AT&T’s DirecTV Now live TV service launches a DVR, upgrades the app with new features

AT&T’s over-the-top streaming service for cord cutters, DirecTV Now, is finally beginning to roll out its cloud DVR feature – a year and a half after its launch. The DVR has been in testing since last year, with AT&T in seemingly no hurry to push out the feature that’s since become a baseline for live TV services, including YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV and others. In fact, AT&T’s DVR remains in beta today, the company says. But it is now broadly available iOS and tvOS users, along with the launch of several other features, including support for additional streams, an expanded on-demand library, and more access to local channels when traveling. The DVR – which AT&T calls the “True Cloud DVR” – will offer users 20 hours of free recording, support for fast forward and rewind, and the ability to store shows for up to 30 days.
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TiVo adds Alexa voice control to its DVRs

TiVo’s DVRs are getting Alexa support. The company is announcing its lineup of DVRs, including Series 4, 5, and 6 boxes, and the new TiVo BOLT VOX introduced last fall, will be gaining support for Amazon’s virtual assistant, Alexa, which will be able to do things like change the channel, skip commercials, jump back or forward, launch apps like Netflix, and more. The company is not the only third-party DVR maker to have added support for Alexa. Thanks to developer tools like the Video Skill API, other cable and satellite TV companies, streaming services, and content providers can now add voice control to their devices and apps, as well. For example, Dish last fall became the first U.S. pay TV provider to integrate with Alexa for hands-free TV. Others working with Amazon include DirecTV and TechCrunch’s parent (by way of Oath), Verizon. Amazon’s Video Skill API was updated
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Gillmor Gang: Pop-Up Shop

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The Gillmor Gang — Doc Searls, Frank Radice, Esteban Kolsky, Michael Markman, and Steve Gillmor . Recorded live Friday, May 11, 2018. Audio networks, a new Beatles, and other digital cliffhangers @stevegillmor, @dsearls, @fradice, @mickeleh, @ekolsky Produced and directed by Tina Chase Gillmor @tinagillmor Liner Notes Live chat stream The Gillmor Gang on Facebook

Facebook Live gets new updates to simplify streaming setup for creators

Facebook is making some updates to its Live video platform which should streamline the process of getting a stream set up and in front of the widest possible audience. The company notes in a blog post that the daily average of Live streams from verified Pages is up 1.5x this year over the past year. In addition to the updates to the Live API, Facebook has also announced that they’re testing a rewind feature for the Live video, something that has previously been unavailable. Facebook is going to begin allowing Live videos to be “crossposted” to multiple Pages at the same time. That means if an organization or publisher has multiple Pages where a single Facebook Live video could be featured, they’ll be able to send it to all of them live as an original post without having to re-share one sent by the main account manually. The crossposting
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Gillmor Gang: Paywall

The Gillmor Gang — Denis Pombriant, Keith Teare, Esteban Kolsky, Michael Markman, and Steve Gillmor . Recorded live Friday, May 4, 2018. G3: Trust Me — Mary Hodder, Halley Suitt Tucker, Francine Hardaway, and Tina Chase Gillmor. Recorded live Friday, May 4, 2018. @stevegillmor, @mickeleh, @kteare, @DenisPombriant, @ekolsky Produced and directed by Tina Chase Gillmor @tinagillmor Liner Notes Live chat stream The Gillmor Gang on Facebook G3: Trust Me G3 chat stream G3 on Facebook

Spotify and Hulu launch a discounted entertainment bundle for $12.99 per month

Last fall, Hulu and Spotify teamed up to offer students a bundle including both of their services for a discounted price, compared with paying for each subscription separately. Today, the companies are announcing a similar discounted bundle will be available to all users. Spotify’s 71 million-plus existing Premium users will get the first shot at upgrading to the bundled subscription. Instead of paying $9.99 per month for a paid subscription to Spotify’s on-demand music service, they can choose to pay $12.99 per month for a combination of Spotify Premium and Hulu’s Limited Commercials plan. Later this summer, the bundled subscription will become available to all of Spotify’s 157 million users as well as any other potential newcomers to the two services. Starting today, Spotify Premium users will be given the option to trial the bundled subscription through a promotion that offers Hulu for 99 cents for a
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Vimeo debuts a Mac app for Final Cut Pro users

Vimeo today announced the launch of a new Mac app that will give video creators using Final Cut Pro more control over their file formats and video codecs. The app expands upon the existing integration with Final Cut Pro, which already offered the ability to upload to Vimeo. With the new app, creators can upload multiple files at once, track progress in a status bar, and get instant access to video links, video review pages, and embed codes, among other things. In addition, Vimeo for macOS users can also add captions in Final Cut Pro, play videos from the app without going to a browser, and adjust the title, description, and privacy settings for their videos, notes a Vimeo blog post about the new software. The idea is to help save video creators time when working with Final Cut Pro, while also giving them more control over their video workflow. [gallery
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Tinder begins testing its first video feature, Tinder Loops

Tinder is getting into video. On Wednesday, the popular dating app will begin testing its first video-based feature, Tinder Loops, with iOS users in Canada and Sweden. The company says it will evaluate how users respond to Loops before making a decision to roll it out to other markets. As you may have guessed by the name – “Loops” – the feature isn’t focused on traditional video, but rather on a shorter, almost GIF-like looping video format that’s been popularized by apps like Instagram’s Boomerang and, before that, Twitter’s Vine. In Tinder’s case, Loops will be just two seconds long, and can be added to users’ profiles alongside their photos. The company says it decided to test videos because it believes videos can show more of users’ personalities, and that can increase people’s chances of getting right-swiped (liked, that is). It suggests the videos could be used for showing off
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Adobe brings more of its AI smarts to its video tools

Right in time for NAB, Adobe today announced the latest updates to its Premiere CC and After Effects CC video editing and motion graphics tools. The general theme of this release is the introduction of two new AI-powered tools that will make the life of editors easier, as well as a variety of small updates that all result in an improved overall workflow. “The demands and pace of video content creation are reaching levels we’ve never seen before. The time pressure on video professionals means the need for powerful and efficient creative tools has never been greater,” said Steven Warner, vice president of digital video and audio at Adobe. “Adobe video apps like Premiere Pro and After Effects give them that power which, combined with the services available in Creative Cloud, provides broadcasters, media companies, filmmakers and YouTubers a complete ecosystem to bring their stories to screen faster than
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Messenger adds support for sharing HD video, 360-degree photos

Perhaps aiming to snag some attention away from Snapchat’s big group video call update out this morning, Facebook also announced an update to its chat app Messenger, which will now allow users to share 360-degree videos and HD quality video (720p). In both cases, you’ll have to capture the photo or video outside the Messenger app, the company notes. The update follows another that rolled out last fall, allowing users to share high-resolution photos through Messenger – something that Facebook said was the result of its significant investments in helping people “communicate visually.” The idea that mobile messaging is often a camera-first experience isn’t unique to Facebook Messenger, of course – it’s the premise of the Snapchat experience and, these days, Instagram too. Unfortunately for Facebook, news of improved media-sharing capabilities comes at a time when the company is under siege for its mishandling of user data, and, most
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Twitter to live stream weekly MLB games in renewed deal

Major League Baseball games are coming to Twitter as a result of a renewed partnership. This Thursday, Twitter will live stream the Texas Rangers versus the Oakland Athletics at 3:35 PM ET. The game will be the first of the weekly day-game live streams of out-of-market MLB games in the weeks ahead, during the 2018 season. The MLB will announce the games that will air on Twitter ahead of each month’s slate, usually via a tweet. Twitter has worked with the MLB before. As the company was ramping up its live streaming efforts in 2016, it announced it would begin streaming weekly MLB games, along with those from other sports organizations like the NHL and NFL. It then aired weekly games from April through October 2017. Now it will be a home to weekly games, available to U.S. users to stream for free from April through September 2018.
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Clipisode launches a ‘talk show in a box’

A company called Clipisode is today launching a new service that’s essentially a “talk show in a box,” as founder Brian Alvey describes it. Similar to how Anchor now allows anyone to build a professional podcast using simple mobile and web tools, Clipisode does this for video content. With Clipisode, you can record a video that can be shared across any platform – social media, the web, text messages – and collect video responses that can then be integrated into the “show” and overlaid with professional graphics. The video responses feature is something more akin to a video voicemail-based call-in feature. Here’s how it works. The content creator will first use Clipisode to record their video, and receive the link to share the video across social media, the web, or privately through email, text messaging, etc. When the viewer or guest clicks the link, they can respond to the question
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Twitter makes it easier to share the right part of a live video with launch of ‘Timestamps’

Twitter today is introducing a new feature that will make it easier to share a key moment from a live video, so those viewing the tweet don’t have to scroll to the part of the broadcast you want to talk about. The feature, called “Timestamps,” is something Twitter says it built in response to existing user behavior on Twitter. Before, users could only tweet an entire live video . So, if they wanted to highlight a particular segment, they would tweet the video along with the specific time in the video where the part they’re trying to share begins. Those viewing the tweet would then have to scroll through the video to the correct time, which can be cumbersome on longer broadcasts and challenging on slower connections. For instance:

YouTube is testing a picture-in-picture mode on the desktop

Some YouTube users on the web have been opted in to a test of a new picture-in-picture mode, which allows you to continue watching a YouTube video in a small window even as you navigate elsewhere on YouTube’s website. A similar feature already exists today on YouTube’s app for both iOS and Android. The site 9to5Google was the first to spot the feature in testing, nothing that the video will continue playing in the bottom right of the screen you click elsewhere on the YouTube site. The minimized player also includes controls like play/pause, repeat and watch next, as well as a button for accessing playlists. The name of the video and channel are displayed, too. There was some speculation that the feature was only appearing for YouTube Red subscribers, but that doesn’t appear to be the case – some users without YouTube’s subscription service have also been added to
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YouTube is reportedly introducing your kids to conspiracy theories, too

In a recent appearance by YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki at the South by Southwest Festival, she suggested that YouTube is countering the conspiracy-related videos that have been spreading like wildfire on the platform — including videos telling viewers that high school senior and Parkland, Fl. survivor David Hogg is an actor. Specifically, Wojcicki outlined YouTube’s plans to add “information cues,” including links to Wikipedia pages that debunk garbage content for viewers if they choose to learn more. (Somewhat strangely, no one had told Wikipedia about this plan.) Either way, the platform is going to have do much better than that, suggests a new Business Insider report that says YouTube Kids has a huge problem with conspiracy videos, too. To wit, the three-year-old, ostensibly kid-friendly version of YouTube is showing its young viewers videos that preach the nonsensical, including “that the world is flat, that the moon landing was faked,
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Gillmor Gang: TV Dinner

Gillmor Gang Artcard The Gillmor Gang — Frank Radice, Denis Pombriant, Kevin Marks, Keith Teare, and Steve Gillmor. Recorded live Saturday, March 10, 2018. G3: Fear Factory — Mary Hodder, Elisa Camehort Page, Halley Suitt Tucker, Maria Ogneva, and Tina Chase Gillmor. Recorded live Thursday, March 8, 2018. @stevegillmor, @kevinmarks, @kteare, @DenisPombriant, @fradice Produced and directed by Tina… Read More

YouTube Studio exiting beta, adds new metrics for impressions, unique viewers

 YouTube Studio, the video sharing network’s revamped channel management system, launched into beta last June, will now become the default experience for creators. The company announced today that YouTube Studio will begin to reach many creators in the weeks ahead, though the option to switch back to the Classic view will remain available. The public launch is also being accompanied by… Read More

Gillmor Gang: Where’s The Beef

Gillmor Gang Artcard The Gillmor Gang — Keith Teare, Esteban Kolsky, Denis Pombriant, and Steve Gillmor. Recorded live Friday, February 16, 2018. The Gang catches its breath as cryptocurrency crashes and rebounds, Facebook attacks its stream or does it, while publishers and their aggregators cozy up to a wave of bundling @stevegillmor, ekolsky, @DenisPombriant Produced and directed by Tina Chase Gillmor… Read More

Vimeo launches tools for simultaneous uploading or livestreaming to Facebook, YouTube, Twitch and others

 Video platform Vimeo is today rolling out new features designed to simplify video distribution across social networks, including one tool that allows live video to be streamed to Facebook, YouTube, Twitch and Periscope at the same time. Another allows creators to upload to both Facebook and YouTube simultaneously with one click. The additions come at a time when Vimeo has been shifting its… Read More

Gillmor Gang: Dead Flowers

Gillmor Gang Artcard The Gillmor Gang — Frank Radice, Denis Pombriant, Doc Searls, Keith Teare, and Steve Gillmor. Recorded live Saturday, February 10, 2018. G3: Promises Promises — Mary Hodder, Elisa Camehort Page, Lisa Padilla, and Tina Chase Gillmor. Recorded live Thursday, February 8, 2018. @stevegillmor, @dsearls, @kteare, @DenisPombriant, @fradice Produced and directed by Tina Chase Gillmor… Read More