Happy Friday! This week saw the first delivery of a Domino's pizza by drone in New Zealand. You can watch the pizza's aerial adventure in its full glory on YouTube. We're not sure what this advancement in technology says about the future of humanity, or how soon robots will replace us all...
In the meantime, we've got lots of interesting news from the future of TV to enjoy. Let's get straight to it!
Interactive OTT — Are you ready for the next stage in the evolution of TV?
Our own Claire McHugh shares her top tips to bear in mind when producing a world class interactive video experience on OTT, whether you’re a Netflix-killer or a new brand with global ambitions.
Interactive video platforms take advantage of internet connectivity and touch screens to deliver a whole new level of engagement to in-app video. On-screen tweets can be favorited and retweeted right from inside the video, news tickers can be swiped backwards, products can be purchased — the list is only limited by imagination.
Happy World Television Day Monday 21st November!
There are 600,000 people in Europe working in the TV industry, creating 60,000 hours of programmes daily, across 5,463 channels. that 610 million viewers watch, on average, for 3.55 hours per day. This is all according to a video produced by European Broadcasting Union, Association of Commercial Television in Europe and Egta, to tie-in with World Television Day on 21st November, which is now in its 20th year after it was declared by the United Nations General Assembly in December 1996.
So if you're working in TV, - if you're reading this, you probably are - Happy World TV Day to you!
Future of TV
Ampere: sports viewing on the decline among millennials
According to this Ampere Analysis report, demographic and cultural shifts are changing the way younger audiences view sport, and consume content. Evidence suggests that the availability of online video services like Amazon Prime and Netflix could be influencing this trend. With nearly 32,000 consumers interviewed between the ages of 18-24, the report found that sports fans were under represented when considered against older demographics. This should ring alarm bells for networks and services that rely on sport to draw audiences to linear TV.
Could it be that millennials are off-put by sport due to the data heavy nature of the genre? It is possible that sport might perform better if it included interactive aspects as part of its distribution to OTT platforms?
A report by Ofcom on media use by children, highlights that the next generation prefer to watch content online, watch less TV on set-tops, and enjoy interactive activities such as making pictures, editing videos and creating avatars.
Drawing from this research, it's clear to conclude that if sports OTT became more creative and interactive it may bring more viewership from younger audiences. Instead of baked in graphics, sports providers may find success scheduling interactive content into the viewing experience.
Facebook live to share basketball with more fans
Earlier this year the NFL announced it was extending its digital presence in a 10 game partnership with Twitter. College basketball, as represented by Atlantic 10 is now following suit. A10 have announced they will use Facebook to stream 15 games in an experiment in social media delivery. Offering games through this medium will, according to A10's Mike Vest, 'expand the number of people who can watch A10 basketball, and bring that content to them on a platform they’re already using'.
The fact it's a platform potential new viewers already use, means A10 can take advantage of Facebook's existing social structures such as groups and RSVP systems which may attract a new demographic of viewers. A demographic, who do not watch college basketball through A10's network, website, app or existing broadcast deals. The NFL's deal with Twitter also demonstrates their search for these new demographics too. Just like the NFL, A10 games will be free to viewers, with a long term hope to monetise streams through sponsorship and advertising.
Inside Turner's plans for international digital expansion
Not one but two strategic announcements this week from Turner, focused on the future of TV. In the US, Turner has acquired top strategic-consulting firm BRaVe Ventures to lead innovation at TBS and TBT.
Turner International has established a new digital ventures and innovation division in the UK. It is reported that the focus of this new unit will be on direct to consumer offerings, mobile and OTT.
Publishers adopt new video platforms, but struggle with monetization and discovery
Even the most innovative and forward-thinking publishers and brands adopting new platforms like Facebook Live, Instagram Stories and Snapchat are struggling with monetization and discovery.
For example Tastemade are getting 20 million monthly views on their Instagram stories, but no revenue, and Snapchat's metrics platform has been described as "a black hole of nothingness". Meanwhile on Facebook, brands are still trying to figure out the best way to use the live format, in the hope that Facebook will eventually allow them to monetize it.
There's no doubt that the audience for this content is out there, and the numbers reflect it, but it's a reminder that as long as you're on someone else's platform you have to play by their rules.
Twitter launches Android TV app for watching NFL streams & other live video
Expanding its reach into TV and streaming, Twitter has announced its Android TV app, which follows two months after the social media giant first launched apps for Apple TV, Fire TV and Xbox One, in time for Twitter’s first NFL live stream in mid-September.
The Android TV app allows users of TVs and streaming boxes powered by Google’s TV software to not only tune into its NFL live streams and other live video streamed on its service, but also connect with a selection of popular tweets as well as an option to tune into the ever-popular Periscope broadcasts.
Crucially, and this will be a feature that will come as a treat to fans of entertainment TV, sports and live political debates, users can also watch a feed of curated tweets and a live broadcast side-by-side; there’s no need to log in or even own a Twitter account to access live streams through the app.
The addition of curated tweets is a clever and gentle way to expose non Twitter users to the benefits of the platform.
Exploring new narratives in VR
"In traditional video production, you don’t have to worry about the camera becoming sentient, turning its head and walking around on set."
Design studio W12 recently downed tools for the day and dedicated some time to exploring new approaches and considerations for VR. They've published this excellent blog post sharing all their learnings, and it's especially useful when approaching VR from a video production background.
They've categorised VR experiences based on degrees of player agency—Observer, Player, and Character—outlining the various considerations you need to take into account for each. They also look at both visual and audio direction techniques, and even when you should deliberately break the fourth wall!
YouTube VR is Daydream's killer app
The first of what Google says will be several headsets made for Daydream, a VR platform that was introduced in Android 7.1 Nougat, Google Daydream View doesn’t receive a veritable two-thumbs-up from The Verge’s Adi Robertson, but, instead, a review with some suggestions about the potential of both the headset and the VR platform itself and it's current lack of a killer app that will define the product.
With the lack of quality content currently available in VR, Google Assistant, a major selling point of Google’s Pixel device, could effectively give Daydream a hands-free user interface for everything from browsing the web to sending text messages. Mobile VR, then, could function like an operating system albeit one with limitations. For now, however, Google Assistant appears only as a voice search feature in YouTube.
And it's Google's YouTube VR App that is the star of the show. According to a review by Ben Popper, the UX is much improved. Jumping from one video to another is smoother, less clunky, and users can keep an eye on what’s playing in the background while cueing up the next video. YouTube VR is the most satisfying part of a major web property to VR and one that definitely gives Daydream a bedrock on which to build.
Building a cross platform 360-degree video experience at The NYT
A couple of weeks ago we shared The NYT's new publication The Daily 360 with you, impressed with the fact that it works so well on every platform and browser. Keeping true to their reputation for being a publisher at the cutting edge of technology they've written an in-depth blog into the technical hurdles they had to overcome along the way. They've also shared their code so that others can build upon what they've already achieved.
Make no mistake, this is a very technical read, but if you're a web or mobile developer it's one of those fascinating articles that you'll keep coming back to again and again.
- Instagram is working to add live video
- How Nutella's first branded content series will spread happiness
- 'The Turning Forest' is a touching VR fairy tale from the BBC
- The BBC launch a VR talk show o_O
- Snapchat files for one of the biggest tech IPOs in years
- Facebook built another Snapchat clone specifically for emerging markets
Solar Impulse experiments in 360° video and virtual reality
The team from the Solar Impulse did something a little neat. They captured the second instalment of their flight around the world in 360 and VR! To create these video experiences, engineers tested the cameras in different pressures and altitudes. They also designed custom parts to attach the cameras to the plane's wingtip and cockpit. Our personal favourite at Rerun is the flyby of Mount Everest!