YouTube TV Expands Channel Lineup and Available Markets

YouTube TV has announced that several new channels are coming to the streaming television service as well as growth into over 100 markets in the United States.  TNT, Adult Swim, TBS, CNN, Cartoon Network, truTV, and Turner Classic Movies are the highlight channels that are added with future additions of NBA League Pass and MLB.tv coming soon.

As part of the announcement, the streaming service will increase their price for new subscribers to $40/month starting March 13th.  If you are a current subscriber, your price will remain $35/month.  And, as an incentive, if you sign up before March 13th, you will get the $35/month price too.

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Google Photos Now Can Generate Theme Movies from Your Photos

Google Photos Movie Themes

Google Photos has a new video creation feature that can turn photos from your library into a themed video for you to share.  The video can be nine different themes including, appropriately enough for February, St Valentine’s Day.  The feature is rolling out now to all accounts on Google Photos both on the web and in the app.

The nine themes include:

  • They Grow Up So Fast – takes photos from your library of children as they get older
  • Meow Movie – photos of your cat into a movie because, cat videos
  • Doggie Movie
  • In Loving Memory – video for friends and family who have passed on
  • Selfie Movie
  • Smiles of 2017
  • Mother’s Day Movie
  • Father’s Day Movie
  • Valentine’s Day Movie

Using the new tool is as simple as selecting the theme you want, then selecting the subject of that video and tap next.  Once you do that, Photos will start creating the video behind the scenes on your phone.

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Watch The State of The Union Address on YouTube

YouTube for Android

[Editors Note:  Due to the political nature of this post, comments have been disabled]

President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union Address will be streamed live on YouTube this week.  The address to both houses of Congress will happen on January 30th at 5:00 PM Eastern.  Google’s streaming service will be broadcasting the live stream from CBS News and will also be streaming the Democrat response to the address shortly after the President concludes his address.

The State of the Union Address is a Constitutionally mandated address Article II, Section 3, Clause 1.  That clause reads in part:  shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.

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YouTube Begins Rolling Out Official Artist Channels

YouTube Official Artist Channels

YouTube announced today that they have begun the process of rolling out new Official Artist Channels on the platform.  The new channels will migrate videos, lyric videos, news, unplugged sessions and other artist related information all in one place.  This will be the official artist channels, a slight change from the artist channels from last year.

Today, we’re simplifying things even more by bringing together an artist’s subscribers under their Official Artist Channel. Uniting subscribers under one channel means you’ll be able to go deeper and explore all of the content from the artists you love.

If you are subscribed to an unofficial channel, you will automatically be subscribed to the official channel for that artist starting this week.

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The New YouTube Monetizing Requirements will Impact Many Content Producers

YouTube for Android

YouTube has begun sending emails out to content producers on the changes that are coming next month to how they can monetize their channels.  The email lays out the new requirements in order to have access to the ad monetizing tools and that access will end starting February 28, 2018 if you do not meet the requirements.

Those new YouTube requirements are pretty steep.  You have to have 1000 subscribers but the higher hurdle is the requirement for 4000 watch time hours over the previous 12 months.  This last requirement will eliminate many channels from being able to monetize.

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Amazon Echo Show Owner? No YouTube for You!

Amazon Echo Show

Ah, the love between Amazon and Google shows itself once more…. NOT!  It appears that the latest spat between the two giants is over YouTube and the newish Amazon Echo Show.

Users of the new Alexa-powered smart device were cut off from YouTube yesterday with a warning that the smart speaker was unable to play content from the world’s largest video site.  Amazon states that they are disappointed, laying the blame at the feet of Google.  Google, in return, indicates that the reason for the shutdown is due to a violation of the terms of service and that they made Amazon aware that Tuesday was the drop date.

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YouTube HDR Slowly Rolling Out to Compatible Devices

YouTube for Android

Several current Android phones are starting to see the long awaited YouTube HDR content come to them.  YouTube rolled out HDR content at the end of 2016 but to this point, virtually no devices were able to render it.  That has changed throughout the course of 2017 and now several reports indicate that multiple devices are seeing an HDR option on video playback.

For those who don’t know, HDR stands for High Dynamic Range.  Images and video shot in HDR have more contrast, a wider color palette and greater brightness levels.

As for devices that are now reportedly able to show HDR content, it is growing rapidly.

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YouTube Rolling Out Bottom Navigation for All Android Users

YouTube for Android Bottom Navigation

After experimenting with it in the beta channel, then doing a bit of A/B testing, it seems that Google is finally ready to roll out bottom navigation in the YouTube app.  The update is a combination of an app update, which happened last week, and a server-side update, which is happening now.  Assuming you have the former, the later should be coming to you over the course of the next few hours.

Once you have it, gone will be the top tab navigation for Home, Trending, Subscriptions, Shared and Library.  Instead, they are all clearly identified on the bottom of the display in the streaming content app.

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