Happy Friday! Welcome to Issue 77 of Rerun by Axonista!
This week's Top Pick is a behind-the-scenes look at the massive streaming infrastructure and operations base that NBC built for their Olympics coverage.
We also look at the many ways in which the rise of video has changed the game for media publishers, how James Corden's digital-first ratings-don't-matter approach is resonating with younger generations, what director Jon Favreau's first VR experience will be and a VR marriage proposal in Tilt Brush.
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Let's get to it!
Here's the tech NBC built to stream the Olympics — now can it replace TV?
On the face of it NBC's coverage had ratings and user experience that fell short of expectations, but behind-the-scenes was a different story. Over 1100 employees ran a ground operation in Stamford that ingested, digested and spat out video streams of every inch of the Olympics, to NBC and its partners. The level of remote control was so fine that staff in the Stamford control rooms were even able to control the lighting in the studios in Rio. It was an exercise in modern broadcasting infrastructure on a massive scale, and no doubt NBC will have learned a lot from the experience.
Future of TV
The rise of video is making 2016 a weird year to be a digital publisher
BuzzFeed will be fine — as will Vox and Vice. They have enough money to produce video. It’s the middle class of digital media — the kind that doesn’t have the cash or ability to build a large video operation — that’s nervous.
Right now we're in the midst of a shift away from text and images and towards video as the main product of digital publishers. Caught in the tide are many who are suddenly finding the value of their banner ads disappearing, while they struggle to scrape together the resources to produce their own video offerings. The result is many smaller publishers going straight to a platform like Medium, or cozying up to telecoms giants and media conglomerates. Meanwhile content creators and influencers on platforms like YouTube suddenly find themselves in hot demand, seemingly courted from every direction with exclusivity deals and even cable TV offers.
The words 'game' and 'changed' spring to mind...
James Corden's surprise US success won on YouTube views not ratings
“When I get in in the morning I will check our YouTube hits before I check our overnights [ratings],” said Ben Winston, the man behind Corden’s hit The Late Late Show. “The overnights just tell us who managed to stay awake. The YouTube hits tell us which bits flew."
You're probably familiar with James Corden, host of The Late Late Show and Carpool Karaoke. In 17 months his show's YouTube channel has notched up 7 million subscribers and 1.7bn views worldwide. His ratings-don't-matter approach is reflective of a younger generation, and he sees it as the best way to speak to them.
“I’m only driven by that,” said Corden. “I genuinely couldn’t tell you how many people watch our show, because I feel like in this slot we’re not really in the ratings business, we’re just in the relevance business. My major ambition is just to stay relevant.”
GoPro looks beyond cameras to regain footing after troubled year
Can GoPro become the YouTube of action sports? Maybe.
In this interview with Variety, GoPro's CEO Nick Woodman reveals a major pivot from hardware to media company. GoPro's plans include original short-form content production, cloud based video editing and storage tools, and leveraging its user generated content into licensing deals.
With its upcoming cloud services, the company could automatically tap into a huge pool of videos that could then be redistributed on GoPro’s own channels, or licensed to others. “We go from having access to a very small amount of content to having access to dramatically larger amounts of content,” explains Woodman. “That’s going to dramatically scale our licensing opportunities.”
Director Jon Favreau to release debut VR movie next week
After getting his VR feet wet earlier in the year with experiences set in The Jungle Book, Favreau's debut VR 'movie' Gnomes & Goblins is set to be released next week.
More of an interactive experience than a movie, Gnomes & Goblins places you in a deep jungle, accompanied by a small goblin whose behaviour towards you is directly influenced by your behaviour towards it. It's Favreau's attempt to “find the humanity” in VR, and as big fans of his work we can't wait to try it!
- Twitter to share pre-roll video ad dollars with creators
- Best-selling Wii title Carnival Games is making the leap to VR
- Rick and Morty's co-creator and an Epic Games veteran are starting a VR studio
- Apple adds Jessica Alba to Planet of the Apps reality show, joining Will.i.am, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Gary Vaynerchuk
- CBS will let you watch its shows online without ads
- Bjork + Unity team up for first live 3D mocap stream
This guy proposed in VR using Tilt Brush
He painted his proposal in virtual reality and let her reveal the question.
All together now, "Awwwww" 😊
(Yes the ring was real!)