Music videos are now streaming on Apple Music

Apple have added music videos into their music streaming service, something Spotify have missed out on for years.

Apple Music have expanded their music streaming service with music videos following services like Tidal. Lots of comparisons are drawn between Apple Music and Spotify’s very similar rival streaming services but Apple Music have at last passed them with a fairly big exclusive feature.

Not only will this bolster their service but Apple seem to have plans to make it a fully fledged feature, with exclusive videos saying they have “one of the most extensive music-video catalogues available”. They haven’t said how many music videos they do have but it’s likely not as extensive as the two biggest music video platforms currently online: YouTube and Vevo.

To kickstart the new feature Apple have exclusively premiered some new videos from A Tribe Called Quest, Beck, Kylie Minogue, Sabrina Carpenter, Jonas Blue, and up-and-comer Yebba. They will also curate playlists of music videos with selections including Today’s Video Hits, The A-List: Pop Videos, and Classic Dance Moves.

Apple Music will be able to stream music videos on their mobile apps, through iTunes and will be streamable on their Apple TV box. Apple have featured music videos on Apple Music before but these have always been music-focussed documentaries and entertainment rather than music videos.

Apple are introducing music videos into their music streaming service as YouTube move towards creating a fully fledged music platform to rectify the low stream royalties from music on their platform. Facebook have also been building their wildly popular video streaming and have recently signed deals with the major record labels as well as a bunch of independent music rights management agencies.

Live-streaming on YouTube is now as simple as pressing a button

YouTube’s latest update makes it easier than ever to jump straight into a live-stream, including straight from your camera smartphone.

YouTube’s live-streaming platform has become massive since launching years ago. With so many people streaming videos live now YouTube have made it so much easier to sign into YouTube and jump straight into a live-stream.

Streaming live is now as easy as going to youtube.com/webcam or, from your YouTube dashboard, clicking the ‘Go Live’ button in the header. No encoding, software or extra steps are needed anymore, you just start streaming from your webcam instantly from YouTube. It currently works straight away with Chrome and Google say they are expanding to other browsers soon.

Live-streaming on computers could still be much simpler though, and that’s why YouTube are adding simple live streams straight from your smartphone’s camera. Over the coming months YouTube will be adding more devices that you can stream directly from the camera app to YouTube. Select devices from Asus, LG, Motorola, Nokia, and Samsung will be made compatible with live-streaming in the coming months.

YouTube are hoping to activate even more devices with live-streaming functionality as the year goes on with YouTube Mobile Live deep link.

YouTube’s head of music announces music subscription service… again

YouTube have been discussing a music subscription service for years and Lyor Cohen just re-announced it’s existence saying, “we know we’re late to the party”.

At SXSW this weekend YouTube’s global head of music Lyor Cohen spoke about what YouTube have planned for their music subscription. Cohen says that YouTube’s music service, when it comes into existence, will combine “the best of Google Play Music’s context server” and YouTube’s “breadth and depth of catalogue”.

Whilst many thought YouTube would fully announce the service at SXSW, Google denied that that was ever the case. Cohen instead spoke on what he’s learned during his time in the industry and how they’ll be integrating what he’s learnt into YouTube’s eventual music service. Though he’s self aware that YouTube have delayed their music service for a long time now, saying: “We know we’re late to the party. It’s okay.”

Whilst details are still scarce on the service, Cohen does say: “I’m focused on bringing diversity to distribution; and we’ll do that by adding a subscription business on top of YouTube’s already growing advertising business.” This will be music to artists’ ears after YouTube have long featured music on their giant video platform but with considerably lower streaming rates than other streaming services.

It will be interesting to see how YouTube separate their music service from YouTube Red and Google Play Music, or if they decide to combine them as Cohen said he would last year before going silent again. Both are linked together into on service, where YouTube Red is available, and offers a full music streaming service like Spotify alongside ad-free videos which supposedly pay out better than ad-funded viewing.

Cohen believes that the power of recommendations will set their service apart, saying: “Did you know that 80 percent of all of watch time on YouTube is recommended by a recommendation engine? I didn’t think that was the case when I first joined, but I now know it to be true. Now we’re layering in a programming division solely focused on building and growing the playlist ecosystem that users would love across both paid and ad-supported.”

Cohen says that the two types of consumption can live side-by-side, saying: “The industry is going to return and grow by ads and subscriptions. There are plenty of leaned-in listeners that are willing to pay. We are going to convert them to paid subscribers. We’re making an enormous investment to launch a product that you will be proud of.”

Let’s find out when you actually launch it, Cohen.

Join the dark side with YouTube’s new theme on mobile

Give your YouTube the look you want as they finally launch dark themes on mobile a year after coming to desktops.

Last year YouTube added the option on desktops to switch to a night mode theme that turns YouTube dark. Now the dark theme is coming to the mobile app for when you’re bingeing on videos late at night or if you just fancy embracing the dark side.

To get the new look YouTube it’s as simple as going into the settings in the YouTube app and pushing the switch for the ‘Dark Theme’. Unfortunately for Android users the feature has only come to iOS so far but YouTube say that they haven’t forgotten about Android and it will come to them “soon”.

The dark theme offers an alternative to YouTube’s bright white aesthetic. The darker theme switches white with black so that it’s easier on the eyes, particularly in darker environments. Beyond it’s benefits on visual strain for a lot of people it will just look a bit cooler, and who doesn’t like trying something new.

YouTube dark theme mobile ios

Over half of YouTube’s views are now made on mobile devices so it’s been a long time coming for such an easily implemented feature. YouTube say that a mobile dark theme has been one of the most requested features for YouTube since they launched it on desktop last year.

YouTube update live streaming for a funner, fuller experience

Live-streaming on YouTube is getting massive and they’ve just made some updates to make the experience even better for everyone.

It’s been 3 years since YouTube launched live-streaming and it’s getting more popular by the year, doubling in views within 1 year of launch – and that was 1-and-a-half years ago. Millions of people are now logging in to stream live video, and YouTube have just updated the experience with some cool new features.

Live chat saves conversations

YouTube live stream streaming chat

YouTube have introduced ‘chat replay’ which saves the chat log on live-streams so you can go back and read through conversations, even after streams have ended. They will show up alongside the video as they do live.

Introducing Subtitles

Back in 2009 YouTube launched auto-captions on videos so that the hard-of-hearing could enjoy videos the same as others. Now they’re bringing English automatic captions to live streams so that everyone can follow the action as it happens.

They say: “When professionally provided captions aren’t available, our new live automatic captions provide creators a quick and inexpensive way to make live streams accessible to more people. With out live automatic speech recognition (LASR) technology, you’ll get captions with error rates and latency approaching industry standards. We’ll roll this out in the coming weeks, and will continue to improve accuracy and latency of automatic captions.

New fun features for streamers

YouTube mobile live streaming update location tagging stream live

Streamers can now add location tags to their mobile live streams and video uploads to share their favourite hot spots with viewers. This new feature also means that viewers can click a location tag and instantly find other videos and streams from the same place. A new location filter has also been added in the search function.

“With live streams, you’ve found more intimate and spontaneous ways to share your thoughts, lives, and creativity. Take these features for a spin and show us your world!”

YouTube Go launching in 130+ countries starting today

YouTube are bringing their on-the-go app to over 100 more countries around the world from today onwards.

YouTube launched their Go app in India last year, a new mobile app built from fresh to “unlock the power of YouTube for the next generation of users”. They went on to launch it in a further 14 nearby countries including Indonesia, Nigeria, and Thailand. Now it’s coming to loads more countries.

YouTube have announced that starting today they will be bringing the YouTube Go app to more than 130 countries around the world. Their app allows you to download YouTube videos to watch later so that if you’re going someone with little to no connectivity you can queue up some videos to watch from your device.

With YouTube you can:

  • Videos that matter to you: The YouTube Go home screen features trending and popular videos in your area, so that you can find and discover videos that you and your community care about. The entire experience is available in your language, with videos that are relevant to you.
  • Control over your experience: On YouTube Go, we’ll show you a video preview when you tap on a thumbnail, giving you a better sense of what the video is about before you decide if you want to watch it. You can then choose to download the video for viewing later or stream it now. And we also allow you to choose the amount of data you’d like to spend on that video.
  • Share videos with friends nearby: With YouTube Go, you can share videos with friends and family nearby without using any data.
  • Watch in high quality: In response to user feedback, we’ve given you even more control of your experience and added the ability to download, stream, and share videos in High Quality in addition to basic and standard quality resolutions.
  • Discover fresh content you love: We heard that you wanted an even easier way to get the freshest videos recommended to you. Now, you can get new personalized content with a simple pull of the home screen. We also notify you when new videos are uploaded from the channels you love.
  • Share more easily: We know you love sharing videos, so we made design changes to make it even easier to access the share nearby feature right from the home page. We also added a highly requested feature: allowing multiple videos to be shared at once.

YouTube say: “We’ve been working hard to build a YouTube app that works for you, with brand new features designed with your preferences, aspirations and needs in mind. We can’t wait to see what you can do with the power of YouTube in the palm of your hand.”

YouTube’s Artist Channels auto-subscribe you to artist’s new hub for music and content

Find all of an artist’s content in one place from tracks, music videos, interviews, covers and more with new Artist Channels.

YouTube’s Official Artist Channels consolidate everything official from artists into one place so fans can easily find all their music and related content on YouTube. It was quietly launched by YouTube last year to bolster the music content on their platform, and now they’re fully integrating these channels.

Now that artists can bring all of their content to one place YouTube are expanding on that feature by bringing in subscribers from any of the grouped channels. This means that subscribers to any of the included channels will automatically be added as a subscriber to their artist channel and can keep up to date with any new official content from artists.

In addition to subscriber consolidation YouTube are changing it so that soon when you search for an artist their Official Artist Channel will be the first result you see. This will make it easier to find everything an artist has officially released but will push down unofficial channels featuring or made for that artist will be much harder to find.

Additionally with unofficial channels getting booted down users that are subscribed to unofficial artist channels will be subscribed to the Artist Channel and no longer the unofficial channel. It is a great move for artists who will have all of their fans on YouTube in one place where they can show off new music and promote videos.

Over the next few weeks YouTube will be integrating all these changes for Official Artist Channels. Artists can find out more about their Artist Channel here whilst users worried about their subscriptions and notifications can find out more here.

How to monetise your music on YouTube after Partner Program changes

YouTube have announced some big changes to who they allow to make money from their channels – here’s how to make sure your music makes money, no matter what.

YouTube announced this week that they will be changing their requirements for monetising your videos, making it harder to earn money from your channel. The new rules require users to have 1000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of view-time on your videos before you can monetise your channel

This is going to push a lot of channels from being able to monetise their channels, including lots of independent musicians. But you can make still money from your music by uploading your music to YouTube Content ID with us at RouteNote.

How to monetise your music on YouTube using RouteNote:

  1. Log-in or create a free account at www.routenote.com.

  2. Select ‘Create New Release’ to upload your music.

  3. Once formatted you can select to release your music on digital music stores and services like Spotify and iTunes. Here is where you will select YouTube as a store to be added to Content ID.

  4. Once it’s finished we will look over your music to make sure it’s clear for monetisation.

  5. If accepted you will receive an email and we will start monetising any use of your music on YouTube

Content ID works on music regardless of whether the channel is monetised or not, so if your music is on your channel or any others you can earn revenue for it.

Content ID is YouTube’s fingerprinting system that scans for music in their system across every video. When it finds music in a video that is in Content ID YouTube can automatically monetise that video and send it to the appropriate rights-holders. If you upload via RouteNote we will receive the money and then send you your 85% of the revenues.

If there are channels you would like to be whitelisted so they are not claimed for using your music please send an email to support@routenote.com with links to the channels. If the channel is not eligible for monetisation we recommend you do not whitelist the channel. This is because if it is monetised via Content ID you will make money from it whereas only YouTube will receive the ad-revenue if it isn’t monetisable already.

YouTube changes make it way harder to make money from videos as small creator on Partner Program

After a simultaneously difficult and monumental year for YouTube they are ready to look at the year ahead with changes to their YouTube Partner Program.

Last year was a massive year for creators on YouTube as more-and-more found careers making videos there. But advertisers concerns over certain content from the biggest players led to a lot of changes throughout the platform in regards to monetisation. After a year of lessons YouTube have made their decisions.

The main changes to the partner program is the requirements to join will be increased. Last April YouTube set the requirements at 10,000 lifetime views on your channel before you could become a partner and monetise your videos. The criteria has changed from views to time watched and subscriber count.

To join the YouTube Partner Program now you will require:

  • 4,000 hours of watch time on your videos
  • 1,000 subscribers

The threshold for joining is to ensure that the channels accepted into their partner program follow YouTube’s guidelines and policies which have gotten a lot stricter in the past year. YouTube say they have arrived at these new requirements “after thorough analysis and conversations with creators”.

Next month the change will take place retroactively for existing channels as they’re allowing 30 days of transition. From February 20th any channels with less than 1,000 subs or 4,000 watch hours won’t be allowed to earn money.

Whilst this move will obviously upset a lot of creators this will unfortunately apply for all of YouTube, including those partnered through RouteNote. YouTube justify their decision, saying: “99% of those affected were making less than $100 per year in the last year, with 90% earning less than $2.50 in the last month.”

YouTube’s chief product officer, Neal Mohan, and Chief Business Officer, Robert Kyncl, said: “Even though 2017 was a challenging year, thanks to creators like you, it was full of the moments that make YouTube such a special place. Creators large and small, established and emerging, transformed their talent and originality into videos that captivated over a billion people around the world.”

If you have any questions about your position with RouteNote Studios following these changes please get in contact at youtube@routenote.com.

Look out Amazon, Google’s new Smart Display sounds a lot like the Echo Show

Amazon pioneered Smart speakers, then Google jumped on the train. Then Amazon launched an Echo with video, now Google are too.

Google have just announced their Smart Display, a screen with Smart functions allowing it to watch and listen to a variety of things. Sound familiar? Yes it’s basically Google’s version of Amazon’s Echo Show, the latest model of Amazon’s Smart speakers that introduced a 7-inch screen to the equation.

Google’s Smart Displays will come with Google Assistant running as a built-in AI however they won’t be making the hardware themselves. That means that, much like Google’s Android for smartphones, manufacturers will create the screened speaker hardware and Google Smart Display will be the software that makes it all run.

The first partner to come out with their own product for Google Smart Display is Lenovo who have created their own Echo Show equivalents. Lenovo’s displays will come in two options: a 10-inch model and a cheaper 8-inch model. Other manufacturers are in the process of creating shells for Google’s Smart Display including JBL, LG, and Sony.

The two different display sizes are much the same as far as software is concerned. However behind the scenes the larger 10-inch screen is capable of running at FHD resolution whereas the 8-inch screen can only perform standard HD. They both have the same power under the hood but functioning mostly as a tabletop slideshow as long as it works you should be happy.

The display works much like you’d expect with Google Assistant responding and functioning as it does in Google’s Home Smart speaker range. Of course the addition of a screen expands those functions with video calling, Google Maps support, photos hosted on Google Photos, and even YouTube playback. YouTube has been a contested matter between Amazon and owners Google who have removed YouTube from Fire TV and reluctantly returned the app to Echo Show’s after removing it from there.

Lenovo plan to release both of their Google Smart Display screens in the summer at $249 for the 10-inch model and $199 for the 8-inch model.