“Pick up the remote, turn on the television — and watch YouTube.” That’s what the New York Times reported in one of the more interesting side notes as part of the big YouTube API release earlier this month. The report highlighted the new partnership between TiVo, makers of the popular digital video recorder, and YouTube. By leveraging YouTube’s platform, TiVo users will have direct access to web videos from their televisions. As noted in the TiVo case study on the YouTube API site:
TiVo users will be able to watch high quality YouTube videos on their television. By using the YouTube search APIs users will be able to search and instantly stream any video from the YouTube repository. By using the YouTube write APIs users will be able to participate in the YouTube community and rate, flag and share videos. Lastly users will be able to log into their YouTube accounts from their TiVo boxes and access their favorite YouTube channels and playlists.
We’re starting to see an increase in these sorts of business and technology partnerships being facilitated by APIs and platforms. While the consumer-facing mashups created by individuals and small companies may be most common, they’re often not where the bigger payoff is for API providers. Take for example other YouTube case studies including Casio, Slide, and Electronic Arts.
For the upcoming TiVo service, due later this year, keep in mind that as Brian Stelter at the Times reported, the YouTube integration will not be available to all TiVo owners:
The YouTube product will be available only to a subset of TiVo users who have up-to-date hardware and a broadband connection. Of the four million TiVo users nationwide, more than half receive their set-top box from a cable operator. Of the 1.7 million who purchased their box directly from TiVo, about 800,000 have the broadband connection. The company’s Series 3 and HD set-top boxes will support YouTube connectivity; earlier versions of the hardware did not support online video playback.
We’ve seen no letup in the pace of new YouTube web mashups. There are 230 now listed here of which 95 have been Mashup of the Day. Most recently these include globally diverse entries on topics ranging from Brazilian music (with the Last.fm API too), airports in Finland and band info from Portugal and other countries including the US using 5 different APIs to get photos, videos, news, etc (shown below).