Wednesday 5.29: News to Know
Amazon Moving Ahead With Five Original TV Series
The chosen pilots are: “Alpha House”, a political comedy starring John Goodman; “Betas”, a comedy about start-up culture in Silicon Valley; “Annebots”, a kids’ show about robots; “Creative Galaxy”, an animated art adventure series; and “Tumbleaf”, another kids’ show about a small blue fox named Fig. These are the first TV series ever made by Amazon and represent a major foray for the company into original programming delivered over the Internet, stepping up competition with Netflix Inc and Hulu. The new series will be shown exclusively on Amazon’s Prime Instant Video service later this year and in early 2014, the company said. Prime Instant Video is free for members of Amazon’s Prime service, which offers two-day shipping and other benefits in the United States for $79 a year.
‘Arrested Development’ Spawns Wave of Piracy
Guess who else likes Arrested Development? Pirates, that’s who. The new season of the cult show has been downloaded by 100,000 file sharers within a single day.
Google Now Lets Anyone Turn Their YouTube Upload Into a Slow Motion Video
Google on Tuesday announced a minor feature addition that will likely take the online video world by storm: YouTube slow motion videos. The company claims its tool can create a smooth, slomo video that looks as if it was filmed with a high-speed camera. To create a slomo video, just visit the Enhancements tool or the YouTube Editor and apply it to one of your existing videos. YouTube will do the rest, thanks to its own slomo technology that uses frame analysis and the blending of intermediate frames together.
Inside YouTube’s New Channel Design
YouTube has been testing a new layout called One Channel for a few months and the new look is available to any of the platform’s members. Brands can opt-in now, but it will be required for all channels beginning June 5.
Business Insider http://read.bi/Ze8XpX
Michele Bachmann Announces Retirement via YouTube
Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann won’t seek a fifth term in Congress next year, she announced in a YouTube video released early Wednesday. “I have decided next year I will not seek a fifth Congressional term,” says Bachmann, who has served in the House of Representatives since 2007. She’s been on the House Intelligence Committee since 2011. Bachmann, who made a failed bid for the Republican presidential nomination last year, later added the decision is not related to ongoing investigations of her campaign’s fundraising methods. Bachmann’s choice to announce her retirement from Congress via YouTube makes her the latest politician to sidestep the media in announcing a major decision directly to voters — just last week, Anthony Weiner officially announced his New York City mayoral campaign via YouTube.
Digital Music News
Spotify Launches Discover Pages for Web To Help You Find Music
Digital music streaming and subscription company Spotify today released a new feature called ‘Discover’, in an effort to help its many millions of users around the globe find out about new artists and music they will likely enjoy. The company aims to achieve this by not only leveraging its proprietary recommendation technology, but also by banking on services such as Pitchfork, Songkick, Tunigo, and others to make for a smooth and useful way for users to discover new music.
Streaming Video News
NYT’s ‘Retro Report,’ A Counterpoint To ‘CNN BuzzFeed,’ Debuts Fourth Video
It’s the fourth mini-documentary in the ongoing “Retro Report” video series from Retro Report and The Times. Launched earlier this month (with plans to debut new videos through 2014), “Retro Report” aims to provide fresh insight into old news stories and scandals. All videos tend to last between 10 and 15 minutes and are hosted on RetroReport.org and the Booming section of NYTimes.com, as well as via their own hub on NYTimes.com. Each documentary is also accompanied by an editorial piece from Michael Winerip.
Videos to Watch Now
‘Eric Schaeffer: Life Coach’ Brings Cringe-Worth Laughter
My Damn Channel’s “Eric Schaeffer: Life Coach: blurs the lines between fiction and reality by casting the writer and director, Eric Schaeffer, as himself. It also features themes that he’s dealt with for the majority of his career. In fairness, body image issues as previously addressed in FX’s “Starved” aren’t emphasized as heavily. Though Schaeffer’s self-deprecating tone and the topic of dating come back with full brute force, despite showing up in most of his work, including most recently Showtime’s pseudo-documentary “I Can’t Believe I’m Single,” based on his book of the same name.
TV vs Digital
Are You Ready to Cut the Cord?
It’s not hard to see why people are looking for ways to ditch their cable bill. A recent study by the NPD Group determined that the average monthly cost of pay TV in the U.S. hit $86 in 2011 and is projected to rise to $123 by 2015. That’s on top of broadband Internet access, which can chew up anywhere from $20 to $205 per month, when it isn’t bundled with a cable subscription. In contrast, Netflix and Hulu Plus cost just $7.99 monthly. Amazon’s video service is bundled into its Prime membership, which runs $79 per year. Add the three together and you’re looking at about $22.50 for monthly access to a massive combined catalog of movies and TV shows. And these are just the most prominent out of dozens of competing streaming services.
Alki David’s FilmOn Ending Streaming Networks in DC
Looks like the streaming of network TV is about to end in Washington DC. Less than a week after ABC, NBC and Fox DC against Alki David‘s FilmOn and his Aereokiller service, the media industry provocateur says he’s pulling the broadcasters from his streaming service.
Streaming Video News
CNN Hopes to Get Some Buzzfeed Magic
CNN is looking for a younger, hipper audience, one that understands the social nature of the Internet. In a deal announced yesterday with Buzzfeed, CNN thinks it can now reach this audience.
Opinions & Analysis
Can YouTube Eclipse Facebook
If history ought to be a lesson, then Google Plus should quickly join the ranks of Google Wave and Buzz to make way for a YouTube-based social presence for Google to attack Facebook.