Media and Marketing News Headline Updated on 20 May 2020 – NAB, Dropbox UX, Facebook, Giphy, Fubo Sports Network, Vizio, Parks Associates, and more

The headline on 20 May 2020

NAB said that an estimated 40,000 people have accessed the inaugural NAB Show Express since the online event launched on May 13. Source: NAB Show Express Receives High Engagement With 40,000 Participants Worldwide

The Dropbox UX, once a thing of legend, is making Design Twitter pretty mad. There are navigation arrows that seem shorn of context. “Too many type styles”, mutters one designer.

You can’t beat memeified outrage about UX patterns. The way you design your website or your journalism — or YouTube — can really mess with people. And what better way to express yourself than with some dank memeage? Here’s a mob baying for the blood of whoever on the YT design team redesigned the comment section on mobile. It’s driving them pretty crazy: “On the mobile app they moved it to right under the video. You scroll to the bottom and it’s like jokes on you it’s on the top now.” Another aggrieved user sniffs: “Even they know it’s wrong”.

Fire the man

The Finnish social distancing ad reminded me of a similar one by a Japanese local newspaper. This went viral on Japanese Twitter — one related tweet got 350k+ likes. This ad was made with PowerPoint, and by a sales associate, not a designer or copy editor. Amazing hidden talent, right? It’s a shame that almost no English-language outlet talked about this epic ad design. “This design was possible because it was a print newspaper ad.”

Facebook bought Giphy for $400 million. The plan is to integrate it with Instagram and other Facebook apps. Your meme game will now get stronger. “Facebook has already relied on Giphy’s API for sourcing GIFs in its apps for years: Instagram, the main Facebook app, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp all already work with the service.”

The United Nations got an Unsplash account. Here’s why this is cool: they’re all Covid-19 related images. “We need to get important COVID-19 messaging out far and wide to reach as many people as possible as fast as possible.” This is the incredible result of the UN’s recent global open call to creatives seeking visuals around the fight against COVID-19. They got 17,000 submissions. Where do you put them all? How do you distribute? Unsplash, the world’s largest source of free-to-use images. Co-founder Michael Cho said, “Our aim: get these visuals seen by 1 billion people in the next 30 days.” Such a great idea — and such great images. Get in there and use some.

The headline on 19 May 2020

Fubo Sports Network is launching on Pluto TV. Source: fubo Sports Network Launches on Pluto TV

Vizio said John R. Burbank has been appointed as the newest independent member of the company’s board. Source: Media & Telecommunications Industry Veteran John R. Burbank Joins VIZIO Board of Directors

New research from Parks Associates finds 67% of US broadband households own and use at least one internet-connected video device, either a smart TV, streaming media player, internet-connected gaming console, or connected PVR/DVR. Source: Parks Associates: 67% of US Broadband Households Own and Use at Least One Internet-Connected Video Device

The headline on 18 May 2020

Brightcove kicked off its first-ever Play TV streaming video experience. Source: Brightcove Kicks Off First-Ever PLAY TV Over the Top Streaming Experience

Sling TV is offering a free month of Showtime, Epix and Starz through its new Premium Pass.

The headline on 15 May 2020

Peacock revealed the original content that will be available to stream on July 15, 2020. Source: Peacock Announces First Originals For July 15 Launch

Netflix, along with Apple TV+, has begun restoring video quality in countries such as Denmark, Norway and Germany, among others. Source: The Streamable > Netflix and Apple TV Plus Are Beginning to Restore Streaming Quality Across Europe

FuboTV touted the return of live sports on its service this weekend. Source: Live Sports Are Back on fuboTV

Why video marketing? Recent stats show marketers are focussed on video. 92% believe video is an important part of their content strategy and that competition in the video space has increased in the last year. Interestingly, this rise in video creation and consumption has inspired 59% of non-video marketers to start video marketing campaigns in 2020.

What is a good video design? While the right design tool will help, there are a couple of guiding principles the amateur video producer needs to follow. Keep your videos short and punchy, use contrasting colors, and make any text easy to read. Most importantly, think mobile-first.

The vertical view. We know people are watching videos on their mobile devices, but do you put much thought into how they’re holding that device? Studies have shown smartphone users hold their devices vertically 94% of the time and that vertical videos have a 90% higher completion rate. One simple production change can drastically affect video engagement.

The strategy behind your video. Once you have made a video, how do you get it in front of people? Well, different platforms involve different strategies. YouTube requires extra keyword research, Facebook videos need captions as consumers often view without audio, and Instagram video search is driven by hashtags. When it comes to video marketing, production is only part of the story.

Huawei celebrates Mother’s Day by asking working mums how they use technology to raise their children. Pro tip: bedtime stories read by a smart speaker system.

In India, Harley Davidson bikes offer a legal high and musical alternative to this barrister.

BuzzFeed’s global ambitions are no more. With advertising revenue hammered by COVID-19 (though it was struggling even before that), it’s shut down its the UK and Australian news operations, and will instead double down on covering U.S. news that “hits big”. It’s furloughed its 10 UK staff and 4 in Australia.

Condé Nast is laying off “just under 100” staff. It’s furloughing a similar number. “We tried to identify specific areas where we could bring down our costs without limiting our growth priorities.”

The Boston Globe rolled out a brand new media product: fiction. The Idea, The Atlantic’s excellent media newsletter, said: “This is the latest example of how fiction — and other non-journalism content, like poetry — can serve readers in ways that journalism can’t: countering news fatigue, reaching new readers, and driving habit and conversions with new products.” This is classic bait-and-switch in the best way possible: come for the fiction, stay for the news.

ICFJ and the Tow Center are running a longitudinal study to map and understand the effects of COVID-19 on journalism and media workers globally. “There are already several initiatives emerging from philanthropic organizations, commercial technology companies, and state actors, but we have yet to see how their various agendas will reform the field – during and after the crisis.”

It appears we won’t be able to holiday any time soon, so here’s what you’re missing out on at the restaurant of this Mexican Four Seasons Resort.

Stuck for homeschooling ideas? Whirpool has you covered with these tips on turning household chores into learning activities. Check it out on Pinterest too.

Facebook apologized for its response to abuse on its platform that led to deadly violence in Sri Lanka in 2018. The company released its findings detailing how it ignored almost a decade of warnings about how nationalist, racist groups were stirring hatred in the country. “We recognize, and apologize for, the very real human rights impacts that resulted.” This one is especially notable because 1) you don’t ever see a tech company admitting it was negligent, 2) let alone saying sorry, but 3) you now have human rights lawyers everywhere sharpening their pencils and drawing up lawsuits.

Facebook will pay $52 million to compensate its current and former content moderators who developed mental health issues on the job. More than 11,000 moderators say they’ve developed depression, addictions, and other mental health issues in their work to remove content around rape, murder, and suicide.

This is the biggest signal of Apple’s ambitions in the premium audio space. It’s been asking publishers in its News+ premium program for permission to produce audio versions of stories distributed there. Apple will reportedly pay for production costs, and pay publishers the same 50% cut that it does with News+. It’s not clear when this could launch.

Twitch is creating original talk shows and dating shows. It hopes this could pull in non-gamers and more women interested in general entertainment.

Children’s and consumer groups say TikTok failed to comply with an agreement it made with the U.S. FTC to protect children’s privacy. At that time, TikTok was collecting names, email addresses, videos, and other personal information from users under 13 without a parent’s consent. Consumer groups say videos posted by kids under 13 still haven’t been deleted, and it’s still possible for young users to fake their ages.

Live streaming doubled in March and April from a year ago. If you’re at home, you’re probably streaming something — lectures, webinars, Twitch, or the occasional Splice Low-Res. Among the platforms, Twitch saw the biggest increase — up 101% year-on-year.

Twitter says it’s ok for its staff to continue working from home — permanently. “If our employees are in a role and situation that enables them to work from home and they want to continue to do so forever, we will make that happen.” WFO — Working From Office — is fast becoming a thing.

But it’s hard staying motivated if you’re (only) at home. Here’s a useful guide in Harvard Business Review (and backed by 20 years of research) to help you get things done. Quick tips (in case you never get around to reading this):

  • Any objectives you set for yourself or agree to should be specific.
  • Focus on the elements of the work that you do find enjoyable.
  • Intrinsic motives predict achievement and success better than extrinsic ones.
  • Break your goal into smaller subgoals.

Are we at peak webinar yet? “Zoom fatigue” is fast becoming a thing. It’s one thing to listen to a podcast. It’s quite another to be on a shitty webinar. This is what researchers have found out about how these calls drain us.

There are small, simple things you can do to make your video conferencing set up better. It goes a long way in creating a better experience for everyone on the call.

Indonesia’s IDN Media acquired independent film company Demi Istri Production, giving the company a footprint in the country’s film industry. IDN says it hopes to add “new colors” to space.

The Ken launched corporate subscriptions. You can now get 5 accounts under its excellent Southeast Asia edition for $75 per user per year.

Sophie Schmidt’s Rest of World has launched. “I founded the Rest of World to show what happens when technology and human experience collide, in places that are often overlooked and underestimated. And all of a sudden, people from Hong Kong to Harare are more dependent than ever on the particular tech environment they inhabit.”

The Membership Puzzle Project is extending its operations to the end of August. They plan to write a playbook about membership in the news.

Some help for all the tab hoarders out there (looking at you, Rishad). Google Chrome will soon let you group your tabs. Name your groups, color them, and chuck those tabs in there (that you know you’ll never get to anyway).

The headline on 14 May 2020

TiVo is working with the University of Waterloo on a project to improve quality-of-experience for 360º omnidirectional video on head-mounted devices. Source: TiVo Announces Pioneering Research Partnership with University of Waterloo

The headline on 13 May 2020

HBO Max has announced its “second wave” of originals which will kick off the week of June 18. Source: Hollywood Reporter > HBO Max Schedules Second Wave of Original Programming

Foxconn is working with Socionext and Hailo to launch an AI processing solution for video analytics at the edge. Source: Foxconn Partners With Socionext and Hailo to Launch Next-generation AI Processing Solution for Video Analytics at the ‘Edge’

Good design is good for business. But to earn a seat at the table, a good designer is a designer who understands the business. You can choose to be the sort of designer who changes the button to green instead of blue because the business head tells you to change it, or you can be the sort of designer who changes it because it’s a better business decision. That involves understanding some simple business concepts and terminology. “I knew how design impacted the lives of customers, but I suddenly began to see how it affects the ability of business partners to make decisions as well. I realized that addressing only one perspective of value made it more difficult to gain consensus on my recommendations.” Ignore the jargon; understand the concepts. It will make you a more valuable designer.

More specifically, could it be that design is even more relevant in an economic downturn? Design and the economy have always affected each other — perhaps in more profound ways than we know. This is a gorgeous thread about how “the great depression included one of the greatest rises in professional design jobs in history.”

The phenomenon that is Pablo Stanley finally launched Blush. This thing is “a plugin and web app that lets you add beautiful illustrations from different artists to your designs.” It’s also a platform for artists around the world to showcase their work, and functions as a modular — and hugely powerful — DIY illustration tool for designers “like playing with legos made of vectors!” So you’re creating your custom illustrations with collections from new illustrators added every week.

The Boston Globe rolled out a brand new media product: fiction. The Idea, The Atlantic’s excellent media newsletter, said: “This is the latest example of how fiction — and other non-journalism content, like poetry — can serve readers in ways that journalism can’t: countering news fatigue, reaching new readers, and driving habit and conversions with new products.” This is classic bait-and-switch in the best way possible: come for the fiction, stay for the news.

The Membership Puzzle Project officially announced its extension to the end of August and what they’ll be focusing on until then: a practical, tactical guide to membership in the news. There are two asks for news organizations:

The headline on 12 May 2020

A live filmed version of “Hamilton” is arriving more than a year early on Disney+ beginning July 3. Source: Engadget > ‘Hamilton’ is coming to Disney+ on July 3rd, a year earlier than expected

The headline on 11 May 2020

The Beachbody On Demand streaming platform has surpassed two million subscribers. Source: Beachbody Tops Two Million Subscribers as Fitness Streaming Continues to Surge