject to inaccuracies,” the search giant is nevertheless touting its metric as a “useful tool” for tracking not only social trends like OWS but also of keeping tabs on the path that new strains of influenza are taking across the globe. HuffPo — Anne Sherber @annesherber

Sony’s Four Screen Strategy: Sony has confirmed it’s buying Ericsson out of the pair’s handset-manufacturing joint venture, Sony Ericsson, in order to focus on a “four-screen strategy” incorporating TVs, PCs, tablets and cellphones. Historically, Sony has paid less attention to the content side of its business than it has hardware, but as media-owners and marketers become increasingly intrigued by the relationship between these devices, the company could be well placed to take advantage of that growing opportunity, enabling it to “more rapidly and more widely offer consumers smartphones, laptops, tablets and televisions that seamlessly connect with one another.” PaidContent — Jack Marshall @JackMarshall
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