APPS + PLATFORMS
Amazon and Google may finally be reaching a detente. Two years after banning Google’s Chromecast streaming adapter from its e-commerce marketplace, Amazon has once again begun listing the device. The device isn’t actually available for purchase just yet – it’s simply listed as “currently unavailable.” Still, the fact that the device is listed signals that it will likely be available soon. (CNet was the first to notice the listing.) In addition to the Chromecast, the 4K video-capable Chromecast Ultra adapter is also now listed on Amazon. The changes come in the wake of a particularly acrimonious dispute between Amazon and Google. Notably, Google blocked the Amazon Echo Show smart speaker from accessing YouTube. When asked about the decision, a Google spokesperson bluntly admitted that Amazon’s decision not to sell Google products was a big factor. Speaking of which, don’t be surprised if the Echo Show regains its YouTube access in the not-too-distant future.
Amazon has also begun to list the Apple TV streaming device, which it banned from its e-commerce marketplace at about the same time as it banned the Chromecast. But reversing course on the Apple device comes as much less of a surprise: The decision comes in the wake of a previously-announced deal between Amazon and Apple. Under that agreement, which was first announced in June, Apple also agreed to bring the Amazon Prime Video service to Apple TV.
VIRTUAL + AUGMENTED REALITY
Apple just released an updated version of its Final Cut Pro X video editing suite, and VR pros will be happy. Officially called Final Cut Pro X 10.4, the new software update lets users work on 360 degree videos, including both 2D and 3D content. Editors can then export such videos to sites that support the formats, such Vimeo or YouTube. Users can even preview their videos using an HTC Vive VR headset. (It should be noted that working with a VR headset will require advanced hardware – either a new iMac Pro or, for owners of older Macbooks, external processing units that can only be purchased from third-party sellers.) In addition to 360-degree video, the updated editing software adds support for HDR (high-dynamic range) content, along with the ability to edit ultra-high definition 8K videos.
Google and the NFL announced a second season of NFL Immersed, a VR docu-series that follows NFL players both on and off the field. The first three episodes of the new series are now available through YouTube VR, the NFL’s YouTube channel, or via Google’s Daydream headset. The show’s first season debuted in November 2016.
SHORT FORM VIDEO
PeopleTV, Time Inc.’s ad-supported lifestyle streaming service, is getting set to launch a new series. Called The Perfect Fit, the six-episode show is billed as a “body-positive” series. It follows three curvy brides-to-be as they search for wedding gowns. The series, which was produced by Authentic Entertainment, debuts Tuesday, January 9.
Andrea Russett, a popular YouTube personality and comedian with more than 2.8 million subscribers, has inked a wide-ranging pact with the digital media company Fullscreen. Under the deal, Fullscreen will create, develop, and pitch projects for Russett. Russett, who’s only 22 years old, had previously hosted a talk show on Fullscreen’s soon-to-be defunct SVOD service.
Our Last Trivia Question: In the film version of Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It, protagonist Nola Darling is played by Tracy Camilla Johns. Who plays Nola in the Netflix adaptation? Answer: DeWanda Wise. Kudos to Andy Pittman-TAMU/TX, Susan Nessanbaum Goldberg-M and S Entertainment/CA, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/CA, and David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union CA.
What’s the name of Spike Lee’s production company? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and state.)