YouTube is trying to make a tricky pivot from platform to programmer (GOOG)

Susanne DanielsGetty / Frederick M Brown

YouTube has to start acting less like a tech platform and more like a TV network.

The company has long served as the repository for every possible video on the planet, professional or otherwise. But given that the Alphabet-owned video site is making another push into original programming, it is looking to become an outlet where some people will seek out favorite shows with regularity.

In other words, YouTube needs to shift slightly from having its algorithm find things you might want to watch to YouTube telling you what you should watch.

That’s the delicate dance YouTube originals head Susanne Daniels needs to master as she pushes a slate of seven original YouTube series designed both to capture big audiences and also serve as safe havens for advertisers at a moment where that’s suddenly paramount for the video outlet.

Among the shows announced in May are a behind the scenes look at Ellen Degeneres’ talk show, a music cover competition series hosted by Ryan Seacrest, as well as a pair of scripted series due later this year.

It won’t necessarily be easy. During a keynote session at the Cannes advertising festival on Monday, Daniels — who jumped from MTV in 2015 to become YouTube’s programming chief — noted that YouTube generates 1 billion hours of viewing a day. Thus, any new video series has the potential to be just another video on YouTube.

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Case in point. Daniels was joined on stage with actress/music artist Demi Lovato, who talked about her new YouTube original show (while also discussing how she’s struggling to come to terms with turning 25). Lovato boasts of 10 million YouTube subscribers, and during the keynote interview was recognized for crossing the 1 billion view barrier.

So it’s fair to ask, how is any new Lovato video going to stand out amongst a sea of Lovato videos? The same can be said for Degeneres, who boasts of a huge YouTube following, as well as the home-grown YouTube stars Rhett and Link — who are also working on a YouTube original.

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 Daniels said YouTube has some unique advantages to make sure its shows get noticed, such as Google’s powerful tech and data, that most networks don’t enjoy.

“I don’t find the fact that YouTube has so much [user-generated] content or programming that much of a challenge more than I consider the current landscape of programming a challenge in and of itself,” she said during a post-keynote interview with reporters.

“I’ve been doing this for a long time and there’s never been this many scripted shows or unscripted shows out there available. There’s never been this many choices for the viewer. So yes, we’re up against 500 scripted shows … and we’re up against our own UGC content. But I think there’s a way with good marketing and using the strength of YouTube and the platform to attract viewership.”

Daniels pointed to a recent 96-hour programming marathon hosted by the pop star Katy Perry, which reached 49 million people across the globe. Perry and YouTube only let fans know about the variety event at the last minute. And YouTube was able to surface those videos to Perry’s fans via its data, algorithm, and a promotional push.

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“There’s a tendency to think of YouTube as this giant pool where everything is competing with everything else, but that’s not really how it works,” said Kevin Allocca, YouTube’s head of culture. Most YouTube stars post videos on the same day or time consistently, so regular YouTube viewers are ready to seek content out, he said.

“Videos go viral every day,” Daniels added.

For some originals, YouTube will rely on its data and recommendation engine, which benefits from 80 billion “signals” from viewers passively indicating what they are interested in based on what they click on. But in other cases, the plan is to promote shows using more traditional channels, like TV ads, ads prior to movies, and other conventional marketing.

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Daniels is hoping for a drama series to become an anchor for her slate of originals.

“There is something about the prestige of a drama that is harder to market to than a comedy,” she said. YouTube’s coming scripted shows include the dance-themed “Step Up” and “Impulse,” a sci fi vehicle being produced for the YouTube Red subscription service by Doug Liman of the “Bourne Identity” franchise 

“Both have potential to break out,” said Daniels.”I think we are going to do different kind of marketing [for those shows],” she said.

Among other topics raised during the Cannes sit down:

  • The collection of ad-supported original series YouTube is planning this year were already in the works before YouTube found itself in hot water with marketers, whose ads were spotted alongside hate videos. The fact that those shows were greenlit, “wasn’t a reaction to that,” said Daniels. “But the good news is they provide an opportunity for advertisers to have a safe environment.”
  • Daniels is planning to ramp up the company’s original output for 2018, and hopes that half of the shows come from YouTube talent and half from outside studios. “Creators want their content to reach a big audience,” said Daniels.

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Ways To Guarantee Your Retirement and Plan For It Efficiently

Lock in all Aspects of Your Retirement You’ve been working so hard, earning your own money and hopefully setting some aside in savings. But imagine the situation that paycheck ceases from one day to the next, the day you retire in the far-off future. Now’s the time to start contemplating and organising how you’ll fund your retirement years. With some forethought, it’s easy to set up structures that will see some other forms of income flowing in after your working life is over. The most important thing is to plan now so that retirement can be a time of leisure and contentedness, rather than a stressful period dominated by financial worries. Lock in Income during your Retirement Some ways that you can guarantee an income flow during your retirement include pensions, social security insurance, reverse mortgages and longevity insurance. Organisations often provide pensions as employee incentives that kick in after retirement. A real-life scenario is when an employee is granted a percentage of his or her contributions during his or her working life. These benefits increase the longer the employee stays with the company. Social security insurance is usually provided by the government of an organisation’s home country. To qualify, […]

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Department of Defense still uses 8-inch floppy disks and other disturbing details from Jared Kushner’s speech


I don’t care what Jared Kushner’s voice sounds like. It’s what he said that blew me away.

The globetrotting head of the White House Office of American Innovation broke his cipher-like silence on Monday to offer a stunning outline of the federal government’s recidivistic tech tendencies.

Chief among them is that the U.S. Department of Defense still uses 8-inch floppy disks, a stored media technology retired by most businesses back in the early 1980s. At my first job at a tiny weekly newspaper in 1986, we used 8-inch floppies and a Digital Equipment Corp. system to back up the paper’s terminal-based production system.  Read more…

More about Cybersecurity, White House, Department Of Defense, Jared Kushner, and Tech


Tim Cook’s barf face at Trump’s big tech meeting says it all


Damn, Tim. You’re not looking so hot. 

Maybe, and I’m not a doctor, but could it be because you were forced to pay homage to The Great Orange One at the inaugural June 19 meeting of Trump’s American Technology Council?

Or possibly, and I’m just spitballing here, you look like you just swallowed a first-generation iPhone simply because you had to sit quietly and listen to the president boast about his great and many successes? 

While we can’t be sure what kept your frown pointed down, some more photos might help us, the American people, get to the bottom of this great mystery.  Read more…

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Tim Cook showed up to Trump’s big tech meeting — but not Mark Zuckerberg


President Donald Trump wants to modernize government systems, and he is asking the CEOs of the world’s largest tech companies for help. Many executives, like those at Apple, Amazon, and Google, are listening and offering their words of wisdom, while others, like Facebook, appear to be keeping their distance — at least publicly.

On Monday, tech leaders, including Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Apple’s Tim Cook, Alphabet’s Eric Schmidt, and Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, arrived at the White House. The day-long affair kicked off a week of conversations about the state of the government infrastructure as well as tech policies like cybersecurity, talent recruitment, and government and private sector partnerships.  Read more…

More about Tech, Politics, Mark Zuckerberg, Tim Cook, and Trump


5 ways to make your relationship with your mentor mutually beneficial


Https%3a%2f%2fblueprint api uploaders%2fdistribution thumb%2fimage%2f80469%2f7d52bfaf 02ee 4b8f 84fa d55ea17bc517 Read more…

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More about Business, Mashable Video, Mentorship, Business, and Startups


I can’t be basic on Instagram anymore and it’s all because of Stories


Our Instagram Stories are awash with snapshots of our everyday lives. But, now that there’s a hidden trove reserved for our most private — and dare-I-say basic — snaps. Instagram’s already-very-high bar for posts has crept to a scary new height. 

Recently, somewhere between posting photos of chilled glasses of rosé and intricate latte art on my Story, I noticed a drastic shift in the way I was using the app. So drastic that I’m frozen by self-doubt when I go to post anything on my main grid. 

A few weeks ago, I did something I’ve been doing for years: I uploaded a photo to Instagram. That sunny evening, I casually posted a snap of my garden on my Story complete with a “lit” sticker. But, when I went to share a similar photo on my main feed, I hesitated for a moment. “Is this really Insta-worthy?” I asked myself. My finger hovered nervously over the “Share” button. I hit the button and instantly regretted it. I worried that the photo wasn’t good enough, that it was too basic. I opened and closed the app five times before eventually opting to delete the photo entirely.  Read more…

More about Tech, Watercooler, Instagram, Social Media, and Instagram Stories


Free Courses and Training Funds: The Ultimate Guide

If you haven’t taken a course since you graduated from school, it is like exercising. The hardest part is putting on your shoes and going out the door. But since you can get free courses already (and online too!), there’s no excuse to not upgrade yourself. Here is our ultimate guide to free professional courses, and also training funds you can use to offset paid courses. Source: parttimejobssingapore Free Courses There are many free courses you can sign up for online on: Udemy (over 45,000 courses from IT development, to music and design) Coursera (taught by top instructors from the world’s best universities and educational institutions) Udacity (for coding, there are short videos and quizzes, no more long boring lectures hurray!) LinkedIn Learning (free trial for a month and your newly-acquired skills are updated directly to your LinkedIn profile) Khan Academy (courses from kindergarten all the way to adult learning, with partnerships with institutions like NASA and MIT) EdX (founded by Harvard University and MIT in 2012 with 90 global partners including the world’s leading universities, nonprofits, and institutions) LessonsGoWhere (mostly for recreational courses although there are some WSQ courses inside) Paid Courses If you want to scale up from free courses, the […]

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Why Melbourne, Australia is becoming a better international city than Sydney

melbourne public transportationShutterstock/TK Kurikawa

Melbourne and Sydney have both been rated as global elite cities in A.T. Kearney’s Global Cities 2017 report.

The report’s Index ranks the world’s most influential cities and, in an Outlook report, those likely to become more important on the global stage.

Melbourne is on the move and is rising faster on the global rankings than Sydney.

The Victorian state capital jumped nine places to rank sixth in this year’s Outlook, the highest ranking the city has achieved since the Outlook launched three years ago and well ahead of Sydney at 13th.

The Outlook ranks cities in terms of their future potential, scoring on metrics across four key areas: personal well-being, economics, innovation and governance.

Here are the global city outlook rankings:

city outlookA.T. Kearney’s

Melbourne’s jump came on the back of improvements in infrastructure and private investments, which bode well for sustainable long-term growth of the city.

It also took the global top spot for personal well-being, especially in the area of environmental performance.

Melbourne was also ranked 15th in the Index, holding on to its 2016 position.

The Index ranks cities based on current performance on metrics across five critical dimensions: business activity, human capital, information exchange, cultural experience and political engagement.

Here are the Index rankings in full:

global cities indexA.T. Kearney’s

Sydney ranked 17th in the Index and 13th in the Outlook and shared the global top spot with Melbourne on environmental performance.

“Cities across the world are focusing not only on improving their economic growth, but also on holistic development which improves quality of life of the residents and makes it easier for businesses to operate,” says Nigel Andrade, head of A.T. Kearney Australia.

“Cities within Australia also compete with each other on these fronts. This healthy competition has seen Australian cities become prime examples of how cities can achieve sustainable growth on all fronts.

“With a relatively business-friendly environment, a robust regulatory system and a highly educated and diversified workforce, Australian cities are not only performing well today, but are likely to continue to succeed on the global stage for many years.”

This is the seventh edition of the Index and the third year for the Outlook.

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Elon Musk’s Father’s Day was all sci-fi and tech, of course


Like many dads around the world, Elon Musk is spending his Father’s Day making bad dad jokes and receiving the gift wrapped fruits of being a good parent. 

First, Musk took to Twitter to let his kids (who must be sci-fi fans, too) know that he’s not just a space and electric car mogul, he’s also on the dark side of the Force. 

It’s time they knew …

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 18, 2017

Later, Musk seemed a little giddy when he posted a photo of a gift he received for Father’s Day: a luxurious, personalized iPhone case.  Read more…

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The ICO is a revolutionary new way to get funded, and everyone wants in


A few days ago, a startup called Bancor raised around $153 million in two hours and twenty-five minutes. 

The ICO, short for initial coin offering, followed several similar, equally successful funding events, and the numbers are rising. Prediction market Augur raised around $5.2 million over two months in 2015; this year, its competitor Gnosis raised $12 million in just 15 minutes. 

And we could only be getting started. 

The initial coin offering (sometimes also called a token crowdsale) is, in certain ways, similar to an initial public offering. Instead of stock, in an ICO a company sells a number of cryptocurrency tokens.  Read more…

More about Initial Coin Offering, Ico, Business, and Big Tech Companies


Boomer Phelps’ Instagram is the best thing about social media these days


If social media usage ever becomes an Olympic sport — which is truly not that unthinkable at the rate we’re moving — there will be but one participant worthy of a gold medal: Boomer Phelps.

The one-year-old son of Olympic legend Michael Phelps and his wife, Nicole, first captured the hearts of America while cheering on his dad from the stands of the 2016 Rio Olympics in a massive pair of patriotic protective earmuffs.

Since then he’s learned to walk, mastered the art of eating solid foods, and amassed an impressive 785K followers on Instagram, bringing pure, undeniable joy to timelines across the world. Read more…

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Why Insurance is a Good Investment for Yourself? ~TFIF 2017 Series

In this recap series of The Future Is Female conference 2017, we delve into one of the panels, Why Insurance Is A Good Investment For Yourself.  “You can’t trust anything that you don’t understand. The insurance industry has many channels and technologies that simplify investments into ways that everyone can understand,” -Philipp Kristian, an Innovation Specialist. While insurance is commonly associated with health, it is more than that. If you invest a good insurance policy for yourself, you may just be able to secure your wealth better. Bryan Low, Citi-NIE Trainer, shared a personal example of his late father who had to liquidate his portfolio to fund his medical expenses because he has no insurance coverage. It is an instance that shows the importance of insurance in times of emergency. The baseline for any insurance is protection, but a long-term coverage should include protection for total permanent disability and critical illnesses. Although there are many products available for such coverage, only one in five Singaporeans has subscribed to an insurance that covers all these. Therefore, it is important to encourage your family and friends and yourself to have insurance. Insurance Coverage for Common Chronic Diseases How does an insurance work […]

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Celtics have reportedly traded the first pick in the NBA Draft to the 76ers

danny aingeStephan Savoia/AP

The blockbuster trade to shake up the 2017 NBA Draft now appears to be a go.

The Boston Celtics are trading the first pick in the upcoming NBA draft to the Philadelphia 76ers, according to multiple reports. David Aldridge of TNT was the first to report that the deal would be completed on Monday.

The 76ers are expected to use the pick on point guard Markelle Fultz out of the University of Washington.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, the Celtics will receive the third pick in this year’s draft and one more first-round pick in either the 2018 or 2019 draft.

While it is not clear yet whether the Celtics will add a first-round pick in 2018 or 2019, Boston does now have seven first-round draft picks in the next three drafts.

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