YouTube Supports Live Streaming 360 Video and Spatial Audio

YouTube has begun supporting 360-degree live streaming video and spatial audio. Google has supported 360-degree video since last year and spatial audio in the Cardboard since January via the company’s VR platform. This announcement broadens that support to the main YouTube platform. For YouTube creators, all that’s required is a camera that captures 360 video. From the end-user perspective, there’s no extra technology or headsets required to watch 360-degree live streams. The videos will play on any device, including desktop, tablet, iOS and Android. Continue reading YouTube Supports Live Streaming 360 Video and Spatial Audio

Coachella to Live Stream Performances and More via YouTube

For music fans that want to catch acts such as AC/DC, Drake, Interpol, Jack White and Vic Mensa perform at Coachella this weekend, much of the three-day festival will be streamed on YouTube. Three channels of performances, commentary and interactive profiles will be made available as well as a schedule feature that offers updates based on a user’s time zone and channel choice, and a virtual map feature that will include photos taken during the live event. Coachella’s YouTube channel is sponsored by T-Mobile. Continue reading Coachella to Live Stream Performances and More via YouTube

Chosen: iOS Talent App Aims to Attract Performers and Judges

There is a new mobile app called Chosen that offers users a platform through which they can upload videos of themselves performing talented acts or simply judge and critique other performances, all while earning rewards for actively doing so. Chosen aims to recreate the talent show experience and competitive landscape of TV shows like “American Idol.” Users can quickly scan through various performances, vote for those they like and skip those they don’t with the swipe of a finger. Continue reading Chosen: iOS Talent App Aims to Attract Performers and Judges

Meerkat Planning New Features After Restrictions by Twitter

We recently reported that Life on Air’s new iOS app Meerkat was attracting a large number of Twitter users interested in broadcasting live, temporary video. Twitter has since restricted Meerkat from using some of its tools, including the ability to pull info about a user’s follower base (important to Meerkat users for locating their existing friends). Speaking at South By Southwest in Austin over the weekend, Life on Air CEO Ben Rubin said Twitter’s move has motivated him to speed up the development of new features for Meerkat. Continue reading Meerkat Planning New Features After Restrictions by Twitter

SXSW Will Use Beacon Technology to Push Festival Information

The 2015 South by Southwest (SXSW) Music, Film and Interactive Festival — which runs March 13-22 in Austin, Texas — plans to employ the latest beacon technology to help attendees navigate the sprawling event this time around. SXSW has partnered with Eventbase to install 1,000 Apple iBeacons that will deliver location-based information about who else is nearby and what acts are performing nearby. These Bluetooth-enabled devices send the information to the 2015 SXSW Go app. Continue reading SXSW Will Use Beacon Technology to Push Festival Information

Reese Witherspoon Stars in ‘Wild’ Experience for the Gear VR

Fox Searchlight has produced a virtual reality experience to promote the film “Wild” starring Reese Witherspoon. The three-minute, 360-degree sequence features Witherspoon as her character in the film as she takes a break from a hike in the woods. Fox Searchlight is planning on showing “Wild – The Experience” at the Consumer Electronics Show and the Sundance Film Festival next month. The immersive experience is compatible with Samsung’s Gear VR. Continue reading Reese Witherspoon Stars in ‘Wild’ Experience for the Gear VR

VR Films Are Expected to Make a Splash at Sundance Festival

At the Sundance Film Festival in Park City next month, attendees can expect to watch both great films and virtual reality experiences. Ten of the 13 installations in the festival’s New Frontier program involve VR or other digital interactive technology. These projects use several different brands of headsets, from Oculus Rift to Google Cardboard and Samsung’s Gear VR, and for one of the first times, the content for these devices will be original, not a promotion for an existing movie. Continue reading VR Films Are Expected to Make a Splash at Sundance Festival

New Trend: Social Media Stars Featured in Festivals and Tours

A capacity 12,500 tickets were sold for DigiFest NYC, a festival where more than 70 social media stars took to three stages this past weekend. The event is part of a booming corner of entertainment that features performers and personalities who are generating fans via social networks such as YouTube, Instagram and Vine. Los Angeles startup DigiTour Media produced the festival, and is one of several companies putting social media celebrities on stage for paying audiences. Continue reading New Trend: Social Media Stars Featured in Festivals and Tours

‘In Your Eyes’: Joss Whedon Releases New Movie via Vimeo

With little fanfare, Joss Whedon’s Bellwether Pictures has released its newest film, “In Your Eyes,” for online distribution via Vimeo. During the film’s premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival this week, Whedon announced that the movie was already available online for $5. Whedon, the writer and producer of the film, previously experimented with bypassing traditional distribution methods with his 2008 Web series, “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.” This is his next step in exploring ways to release content directly to the audience. Continue reading ‘In Your Eyes’: Joss Whedon Releases New Movie via Vimeo

SXSW: Neil Young Launches Kickstarter Campaign for PonoMusic

Legendary musician Neil Young, the featured speaker on the eve of South by Southwest Music, introduced PonoMusic, his new high resolution audio ecosystem, to a capacity crowd in Austin, Texas. Only four hours earlier, he launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, which raised more than 50 percent of its fundraising goal before he appeared onstage. The mission of PonoMusic is to bring the highest-quality music to discerning consumers who want to experience music the way the artists intended. Continue reading SXSW: Neil Young Launches Kickstarter Campaign for PonoMusic

Expect an Emphasis on Privacy and Security at SXSW Festival

The SXSW Music, Film and Interactive Festival kicks off in Austin, Texas today. The interactive portion of the conference, now in its 21st year, has grown to hundreds of sessions. Privacy, security, wearable tech, the Internet of Things and 3D printing are expected to be hot topics. On Monday, the show will host a conversation between NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden (via videoconference) and Christopher Soghoian of the American Civil Liberties Union. Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, is also scheduled to speak. Continue reading Expect an Emphasis on Privacy and Security at SXSW Festival

Actress Generates Pre-Oscar Buzz Using Twitter and Instagram

Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong’o, currently generating buzz for her performance in “12 Years a Slave,” is the only actress who is campaigning for an Oscar through social media engagement this year. Nyong’o has gained a significant number of followers on Twitter and photo-sharing site Instagram. She has been actively linking photos of herself in magazines and retweeting mentions of her appearances on both sites, which has helped her gain publicity during the ramp-up to this weekend’s Academy Awards.  Continue reading Actress Generates Pre-Oscar Buzz Using Twitter and Instagram

Digital Music and File Sharing Addressed at DEW Conference

At Digital Entertainment World, Jake Katz and Amrit Singh of Revolt TV discussed how they are reaching their millennial peers. Curation is key, said Amrit. For news, his goal is to be first, right, and “identify the relevant narrative.” Although they call themselves a cable network, they have a large bicoastal (LA, NYC) staff working on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and other social media in real time during the broadcasts. Millennials prefer phones and tablets; 34 percent of the Revolt TV audience won’t watch a television screen. Continue reading Digital Music and File Sharing Addressed at DEW Conference

CNN Turns to Films and Original Series to Help Boost Ratings

As the ratings for television news channels decline, broadcasters are looking for new ways to draw an audience. CNN is working toward gaining viewers by airing original films and series like the documentary “Blackfish,” which aired back in October, and “Chicagoland,” a reality TV show that will begin airing next month. Jeff Zucker, the newest president of CNN, took over in January and has been hands-on since, pointing the network in a slightly different direction. Continue reading CNN Turns to Films and Original Series to Help Boost Ratings

Oculus Rift: Virtual Reality Headset Goes Beyond Video Games

The Oculus Rift virtual reality headset was developed with video games in mind, but is becoming a compelling possibility for filmmakers as well. A 360-degree interactive video of a live performance by Beck proves to be truly immersive, making the viewer feel as if he or she is on stage with the musician. Makers of the Rift took to this year’s Sundance Film Festival to interact with filmmakers and see how the virtual reality technology can potentially be used in cinema. Continue reading Oculus Rift: Virtual Reality Headset Goes Beyond Video Games

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