New Media Interchange #018

Vertical Video… A Vice or Virtue?
Aug 25, 2015 · 9 min read

This is New Media Interchange where we talk about the media world beyond mainstream television and radio, including podcasting, YouTube, live streaming, gaming and more.

NMI is Hosted by Douglas E. Welch, pioneer podcaster, blogger and writer.

In today’ show…

  • Vertical Video, Vice or Virtue


In the news this week comes word that YouTube is opening yet another of their studios for creators, this time in Mumbai, India at Filmcity, a major film and television production hub.. YouTube is partnering with film school Whistling Woods International for this effort.

This new YouTube Creator space will join existing locations here in Los Angeles, London, Tokyo, Sao Paolo, New York and Berlin. With this expansion into Mumbai, YouTube is reinforcing its desire to facilitate and, in some ways, create the next big stars for its network and perhaps even beyond into mainstream media and film, if Smosh is to be any example. Opening additional YouTube Spaces seems to indicate that they feel these spaces are having a positive impact on both their creators work and business as a whole.

A recent story from OMGChrome reports that Google’s Chromecast is now America’s second favorite media streamer, coming in just slightly behind the Roku media device which captures 34% of the market compared to 23% of the market for Chromecast. Amazon’s FireTV and Firestick comes in 3rd with Apple TV running 4th overall. All of these devices can be great for cutting the cable TV cord and all have their own individual strengths and weaknesses.

For me, I have fallen in love with my Chromecast since it was gifted to me by a friend. Until my recent purchase of a Samsung SmartTV 2 weeks ago, my Chromecast was used for nearly 100% of my television viewing. My main entertainment sources are Netflix, YouTube and TwitchTV which all work great with the Chromecast. I have an Apple TV, as well, but find I really only used to it for easy access to video podcasts and a few hours viewing Mr. Robot via USA’s AppleTV channel — one of the easiest, non-cable ways of watching that show. I tested out an Amazon Firestick for a few days and found that, much like the Kindle Fire devices, it is too Amazon-specific for me, focusing on Amazon Instant Video and Amazon Prime offering as the main content source. Since I am not a Prime subscriber and can get Amazon Instant Video rentals on other devices I already have, it wasn’t really a good match for me.

At $35, or even cheaper when on sale, Chromecast is an easy way of quickly improving your media watching environment.

In gaming news this week, Kotaku announces the Top 20 Most-Watched games on Twitch for the month of July based on minutes watched. Leading the list is an unsurprising League of Legends which tends to dominate the list month-to-month. This vewiership includes casual gameplay as well as professional esports competition which tend to attract large viewerships. I know that, personally here in my house, League is almost always streaming on some device.

If it is isn’t League, lately it has been number 2 of the most-watched list, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Lately my son has taken a deeper interest in CSGO, playing the game a lot, watching videos of tips and hints on gameplay and this week, watching live professional matches from Gameson which is taking place in Cologne, Germany.

Rounding out the top 5 most-watched games on Twitch are two older games Dota 2 and Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft and a relative newcomer to the Twitch streaming world, Rocket League, whose explosive popularity I mentioned in last week’s show.

You can find the entire article, including the complete Top 20, using the link the show notes.

…and finally, UpRoxx reports that “according to data compiled by Exstreamist, Netflix could potentially save you from more than 130 hours of commercials a year.” Yikes, that is a lot of time saved, but probably really bad news for advertisers. Even back in my broadcast television viewing days, I would always mute commercials, but I still had to sit through them all. Now, with Netflix and other streaming services, I can get through my favorite shows in a timely manner without being bombarded with advertising that, typically, held no interest at all for me. So far, the quality and content of the programming — and the avoidance of tacky advertisements — make my $8/month a pretty good deal.


In some followup news on previous New Media Interchange stories, HBO Now is now available on Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV stick media players. HBO Now was originally exclusive only to Apple TV and iOS devices, but when that original exclusive agreement passed it quickly arrived on Google’s Chromecast. With the addition of FireTV players, HBO Now is available on 3 of the Top 4 media players I mentioned earlier, with only Roku lagging behind in availability.

Weeks ago I mentioned how I thought VR devices needed their own “gamer’s clubs” in order to introduce more people to VR and it looks like we are starting to see the earliest signs of that with his announcement from Australia that a “A new “free-roam” gaming center [has opened] in Melbourne, Australia called Zero Latency.”

The Zero Latency web site says,

“Imagine a game that doesn’t feel like a game. Where your body is the controller. And your mind believes it’s real. The digital and real world meshed seamlessly together, to transport you inside the virtual like never before. When you move, the game moves with you. Pure immersive mayhem with the freedom to get up and go.”

This is a more limited version than what I was suggesting, being more of an updated laser tag arena than a multi-platform VR experience center, but a sign that VR is starting to make in-roads into the physical, group entertainment world. It looks fun in their online marketing video, but I am looking for a more open testing ground experience where I can try out a number of VR devices and software so I can compare them before buying them and bringing them home.

Hardware Hot List

In today’s Hardware Hot List is a new drone that takes a step back from the expensive and difficult to fly model currently available and looks to make a drone that anyone can use to get great video footage right out of the box.

The Fotokite Phi has one feature that differentiates it from all other drones currently available — it has a leash. This tethered drone allows users to use with without losing it. If the Lost Drone signs I regularly see are any indication, drone regularly take off on their their own and are lost to trees, pools and backyards throughout the city.

The Fotokite is probably less a drone than most would think of and more of a stable aerial platform for your GoPro that doesn’t require excellent flying skills. You can use the tether to control the height and position of the Fotokite or use the 2 control buttons on the user end of the tether.

While I probably wouldn’t shell out hundreds of dollars for a traditional drone — which I would probably crash within minutes — $350 for the Photokite might just be something I would pick up for my own video work. It would allow me to focus much more on the video I was creating instead of the flying.

In The Classroom

In the Classroom this week are some excellent videos on how to step up your production quality without spending a lot of money.

First off is the video, Basic equipment for quality Youtube video production by Marcellus King. Marcellus takes us through a host of equipment he uses to make his video and gives demos of cameras, different microphones (and their differing sounds), lighting and more.

This is a great introduction and overview of equipment at all pricing levels that any YouTuber would find great as a starting point. Take a look and you just might find that next piece of hardware to take your productions the next level

Next up is a production-related video entitled Creating locations that don’t exist from Tom Antos.

In this video, Tom details how he created a filming location that doesn’t exist, using multiple physical locations and creative camera work to seamlessly create an environment for his short film, Big Wild North.

It is great, real world examples like this that can take your own productions to new heights. Reading about techniques and concepts can take you quite a long way in your education, but sometimes being shown a technique and the thoughts behind it can be so much more useful and more easily absorbed.

Check out Tom’s channel for more great production tips that you can start using today.

Both of these channels were new to me this week. I discovered them through YouTube’s Suggested videos and subscribed to both based on these two videos. You can watch and subscribe yourself using the links in the show notes.

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