Happy Friday! Welcome to Issue 75 of Rerun by Axonista!
In this week's Top Pick, the cable industry is set to lose out big on TV subscription revenue, but gain a much larger amount in broadband subscriptions as the industry continues to transform.
Also this week we have an awesome music video created using Tiltbrush that redefines storytelling and a Stranger Things title creator toy, as well as a trip down memory lane with MTV Classic's new linear TV channel (yes, TV channel).
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Let's get straight to it!
Cable TV revenue to drop by $2.7 billion in next 10 years
In a role-reversing turn of events that resembles the Upside Down of Stranger Things, TV providers like Comcast are becoming data delivery utilities as basic as water and electricity, and technology companies like Amazon and Twitter are becoming the new leaders in content creation and innovation, while others yet, like Verizon, are playing both sides of the field.
But don’t weep for the nation’s cable guys — thanks to 13% rise in broadband subs, they’ll rake in more than $11 billion in additional cash from residential broadband over the same time frame. And, on an operating basis, broadband is far more profitable than TV.
Future of TV
YouTube's new London studio is its latest weapon in an intensifying war for talent
It's a sign of the video-crazy times that YouTube is fighting to keep itself relevant to content creators who are being lured to other video-focused social platforms like Facebook, SnapChat and Twitter, both by a promise of larger revenue share deals, and wider audience reach.
Speaking at Tuesday’s opening, YouTube’s European director Ben McOwen Wilson quipped that the “unimaginably expensive” equipment served one purpose: to nurture talent. The same talent that have been the rocket fuel behind the platform’s growth to over a billion users.
MTV Classic Is nostalgia for millennials. But do they want TV?
VH1 Classic has been rebranded as MTV Classic, but it's still on linear TV. Exciting and nostalgic, for sure.
For those of you whose idea of watching MTV in the '90s was a giddy sense of 'I wonder what video they'll play next' followed by crushing disappointment when up next were the same 2 Pimp My Ride episodes you'd already seen earlier that day, then this move to put it all back on TV is a little too nostalgic. We would have appreciated the technology to skip a video or jump forward to a different show back then, so why not give it to us now, MTV?
MTV Classic is all consumption, no participation. Its Facebook page is dominated by VH1 Classic loyalists complaining about the new lineup or that music released in the aughts isn’t “classic.” The videos — Biggie sipping Champagne on a speedboat, Britney gyrating in front of the lockers — may be reliable adolescent triggers for the under-35 set, but airing them on television is totally out of sync with how we want to rewind and revisit our pasts.
Snapchat wants more TV-like content for Discover
Snapchat are looking for pitches for shows to add to their Discover platform, in a bid to turn it into a place where its users go to catch up on their favourite shows. While the opportunity to stand out at this early stage is there, producing a show for TV or even YouTube is a very different prospect to producing one for a portrait-oriented platform where attention-span is measured in seconds. It seems like Snapchat's strategy for Discover is very much throwing things at the wall and seeing what sticks.
In a presentation sent to Discover partners earlier in the summer, Snapchat revealed that the recent redesign of the platform has seen an increase in views but a decrease in engagement.
With N.F.L. deal, Twitter live-streams its ambitions
“We, as a television news organization, and the social media platforms are sort of sizing each other up, trying to figure out what the relationship is going to be,” said David Rhodes, president of CBS News, “Are they distributors? Are they promotional platforms? Are they creators in their own right?”
Twitter does seem like a natural fit for live streaming. It still owns the conversation around live events, and it's been hoovering up live streaming sports partnerships in recent weeks. Facebook meanwhile are focusing on brands and news broadcasters.
‘Tilt Brush’ music video hints at a major change in storytelling
An Australian band, Ball Park Music, created a music video for their latest single using Google's creativity software Tiltbrush.
This is yet another example of VR's ability to push us to reimagine what storytelling is and can be. VR concert performances already offer an awesome experience, and it seems like VR music videos may have great potential as well.
‘VR Noir’ is a great example of VR TV
This nexus of interaction, immersion and narrative has the potential to become the de facto delivery system for entertainment in the future.
An emerging form in VR is this 'choose your own adventure' combination of cinematic film, interaction and user agency. It's particularly well-suited to genres like noir and horror, where a first-person POV can suit the pace and the storytelling. While VR technology isn't quite good enough yet for cinematic realism to really stand out, it gives creators time to iron out the creases, while the dark corners in noir and horror gives them the ability to cover up the seams!
How esports can hit mainstream audiences
Senior VP of Activision Mike Sepso says there are 500M monthly active users on Activision Blizzard and in order to tap into that pool and an even wider mainstream audience they need to tell storylines with celebrity drama.
We've been saying this for ages, every time a network announces they're putting esports on cable. Esports doesn't have a chance at going 'mainstream' until there's a narrative around the players, just like in any traditional sport. It needs heroes, antiheroes, achievers and yes even cheats. It needs players whose names can become recognised by people who aren't fans.
One problem though is that esports players' careers are relatively short. There's lots of burnout, and a single game update can change subtleties in how a game is played, rendering your entire skillset suddenly subpar. Imagine if overnight the distance everyone could throw in the NFL was reduced by 10% and sprint speed was increased by 5%. But keeping up with the changes like this can be fuel for the narrative.
- “Mr. Robot” is now a mobile game that’s played through a fake messaging app
- Inside Hennessy's branded video strategy
- Oculus Rift coming to Canadian and European stores
- Pinterest launches video ads in US and UK
- Intel’s Project Alloy demonstrates “merged reality”
- Google Duo aims to make video calling super-easy
Make your own Stranger Things title cards with this site
A clever little website to create your own Stranger Things style title card! Happy Friday!