YouTube Makes Virtual Reality Push With 360-Degree 3-D

24 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

At VidCon, fans want to see their video stars, and the stars want to make lots of bucks.

ANAHEIM, California—YouTube says it’s making a further push into virtual reality, promising to add 3-D support for videos that play back in its 360-degree format.YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki took to the annual VidCon conference today, her second appearance since being appointed to lead the online video giant, proclaiming again the company’s focus on mobile as well as a redesigned app.

“We are a mobile company,” the YouTube CEO told a packed house at the Anaheim Convention Center. “More than half of our views come from mobile devices. Support for 3-D means wearers of headsets like Oculus Rift or Google Cardboard can see images in three dimensions as they swivel around to change their view.

The app now has a new subscription tab where you can track all of the latest and greatest from your favorite stars in one place: In addition to the subscription tab, the new app has Home and Account, the latter where your playlists and watch history will now be tucked into. YouTube also said it would provide special camera rigs that support the format at its studios around the world, including at two locations opening in the next year in Toronto and Mumbai. Wojcicki, who took the reins at YouTube just a few months before last year’s Vidcon, also noted that the event (which has grown extremely rapidly in its six years) and 10-year-old YouTube itself are still in their formative years. “If both of us were people, Vidcon would be going into first grade, and YouTube would be going into fifth,” she said. “That basically means that we’re just getting started.” “Four years ago, we released a livestreaming product. The company also released some snapshot statistics on video consumption on the site, reporting that time spent viewing videos was up 60 percent over last year. Gruszka is among the 21,000 people attending VidCon, an annual three-day convention that kicked off Thursday for online video fans, content creators and industry executives.

But we heard from gamers that it needs some work,” Wojcicki said. “We listened, and as a result, soon you will be able to livestream content much, much more easily than it did in the past.” Wojcicki championed YouTube’s growth over the past year, including a 60% upshot in time spent on site — the new metric by which YouTube is measuring the success of its creators. “We’ve been focused on watch-time because we want you to be engaged with the content … the more time they’re engaging with the platform, the more likely it is that they had a really positive experience with YouTube,” Wojcicki said in a fireside chat with Shahrzad Rafati, CEO of BroadbandTV Corp. “We though that long-term, this was a better metric for us in terms of our users and their performance on our platforms.” “Later this year we’re going to launch support for 360-degree videos in 3-D which is what will enable truly immersive virtual reality experiences,” she said. “And we’re going to make sure all our Spaces are outfitted with the latest Jump cameras that capture 360-degree video in 3D in unprecedented quality.” Vidcon opened Thursday with a keynote from co-founder (and The Fault in Our Stars author) John Green, and continues with dozens of panels, keynote speeches and meet-and-greet opportunities through Saturday. You’ve got an amazing camera in your phone or tablet, and now you can trim your footage, tint the image with filters, add music, and upload – all inside the app. The annual gathering started in 2010 with a modest 1,400 people in the basement of a Los Angeles hotel and was moved to Anaheim in 2012, where attendance has grown to well more than 20,000.

Thursday, the convention was screaming teenagers and young adults with cell phones pulled out, taking videos of performers on the concert stage, YouTube personalities or themselves. Though it’s gained a reputation as a place where teens come to stalk, run after and scream at their favorite creators for a shot at a selfie, its backbone as the only major online-video In its infancy, YouTube, the leader in online video, was nothing more than a site that hosted low-budget viral cat videos and babies biting their brothers. “We went from people shooting videos inside their living rooms to now these guys are being given movie deals,” said Kevin Herrera, a digital agent at the Gersch Agency, a talent agency in Los Angeles.

At the start of her presentation, Wojcicki rattled off a few of YouTube’s most recent stats, including the fact that the number of people watching YouTube has grown 40 percent year-over-year. The company introduced a new ad product in late May, TrueView, which only charges advertisers for spots that are chosen by the viewer to be seen, whether by not skipping or interacting with the player, giving YouTube’s ad customers better metrics and, ostensibly, a more effective gauge on their marketing. The Smosh comedy duo began posting on YouTube in 2005 and now has 20 million subscribers and a Lionsgate film, “Smosh: The Movie,” set for release this week.

The company has received criticism for the relatively low payments received by music rights holders, though music videos remain the site’s most-viewed category. After Wojcicki’s keynote — her second since being named head of YouTube in 2014 — she was interviewed on stage by BroadbandTV CEO Shahrzad Rafati, who asked a few questions on the minds of the creators and companies that work with YouTube. YouTube’s parent company Google also published its second-quarter numbers today, with the company bringing in $17.7 billion between April and June, an 11.1 percent increase over the same period last year. Wojcicki responded, “YouTube is a competitive space and our goal is to create the most engaging platform for creators.” She went on to say that YouTube should be judged by its ability to help creators connect with their community and generate revenue. “I think creators will try different things but they’ll come back to the place that generates the most success for them.” His YouTube channel boasts 531,000 subscribers, and videos have garnered 96 million views. “There are a lot of kids out there who don’t have a family or come from a single-parent family, and they want to see wholesome family entertainment,” Butler said.

He declined to disclose how much he makes, only that “it’s enough to survive and make this my full-time job.” Butler has a 300-acre ranch in Idaho, which proceeds from YouTube has helped him buy, he said.

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