Videos

YouTube adds (mid-roll) ads to long videos by default [UPDATE: how to opt-out]

YouTube adds (mid-roll) ads to long videos by default [UPDATE: how to opt-out]

YouTube video creators will soon need to opt-out of mid-roll advertisements in videos that are 8 minutes or longer. Today, only 10 minute videos (or longer) are eligible for mid-roll ads. By the end of July, 2020, YouTube videos with content that's 8 minutes or longer will have mid-roll ads by default. This goes for all the videos that've been up on YouTube for years, and years - they'll have mid-roll ads too, unless their creators opt-out manually.

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Netflix just released its best UI customization feature to date

Netflix just released its best UI customization feature to date

If you're like the average Netflix subscriber, you've likely started to watch some random show or movie, only to realize that you really don't want to watch it. You exit the show and continue to browse, but there's a problem -- every time you launch the app, that barely-watched and unwanted show reappears in your 'Continue Watching' row where you're forced to ignore it in favor of content you actually care about. That, finally, has changed.

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Rotating streaming services trend pushes back against rising costs

Rotating streaming services trend pushes back against rising costs

The streaming industry has grown seemingly exponentially over the past couple of years, with a huge variety of major and minor services launching across the already fragmented landscape. Companies are competing to earn subscribers by releasing original shows exclusive to their own platforms, ultimately fueling the biggest complaint from consumers: the costs have gotten too high. A growing trend pushes back against this industry reality, and it involves rotating services.

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Sling TV offers price guarantee for subscribers worried about price hikes

Sling TV offers price guarantee for subscribers worried about price hikes

Over-the-top (OTT) live streaming television service Sling TV is now guaranteeing its customers that it won't raise their rates for at least a year, addressing price hikes introduced by competing companies like YouTube TV. This fixed-price guarantee isn't available to everyone, however -- you'll need to sign up for the service sometime this month to take advantage of it.

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Flying snake mystery solved by science

Flying snake mystery solved by science

The latest study published by Virginia Tech on flying snakes revealed a key point in the process. With motion capture technology and high-speed cameras aplenty, researchers created a three-dimensional mathematical model of snake flight that incorporates aerodynamic and inertial effects. They confirmed that it's not any one element that allows this flight, but a combination of the shape the snakes makes, the locomotion of the snake, and other elements that make the glide function. This work shows "a different function than known uses of undulation in other animals" - which COULD be used to make new dynamic flying robots!

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Another K-pop band sets new YouTube 24-hour viewing record

Another K-pop band sets new YouTube 24-hour viewing record

The South Korean boy band BTS is no longer the 24-hour viewing record holder over at YouTube. Another band has risen above the group, and it's not surprising that it comes from the same genre. Blackpink managed to rake in more than 82 million views on its new single hit "How You Like That" within the first 24 hours on the video streaming platform, exceeding BTS' 74.6 million views during the same period of time.

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YouTube beta testing TikTok video size, just like Instagram Reels

YouTube beta testing TikTok video size, just like Instagram Reels

If you're all about the content created in TikTok but you're not excited about the negative news, YouTube might have your back. An update this week from Google's YouTube Help group showed how they were "testing out a way to record multi-segment videos." These videos will have "a maximum length of 15 seconds" - with as many tiny videos (inside a total of 15 seconds) as you like.

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Cinemark theaters just made home theaters a lot more appealing

Cinemark theaters just made home theaters a lot more appealing

This week the folks at Cinemark Theaters released a video to their Twitter account showing their sanitization process. The video is brief - just 18 seconds long. In the video we see a man by the name of "Marc" in a theater in West Planto, Texas. Marc's job is "sanitizing [Cinemark's] auditorium seats before each movie." The entire situation is strange, to be sure.

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Gone with the Wind returns to HBO Max, but with a new warning

Gone with the Wind returns to HBO Max, but with a new warning

A couple of weeks after it was removed, HBO Max has quietly returned Gone with the Wind to its streaming service. As expected, the movie is unedited but now includes a disclaimer that warns viewers about certain problematic content before they watch. The movie was originally removed from the streaming platform after a scathing editorial over the lack of an advisory.

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Amazon Prime Video could get 24/7 live TV soon

Amazon Prime Video could get 24/7 live TV soon

There has been a surge in the use of video streaming services, putting the video-on-demand market in the spotlight again. But while it has long had its own VoD platform, Amazon Prime Video's name still lagged behind Netflix and even behind the Disney+ upstart. Now it seems that the e-commerce giant is coming up with a new strategy to get the upper hand, one that ironically bets on one of the most traditional forms of video consumption around, linear TV.

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Mixer users get Xbox Gift Card credit for Embers: Here’s how much

Mixer users get Xbox Gift Card credit for Embers: Here’s how much

Credit will be given to users of the Microsoft Mixer game streaming platform after it closes its doors this summer and transitions to Facebook Gaming. The amount of credit a person receives will depend entirely on how much credit they have on the Mixer platform or if they've subscribed to a Mixer streamer in the month of June, 2020. If you are a Mixer streamer, you're in a different boat entirely.

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Apple reveals its original Foundation sci-fi series for Apple TV+

Apple reveals its original Foundation sci-fi series for Apple TV+

As part of its WWDC 2020 keynote today, Apple has introduced Foundation, its original TV show based on the novel with the same name from Issac Asimov. The introduction included a dramatic new trailer, introducing viewers to a science fiction drama to join other current hits like Amazon's The Expanse. The series will arrive in 2021, but you can watch the trailer now.

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