Happy Friday! Welcome to Issue 82 of Rerun by Axonista!
In this week's Top Pick we take a look at the implications of the much-rumoured Disney/Netflix acquisition. We also have an excellent post from Fast Company about the origin story of Facebook Live, and we take a look at the impressive engagement numbers that Snapchat Discover mini-games are delivering for brands.
And we have Google Sheep View! Curious?
Let's get to it!
Disney and Chill?
A brilliant strategic move or this generation's AOL Time Warner? The press has some interesting opinions including a completely contrarian opinion from Motley Fool. Our very own Daragh Ward breaks it down for us and sheds some light on the pros and cons of the much rumoured Disney / Netflix acquisition.
The Untold Story Of Facebook Live
Sometimes, the best way to explain your vision for the future of technology is to build it and then stick it directly under someone's nose and show them the impact it can have. Given the scale of Facebook Live today, it's hard to imagine that it started off like this - an internal experiment by a tiny team with a big vision.
This excellent article by Joe Lazauskas charts the rise of Facebook Live from lab experiment to main business driver, and takes a look at how it should navigate the potential obstacles to future growth.
Some believe Live is the key to Facebook’s future—a resource that will help it compete against broadcast television. Others doubt that Live will ever take off. But no one can deny the potential of live video on a platform that has over 1.71 billion users.
Future of TV
What is Television? as lines blur further, it’s hard to say
In an entertaining read, industry expert Alan Wolk suggests some guidelines to help the industry define what merits the label 'TV' and what counts as 'online video', especially when it comes to those of us involved in somewhat difficult market sizing exercises.
Point being, it’s really, really hard to issue a standard definition of “what is television” without resorting to the old Supreme Court definition of pornography which was “we’ll know it when we see it.”
Why brands Like Under Armour and Gatorade are making immersive, interactive games
Some epic engagement numbers on these Snapchat Discover mini-games:
The Serena Williams game was played by over 2 million Snapchat users and on average players spent 217 seconds playing the game.
Try getting those same people to watch, let alone share, a 3.5 minute advertisement. Games of course are more expensive to produce than banner ads and, as is pointed out in the article
brands that do experiment with games must be certain it's fun. "If it isn't a good game, it can have a negative impact on your brand”.
Unfortunately, so many brands don’t care that banner ads are a terrible experience, so we’re not holding out hope that they will resist the temptation to cut costs on this new format, leading to jaded users not bothering to swipe up to play. Then again, maybe Snap Inc. will police these mini-games to ensure a level of quality and exclusivity that ensures their survival. We’ll see.
PlayStation VR review: When good enough is great
With a relatively modest price and an install base of ~40 million consoles, the stage is set for PlayStation VR to have the biggest impact of any VR device yet. And while it's definitely geared towards gamers, it's also great for TV. Non-VR experiences will be displayed on a giant virtual screen, allowing you to enjoy your favourite shows in a private cinema of sorts, while also freeing up the TV for someone else to use.
The headset itself looks great too, rather than going for the black plastic/rubber/cloth material of its competitors the PSVR looks like something straight out of Tron with its glowing neon lights. The controllers leave a lot to be desired though, and we don't see them being used very much in the long run. Make no mistake, this is Couch VR.
Daydream VR hands-on: Google’s “dumb” VR headset is actually very clever
The Google Cardboard opened up VR to an unprecedented number of people, albeit with low quality. Following on from that Google released their open spec for high-quality mobile VR, 'Daydream', and the first Daydream-compatible phone and headset. At $79 including the controller it's surprisingly affordable, there are plenty of plastic Cardboard headsets that sell for similar if not more. Despite the price it packs in a lot of great design and details, like automatically focusing the image no matter what phone you have, a great feature for those of us who have to fiddle with the lenses in every Cardboard headset!
The Daydream View headset launches in November with a slew of partners, and we look forward to seeing how it fares as the spiritual successor to the beloved Cardboard.
What a venture capitalist sees in the VR & AR entertainment landscape
Sunny Dhillon is a VC with deep roots in the entertainment industry, having previously worked at a media startup, at Warner Bros, and having been an early investor in the YouTube MCN ecosystem. In this Recode article he gives a detailed analysis and opinion on where he sees potential in the VR & AR entertainment industry. He also explains what he looks for in VR startup founders, and why he doesn't think the time is just right yet for cinematic VR.
"I don’t think VC dollars should be funding movie production, and that’s what cinematic VR companies look like to me right now. A sustainable production funding and monetization cycle for cinematic VR content will only emerge with a much larger audience."
- I want my Snapchat TV: MTV is launching Discover shows
- ‘Twitch Prime’ adds gaming goodies to Amazon Prime benefits
- Snapchat’s automated ad sales have arrived, and real ad dollars are likely coming next
- With Toca TV, the kids’ game maker moves into subscription video
- Salesforce CEO on Twitter acquisition: 'We look at everything, but pass on most'
- Game Fnatic: See what it takes to be a 'League of Legends' pro
- Roku Direct Publisher tool generates new channels without any coding
Sheep View: Where there’s a wool, there’s a way
While showing off some of their new Google Maps VR tours at this week's event, Google also gave us a glimpse of Sheep View in VR. On the Faroe Islands, where there are more sheep than people, Durita Andreassen has been equipping them with cameras to help document the islands for Google Street View. Not a baaad idea at all!