Your web video experience is exhausting. Clicking in and out of YouTube, across your social web, discovering great videos among disparate Tweets and scattered Facebook updates. It takes time and energy — we believe we can make that easier for you.
We’re very excited to announce that as of today, your video experience is both simpler and smarter with the latest update to Shelby TV.
Shelby TV now delivers you a single stream of video, tailored to your interests, influenced by your friends.
So, What’s Really New Here?
In addition to rolling out a new and improved landing page on Friday, we’ve made some more changes in this simpler, more streamlined Shelby, including:
The Right Recommendations
New “Community” Stream
New “Me” Section
And Yes, There’s More
The promise of Shelby has always been about delivering a simpler, better video experience. We’re doubling down on efforts to surface some of the great technology we’ve built to make your Shelby stream more intelligent. Stay tuned — and in the meantime, please do let us know what you think!
With Apple’s WWDC starting within the hour, the Shelby team is so excited to have three of our own out there.
Speculation has been high on what Apple will announce, and the blog 9to5Mac has even released what they believe to be the newly designed icons for iOS 7.
But as always, Apple has stayed true to its promise for total secrecy.
Curious to know what what are our attendees expect to see? Keep reading — and be sure to follow @Shelby to get the full scoop as we see it on-the-ground.
Reece P, CEO and Apple Fanboy
What are you expecting from WWDC this year?
This year, by the grace of a faulty ticketing system, I find myself with a ticket to WWDC. My expectations are pretty high for the event itself, given that Keren has been endlessly raving about it since the first day I met her! That being said, the rumor mill is flabbergasted this year as most don’t know what’s coming our way … with that in mind, I think we might see some revs to the Apple TV software that open up, or at least hint at, opening up an app ecosystem … and I would jump out of my seat if I’m right!
What’s the one feature you really want to see launched at WWDC?
See above … I put money on it!
Heard any cool rumors ahead of the event worth sharing?
I heard Dan is going to rush the stage at Tim Cook’s keynote on Monday morning.
Dan S, CTO and Proud iOS Builder
What’s the one feature you really want to see launched at WWDC?
I want an app ecosystem for developers on Apple TV. I don’t care if it remains a hobby. Let us take it to the next level.
Beyond that, I’d like to see lots of XCode improvements. Fix IB. Make project file merges suck less. Let me run simulator for 7 days without clang errors. REMEMBER MY DEFAULTS WHEN CREATING NEW FILES. Simplify core data merges. Et cetera.
Heard any cool rumors ahead of the event worth sharing?
Heard Apple is buying lots of 4k displays. That’s fun. Also know that Johnny Ive is running shit, which excites me very much :-]
Any messages you plan on delivering to the senior folks at Apple this week?
I will hug Tim. He’s doing a fine job. Folks need to relax a bit. He’s not Steve. Doesn’t mean he’s a fail.
Keren P, iOS Ninja
What are you looking forward to at WWDC this year?
The Keynote, the sessions, the labs, meeting developers from all over the world and of course, a kickass iOS7.
What’s the one feature you really want to see launched at WWDC?
A better integration of Core Data and iCloud.
Anything else you’re looking forward to?
Of course being one of the few women in attendance, its always fun watching the guys stand in line for the bathroom while the women’s bathroom is empty nearly all the time.
(Image courtesy of Apple)
Yeah, Apple TV and YouTube are important — especially when looking at the consumer-facing ecosystem of web video.
But do you know what else is important?
Advertising. More specifically, the future of the advertising industry and how its coping with and dictating the structural shifts taking place in the world of video and TV.
This week, Reece and I attended the VideoNuze Video Ad Summit here in NYC, which was a great opportunity to reflect on and think about some big shifts in the advertising landscape.
So, what did we learn?
So what does this all mean for a consumer video experience?
At the end of the day, advertising is a necessary part of the world of video content. Think about it: even though many people pay for cable TV, they still see ads alongside the content. It’s important to acknowledge that advertising will continue to play an important part in shaping the future of the industry. The good news is that consumer needs are increasingly being considered and that will likely lead to a better advertising experience for everyone involved.
YouTube dominates in video hosting, but that won’t be the case forever. Competition will emerge from both likely and unlikely players. And that’s a GOOD thing.
Is the demise of YouTube closer than we think?
Crazy question. Let me back up.
YouTube is an amazing platform. Certainly the most impactful platform in online video to date. So much of our world is shared via YouTube videos - at this point, 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube per minute! Its growth, in terms of content and viewership, is second to none…
But NO ONE, even YouTube, can keep that up forever.
Already, we are seeing signs of attrition on YouTube, as guys like Jason Calacanis leave the platform for better opportunity elsewhere. In a takedown post he penned on Sunday, Jason goes into the depth of why YouTube is amazing … and why he turned down YouTube’s funding for the greater opportunity of striking out on his own.
Jason is not the first, but his departure is a strong indicator for anyone in the video ecosystem and it became a double whammy when a rumor surfaced that outright video-hosting competition will soon emerge from the likes of Maker Studios, which has built its entire business to date ON YouTube.
So … What might the future hold?
Competition is coming.
Competition will come from all sides.
Competition is great for video and viewers alike.
From my perspective, this could all be great for the ecosystem, even necessary for a balanced, healthy existence, but it’s not going to happen overnight and it’s certainly not going to follow any particular script that we’ve seen before.
All us little guys can do is embrace the chaos and change of the industry, while creating our own value for you viewers at home.
(image courtesy of Flickr, Rego - d4u.hu)
Like many of us who are obsessively tracking the TV/video industry, I took the time to watch Tim Cook’s interview with Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg yesterday at D11. In particular, the conversation starting at ~10 minutes when Swisher shoots at Cook with “Let’s talk about television…” It’s worth watching, but it leaves me wondering, is Cook’s reticence accidentally setting expectations for Apple TV way too high?
Cook’s response to Swisher, as has been Apple’s canned response for a long time, was that it’s still a hobby, his exact line being “We’re still playing in TV through Apple TV.” But he then goes on to illustrate all the demand (+13M devices sold - almost half in the last year), as well as everything Apple has learned from the Apple TV as an MVP, and finally says “There are lots of things about the TV experience that can be better… we answered some of those, clearly not all of those, and we’re going to continue to make that better.”
From that, and all the other rumors, we know Apple’s going to do more than just “play” in this space. They’re going to come in guns blazing, aimed at full disruption…
…But what does that actually look like?
In the preamble to this discussion, Cook says “We have some incredible plans… we have incredible ideas…” but when Swisher and Mossberg press him on what. those. ideas. are… he just stonewalls with “I don’t want to go into detail…”
Point is, Steve Jobs had a charisma and story around him that made you think “oh man… whatever Jobs delivers is going to be great.” Cook, on the other hand, doesn’t have that same natural gift (and it’s honestly ridiculous for Apple fans to expect it), but by dodging questions the way he does, I really fear that he’s setting expectations too high for himself, and for the future iTV.
The most he said was that the TV experience hasn’t been brought up to speed with this decade, which is mostly true as far as selecting channels/programming guides etc., but that’s really not enough. The market demands a serious wow-factor in this next product. Xbox One is going after fancy features, but like I’ve said, the real win is a robust developer ecosystem.
If anything, Cook needs to start planting the seeds of a real vision for the eventual iTV… Hell, he doesn’t even need to plant them, he just needs to let the world know that he has the vision! Cable subscriptions disrupted! Digital hearth of the modern home! Whatever it is… tease it out a bit like Jobs used to. Who cares if it’s misleading? Just get an idea out there, otherwise the rumor mill will keep churning out expectations and hype-fatigue that Apple can’t meet.
YouTube, Facebook and VEVO are the top 3 most viewed video sites on the web, according to the video rankings released by comScore yesterday. The full list, below:
According to their monthly rankings, overall video views are down this month, with 181.9 million unique viewers watching 28.8 billion videos, compared to 182.5 million viewers watching 39.3 billion videos in March.
But comScore doesn’t track mobile or connected TV views in its rankings, and the decline could indicate a shift by viewers from desktop to mobile.
Where do you consume your video — desktop, mobile/tablet, connected TV, or good old broadcast?
Yesterday, Microsoft finally demo’d their new “game center,” The Xbox One. It comes complete with HDMI Pass-thru for cable and satellite; Blu-ray player for HD movies, a trending content section of videos your friends are watching; capacity to Skype while watching TV, movies, and videos; tons of memory to store all your movies, TV shows, and music; and slick voice/gesture controls to navigate through your movies and TV shows without the remote… All in all, an amazing way to experience all of your favorite… games, err… videos, movies, and TV.
That’s right, Microsoft recognized that people spend more total time watching video than playing games on their current box and designed Xbox One to cater directly to this habit. The result is a full on “entertainment center.” Sure, you can play games on it too, but that’s not the point.
From its industrial design - shaped like a cable box - to its UX - the ability to “pin” favorite shows to your home screen - this is a big move by Microsoft to own the digital hearth of the modern home… that means, going beyond hard-core gamers and making the Xbox One all about TV and entertainment.
Don’t believe me? Just watch the highlights of the keynote.
Clearly, Microsoft’s commander’s intent is to own the digital living room. As everyone in the space knows, it’s an all-out war for your TV between the likes of Samsung, Google, Amazon, Roku, Boxee, the cable operators, and oh yeah, that fruit company.
But this update by Microsoft isn’t as revolutionary as it seems. Yes, the tech itself is a step forward and the social integrations will be interesting, but it’s not that disruptive to the actual video industry. It still requires a cable subscription and the VOD experience just isn’t there. Really, it’s evolutionary… an upgrade to their tech with (classically) lots of features to fill out the tech specs on the back of the box.
The real win in this space will be a disruptive move for consumers on their cable subscription AND/OR a robust app ecosystem that allows smart, creative developers to build the next generation experiences for these amazing devices. Look no further than the iOS developer ecosystem to see what I mean.
At the end of the day, I’m still excited about the Xbox One. I’m not a gamer, but any move to make my TV more powerful, more alive, and (ironically) more human,** is a good one in my mind. While it’s still lacking the developer ecosystem I’d like to see, it’s another step in the right direction of making TV suck less.
That being said, I am still betting on Apple to open up an app ecosystem - whether it’s on their current device or on a giant 60 inch screen - and when they do, it’s going to be awesome.
What do you think?
Wired: Xbox One Revealed
Videonuze: Pretty Face but No Fundamental TV Disruption
** Yes. Voice navigation > crappy remote control on scale of humanness and Skype integration will be interesting for sure.
It’s been a while since we’ve said much here, but I can assure it’s not for lack of activity. We’ve been busy building the new infrastructure of Shelby TV — your hub for videos that matter to you, your friends, and the world around you.
But with spring in full swing, there are a few things worth mentioning, so here’s what’s been up!
Starting today, we’re sharing new videos you’ll love on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.
Fueling these updates is our most recent addition to the team: Edon Ophir, who comes to us by way of Waze and FashionTV. Edon is great — passionate and thoughtful — and is here to serve as your Community Manager. Any and all questions, concerns, or suggestions, Edon is your guy.
Also joining the team is James Aviaz, our resident Australian and Marketing Specialist, who joins us from Songtrust, by way of Uber. I’ve known James for a while personally, I love his passion for great online content, and I am super excited to work with him as he focuses on refining the Shelby TV story and how to tell that to the world.
So, what more can you expect from us in the months to come?
Firstly, video that matters to you. Shelby TV is still the best way to build your personal channel of video, but occasionally we’ll share some of the standout vids. For instance, have you seen “This Is Water“ yet? If not, do yourself a favor and watch now.
Secondly, we spend a lot of time thinking about the video ecosystem and its rapid changes. If you’re interested in the future of TV, stay tuned to this space.
Finally, and most importantly, we’ll keep you posted on Shelby TV itself. Product updates, sneak peeks at new features, and opportunities to make a direct impact on Shelby TV. After all, it’s you who powers Shelby TV and the future of video.
Twitter | Facebook | Google+
House of Cards has gotten a ton of attention lately for a few reasons:
- It’s an awesome show (though I haven’t seen it yet)
- All episodes were delivered at the same time (to satisfy binge viewers)
- It’s another major step for Netflix in delivering unique content to keep viewers locked into their model
Why is this model smart?
Content providers can use exclusive content to be valuable & differentiate themselves from competitors. Netflix has already done this with Lilyhammer. They’ve also continued tapping into ”binge viewing” behavior in an organized way. Although it’s unclear what the biggest benefits of that behavior will be quite yet, they’re learning something valuable by being a first mover here.
People want access to content without restrictions and aside from being the only place to access it, Netflix’s distribution models is working for consumers with a “watch where you want, when you want” mindset.
What are the downsides of this model?
It’s really expensive and only works for top-quality content. Because its so expensive to do it this way (and therefore the costs of failure are high), it only works for top caliber content and therefore isn’t something that will be the only way things are done. It’s why “pilots” exist in TV - see if the audience likes it and then sink more money into it. Episodic content that follows this model also has a benefit of giving viewers a reason to come back to a service. In that sense I think we’ll see these models mix.
Piracy is still going to be a big issue. If you don’t subscribe to Netflix or the service, there’s no way to get the content except pirating it. That’s part of the reason Game of Thrones was pirated a ton (and consequently was so successful). Many of the dynamics in this post on the music industry could also apply to video content. We still haven’t seen a producer of content fully embrace the piracy engine to positive effect yet.
What does this all mean for the people playing this “game of thrones” in the content landscape?
The implications of all of this are good for startups - Americans watch over 5 hours a day of content and not all of it is that “top notch” stuff like House of Cards or Game of Thrones. Startups don’t need to unseat that “top value” content quite yet - they can let this game of thrones happen and focus more on the Torso of TV (read Suster’s post if you haven’t) and create a ton of value around providing meaningful context and discovery for the rest of the video landscape.
As we announced a little while ago, we’ve been working with Chips Ahoy! as a part of Mondelez International’s Mobile Futures program. It’s been super fun to work with the team behind a brand we’ve loved since we were kids, and it’s even better to see that brand dive into working with startups and video in totally new ways. Today we’re excited to announce that Chips Ahoy! now has their very own .TV network just in time for the Sweet Sixteen: ChipsAhoy.tv.
When we were brainstorming ideas for this project with the Chips Ahoy! team, we knew March Madness was coming up and that our favorite thing to do with cookies was “dunk,” but it turns out that sister Mondelez brand, Oreo, has a bit of a “dunkopoly” on the that term. Lauren from the Chips Ahoy! team sent us a ton of Chips Ahoy! cookies, we fell in love with the really sweet Chewy Gooey Chocofudge and The Sweetest Bracket was born!
Chips Ahoy! tapped a few of the hot basketball campuses across the nation and asked the question “What makes your bracket the Sweetest Bracket?” Some of the students’ answers are pretty fun - we’re excited to show off the results on ChipsAhoy.tv. Check out one of our favorite videos here:
Despite repeated questions on whether or not we’ll be shepherding farm animals around again this year, I’m relieved to announce that no, Shelby will not be walking around with goats, cows, llamas, or any other such livestock.**
While last year’s Project G.O.A.T.S. was a lot of fun, we simply couldn’t get the goats again this year. Seems they got a contract appearing in Taylor Swift videos and are living large. Bummer.
What we have done instead is simple. With a little math, we realized there are more people who don’t go to SXSW, than do. So we powered up a bunch of great SXSW video at sxsw.shelby.tv for you to all enjoy at home. It’s a great way to lean back and see what’s happening in Austin.
Want to contribute? Just tweet a video with the hashtag #SXSW, mention @Shelby, and it’ll show up on this .TV!
We also hand-picked some good stuff to fill specific channels about Interactive, Film, and Music.
Go check it out at http://sxsw.shelby.tv
**P.S. - We totally kicked off the goat meme of 2013.
While we’re not shy on the web here at Shelby, we’re sometimes pretty coy about what we’re up to and who the hell is behind all these tubes. After all, who has time to build a team page when there’s a whole industry to disrupt?
Alas, we’re proud to finally show off a simple team page that is true to Shelby-form with plenty of personality.
More importantly, we’re excited to announce the addition of another excellent engineer in Keren Pinkas.
Keren describes herself as “Tiny. Redhead. Vegetarian. Beatlefan. Geek.” but I’ll add that Keren is super talented and an amazing addition to our growing engineering team. Keren is already tackling our iOS app with Arthur, and thinking through the future of TV. Her passion for iOS is tangible and her professionalism is stellar, and we can’t wait to share her work with you. Stay tuned!
P.S. - Want to work with us? We’re hiring.
Last night at the NYTM, Dan, Henry, and I got on stage to launch some cool products that demonstrate how we envision the future of video, both of which put individuals in control of their experience.
When we first told Fred about Shelby.tv, he immediately asked if someday he could have FredWilson.tv. So we are really excited to finally launch FredWilson.tv. His .tv is a public URL for anyone to see, it’s powered by Shelby, and it pulls all the video he shares on AVC.com, as well as shares to Tumblr and Twitter, into one leanback “TV” experience. If you want to learn about entrepreneurship, venture capital, or startups in general, FredWilson.tv is a great channel to watch.
Fred wrote more about it on his blog this morning which I encourage you to read as well. Thanks Fred. Psyched to finally deliver FredWilson.tv!
Once we started working on .tv’s, we realized we had the ability to create a TV experience out of any webpage with video.** So Henry built a great proof of concept at Shelby.tv/experience. Here are a couple great examples.
The Periodic Table of Videos is a great blog full of video, but the viewing experience is crap. See it for yourself here: http://periodicvideos.blogspot.com/ Now, go to Experience and hit “Launch” to see how Shelby gives you a “TV” experience for all that great content.
Here’s another example, this time from the awesome community at Reddit. Here, a bunch of Redditors are sharing favorite videos from Hulu. It looks like this.
Throw that into Shelby.tv/Experience and you’ve got a seamless, lean-back channel of great video.
This is just a proof of concept, but Shelby.tv/Experience is a great demonstration of how we think about video and where we’re going with Shelby. Try out http://Shelby.tv/experience and http://fredwilson.tv and let us know what you think.
**Technical disclaimer: “Experience” currently only works with static pages, not dynamically loaded pages like YouTube.
Yesterday, I tweeted out the following and I wanted to take a minute to expand on the impact of our written values on cultural fit when hiring, as well as the value mentioned, “Be human.”
pro tip: when hiring, having clear core values allows you to quickly assess inbound candidates for cultural fit. @shelby #1 = “Be Human”
Our core values - there are eight of them - help define the way we work and live. If you hung out with us for a little while, you’d probably overhear us saying things like “JFBI” or “Be human.” Those are just the sticky little idioms we use day to day, but behind each one is more depth and understanding of a particular value.
They help us stick to our beliefs. They act as guiding lights when making tough decisions. They make it easy to assess potential partners, or in this case, a potential teammates.
My tweet yesterday, referred to any of the numerous inbound emails I get from job-seekers who are just spraying and praying with their resume. You know what they look like: “To whom it may concern” “Dear hiring manager” “Hey!”… They take no time to get to know or demonstrate knowledge of the person they’re emailing (me), nor our company. This approach essentially begins the relationship as a transaction, and Shelby’s the ATM. Unfortunately, we don’t have time for people who view their career as a “job” or worse, “just a paycheck.”
The best candidates, the people who stand out from the crowd, the people who belong on this team, are the ones who naturally embrace “being human.” Here’s how we define “Be human” at Shelby:
We are all people, with real lives, real passions, and real needs. We are not just “employees” and our users are not just “eyeballs.” So, trust and empathy shine in everything we do - be it the way we listen, the way we pitch, or the way we build.
It sounds so silly sometimes - “You guys need to write down a note to act like a human being?” - but think about how many interactions you have in a given day that are completely inhuman - the lifeless retail transactions, shooting the messenger at customer service, the animalistic race of a commute by car or subway…
By writing it down like this, it cements a human approach in the company culture so that we constantly remember it and hopefully never stray from it as so many companies do with growth. And since growth is what’s expected of us - accelerated growth in particular - it is powerful for us to have a belief system in place through which we can make decisions about who else will join us in building this great and lasting company.
Animated GIF from #ShelbySummit2013 for our team page.
Apparently Mike and Frasher didn’t get the point of an animated GIF.