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the opener #10

Video and digital continue to collide this week. Spotify unveiled a video partnership, featuring Vice News (of course), Comedy Central, BBC, and NBC. Spotify are also on-trend by commissioning their own content. It’s clearly expecting a different mode of use to the current audio streaming service – you have to look at your phone for video to be effective – and it remains to be seen if their user base is prepared to make this switch.  Periscope and Meerkat both popped up recently offering a new form of live streamed content, but now seem to have faded somewhat. Success is not guaranteed in this market, where innovation can only be said to achieve anything, if it leads to a change in behaviour.

The real stars of digital video are HBO, Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube. All of them are experimenting with new ways of making content for that captivates increasing volatile audiences. Amazon Studios is making comedy and movies, informing their development with extensive feedback from viewers. HBO is experimenting with formats: as viewers seem to polarise into binge-watching major series, and snacking on highlights, why stick to a standard 30 or 60 minute show time? Similarly, this Netflix Effect can be seen to be impacting on the ‘scripted reality’ genre (Towie, Made in Chelsea etc) where some valuable demographics are shifting their viewing to more complex forms of programming. YouTube is also adapting to this change, re-coding and re-designing itself to be more mobile, more kids-friendly, a better music experience, and with better recommendations.

Emoji, the odd descendant of emoticons, is being overhauled, to include such vital picture icons like ‘clown face’, avocado, and bacon. As noted linguistic academics the PR people from Talk Talk call it the fastest growing language in the world, you might like to take time to make sure you are using it right, as its Japanese origins can produce some cultural mistranslations.

Another, somewhat trivial, example of Google innovating because they can – Google Tone is a Chrome plugin that allows one browser to share links to another computer using sound (YouTube). No practical use just yet, but it’s not the first time this has been tried, and the Internet of Sound might be something we hear more of in the future.

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