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YouTube will run ads on some creator videos, but it won’t give them any of the revenue

27th November 2020
"The company is rolling it out on a ‘limited number of videos’"

Starting today, YouTube will begin running ads on some creators’ videos, but it won’t give them a portion of the ad revenue because they’re not big enough to be enrolled in its Partner Program.

When advertisements run on YouTube videos, those creators typically receive a portion of the revenue through their role in YouTube’s Partner Program. With the new monetization rules, a creator who is not in the partner program “may see ads on some of your videos,” according to an update to the platform’s Terms of Service.

Prior to the update, YouTube says these videos only received ads in limited circumstances, like if they were monetized by a record label as part of a copyright claim. The update will mostly affect smaller creators without a huge viewership; YouTube’s Partner Program requires creators to have accrued 4,000 total hours of watch time over the last 12 months and have more than 1,000 subscribers.
Advertising is big business for YouTube and its parent company, Google, with the video site generating $5 billion in the last quarter alone. Advertising is also a big deal for creators, who may rely on the site’s payouts to support themselves. Now, YouTube will be able to run more ads on its platform and won’t have to pay a number of creators in the process. The company confirmed to The Verge that ads will still not run on videos from non-partnered creators that center on sensitive topics. These include politics, religion, alcohol, and gambling.

The news did not go over well with members of the YouTube community. The creator community’s relationship with YouTube over advertising revenue has been fraught for years. In late 2016 and early 2017, YouTube creators who were in the Partner Program were hit by a sudden drop in advertising revenue as the platform struggled to contain disturbing children’s videos and other harmful content. Then in 2018, the Logan Paul incident led to changes to the Partner Program and more difficulty for creators to start earning revenue.

YouTube didn’t say how many creators will see ads run on their videos without paying out to them, but the company confirmed channels of all sizes may see ads appear. The company will monitor the impact on creators.

Source: theverge


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YouTube Music got more easier to stream on Televisions

25th November 2020
"Browse with less frustration"

On Monday, YouTube announced a number of updates for its YouTube Music TV app, including TVs running Android TV OS and the new Chromecast with Google TV. For all smart TVs, YouTube Music users can now access saved playlists and liked songs in their available libraries, the company said in a blog post. The options will appear in the YouTube Music tab within the YouTube TV app. The update also includes new visuals to show albums and playlist artwork.

We’re working hard to bring even more features to YouTube Music,” the blog post reads. “In the coming months, YouTube Music Premium users will be able to continue playing music in the background after exiting the app.”

The main change is that Android TV OS users will be able to access music uploads directly in your library. There’s also a new playback interface that’s designed to include relevant information like the artist’s name, as well as display a progress bar while a song plays. For devices with the Android TV home screen, people will also be able to use a new YouTube Music row to make browsing easier, according to the blog.
YouTube Music launched in 2018, with The reviewer calling it “surprisingly great.” As YouTube expands the service, the app — on TV, mobile, and desktop — have seen a number of updates. Recently, YouTube made it so people without premium accounts could cast to their speakers and allowed Google Music users to transfer their tunes over to YouTube Music.

Expect more changes to YouTube Music on TV sets as YouTube Music will soon replace Google Music.

Source:verge


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YouTube canceling Rewind because 2020 has been too much

26th November 2020
"The first time Rewind’s been canceled since it began in 2010."

YouTube Rewind, the company’s annual end-of-year tribute to creators, trends, and moments that defined the platform, will not happen this year.

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The company issued a statement acknowledging that “2020 has been different,” adding that “it doesn’t feel right to carry on as if it weren’t.” This marks the first time Rewind won’t happen since YouTube started the annual celebration in 2010. Although Rewind has become somewhat of a joke to the creator community in recent years — it became the most disliked video of all time in 2018 — it’s still a staple of YouTube’s culture, even if people are just using it to dunk on their own videos. To be fair, even CEO Susan Wojcicki admitted they’re a little cringe-inducing.

We know that so much of the good that did happen in 2020 was created by all of you,” YouTube’s statement reads. “You’ve found ways to lift people up, help them cope, and make them laugh. You made a hard year genuinely better.”

While many people were stuck at home because of the pandemic, YouTube saw surges in usage as more people spent time streaming video online. By the end of March, views on videos that centered on “with me”-stylized content (get ready with me, work out with me, study with me) saw massive increases in viewership, according to the company. Live-streaming also picked up on YouTube as well as on other platforms like Twitch and Facebook.

YouTube did not say if Rewind will return for 2021. Like everything right now, I imagine it all depends on what the future brings. All I know is I’ll miss YouTube’s annual attempt to try to celebrate the good on its platform (especially when there’s so much bad), and the inevitable reaction videos from creators explaining in detail just how wrong YouTube got it again.

Source: theverge


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Google latest AI tool turns your MS Paint doodles into extraordinary monsters

26th November 2020
"Another example of AI-assisted artistry"

To quote Google CEO Sundar Pichai: AI is “more profound than fire or electricity.”

To back up this claim with incontrovertible evidence: here’s an AI tool made by Google researchers that turns doodles into weird monsters. What could be more profound?

It’s certainly fun, anyway. The tool is called Chimera Painter and uses machine learning to generate imagery based on users’ rough sketches. This sort of dynamic is becoming a relatively common one in machine learning. Nvidia has done it with landscapes before; MIT and IBM did it with buildings, and now Google is ... doing it with monsters.

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The team behind Chimera Painter explained their methods and motivations in a blog post, saying the idea was to create a “paintbrush that acted less like a tool and more like an assistant.” Chimera Painter is just a prototype, but if software like this becomes common it could “reduce the amount of time necessary to create high-quality art,” claim the team.
The researchers gave themselves the challenge of creating artwork for a fictional fantasy card game, in which players combine features from different monsters and battle them like mutating Pokémon. They trained a machine learning model on a database of more than 10,000 sample monsters, which were themselves in part procedurally generated using 3D models rendered in Unreal Engine. Each image is paired with a “segmentation map” — an overlay that divides the monsters into anatomical parts like claws, snouts, legs, and so on.

Once the model has been trained on this data, users can then paint their own segmentation map which is then rendered using photorealistic textures. If you load up Chimera Painter you can see some of the preset monsters and they’re impressively cohesive. However, painting one yourself takes more time and effort than you might think. Our attempt below, for example, looks like a knock-off Gruffalo depicted using mud. It’s monstrous, but not necessarily a monster.

Source: theverge


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