Annual YouTube Music Payments Up 50 Percent to $6 Billion

YouTube global head of music Lyor Cohen announced that the platform paid $6 billion to the music industry between July 2021 and June 2022, a 50 percent increase over the $4 billion distributed in the same period in the prior frame. The amount includes monetization across all formats — short and long form video, audio only, live, user-generated content and more — on all platforms (desktop, tablet, mobile, and TV), in over 100 countries. For the second consecutive measurement period, UGC drove more than 30 percent of the payouts for artists, songwriters and rights-holders, according to the company. Continue reading Annual YouTube Music Payments Up 50 Percent to $6 Billion

TikTok Stories Can Now Be Shared via Facebook, Instagram

TikTok is launching a new sharing feature that allows TikTok Stories to be published on competing social networks like Facebook and Instagram. The move may increase exposure for TikTok content on Meta Platforms media as the social giant has been taking steps to downgrade recirculated TikTok videos in Reels. Meta recently advised creators it is prioritizing original Reels content on Facebook and Instagram that are programmed to flag third-party watermarks. Piloting since last year, TikTok’s reposting feature recently began rolling out more broadly to TikTok users. Continue reading TikTok Stories Can Now Be Shared via Facebook, Instagram

Google Stadia Adds Party Stream and Resume Live Features

Google is introducing Stadia improvements including Party Stream, which lets players invite up to nine others to participate in a game session directly through the Stadia app, eliminating the need for a third-party intermediary. Friends can be invited to play along or just watch in any combination, limited to a total of 10. Stadia’s Party Stream chat makes voice and emoji reactions available. Party Stream is available beginning this week to desktop users and through the mobile web on Android. Also new, ”resume live stream” lets players switch Stadia games without having to end a live stream. Continue reading Google Stadia Adds Party Stream and Resume Live Features

Twitch Users Can Soon Ask Guests to Join Their Live Stream

Twitch is rolling out a new feature called Guest Star that allows users to invite up to five guests to join their live stream. Guest Star will at first deploy to a small group and expand to all users by the end of the year. Anyone with a Twitch account will be able to join a stream from their desktop or mobile app. Previously, those who wanted to have guests join a stream had to do it through a third-party platform like Discord. Creators using Guest Star will be able to host their guests directly within Twitch Studio or Open Broadcaster Software (OBS). Continue reading Twitch Users Can Soon Ask Guests to Join Their Live Stream

Sheryl Sandberg Is Stepping Down as COO of Meta Platforms

Sheryl Sandberg announced that she will be resigning from her 14-year tenure as the chief operating officer of Meta Platforms, the company formerly known as Facebook. She will be replaced by Meta’s chief growth officer Javier Olivan and maintain a seat on the company’s board of directors. Sandberg will work with Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg to transition out of her role as COO and officially step down this fall. Recognized by Zuckerberg and others as the primary architect of Facebook’s advertising business, Baird analyst Colin Sebastian said Sandberg developed “one of the strongest business models in the digital economy.” Continue reading Sheryl Sandberg Is Stepping Down as COO of Meta Platforms

Audio Remix Function Expanded to Video for YouTube Shorts

YouTube is beginning a phased rollout for a new YouTube Shorts feature that, much like TikTok Stitches, allows users to remix videos using content created by others. The new feature will automatically opt-in videos across the platform, with IP owners able to opt-out if they don’t want their content used in remixes, the company says, explaining that it will function as a discovery feature. “Any time a Short is created from your own channel’s content, it will be attributed back to your original video with a link in the Shorts player,” notes YouTube. Continue reading Audio Remix Function Expanded to Video for YouTube Shorts

Meta Adding Parent Controls for Instagram and Virtual Reality

Meta Platforms is beginning to implement parental controls on Instagram and Quest. Last week, Instagram added a Family Center that will eventually expand to allow parents and guardians to “help teens manage experiences across Meta technologies from one central place.” Meta says parental controls will be added to Quest VR in May, and hinted others, like Facebook, are queued-up to join. The Family Center will allow parents to monitor how much time their teens spend on Instagram, setting limits if they choose. Additionally, accounts teens follow and accounts following them will be trackable. Continue reading Meta Adding Parent Controls for Instagram and Virtual Reality

CES: Immersive Virtual Monitor Does Not Require a Headset

MIT Media Lab spin-off Brelyon, founded in 2018, is demonstrating its Ultra Reality screen technology this week at CES 2022. The display tech uses computational optics to essentially offer a curved 120-inch 3D “theater-like experience” via a 32-inch desktop monitor, which the company suggests is ideal for entertainment, gaming and enterprise applications “beyond screens, into the metaverse.” The concept relies on realistic depth effects and image composition techniques to provide users with a plug-and-play, high-fidelity, virtual experience that does not rely on VR headsets. Continue reading CES: Immersive Virtual Monitor Does Not Require a Headset

TikTok Reveals New Content Creation Tools, Tests Live Studio

TikTok is introducing new camera and editing tools, a collaboration with Giphy, and support for 1080p video. The platform is also taking on Twitch and YouTube with TikTok Live Studio. The Windows program is currently in a test phase, allowing creators who download it to their desktop to stream live from the host computer or a connected device such as a smartphone or game console. This could keep TikTok fans in-app for live streaming, eliminating the need for third-party broadcast software like Streamlabs or OBS Studio. Continue reading TikTok Reveals New Content Creation Tools, Tests Live Studio

Premium Twitter Blue Now Available in U.S. and New Zealand

The premium service Twitter Blue is opening to users in the U.S. and New Zealand, after having launched this summer in Australia and Canada. The Blue program is available for $2.99 per month on iOS, Android and the web. Blue subscribers gain a range of features, including the ability to undo tweets within 30 seconds of posting, categorizing saved tweets into topical bookmark folders, using a reader mode for turning threads into easy-reading text, and adding a custom range of app icons. Additional features available only to iOS users include mobile color themes, a customizable navigation bar, and the ability to pin conversations. Continue reading Premium Twitter Blue Now Available in U.S. and New Zealand

Houseparty Chat Expands Beyond Teens to Wider Audience

Zoom has gotten a lot of attention as the popular video chat platform that’s soared in usage since the COVID-19 shutdown. But Houseparty is another video chat platform with free mobile and desktop apps that’s gaining traction. Originally targeting teens, Houseparty offers features designed to encourage interaction, such as jumping into a conversation or playing trivia games remotely. In the last month, Houseparty has had 50 million signups, about 70 times its typical number in some markets, said cofounder and chief executive Sima Sistani. Continue reading Houseparty Chat Expands Beyond Teens to Wider Audience

Nielsen Includes Amazon Prime Video in Its SVOD Ratings

Nielsen began tracking a second subscription streaming service — Amazon Prime Video — in its SVOD Content Ratings, which debuted in October 2017 with Netflix. For both services, Nielsen tracks only connected-TV viewing, excluding desktop and mobile devices, and only measures viewing in the United States. Nielsen released data points for Amazon Prime’s eight-episode “The Boys” produced by Sony Pictures Television, stating it reached nearly eight million viewers in the first 10 days of its premiere. Continue reading Nielsen Includes Amazon Prime Video in Its SVOD Ratings

Adobe Develops AR Software, Mixed Reality Display Tech

Adobe plans to release three apps — Aero, Fresco and Photoshop for the iPad — that focus on mixing physical elements with digital ones. The apps will allow users to switch back and forth easily between mobile and desktop devices and are cloud-native, enabling easy collaboration. The company’s chief technology officer Abhay Parasnis also recently showcased Project Glasswing, a mixed reality display prototype that will bring all the apps’ features as Photoshop or After Effects layers on a transparent screen in front of real 3D objects. Continue reading Adobe Develops AR Software, Mixed Reality Display Tech

Twitter Releases Web Redesign That Highlights Community

Twitter’s desktop interface hadn’t been tweaked in seven years and its technology was woefully out of date. The company began working on a redesign of the site in 2017 and started beta-testing it in September 2018. After showing it to more users in January, Twitter finally released it widely this week. The new three-column design is faster, but other changes are subtle. According to Twitter senior director of product design Mike Kruzeniski, much of the design changes focus on “simplification.” Continue reading Twitter Releases Web Redesign That Highlights Community

Netflix Users Watching More Licensed Than Original Content

According to 7Park Data, the majority of content — 63 percent — viewed via Netflix is licensed content. Whereas viewing of original content rose from 24 percent a year ago, it still only accounts for 37 percent of its U.S. streams this October. Of the licensed content, NBC’s “The Office” is the most viewed TV show on Netflix, with “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” in second place. The dominance of licensed content is worrisome for Netflix given that Disney, Fox and WarnerMedia will soon pull their programs. Continue reading Netflix Users Watching More Licensed Than Original Content