Sony Try to File a Trademark for “Let’s Play” Videos

Let’s Play videos are everywhere these days, with many of the top channels on Youtube being dedicated to such videos and a growing number of people making their living from creating them. Enter Sony, who are now attempting to file a trademark for this popular community term.

The filing was discovered this week by members of the NeoGaf forums, despite apparently having been originally filed back in October 2015. The filing describes “Electronic transmission and streaming of video games via global and local computer networks; streaming of audio, visual, and audiovisual material via global and local computer networks”. Sound familiar? This seems to almost perfectly describe the existing idea of a ‘let’s play’ within the gaming community. It would appear then, that Sony is trying to claim ownership of a venerable community term, using the system of trademarks as a means.

Let’s play is hardly a new term either, with the term’s origin able to be traced back to the Something Awful forums in around 2007, with the term possibly even older. These early let’s play forum threads were far simpler than the now-common videos, taking the form of forum threads filled with screenshots from the game and captions, with the player sometimes offering community members choice on in-game decisions between updates. Over the years, they have slowly moved to the video and vocal commentary form that is well known, with a site dedicated to archiving Let’s Plays in either form and Youtube channels containing only Let’s Play videos. It is doubtful that the community will go silently should Sony try to appropriate the term.

It is unclear what Sony intend to do with this trademark, with some theories including usage in an advertising campaign or as part of a streaming application for their gaming systems. For now, the trademark process seems to be stalled in the status of “non-final action”, which means an examiner has found issues in the application and sent it back. It is certainly concerning that Sony is trying to take this term from the community, a move that may prove to be an unpopular mistake should the trademark be acquired.

SnapChat Daily Video Views Reach 6 Billion

Social media websites from Facebook to Snapchat have attempted to move beyond basic text communication and encourage video sharing. Currently, Facebook users watch on an average 8 billion videos per day, which almost defies belief. However, according to an interview with The Financial Times, Snapchat isn’t far behind and recently attained 6 billion video views in a single day. These astonishing statistics are put into perspective when you consider 6 billion views amount to each person throughout the world.

Arguably, many users are addicted to various social media platforms and watch an unhealthy amount of content. This skews the viewing figures to make each social media website appear to have a larger user-base. Despite this, their audience is still absolutely enormous and appears to be growing at a significant rate.

Snapchat is an interesting example as it seems better suited to video sharing than the competition. Its premise originally revolved around photo sharing and not status updates like Facebook and Twitter. As a result, video sharing is the next logical step and a more personal way of communication. The data shows Snapchat’s video service is expanding at a rapid rate and this isn’t a surprise.

Do watch videos on social media platforms, or find them distracting?

PewDiePie Proclaims “Using AdBlock Doesn’t Mean You’re Clever”

YouTube sensation, PewDiePie earned a staggering $7 million in 2014 according to figures from Expressen, and continues to attract large audiences every day. This unbelievable success story indicates that it’s possible to forge a full-time career on YouTube. However, PewPieDie is an extreme case and it’s incredibly difficult to receive large funds unless you have a huge subscriber base. Only recently, Google admitted YouTube wasn’t profitable and have decided to launch YouTube Red, a subscription based service designed to combat these financial problems.

When monetization occurs, videos are plastered with adverts which can vary dramatically in length. As you might expect, viewers feel quite frustrated having to deal with the advert onslaught and use Adblock to make a more instant form of content. PewDiePie decided to openly discuss the damaging effect of Adblock and said in a Tumblr post:

“Using Adblock doesn’t mean you’re clever and above the system.”

“YouTube Red exist largely as an effort to counter Adblock.” 

“YouTube Red exist because using Adblock has actual consequences.” 

“Personally, I’m ok with if you use AdBlock on my videos. Ads are annoying, I get it, I’m not here to complain about that,”

“But for smaller channels, this number can be devastating.”

According to the channel’s official statistics, 40% of PewDiePie’s viewership currently use Adblock. This is a figure which has dramatically increased in the last few years. Content creators are relying on donations, Patreon backers, and other funding to produce videos. However, the intrusive manner which some of these adverts are implemented in explains why people feel so inclined to block them. On another note, YouTube was originally setup as a form of community media, and some people believe the content should be free, and hobby-based.

I decided to ask a few of my followers on Twitter about Youtube Red, and the typical consensus is best summed up in this tweet:

https://twitter.com/EnvyxDub/status/660905530702045184

Adblock and its impact is a polarizing issue and continues to spark quite a lively debate. It’s not illegal, and within the open internet’s philosophy, but it is undoubtedly reducing the revenue streams of content creators. PewDiePie’s comments seem a little rash given the massive success of his channel and this move could create bad PR. Although, perhaps he feels with such a large audience, YouTube Red will become a viable alternative. That’s the main problem though, as only 0.01% of channels will be able to attain a loyal viewership prepared to pay the monthly fee. I can pretty much guarantee, the majority of these will be hugely popular channels, and not the smaller ones PewDiePie is apparently trying to protect.

Do you use Adblock? Do you disable it to support sites your know and trust? Let us know in the comments section below.

Chromecast Alternative Teewe Will Support Torrent Streaming

Teewe is a popular streaming dongle in India and offers an alternative to Google’s Chromecast. Some critics have branded the device as a basic clone, but the company is desperately trying to add functionality which makes it a more attractive proposition. Interestingly, the streaming stick will soon support torrent streaming and it’s unlikely this will ever appear on the Chromecast due to copyright concerns. Sai Srinivas, Teewe co-founder and CEO told Tech In Asia:

“We don’t want to be seen as promoting piracy,”

“But at the same time, we want our consumers to have a choice. Let them have the choice […] I’m not judging or questioning them. Like if you buy a DVD player, and if you play a pirated DVD, it’s your fault, not the DVD player’s fault.”

This is an interesting feature and doesn’t technically infringe copyright. Although, if the streaming stick sales improve dramatically when the functionality is added, this could indicate it will be popular among pirates. Additionally, poverty in India means it’s extremely difficult to pay for expensive forms of entertainment media.

The unit also allows users to store mobile phone games and enjoy a “lag-free” gaming experience. The Teewe 2 is currently priced at $35, and it’s unknown if torrent streaming will come in a future model or via a software update.

Do you think torrent streaming should be supported?

Minecraft Streamer Purchases House For $4.5 Million

Many human beings outside the gaming stratosphere often make derisive comments and perceive the art-form as a waste of time or childish. Clearly, these ignorant comments are absolutely absurd but becoming less common given the financial success of many gaming personalities. For example, YouTube personality Jordan “CaptainSparklez” Maron has recently purchased a property for an eye-watering $4.5 million. His channel contains a great deal of Minecraft videos and has amassed over 8.8 million subscribers. Interestingly, the house is within walking distance of Markus “Notch” Persson, the creator of Minecraft.

It’s unbelievable to think making gaming videos on the internet can result in such a vast sum of money. Whether the financial freedom comes from ad-revenue, sponsorship or a combination of both, you have to acknowledge the monetary success of huge YouTubers. Some critics might argue it’s not a “real job” but I’m not aware of anything else which pays so well if you’re successful or lucky enough. Clearly, Minecraft’s popularity revolves around video-content and user-created videos. Despite this unreal situation, I wouldn’t recommend trying to make it as a YouTube celebrity given the over-saturated market. We’re almost at a stage where everyone is producing let’s play content which makes it impossible to stand out.

Who is your favourite YouTube personality?

Thank you TweakTown for providing us with this information. 

BitTorrent Wants to Offer More P2P Freedom on Mobile Devices With New App

BitTorrent just announced a new mobile app named Shoot that is based around P2P connectivity between individuals. While this sounds good to some people, others may think that this is a new means to start a piracy war on mobile devices. I mean, come on? Secure Peer-to-Peer connectivity on mobile devices and BitTorrent? What’s next, The Mobile Bay?

The company may have good intentions for releasing their new Shoot app to anyone looking to transfer photos and some big videos on the go, but I’m fairly sure the app will not be used exactly for what they have in mind. BitTorrent Shoot is said to be based on their Sync technology already available on all major mobile devices.

“Shoot allows you to send photos or videos directly between mobile devices, no matter what device you use or what network you’re on. Based on BitTorrent Sync technology, large items are no problem. And since files move directly between people without going through the cloud, it’s all fully private to you and the recipient.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOaOycHcNO0

BitTorrent Shoot is available on iOS, Android and Windows Phone and allows 3 sends for free. If you like to send more, you have to couch up $1.99. A good thing about it is that you can receive an unlimited number of files, even if you haven’t bought it. So what do you think? Is it really worth its price?

Image courtesy of BitTorrent

Sony Reveals New Range of Compact Cameras

Sony has recently unveiled some more additions to their Cyber-Shot digital camera range. The new cameras feature slimmed down bodies and some more high-end functions.

The HX90,HX90V and the WX500 are extremely compact cameras yet provide some seriously big specs; the cameras use an 18 megapixel Sensor and take advantage of the Bionz X image processor to provide you with some seriously high quality photos. The cameras use a lens that provides you with up to 30x optical zoom, and a further digital processed zoom up to 60x. The cameras have an ISO range between 80 and 3200 then extendable to 12800 if required.

The camera range has a five-axis image stabilization system, similar to their Alpha range. The system allows you to record stunning full HD movies at 60fps. Various effects are available too; you can add effects such as the Beauty effect to your videos and photos. The software provides 13 effects for still images and 7 effects for videos with WiFi and NFC capabilities allowing for you to seamlessly to connect to the cloud and the PlayMemories apps.

The cameras have 3 inch LCD screens on the back to allow you to have a sneak peek at your holiday snaps. The HX90 and the HX90V have a pop up view finder too if you really want to get the best photo.

Sony is planning to release the cameras in June at around £230 for the WX500 and £290 for the GPS equipped HX90V. The prices for the other cameras have not been revealed as of yet.

Thanks to electronista.com for this information

Images Courtesy of komputerswiat.pl

YouTube Added Support for 4K Videos Running at 60 FPS

If you though your PC was great at playing 4K videos from YouTube and Netflix, you should put it to the test again, but this time at a higher frequency. YouTube has announced that it will be adding support for 4K videos at 60 frames per second for some time, but there are still only a few videos out there that come with the higher frequency. Still, it does look nice. So the question is, can your PC handle it? Even more important, can your internet bandwidth cope with it?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=23&v=fEAyDNWaCto

Thank you KitGuru for providing us with this information

Nintendo to Share Ad Revenue With Registered YouTube Users

Nintendo has launched an affiliate program that allows content creators using Nintendo’s intellectual property to share ad revenue from their YouTube videos with the company. The Creators Program, as it has been branded, is in the beta stage and offers YouTube video creators 60% of ad revenue on individual videos, or 70% to Nintendo-dedicated channels.

This marks a significant u-turn for Nintendo, which back in 2013 started collecting all ad revenue from videos featuring its games for itself. Many content creators were angered by the move, with YouTube personality Zack Scott saying, “Until [Nintendo’s] claims are straightened out, I won’t be playing their games.”

“In the past, advertising proceeds that could be received for videos that included Nintendo-copyrighted content (such as gameplay videos) went to Nintendo, according to YouTube rules,” Nintendo said. “Now, through this service, Nintendo will send you a share of these advertising proceeds for any YouTube videos or channels containing Nintendo-copyrighted content that you register.”

Creator’s Program Beta is taking sign-ups now, with the full service set for launch on 27th May.

Source: The Verge

YouTube Plans to Launch Paid Music Service to Boost Revenue For Content Partners


Google-owned YouTube, the No. 1 video website in the world, plans to launch a paid streaming music service in the future, working with “hundreds” of independent and major music companies.

The new paid service will launch before the end of the summer and subscribers can listen to streaming music that doesn’t have advertisements.  In addition to streaming music, subscribers can listen to entire albums and will be able to listen to music offline.  Expected pricing was not released.

Here is what Google said in a statement:

“We’re adding subscription-based features for music on YouTube with this in mind – to bring our music partners new revenue streams in addition to the hundreds of millions of dollars YouTube already generates for them each year.”

Providing content on YouTube is beneficial for record labels that can post official music videos and songs, and it’s popular for YouTube users to post songs on the site themselves.  Digital downloads sales are dropping, but membership of Pandora, Spotify, and other streaming music services has seen a surge in popularity.

It’s an important strategy for YouTube, as the popular video site continues to fight for advertising dollars – a difficult battle that Google has struggled with, due to advertisers unimpressed with return-on-investment, even with such a large viewer base.

Thank you to Reuters UK for providing us with this information

Roku Hopes to Cater to New TV Viewers Streaming Content Into The Living Room

The TV and Internet video markets continue to shift at a rapid pace, and streaming maker Roku hopes to see the industry continue to embrace streaming.

Despite Google, Apple, Amazon, and other companies jumping into the video-streaming device market, Roku still is best known for carving out a niche market for itself.  As the TV industry evolves, Roku expects to cash in on more users trying to stream via Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and other similar services.

Here is what Wood said during a recent interview with the AP:

“To me, it’s pretty clear that all TV is going to be streamed.  It’s either going to be streamed to a smart TV, a gaming console or a streaming player.  That’s the way people are going to watch TV.  Things like DVD players are going to go away.  Cable boxes are obviously going away, too.  DVRs are just a stepping stone technology.  When everything is on demand, you won’t have to record anything anymore so that’s going to disappear.”

Furthermore, Wood still believes the DVR will be dead by 2020, with consumers largely relying on streaming content for home entertainment.  Instead, on-demand streaming content, providing viewers with a large amount of video choices, will continue to rise.

Roku is a privately-held company, but some financial analysts expect to see an initial public offering (IPO) filing sometime within the next year.

Thank you Associated Press for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Philly.com

Google Expected To Integrate Into Google+

In an interview with Livemint, Google’s Steve Grove, director of partnerships for Google+, went into some detail about how the company plans to stretch Google+ even further in the future: “We’ve been consolidating the different services, so today Search, YouTube, the Google Play app store, all this plugs into Google+. And the reason for that is that Google+ is kind of like the next version of Google.”

Google is doing everything it can to attract more people to Google+, a service which has been ignored at the best of times, and reviled at the worst. By partnering with celebrities and major companies, integrating all of its products and requiring real names for commenting, Google has been taking the necessary steps to grow the social network, even if some of the methods have been unpopular.

According to Grove, mobile is the next target for Google+. “[Google+ is] going to create a network future with people uploading live videos from their phones, said Grove. “Google+ could do for live video, what YouTube did for recorded video.”

Thank you BGR for providing us with this information