YouTube Launch Weekly Global Music Charts

YouTube’s new top 100 chart lets you see all of the hottest music on YouTube from week to week.

As the world’s largest video hosting site it can be easy to forget that YouTube is also home to millions of tracks in music videos, lyrics videos, fan uploads and more. Now YouTube have made it easier than ever before to find all the best music they have to offer with their new global, top 100 music chart.

The launch of charts isn’t just to appease fans though as YouTube want to promote music using their new chart, helping artists’ videos reach larger audiences. The list will be updated every Tuesday showing the 100 highest ranking tracks with their view counts, position and stat changes as well as how long they’ve been on the charts.

YouTube’s Manager of UK Music Partnerships, Eduard Castelló told us in an email: “With the combination of Music Charts and Music Insights, we’re working to provide the music industry with more ways to celebrate success on YouTube and for users to discover new content. From artists looking for new people to collaborate with, to radio programmers researching the hottest new songs, to brands looking for artists for upcoming campaigns and more, these tools aim to bring you even more ways to drive success through YouTube.”

See YouTube’s new Music Global Top 100 charts, currently topped by Rihanna’s ‘Work’ featuring Drake, for yourself here: www.youtube.com/yt/artists/charts

YouTube Looking Into Live-Streaming 360 Degree Videos

YouTube are reported to be looking at developing the ability to live-stream 360 degree videos almost a year after introducing standard 360 degree videos.

According to a report by Buzzfeed News various sources confirmed that YouTube have been meeting with manufacturers of 360 degree cameras to discuss broadcasting the technology live. Last March YouTube introduced 360 degree functionality for video creators that can be used with various virtual reality headsets, smartphones and your mouse on PCs. Since then YouTube have been making small ventures with the feature but this news is the first of a proper expansion of the technology by YouTube.

As it stands very few 360 cameras are capable of live-streaming their content and the few that can are low-quality and intended for use by the director to get an idea of what they’re recording. Although it may be possible with the powerhouse of Google behind production it won’t be an easy process. They will not only have to create cameras with the ability to stream 360 videos live but also in a higher quality and making it cheap enough to be worth the investment.

Currently 360 videos are stitched together from two or more lenses’ recordings as they create multiple videos that fit together. If the reports are true and YouTube do want live 360 streaming technology then that process will either have to occur live or they will have to invest in developing an entirely new format for 360 degree recordings.

YouTube have already developed a camera capable of putting together the elements of a 360 degree video as it’s uploading, the GoPro Odyssey. The GoPro Odyssey is however unique in that YouTube knows the exact specifications of the camera and the placement of it’s 16 lenses. What YouTube are proposing with 360 streaming would require analysing the footage of various different cameras.

Though currently it just stands as a report this certainly seems like something that YouTube would be interested in investing in the development of. YouTube declined to comment.

 

What do you think live-streaming 360 degree cameras could be used for? Let us know down below in the comments.

YouTube Chrome Extension Lets You Browse As You Watch

You know the great feature on YouTube’s mobile applications that lets you minimise videos and search YouTube whilst you watch? You can now do it in-browser on Google Chrome!

You can now explore YouTube’s vast library (an hour of content uploaded every second) and continue watching your current video. Much like on YouTube’s mobile applications, Chrome extension Picture in Picture minimises the video to the bottom right corner of the screen when you navigate away – Whether you’re searching for other videos, browsing your subscriptions or looking at a channel’s profile you can carry on watching.

Admittedly you could have just opened another tab to browse YouTube with but seriously, who can be bothered with that? Picture in Picture minimises automatically once you’ve installed the extension. When minimised you have the option to increase the size of the video and, of course, return it to full screen again.

The extension is currently in beta and so doesn’t provide the smoothest experience but it’s certainly a nice feature, especially for users who spend a lot of time on YouTube. Download the extension for Google Chrome here: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/youtube-picture-in-pictur/dfanpgpmfdocbeldhfgeafndhoiifgpe

YouTube Red Closer To UK Launch As PRS and YouTube Expand Licensing Deal

YouTube have expanded their multi-territory licensing deal with PRS for Music which includes the UK launch of YouTube Red.

Today YouTube and PRS confirmed a deal which extends their existing deal and promises to “drive improved value across the PRS and MCPS membership”. The deal also covers the launch of YouTube Red, YouTube’s new and first subscription service, which is currently only available in the US, however the deal doesn’t give us any sign of a potential launch date.

PRS represent over 115,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers across the UK and ensure that they are compensated for any use or licensing of their work. Their extended partnership with YouTube will cover all PRS artists across the UK & Ireland as well as direct members’ repertoire across 130 territories in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

PRS for Music’s chief executive, Robert Ashcroft said: “On behalf of our members, we are pleased both to extend and expand our licensing relationship with YouTube. PRS for Music was the first copyright society to sign a licensing agreement with YouTube back in 2007 and both parties have since worked closely together to improve the value that creators derive from the platform.

“This latest agreement represents another important step in that direction, ensuring continued growth in royalties for our members from on of the world’s leading video platforms. PRS for Music fully recognises the breadth of opportunity on the horizon with YouTube and other open platforms and is committed to achieving fair remuneration for rights holders and a level licensing playing field.

“The recently announced, expanded ICE joint venture is poised to build on this enhanced PRS-YouTube relationship to deliver greater licensing efficiency to members and customers alike, over a wider territory and expanded repertoire base.”

Christophe Muller, YouTube’s head of music, added: “We’re committed to ensuring that writers, composers and publishers continue to get paid and that our users have the best experiences enjoying the video content that they love. This deal is an important step in delivering both of these priorities and speaks to a bright future ahead. 2016 will see yet more opportunities for creators, authors and composers as we launch new products and create new revenue streams.”

Barack Obama To Be Interviewed Live On YouTube

Three popular YouTubers are set to question the US President Barack Obama live on YouTube this Friday.

President Barack Obama will make his last State of Union address this evening and it will be broadcast live on YouTube. After the speech, as has become tradition, the president will then take questions from the public on issues they care about through Google and YouTube.

What’s different this year however is, not only that it will be the last State of Union address for President Obama but that 2 days later on Friday three popular YouTubers will travel to Washington, D.C. to present a live interview with the president. Joining President Obama in the East Room of the White House will be internet personalities Destin Sandlin, Ingrid Nilsen, and Adande Thorne.

The interview can be watched by anyone live on The White House YouTube Channel and questions can be suggested by the public using the hashtag #YouTubeAsksObama. The interview will begin streaming at 2:15 p.m. EST on Friday the 15th of January and you can catch the president’s last State of the Union address later today at 9 p.m. EST on the same channel.

Google Politics editor, Ramya Raghavan, writes on the Google blog announcement post: “Throughout his time in office, President Obama has used technology to open up the doors (all 412 of them) to the White House—from posting behind-the-scenes photos of life in the West Wing to uploading a weekly address on the most pressing topics facing the nation. We’re excited to have played a role in this process with our seven YouTube Interviews, tackling issues big and small, poignant and personal. We look forward to helping future presidents connect with Americans in compelling ways.”

Google Spotlight Stories Become Interactive 360° Videos

“A humble caretaker is surprised when a mysterious stranger causes mischief on the roof. He investigates, but can’t seem to catch even a glimpse of the troublemaker. And so the chase goes… room to room… up and down… The stranger remains just out of sight, leaving behind only a trail of gifts… Meanwhile, you’re following the action at your own pace, from whatever angle you please—behind you, to your left, to your right, or in front of you. All on your mobile phone.”

This is Google’s introduction to their new Spotlight Stories on YouTube that are enhanced using YouTube’s 360-degree interactive functions. The story introduction is the premise for their first video produced by the award-winning Aardman Animations, creators of Wallace and Gromit, and Shaun the Sheep.

The first Spotlight Story is ‘Special Delivery‘ which Google describe as a “Pink Panther style holiday caper”. According to Google you’ll want to watch the video a few times as you look around the world within video, you’ll continue to discover new secrets and encounter the 10 subplots, three potential watchable endings and over 60 moments.

Using your mobile device you can watch YouTube’s 360-degree videos which uses your devices sensors to move the video as you do. The videos are their best when viewed with Google Cardboard so that you can completely immerse yourself within the worlds created in the videos.

There are two versions of the video available, one which is optimised for Android Phones from Google Spotlight Stories in YouTube app. There is also a 360 version available on iOS and web browsers as Google didn’t want anyone to miss ‘Special Delivery‘. It seems that in the future Google Spotlight Stories will only be available on select Android Devices, at least for now.

Make Music For Your Videos Effortlessly With Jukedeck

Using Jukedeck you can create a custom soundtrack to back your videos with no musical knowledge, at a low to no cost!

Every single video creator will know the struggle of having filmed your 2 minute, claymation masterpiece but, with nothing but silence to accompany it your efforts look (god forbid) amateurish. Jukedeck’s new online service is here to rectify that, allowing you to easily create high-quality soundtracks, with as close to no effort as creating original music has ever been before.

With Jukedeck you can select your genre, tempo, mood and even instrumentation to create an original instrumental to complement your videos. Once you’ve “created” (set the guidelines) for the music Jukedeck will auto-generate you your own personal piece of music to download and use as you wish. The services comes with a free tier that lets you download five tracks a month for personal or commercial use, companies must have under 10 employees for commercial use.

If you exhaust your five free downloads a month you can add more for $6.99 each, which isn’t bad considering the first five were all free and these are unique tracks. In fact, just to prove that the each track is original for $199 you can purchase the full copyright to a song. For businesses with 10 or more employees downloads cost $21.99

Creator of Jukedeck and Cambridge university music graduate, Ed Rex, has busied himself for the past few years by sharing the secrets of song composition with computer programming. Inspired by a computer science lecture when visiting his girlfriend in Harvard, Rex became convinced that computer technology was advanced enough to create an AI composer of sorts.

With the funding aid of Cambridge Enterprise and Cambridge Innovation Capital Rex and physical and mental aid of his childhood friend Patrick Stobbs Rex’s creation has come to fruition with it’s beta release out now.

Speaking of his innovation, Rex said: “There’s an assumption that creativity is something that artificial intelligence can’t touch. Creativity is learning from past examples, imitating and recombining what you learn and introducing minor variations. It’s about seeing how the results go down with your audience and iterating. All those tasks can be done by a computer.”

Jukedeck’s soundtrack’s have already seen some notoriety with videos uploaded to YouTube by Google and the Natural History Museum using Jukedeck’s songs when it was in a pre-launch, beta testing stage. Jukedeck’s founders feel that in the future their programme could be sophisticated enough to create songs that you would hear in the high street or on Spotify.

 

YouTube Trending Tab Helps You Find The Next Viral Videos

YouTube have introduced a Trending tab on their homepage and apps that shows a list of videos currently gaining traction.

YouTube announced on their blog yesterday a new Trending feature to coincide with the release of their YouTube Rewind 2015 video, a recap of the year on YouTube. With YouTube Trending it’s now easier than ever to find the hottest new videos that are quickly gaining views.

As YouTube say on their blog: “It’s the best way to catch the videos, creators, and trends that people watch, share, and talk about each and every day. See ’em as they take off and before they appear in YouTube Rewind 2016.”

The Trending tab uses an algorithm that examines videos based on their comments, views and “external references”, assumably how much a video has been shared. The tab will vary slightly depending on your location, for localised content, but won’t relate to your viewing history in any way. On the YouTube Android application you can also select from a number of categories including music, gaming, and news, for specific viral videos.

My personal experience of the Trending tab so far has shown a slightly mismatched feed of news clips, celebrity moments, sports and famous YouTuber’s videos. Whether this feature is likely to appeal to people is yet to be seen but whether it does or not, having only been released for a day I’m sure we can expect to see improvements especially if YouTube curate the feed to a greater extent.

Vevo’s First Acquisition Could Lead to Paid Vevo Services

Vevo is the world’s largest platform for music videos and today they’ve acquired subscription streaming service: Showyou.

Vevo offer music videos from major record labels through YouTube, partnered with Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Abu Dhabi Media. However lately the company have been making moves towards a more independent approach, evident in their acquisition of Showyou.

Showyou is a curated video-streaming platform which collates content from various video-hosting sites. Showyou have also been offering a subscription model since last year which allows you to create a channel of content from channels users subscribe to and a custom feed based on their interests.

This is interesting as it marks Vevo’s first steps into content with paywalls, all of their content having been free and ad-supported in the past. Vevo are hoping that this move will enable to speed up the process of implementing some sort of subscription model or monetization opportunities into their content.

Vevo president and CEO, Erik Huggers said: “With the acquisition of Showyou we take a significant step forward in re-positioning Vevo as a best-in-class product-driven organization. Showyou allows us to accelerate our pace of innovation with the ability to rapidly add new and differentiated features as we iterate our products in 2016 and beyond.”

Showyou launched in 2011 and streams video content from various hosting sites such as YouTube, Reddit, Buzzfeed, Vice and of course Vevo. Seven out of the ten employees at Showyou will be joining Vevo as part of the deal.

Founder and president of Showyou, Mark Hall said: “With the streaming media segment still very much in its infancy I believe we have a tremendous leadership opportunity in front of us as we combine forces and become part of Vevo. Showyou’s capabilities, combined with the breadth and scale of the Vevo platform, will enable us to create an exciting new class of products that should delight both music fans and artists.”

Vimeo to Start Streaming 4K Videos

Vimeo have announced that over the coming weeks they will start introducing 4K videos on their video hosting website.

Vimeo began allowing users to upload 4K videos onto the service last year but the service was exclusive to PRO users. Now Vimeo are going to start making 4K videos available for all to upload and watch on the service.

When the update comes it will be available on Android, iOS, Apple TV, Amazon TV and Roku apps, as well as on the website using a desktop computer. The super high-resolution streaming will also be available on Vimeo’s subscription service ‘Vimeo On Demand‘.

4K resolution means that horizontally, from left to right a video or image has 4000 pixels. Although screens that support 4K are still fairly expensive and new there has been a surge in demand for 4K screens, especially as the technology gets cheaper. A report from Business Insider predicts that by the end of 2018 10% of North American households will have a 4K-capable TV.

Vimeo claim that they have the “largest, open on-demand platform” that will provide streaming in 4K. According the Vimeo they plan to have finished the roll out of 4K capabilities before the close of 2016s first quarter, rolling out bit by bit to different platforms and users.