At Rerun, we've really enjoyed seeing President Obama embrace and experiment with new technology over his term, including his Yosemite VR tour with Oculus and his Facebook Live interview with Buzzfeed and his Reddit AMA. So much has changed in the world of television and social media during his 8 year term. We'll remember him as the first US President to really grasp and use social media, live streaming and VR.
His parting gift is this 360-degree tour of The White House.
So long Obama, thanks for being a tech trailblazer!
Mossberg: Lousy ads are ruining the online experience
Walt Mossberg is not happy about the mismatch between online video streaming and the types of commercials packaged with it and he's not alone in calling for an industry wide change in approach. Crappy, distracting and clunky ads have given rise to popular ad blockers, but content owners and publishers do need to make revenue, so clearly a rethink is required.
Google has even started lowering search rankings for mobile sites with annoying pop up ads that hide content from viewers.
At Rerun, we think the timing is better than ever to avail of smart, complementary interactive ad models that leverage the power of touch screen devices, but respect the content and most importantly the viewer.
Future of TV
Jerry Seinfeld’s 'Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee' is leaving Crackle for Netflix
As part of his deal with Netflix, Seinfeld will also deliver two exclusive stand-up specials for the service and participate in developing scripted content down the line.
In addition to the nine seasons that already exist (of 5-6 episodes each), Netflix is getting a whopper 24 episode season 10 of the show. It's fantastic news for Netflix and its subscribers, although Crackle has now lost its best exclusive.
Storytelling for a VR audience
The VR world is lighting up now with creatives exploring new forms of storytelling. One of them, Joel Gunz, puts forward in this article his vision for storytelling in VR.
In short he says to forget about exotic and expansive locations, and instead focus on creating intimate moments. He looks at the modern novel as an example of a storytelling medium that creates these powerful moments, like Robinson Crusoe discovering a footprint on his desert island. An example from cinema is the twirling plastic bag scene in American Beauty.
"In traditional cinema, the eye goes passive as the screen dishes up shot after precisely-framed shot of content. But in a 360 environment, the eye comes alive, seeking details — especially those needed to keep pulling it through the story. We need to give our viewers those carefully-chosen details. This isn’t just about getting their goggles pointed in the right direction; it’s about delivering details that add up to a coherent story."
How a football publisher repurposed one event's worth of video for 4 different platforms
With a core team of four videographers embedded in the Calais Jungle, Copa90 filmed over eighteen hours of content for their documentary 'The Liberté Cup'. Using the footage filmed, they created forty pieces of video content to distribute across their social media accounts. Copa90 appreciate that viewers on each platform expect something different as each channel has its own formats and rules. With this in mind each video was shaped to suit the different consumption trends on each of their social platforms to encourage the highest engagement from viewers.
'Horizontal and vertical photography are a consideration, but simply flipping a camera doesn’t make something suitable for a different platform', details Gavin Rowe, co-founder and chief creative officer of Copa90.
Copa90's combined approach to their content and social media has reaped huge rewards. On Facebook their videos have received between17,000 and 80,000 views, and their subscriber network on YouTube has grown to over 1.3 million. Copa90's tactics demonstrate the success of shaping content specifically for social media.
The inside story of Google’s Daydream, where VR feels like home
With companies and consumers still trying to get their heads around VR, it's always worth reflecting on its origins, where it is, now, in terms of end use, and what the future holds for the platform.
This excellent article from Wired's David Pierce begins as a colour piece at a Google developer conference in 2014 where Google's Jon Wiley learns of Google Cardboard and ends with questions as to where Wiley, as Google's Director of Immersive Design, will take Google's Daydream headset next.
Throughout, the over-arching point seems to be that VR worlds should, for now, be heavily skeuomorphic: mimicking the real world as much as possible. In perfectly-designed VR worlds, buttons look like actual buttons; door handles feel like door handles. End users and designers, alike, have already learned how to interact with the 3D world around them, so why make users learn yet another interface?
The article finishes with the inevitable question with which VR is always faced: what's next? If, in VR, we're only really limited by our imagination, how far can our imagination take us? Apparently, Google employs a team dedicated to answering 200+ internal questions regarding possible features and functionality in VR, such as reading, shopping, telekinesis...even questions like "What do my legs look like?". The scope seems limitless.
Pierce accepts that while headsets are far from perfect, they are already much further developed than VR inputs; there's a long - and exciting - way to go.
- Facebook looks like it’s going to stop paying publishers to make live videos
- Google Play and iOS apps demand surges in India and China
- Amazon offers $100,000 to Sundance filmmakers who upload to its video service
- Twitter strengthens commitment to live sports with Australian Open
- SLIVER.tv to live stream 14 esports tournaments in VR during 2017
Introducing Toontastic 3D: a playful storytelling app for kids
Google have released a new app Toontastic 3D designed especially for kids. With Toontastic 3D, kids can draw, animate and narrate their own TV shows, wacky ideas, school reports or family films. All they need to do is move characters around on the screen and plot their story. Google describe it as 'a digital puppet theater' but with interactive 3D worlds, customisable characters, drawing tools, and an idea lab with sample plots to inspire new creations. It's a pretty fun, and creative way to encourage the next generation of directors, authors and animators.