Happy Friday! Welcome to Issue 60 of Rerun by Axonista!
This week's top pick is AOL's NewFronts presentation. There's also lot of buzz in the air about upcoming online cable TV packages from Hulu and YouTube and absolutely everyone is getting into live video! Snapchat partners with NBC on Olympics coverage and NextVR plants its feet firmly in VR broadcasting of live concerts.
Let's get straight to it!
AOL is joining the live-video gold rush
Having pretty much nailed the delivery and monetization of on-demand video, the leading "digital natives" are making 2016 the year that they march into high-production-value live content – territory that was previously the sole domain of traditional broadcasters.
No stranger to live, with its BUILD and RISE properties, AOL has upped the ante at its NewFronts presentation this week. The TechCrunch Disrupt conference being held in New York next week will be streamed on Facebook in TV quality and the company is building a 13,000 sq. foot state-of-the-art studio for BUILD, doubling down on that already successful property.
It appears that this is just the beginning:
“It’s top of mind,” said Jimmy Maymann, president of content and consumer brands. “We’ve been looking at our portfolio the past six months to see how we can weave live into each of the brands.”
We look forward to more live video announcements from AOL over the coming year.
Future of TV
Snapchat teams up with NBC to cover Olympics in unprecedented deal
Snapchat have big plans for the Olympics in Rio this summer. They've teamed up in the U.S. with NBC to create daily "live stories" using a mix of content from NBC, athletes and sports fans at the scene. Great for fans who want to get closer to niche sports like curling that don't traditionally get a lot of broadcast coverage.
Meanwhile Buzzfeed will curate short clips and behind-the-scenes content into a dedicated Discover channel. Snapchat are looking for more Olympics partners internationally and it'll be interesting to see which other networks jump on board.
Hulu and YouTube to offer live streaming of cable television
It may once have been the case that broadcasters and cable providers could refuse to offer their channels and programmes to internet streaming services, but recent news about YouTube and Hulu indicates that they might be changing their tune. Both streaming services are set to offer live streaming of cable and broadcast television.
Typically a catch-up service, Hulu will charge a higher subscription from 2017 for those wanting to live stream their favourite cable shows. This is hardly unique, but Hulu is more obviously in a position to exploit its already large subscription base as well as the TV catalogues of its owners The Walt Disney Company and 21st Century Fox.
YouTube has similar plans and is rumoured to be in talks with some major networks like NBC Universal and CBS. It will likely offer a skinny bundle of premium and smaller channels.
NewFronts 2016 Roundup: Buzzfeed, Vox Media, Hulu and more take their swings
AdvertisingAge have been publishing excellent roundups of the NewFronts 2016 presentations so far. It's easy to see some common themes running throughout them all. Lots of announcements around VR, original video content, distribution channels and Snapchat. If you're a regular reader of Rerun it'll all sound familiar to you, but to see publishers en masse putting the talk into action does make this year's NewFronts feel like a bit of an inflection point.
NextVR, Live Nation say live concerts are ideal for virtual reality
Next VR has secured a 5 year deal with Live Nation for broadcasting its live concerts in VR.
At last year's TV of Tomorrow San Francisco event, we tried out Next VR's demo featuring a Coldplay performance. We were blown away by how intimate and alive the experience was ( if a little too intimate - we felt like we should pick up an instrument, we were that close to the band! ). It was immediately apparent there was huge potential for live concerts as a revenue stream for VR, perhaps even more so than sporting events.
We won't be seeing VR on Netflix... yet
Usually pioneers of viewing technologies, Netflix are approaching VR with caution.
Given that its focus is on lean-back and binge viewing and its main concern is with growing subscriptions internationally, it seems that VR is both too involving and not quite vast enough in content or duration for Netflix to invest. Yet.
This doesn't mean that Netflix is completely out, but that it'll probably wait for more mainstream growth in VR content and viewers before it moves in that direction.
5 social networks to share your 360 degree content
You’ve got your 360 camera. You’ve taken some awesome photos and videos. Now, what do you do with them?
This article bypasses the usual go-to platforms of Facebook and YouTube, suggesting that VR makers look to more bespoke and dedicated VR social platforms like MettaVR where you can search for VR content by map or Vrideo, which offers up to 4K quality playback.
With so much VR experimentation going on, we wouldn’t be surprised if some of the best VR content appears on these social networks.
- Six months in, CNN’s Great Big Story is ready to jump to TV
- Vimeo acquires white-label video subscription platform VHX to help creators build their own Netflix
- Indigenous Media just released a feature film on Snapchat
- Condé Nast is betting on VR and 'cultured millennials'
- You can now #save your Periscope streams (for more than 24 hours)
GoPro footage gives you a rocket's-eye view of spaceflight
It looks like outer space is the go-to place for companies showcasing their latest filmmaking kit.
This time it's GoPro. As part of the promotion of the GoPro Awards, the company has released a video of a rocket launch filmed with GoPro Hero 4 cameras. It's quite a sight and especially amazing to see how even the most inaccessible of places are being captured on consumer grade devices.