Happy Friday and Happy 100th issue of Rerun! 👾 💯 🎉 🎂
In celebration, here's our favourite 2016 year in review, from the folks at Twitch.
It not only contains some very impressive stats - including a whopping 292 billion minutes of livestreams on the platform last year- but also fully embraces Twitch brand values by gamifying the entire experience.
It's a thing of beauty. Enjoy!
The Caavo streaming box is built on game-changing machine vision for TV
The growing fragmentation between streaming services is becoming a real pain for cord-cutters. Switching between boxes is cumbersome and it's sometimes impossible to know what service has the content you're looking for. You spend more time browsing and less time watching.
In an ideal world, you would tell your TV what you want and it would start playing immediately. You would have 'one interface to rule them all'. This is exactly what Caavo claims to do.
Caavo's box isn't actually for streaming. It acts as a unified interface to all your other streaming boxes. The included remote allows you to voice search, but you can also use Amazon's Alexa. Using machine learning and visual processing, Caavo can find the content you're looking for, no matter what box or app that content is on.
This thing is an end-run around the deal problem that’s killed so much TV innovation.
Disney cuts ties with PewDiePie
Things seem to have gone a little awry for Felix Kjellberg, aka PewDiePie.
Disney has dropped Kjellberg after he posted a series of videos featuring anti-Semitic messages. YouTube has also curtailed its involvement with the star, killing the second season of his YouTube Red series and removing his channel from YouTube's preferred advertising program.
There is an important succinct lesson to learn from Kjellberg's mistake. The rules of good editorial still apply to informal whimsical content.
Future of TV
Twitter to live stream the 6 nations rugby tournament in France
At Rerun, this new deal has left us wondering if Twitter has ambitions to become the global sports broadcaster.
The evidence suggests it's focused on becoming a global hub for live sport, but the end goal is as yet unknown. Live sports rights are a complex affair due to a tapestry of geographical and sponsorship restrictions. The future of sports broadcasting lies in the breakdown of these barriers.
Twitter likely sees this is ripe for disruption. It is a global platform, and has the infrastructure to stream internationally. Twitter's deal with the PGA Tour is a reflection of its global potential - it has the rights to globally stream 31 events from the 2016/17 tour.
The one disadvantage for Twitter is that it does not yet produce the live broadcast or any supplementary content. Sports sites like Goal are using Facebook Live to stream TV-like sports shows, which are monetisable via branded-content segments.
It will be interesting to see if Twitter joins the content production fray, if it introduces paywalls, and if it owns the global sports audience in the long term.
This sensation is changing food videos as we know them
For some people, everyday sounds like a bubbling pot of water can trigger an intense form of deep relaxation. Scientists have dubbed it "ASMR", short for autonomous sensory meridian response. There are over 6 million ASMR videos on YouTube, with millions of viewers watching every day.
It sounds niche, but it's become mainstream. Two years ago it overtook searches for "chocolate" and "candy". It even led KFC to run an ASMR-themed video campaign on YouTube last year.
It's further evidence of how online video platforms like YouTube have redefined TV. We're going from a packaged linear set of channels, to more organically grown community-driven genres. It's also a real case study for niche at scale.
Apple’s Eddy Cue says the future of TV is much more interactive
Apple's Eddy Cue echoed our own sentiments about Interactive OTT at this week's Recode Code Media event. Eddy's prediction for the future of TV is a fully interactive experience, especially when it comes to information-based content, like news and sports. Apple's ecosystem of mobile and OTT devices, and now content, should position it well to make this a reality.
In what seems like a badly missed opportunity, Apple's much lauded debut TV show 'Planet of the Apps' whose judges include Gwyneth Paltrow and Will.i.am, doesn't speak to this vision. The show format is set up perfectly for audience participation, such as voting, or playing along with apps featured on the show, but this part of the picture so far, seems to be lacking.
Facebook takes aim at Youtube with new standalone TV app
BBC News gives some analysis on Facebook’s most recent announcement of an app that will allow users watch Facebook’s video content on their TVs. Recently, Facebook has put a bigger focus on their video ads and Facebook Live platform and this takes their investment in video even further.
Here at Rerun, we’re interested to see what this experience will be like. Will Facebook make this a subscription service like Netflix and Hulu, or will they take the opposite route, make it free, and possibly not even require a Facebook login to watch the video content?
Additionally, are they targeting a family experience of watching video content altogether? Or sticking with the largely individual and personalised current videos?
In short, we think Facebook will need to differentiate this from the already existing Facebook video-watching experience. How they will do that isn’t quite clear yet.
Disrupting the book: Serialization, new formats, and AR
Serialisation is an old concept, but its revival is leading the way as new methods of reading are “disrupting the book.”
As the pace of daily life speeds up, we often don’t take the time to sit down and read for a few hours. Serialisation presents a solution. Readers receive literature chapter by chapter so they have “natural starts and finishes.” They are able to read in small chunks and at a slower pace.
Similarly, weekly podcasts like Serial create the same ease of entertainment. They are a newer way of presenting comparable content; instead of sitting down and reading, listeners can multi-task and still enjoy the stories.
Furthermore, incorporating AR with books has added a new dimension to reading:
Imagine reading Harry Potter and being able to see a 3D model of a bustling, busy Hogwarts on top of the page. Imagine a child reading a physics textbook and being able to see a visualization of electromagnetic induction in action.
Do these new formats of interactive story-telling open us up to a world somewhere between text and VR? Or do we prefer letting our imaginations run wild with plain old paperbacks?
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia in VR is totally and completely badass
Since premiering on FX in August 2005, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia has become one of the most consistent and longest running live-action sitcoms of recent years. Now, the cult comedy favourite can add "innovative" to the long list of adjectives that have been used to describe Rob McElhenney's show.
Partnering with Jaunt VR, the It's Always Sunny... team have created a 360-degree experience for the show that will soundly register with its legion of fans. A good example of how established, longer-form shows are curating shorter, bite-sized content for a range of mediums and platforms, Jaunt and FX's VR production puts you on the back of Mac’s motorbike as he prepares to prove, once and for all, that he is “totally and completely badass.” Badass, indeed.
- The QYOU in deal with Sinclair Broadcast Group to launch new channel 'TBD'
- Twitch viewers watched 292 billion minutes of live streams in 2016
- More than 60 percent of Snapchat users skip ads
- Pixar offers free online lessons in storytelling via Khan Academy
- An Apple VR & AR rumour roundup - the train is accelerating
- Chinese tech giant Baidu bets on AI and VR
- Enter the world of 'John Wick' via chatbot in Lionsgate's interactive movie promo
Nokia’s legendary 3310 rumored to return
Virtually indestructible and a battery life that lasts for what seems like a lifetime... no, we're not talking about an iPhone.
Nokia's now legendary 3310, which sold 126 million units worldwide and has always been noted for its durability, could be set to make a comeback. MD Global, the Finnish company that licensed the rights to produce Nokia phones, could announce a relaunch of the classic 3310 phone at MWC.
Should the resurrection of the 3310 come to fruition and should demand be high, smartphone manufacturers will have to take a long, hard look at the biggest complaint that has dogged smartphones for many years: battery life.