The future of TV is apps
At Rerun we know that app-like experiences are changing the expectations of TV. Users are now expecting content providers and broadcasters to operate seamlessly across mobile and TV through shared ‘app-like’ user interfaces and experiences. The development of these new capabilities and how they might shape our engagement with TV is only just beginning.
As Nick Walters, CEO at kids educational entertainment provider Hopster, aptly points out,
'We’re at the start of seeing content providers embed technology in their services...There’s so much more to come. Voice recognition. Gesture recognition. Hyper personalisation. Interactivity. Location-based programming. VR / AR integration. A social layer.'
These changes won't happen overnight as replacement cycles for TV hardware are normally five times the length of those for mobile. But slowly and surely, the tech we build will shape the industry we run, and the TV we watch.
Future of TV
Why voice assistants will become the center of home entertainment
In a nuanced, well-researched piece, Google’s Jaja Liao writes of the evolution of home entertainment and culture in living rooms and parlours across American households throughout the last 100 years.
Liao begins by demonstrating the value of radio to homes and how, inevitably, technology is constantly acting as a replacement for what has gone before; with this in mind, Liao finishes the article by stating that “...with the popularization of voice assistants such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home, the TV may have its first major challenger.”
Some of the stats that Liao cites - “Already more than 8.2 million Amazon Echos have been sold, and it’s predicted that over 24.5 million Amazon Echos and Google Homes will be sold in 2017.” - indicate that the rise of voice assistants is inevitable, but she insists that while TV’s won’t disappear from living rooms overnight; that the rise of voice assistants mean that TV “might lose ground” to devices such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home.
Here at Rerun we see voice assistants as a great compliment to TV, rather than a challenger. And with increasing development - the Echo, for example, can now connect to other Bluetooth speakers - voice will, no doubt, power homes in a way that wasn’t possible with radio and TV.
Facebook scores a deal to live stream Major League Soccer matches
It feels like the social network giants have been scoring live streaming sports deals on a weekly basis! This week it's the turn of Facebook as they announced a collaboration with MLS and Univision Deportes to stream at least 22 matches from the 2017 MLS season on Facebook Live. This will include Facebook-specific commentators, interactive graphics and fan engagement through polls and Q&A.
An important note is that these matches are usually broadcast in Spanish on Univision. Despite that they still have over 18 million English-language viewers tuning in. The Facebook Live streams will be in English, and Univision see it this as a great way to reach more fans and meet demand for the growing interest in MLS.
One of Snapchat's biggest publishers is actually growing faster on Instagram
Tastemade, a well known producer of food and travel videos, is one of Snapchat's earliest and bigger publishers. Since joining Instagram, Tastemade have had more success in finding and leveraging its audience. However such success doesn't mean it will leave Snapchat.
For Tastemade it doesn't make sense to choose sides, given the adaptability of its content. Its content creators modify video sets making windows doors, tables, etc. taller and skinnier, meaning recorded content fits neatly on vertical screens.
"In TV, you shoot once and give everyone the same" video, Kydd said. "We shoot once" in 4K, he continued, "and edit into multiple formats, then take all the data back" from the platform after it's published. The system is designed to be flexible to various platforms, and for good reason.
A good reason that makes good sense. As Snapchat and Instagram develop new features, Tastemade's approach means it can keep pace and provide great content to its audiences, whether they view on Snapchat or on Instagram.
What Ted Baker has learned from shoppable video so far
Shoppable video, when done well, is a fantastic way to not only sell product but to generate brand awareness and engagement. Ted Baker's fourth shoppable video campaign, Meet the Bakers, is an excellent example of how to do it right. The video is a 360° tour through the life of a retro sitcom family named, unsurprisingly, the Bakers. The music, lyrics and the acting are cheesy fun, and the interaction is well done.
However, the format has use beyond sales in pushing engagement and also traffic to its site, and those of its partners. “We wouldn’t have just done it to sell more products because there are simpler ways to do that that aren’t as interesting,” said [brand communication director] Craig Smith.
- Netflix viewers get to tell the story with new interactive technology
- Netflix will explore mobile-specific cuts of its original series
- Twitch is getting its own desktop app
- BBC brings authenticated on-demand to Malaysia
- New York’s Hobo launches 360 VR division
- Channel 4 chief executive David Abraham to stand down
Fossil hunters of the Gobi: A 360° scientific expedition
This 360° film, created by the American Museum of Natural History, is a stunning example of how 360° can be used to invigorate archive footage. For this film, the producers unearthed, scanned, and transferred thousands of archival elements to build a virtual Gobi Desert, layering material into a 360° canvas. The final piece provides an educational tour through one of most important expeditions in the Museum’s history.