Amazon Separate Prime Video and Launch Monthly Subscriptions

Today Amazon have introduced an alternative monthly plan for their Prime service and give a separate option for just Prime Video monthly.

Amazon’s Prime bundle service has long been a bargain with next-day delivery, music streaming, video streaming and more all for $99 a year. Now Amazon are updating their service so that you can subscribe monthly, for those who want to try it out or pay throughout the year rather than a one-off payment.

For $10.99 you can now have access to all of Amazon Prime’s perks for a month at a time. Additionally a new option has been added for just Amazon Prime Video, Amazon’s answer to Netflix, for $8.99 a month. This is a clever move as Netflix plan to raise their monthly price to $9.99 over the next few weeks, putting Amazon’s rising rival service at a cost advantage.

Prime video monthly

These new monthly plans provide a great option for customers who want to trial the service or are looking just to use the video streaming aspect. Amazon’s yearlong Prime subscription is still the best option however giving you access to everything in Prime for $99. The monthly subscriptions add up to $107.88 a year for Prime Video and $131.88 for Prime if subscribed for a year.

Amazon have slowly been making their name in video streaming with quality original series and movies like The Man in the High Castle and Mad Dogs. Now available as a standalone TV and movie streaming service Prime Video is now in direct competition with Netflix. Amazon’s ambiguously successful music streaming service remains part of a bundle however Amazon revealed last year they plan to separate their music service and provide a better experience with it soon.

iHeartMedia and What’s Trending Team For Charity Tubeathon

The two media companies are coming together for a one-off charity live-stream of music and entertainment with star guests and the Twitter equivalent of a phone bank.

This wednesday, the day before American Red Cross’ Giving Day – a day dedicated to raising awareness on how to handle emergency disasters,  media companies What’s Trending and iHeartMedia team up for a charity ‘Tubeathon’. The show will be streamed on Twitch and feature guest stars from American Idol and Dancing With the Stars.

American Idol runner-up La’Porscha Renae, Mark Ballas, Christina Grimmie and Sam Tsui from Dancing With the Stars, and Alex Boye will all feature on the variety show. Craigslist founder Craig Newmark is also getting involved, donating $1 to the Red Cross for every tweet with the hashtag #Help1Family.

The show starts with a pre-gaming show at 2:00 PM EST before officially starting at 4:00 PM. From there, hosts Shira Lazar, Bart Baker, Quddus, and Taryn Southern will run the stream through it’s various shows. performances, and also keep tab on the ‘Tweet Bank’ donated by Craig Newmark.

Every year the Red Cross respond to 66,000 disasters like house fires where families lose everything they have. When this happens it costs under $90 to help a family of three for one day with urgent relief, food, blankets, and other must-haves. As well as tweeting with #Help1Family you can donate yourself at redcross.org/givingday or donate $10 by texting REDCROSS to 90999.

In lead-up to this charity event What’s Trending and iHeartMedia enlisted YouTube stars Glozell Green, Frankie Grande and Brittany Furlan for a home-fire awareness PSA in February.What’s Trending held a Tubeathon in 2014 which achieved an excellent $53,000 in donations for Covenant House, providing shelter and essentials for homeless and runaway youths.

Tune in to What’s Trending’s Twitch channel on the 20th at 4:00 PM EST to catch the Tubeathon (2:00 PM for the gaming pre-show).

Facebook Implementing Video Copyrights To Stop ‘Freebooters’

At last Facebook have put a Content ID system in place to stop ‘freebooters’ making money by uploading other people’s videos.

Facebook video has been a massive success since it launched with users getting millions of views on videos. The platform is perfect allowing you to easily share content and view it as you browse, generating easy ad revenue for creators. But until now Facebook have had no rights management for videos, meaning anyone could upload anything and, from that, profit from anyone’s video content.

This broken system resulted in an emergence of freebooters, users with large fanbases who reupload various content and profit from getting millions of views. Many content creators were rightfully angry, especially as Facebook videos now garner over 8 billion views a day and therefore generate a lot of revenue. That’s a lot of views and money lost to creators, considering how prominent freebooters are for view counts. Even crediting the original creator doesn’t give them back the views and money lost to them.

Popular Youtuber Hank Green wrote in a blog post titled ‘Theft, Lies, and Facebook Video‘ about how their system was broken and worked in favour of content theft. On the importance of views, beyond ad revenue, Green said: “This might seem a little like a victimless crime, but it fundamentally devalues the #1 metric of online video . The view is the thing that everyone talks about and it’s the thing creators sell to advertisers in order to make a living.”

Another YouTuber, Casey Neistat, revealed to Adweek that he had lost more than 20 million views on his content after freebooters uploaded his videos to Facebook. After spending weeks planning and preparing his “Aladdin Magic Carpet Prank” he uploaded it to YouTube and gained a successful 10 million views. But over double those views were made by re-uploaders on Facebook – losing Casey views, money, and potential fans with no effort from the the freebooters.

These reasons and more are why it’s so important that Facebook have now implemented a rights management system for videos. As the biggest social network and one of the biggest tech companies in the world it’s about time. Facebook’s rights management mirrors YouTube’s Content ID system which fingerprints content and then detects and strikes presence of the copyrighted content elsewhere on the site.

At the moment it seems like their copyright system isn’t automatic and you have to apply and add your videos at https://rightsmanager.fb.com, though this may be due to the majority of stolen content coming from other video hosts like YouTube.

Here’s what Facebook say their Rights Manager will do:

  • Easily upload and maintain a reference library of video content to monitor and protect, including live video streams.
  • Specify permitted uses of each video by setting match rules.
  • Identify and surface new matches against your protected content so you can review them and file a report if needed.
  • Whitelist specific Pages and profiles who have permission to use your copyright content.
  • Outsource management, monitoring and protection of your content by using our Rights Manager API.

Facebook say if you can’t apply for their Rights Manager system you can still report copyright on a video, information on both can be found here.

Play With Elizabeth Rose In Google Play’s Interactive Music Video

Google are at it again. The prolific innovators have worked with Australian artist Elizabeth Rose to create an interactive music video for her new single.

This isn’t the first interactive music video, or even the first by Google, but they are still rare enough that a new one is always welcome. The way you interact with the video however is often unique to that video. In Google Play’s new collaboration with Elizabeth Rose they let you interact with elements inside the video and “play with her emotions”.

Google Play Australia’s Marketing Manager, Sophie Hirst spoke about it’s inception: “Aussie artist Elizabeth Rose loves it when fans remix and play with her music. So, to celebrate the launch of her new single ‘Playing With Fire’, we got together with her to explore ‘what if fans could actually play with Playing With Fire, as well?’ The idea for a mobile interactive music video was born. The song is about a crazy range of emotions you feel in a relationship. By tapping, swiping and tilting your phone during the video, you can mess with her emotions, make her cry and even slice her in half.”

You can also use your mouse to play with the video in browsers. It’s not the most sophisticated interactivity you’ve ever seen but it’s not supposed to example the tech and rather provide a unique and fun enhancement to Rose’s new music video, which it achieves. The track and video also features the great Australian rapper Remi.

In an email statement Rose says that the way you can play with her emotions throughout the video is all deliberate, saying: “We didn’t just squash the music and technology together. We melded it, so fans can interact with the meaning of the song, not just the visuals.”

You can watch a short making of/preview below or head here to watch the full video (It will work on most mobile devices and desktops however may not on your device).