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Category: Techno News

  • Remember That Interactive Bob Dylan Video? Now You Can Make One

    interlude-parallel-video-treehouseLast November, digital media company Interlude scored a viral hit when it created an interactive music video for Bob Dylan's "Like A Rolling Stone". As viewers listened to the folk rock classic, they were invited to flip through 16 channels, where they would find TV characters lip syncing in time with the music. The project got a large amount of attention thanks to its inventive, experimental approach, and after many requests from users, Interlude has now made the "parallel video" feature available to the masses through Treehouse, its video creation platform. Previously, Interlude only used parallel video as part of its own projects, including an upcoming series it planned with ill-fated Xbox Entertainment Studios. However, according to Interlude director of business development Matan Ariel, popular demand became so high that some users even tried to hack into Treehouse's features to unlock parallel video. Those hackers can rest easy now, because parallel video is available on Treehouse. A demo posted by Interlude explains the new feature through the example of three separate characters riding on three separate elevators. That sounds like the setup for a bad joke, but it's actually really cool. Check it out

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  • Report: Chernin Group, AT&T Buy Majority Stake In Fullscreen

    fullscreen-homepageAfter more than two months of speculation, Fullscreen is reportedly off the market. According to a report in Recode, AT&T and The Chernin Group have agreed to purchase a majority stake in the multi-channel YouTube network, which they will value between $200 and $300 million. Fullscreen, whose network partners score a combined 3.5 billion views each month, became a hot target for investors after its major competitor in the multi-channel network (MCN) industry, Maker Studios, was purchased by Disney. After the Maker deal closed, Relativity Media--which had previously made a last-minute bid for Maker--reportedly offered $350 million to buy Fullscreen. A wave of rumors followed, with Time Warner, AOL, and Yahoo all linked to Fullscreen. In the end, though, it was The Chernin Group and AT&T that won the Fullscreen sweepstakes. Peter Chernin's media company has invested in Fullscreen in the past, co-leading a $30 million investment round in the MCN back in April 2013. With Chernin looking to team up with AT&T to form a $500 million online video venture called Otter Media, it returned to Fullscreen. The deal will reportedly bring a majority stake in the MCN to Otter Media, where Fullscreen will likely become a cornerstone of AT&T and Chernin Group's online video plans

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  • The Fine Bros’ React Channel Gets Over 500,000 Subscribers In One Day

    fine-bros-react-channelThe Fine Bros run one of the biggest channels on YouTube, so it comes as no surprise that a new channel under their umbrella has attracted a huge swarm of fans. Despite contained no videos other than a channel trailer, the new React channel has amassed more than 500,000 subscribers in one day. React is not the first offshoot channel launched by The Fine Bros; Benny and Rafi Fine previously created a separate home for their web series MyMusic. While React will not contain any actual episodes of the web series from which it draws its name, it will feature the kid, teen, and elder stars of those videos as they play games, answer fan questions, and host several other audience-approved formats. A channel trailer released on July 22nd served as React's first release, and as The Fine Bros noted in their introductory video for the channel, fans began to flock to the new channel before it had even been announced. The 500,000 subscriber day is likely just the beginning, since The Fine Bros have more than 9.3 million subscribers on their main channel. The React channel's massive surge says as much about the growth of YouTube as it does about The Fine Bros' fan base

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  • Fund This: Stop-Motion Animator PES Serves Up ‘Submarine Sandwich’

    pes-submarine-sandwichProject Name: Submarine Sandwich Asking For: $30,000 on Kickstarter Amount Raised Thus Far (At Time Of Post): $34,739 (a new stretch goal looks to extend the campaign's total to $70,000.) Days Remaining In Campaign (At Time Of Post): 21 Description: Submarine Sandwich is the latest short film from stop-motion animator PES. The Santa Monica-based artist, whose real name is Adam Pesapane, has carved out a niche for himself thanks to his expertly-crafted animations that use household objects to represent food, and Submarine Sandwich will be the latest entry in that series. The most-viewed videos on PES' YouTube channel utilize this random-stuff-as-food approach. In 2008, he crafted Western Spaghetti, which Time Magazine would eventually call the second-best video of the year. Five years after that, he turned hand grenades into avocados with Fresh Guacamole. That creation ended up with an Academy Award nomination in the Animated Short Film category, becoming the shortest film ever nominated for an Oscar. Submarine Sandwich will continue the series by taking it to a deli counter, where boxing gloves, athletic socks, air hockey pucks, and other sporting goods will stand in for sliced meats and toppings. While the main goal has been reached, a stretch total of $70,000 promises "a bigger deli, better lighting, and a behind-the-scenes documentary on the making of Submarine Sandwich!"

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  • The Guy In Charge Of YouTube’s Music Service Just Quit His Job

    chris-larosaYouTube's long-delayed music streaming service has suffered yet another setback. Chris LaRosa, who served as the product manager of YouTube Music, has left Google months before the planned debut of the company's Spotify competitor. LaRosa, who had worked at Google since December 2007, will join an unspecified startup. The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the story, cited a source who claimed that LaRosa's departure was partially caused by internal struggles related to the ongoing development hell of YouTube's music service. According to the source, it has been more than a year since the first version of the service was developed, but there have been disagreements about its pricing model and the degree to which it should be integrated with the main YouTube site. As a result, there is still no version of the service available to the public. LaRosa's departure may have an effect on the other problem facing the upcoming music service. YouTube has been accused of strong-arming indie labels by threatening to block ad revenue on the labels' videos unless they agree to aggressive licensing deals. While the controversy surrounding this practice seems to have died down (and may have been a bit overblown from the start), disorder at the top of YouTube's music department certainly won't help matters

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  • ‘Epic Meal Time’ Teases Its New TV Show Ahead Of July 26th Launch

    epic-meal-empire-harley-morensteinOn July 26th, Epic Meal Time will come to A&E's FYI channel (formerly known as Bio) through Epic Meal Empire, a TV-sized version of the self-proclaimed "#1 online cooking show." In order to give viewers a sneak peek of what their TV show will entail, the Epic Meal Time crew has provided with a studio tour and a three-minute trailer. As you might expect, Epic Meal Empire combines the bacon-loaded, super-sized culinary creations of Epic Meal Time with a TV budget. Part of that budget has gone to a massive kitchen, where Harley Morenstein and his crew have everything from an ice cream machine to a deli slicer to a "sword wall" at their disposal. The studio also contains a wall of famous Canadians, because in case you missed it, Epic Meal Time hails from north of the border. As for the show itself, Epic Meal Time and partner network Collective Digital Studio (which is co-producing Epic Meal Empire) appear to have expanded the extreme cooking format in the only way possible: More food. The Epic Meal Time crew now appears to be cooking for huge groups of people, riding around on a pizza-powered golf cart, firing hot dogs from air-powered guns, and going exclusive by their real names. Don't worry, Epic Mook. You'll always be Epic Mook to me

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  • The Fine Bros Build Out ‘React’ Series On New Channel

    react-channel-the-fine-brosThe Fine Bros have spread their YouTube influence across a number of different web series, but Benny and Rafi's quartet of React iterations--Kids React, Teens React, Elders React, and YouTubers React--remain the cornerstone of their online presence. In order to build on the success of their four star performers, The Fine Bros have launched a new channel centered around the kids, teens, and elders featured in React episodes. The React channel will not feature any episodes from the core React web series themselves. Instead, episodes will still roll out every week on The Fine Bros main channel. The React channel will instead feature a host of new web series, all of which are included in a channel trailer: Games: The Fine Bros will jump onto YouTube's "Let's Play" trend with a weekly series in which kids, teens, and elders play through popular video games. The first episode of this series will arrive on July 27th and will be the first episode to debut from the new channel. Advice: The React stars interact more closely with their viewers by responding to questions from fans. React Remix: This series will feature musical concoctions based on React episodes. Its launch revives a concept that Benny and Rafi have experimented with in the past. Kids Vs. Food: The Kids React kids will try to eat some "adult" foods. Lyric Breakdown: A self-explanatory series in which the Teens React stars will bring down the meanings of popular songs

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  • Rhett And Link Go On Vacation In A Branded Music Video Masterstroke

    rhett-and-link-im-on-vacationDespite serving as two of the YouTube communities most familiar faces, Rhett and Link only release a new video on their main channel about once a month. This causes any new offering from the comedy duo to merit celebration, but their latest video is particularly brilliant. Rhett and Link teamed up with Choice Hotels for "I'm On Vacation", a music video about hitting the beach, working at an ice cream sandwich factory, and the zombie apocalypse. In "I'm On Vacation", Rhett and Link do their best Lonely Island impersonation. Just like in "Spring Break Anthem" or "I'm On A Boat", they wear billowy shirts, don silly sunglasses, and sing a bombastic tune about fun in the sun. The video's sudden, surreal turns also have a Lonely Island-esque feel to them, as do its numerous guest appearances. Shanna Malcolm, for instance, shows up as the duo's overbearing boss. "I'm On Vacation" is branded by Choice Hotels, and at the end of the video Rhett and Link inviting viewers to share their vacation horror stories. The last branded video Rhett and Link released was "I'm A Textpert", which ended up becoming one of YouTube's most-viewed branded videos of the month. They have a good chance to repeat that feat here, so I hope advertisers are paying attention

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  • Weird Al Yankovic Teaches A Lesson In Internet-Age Music Distribution

    weird-al-yankovic-sports-songOn July 21st, "Weird Al" Yankovic finished up his #8videos8days project through the Wall Street Journal, where he released a music video for "Mission Statement", a song about business jargon. That video wrapped up an impressive week for Weird Al. His decision to scatter new material all over the web made him a hot topic on the Internet, and his forward-thinking approach has drawn plenty of commentary. At the same time, there seem to be a few aspects of the Weird Al discussion that aren't drawing enough chatter. In particular, much of the talk around Weird Al's #8videos8days project reduces him to a parody trailblazer who is attempting to reclaim his appeal on an Internet replete with imitators. This is a big part of the discussion, but Weird Al's unique distribution strategy offers some tips for any artist--big or small, serious or not--who wishes to effectively distribute his or her music in the age of YouTube. First, a bit of necessary history for those who haven't yet read about the thought process behind #8videos8days: In 2006, Weird Al released Straight Outta Lynwood, his 12th studio album. Straight Outta Lynwood was Weird Al's first release to debut after YouTube's 2005 launch and its rapid rise to popularity, and the album's lead single, "White And Nerdy", went viral (and featured a Key and Peele cameo years before they became online video trailblazers in their own right). Today, a hit song on the level of Chamillionaire's "Ridin" (which serves as the inspiration for "White and Nerdy") would generate hundreds of parodies, but in YouTube's early years, Weird Al's approach remained novel. That novelty didn't fuel "White And Nerdy" on its own, but it certainly contributed to the video's 86 million views. Fast forward four years to 2010 and Weird Al's next album, Alpocalypse. The lead single that time around was "Perform This Way", a take on Lady Gaga's "Born This Way". Weird Al's drag-fueled video still proved popular, but by the time it arrived, viewers had already been privy to highly-trafficked "Born This Way" parodies from Bart Baker, Barely Political, Steve Kardynal, and several other popular YouTube channels. This oversaturated landscape hurt "Perform This Way". It has only drawn 16 million views to date, less than one-fifth the view count of "White and Nerdy"

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  • Ross Everett’s ‘New Show’ Launches Its First Episode

    ross-everett-the-new-showLooking for a new show to check out? Try The New Show. Ross Everett's aptly-titled web series has debuted its first episode, with the former SourceFed host taking aim at Glee. Everett, who left SourceFed to work on The New Show alongside Discovery's Revision3 network, has maintained the SourceFed tone at his new position. When we talked to Everett about The New Show, he expressed interest in combining that tone with "something that [is] more out of the box." While SourceFed has recently veered towards offbeat and quirky news stories, the first episode of The New Show takes on more of a pop culture bent than the typical SourceFed episode. In particular, it focuses on a lawsuit against the TV show Glee, a subject that leads to many jokes at the expense of the FOX program's fans. This first episode is a nice introduction, but it isn't necessarily an exact indicator of what we should expect from The New Show. According to our interview with Everett and one of the initial videos on his new channel, some future installments will include guests and will have a sort of "talk show" feel to them. The quality of these guest appearances will be crucial to The New Show's success, as they will help bring to a different place than its spiritual predecessor

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