Happy Friday! Welcome to Issue 25 of Rerun, your weekly digest of digital storytelling, interactive media and the future of TV curated by Axonista.
In our Top Pick this week, our crafty experiments with Google Cardboard and VR! Also featured, Google testing video ads in search results, Vine's transition into an entertainment network, Apple TV rumours, the unique video game and TV crossover that is Quantum Break, ILM's (not anymore) secret Star Wars VR lab, and much more! Phew! Let's get straight to it!
Rerun Lab Day Originals : Axonista Does Cardboard VR
Last Friday was a Cardboard VR Lab Day at Axonista. We split into two teams, with each team's brief to design two VR Cardboard headsets, one to be creative and one to be more corporate design focused. The creative headset could be constructed from anything that took the team's fancy, while the design headset had to compliment Axonista’s brand identity and be easily reproduced. For the Axonistas who had other inventions in mind, they could propose a project to the team that would add substance to Axonista’s roadmap.
We hope you enjoy our experiments!
'A gusher of money': Google testing video ads in search results, industry sources say
There's word going around that Google is running some preliminary tests of video ads in its search results. While it's all very hush-hush, should this happen it would have a huge impact for advertisers and marketers. Both Bing and Yahoo have started showing video ads recently.
“If advertisers could buy video, their favorite format, on search, their favorite place to reach consumers, it would be a gusher of money for Google” - Jim Nail, Forrester analyst
Future of TV
YouTube is the sleeping giant of livestreaming
Fox Sports live streamed Bayern Munich v Hamburg flawlessly for free on YouTube in promotion of their new season Bundesliga games. Despite continued live streaming efforts from Periscope, Meerkat and Facebook, YouTube already has the infrastructure and the audience in place to quickly bring live streaming to its platform. Wired looks at where the future lies for YouTube.
"Broadly speaking, we think about YouTube being synonymous with video" - Manuel Bronstein Head of product for consumers, YouTube
Vine's quiet, stealthy pivot
An interesting article on Vine transitioning from "Instagram for video" to more of an entertainment network. There are subtle cues in the way Vine talks about its service now, for example "audience" instead of "users". Over time they've been adding more features geared towards programming and curation, with a focus on spotlighting their best stars and content creators. While it's all still very social, there's a definite sense that Vine is slowly but surely emerging as a leading platform for short-form entertainment.
This is the scariest chart in the history of cable TV
Simply put, the way we watch television is changing rapidly, and this chart is a very good illustration of that. How scared you are by this chart, depends on who you are. Many major US cable companies have anticipated the growth of OTT and have recently released packages to attract would-be cord cutters and the paint is not yet dry on their marketing campaigns. The chart is more indicative of an industry evolution than a decline in the power of US cable companies. Hulu is, after all, part owned by Comcast.
What will September’s new iOS 9-based Apple TV bring to the living room?
Back in June, the Rerun team got very excited about the possibilities of an imminent Apple TV device announcement and promptly got their hopes dashed. Last week Bloomberg reported a postponement of a Live Apple TV service until 2016.
Nonetheless, we're an optimistic bunch at Rerun and looking forward once again to an imminent Apple TV announcement in early September. 9TO5Mac predicts a new device design, a new OS based on iOS 9, device-wide search, and a new remote. We're most excited to see Apple TV's full approach to content discovery, one of the key unsolved challenges of the OTT world.
How the TV show in Xbox One exclusive 'Quantum Break' works
The latest and arguably most ambitious attempt to blur the lines between gaming and TV storytelling comes from a partnership between developer Remedy Entertainment and publisher Microsoft in the form of the transmedia experience “Quantum Break”, coming to Xbox One in 2016.
Half video game, half TV show, it will tell a story from 2 perspectives. The game will be played over the shoulder of the hero Jack Joyce (Shawn Ashmore) and the show will tell the story of the villain Paul Serene (Aidan Gillen). The most intriguing part of this idea is the element of choice. Different versions of each episode have been filmed and decisions made in the game will affect the outcome of the show for that viewer.
So will the show simply serve, as some have suggested, as a series of glorified cutscenes, or will Remedy once again revolutionise games and film? Time will tell.
Inside Industrial Light & Magic's secret Star Wars VR lab
If you're reading this, there's a high chance you know who ILM (Industrial Light & Magic) is. Founded by George Lucas in the 70s, ILM continuously sets a high bar for visual effects in cinema. This feature by The Verge gives an unprecedented inside look into ILMxLAB, the ILM division responsible for dreaming up the future of entertainment for the next few decades and pushing the boundaries of technology and storytelling. And you'd better believe they're starting with Star Wars!
- Welcome to ‘Dismaland’: A theme park by Banksy
- Netflix shared viewing - watch TV shows and movies with remote friends
- NBCUniversal to invest $200 million each in BuzzFeed and Vox Media
- SpaceVR is a Kickstarter aiming to bring VR to space
Huge virtual reality entertainment center debuts in Australia
Ever felt like gaming while sitting in your nice comfy armchair doesn't provide the level of immersion you're looking for? Wanted to feel your legs pumping and your heart racing to match the adventure on your screen?
Zero Latency are allowing you to do just that at their massive gaming centre in Melbourne. Just like the Ghostbusters, you can strap a pack to your back and take up arms against your foes. Only this backpack contains a high spec gaming computer which runs the Oculus Rift you have strapped to your head, so you can make full use of the 400 square meters of empty space to co-operate with up to 5 friends to hold off a zombie apocalypse, or compete against them in a cops and robbers shoot-out.
Whatever you decide to do, we think it will make you feel like you’re really there.