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NEW YORK, Sept 8, 2018 (News Wires) - Google-owned YouTube will now allow users to pause their YouTube TV membership from four weeks to six months instead of outright cancelling it.

"You can cancel or pause your YouTube TV membership at any time. When you cancel or pause your membership, you'll still have access to YouTube TV until the end of your payment period," YouTube TV Help wrote in a post on Thursday. Users would be able to pause their memberships after their on-going billing cycle is completed.

"When your paused state ends, you will automatically be charged at your normal monthly price for a new month of service, and that date becomes your new billing date," the post added. During the pause-period, neither the user nor the shared members would have access to YouTube TV and no new programme would be recorded, however, the previously saved recordings would be saved until the end of the paused state.

Users would be allowed to un-pause and resume their membership at any time before the scheduled resume date and the date of resuming would be taken into consideration as the new billing date.

The subscription is priced at $40 per month and it comes with an accommodation of six accounts per household with personal logins, notifications and Cloud digital video recorder (DVR) with no storage limits. YouTube TV expanded its programming earlier this year, adding networks like CNN, Cartoon Network, Turner Classic Movies and more.

 

LOS ANGELES, July 31, 2018 (News Wires) - Alphabet Inc’s YouTube is creating scripted series and other original programming for international markets including France, Germany, Japan, Mexico and India to try to draw new customers to its paid subscription service, a senior executive said recently.

The programming will come in the form of multiple genres such as music documentaries, reality series, talk shows and scripted series, Susanne Daniels, YouTube’s global head of original programming, said in an interview. It will be produced in local languages and subtitled or dubbed for other markets.

Some of the programming will appear on YouTube Premium, the monthly subscription service formerly called YouTube Red. Other content will be available on YouTube’s free service with advertising.

“We are targeting markets where we believe we have a tremendous upside in potential subscribers,” Daniels said.

YouTube already has released a handful of original shows in South Korea and one in India, a talk show in Hindi about cricket. Called UnCricket, the show has performed “beyond expectations,” Daniels said.

Daniels also said a reality show starring South Korean pop band Big Bang had boosted subscriptions, and that 50 per cent of the new customers came from outside of Korea.

More details about the new international slate will be released in the coming weeks, she said.

YouTube will be competing with companies including Netflix Inc and Amazon.com Inc that are investing in local language programming for online audiences around the world.

The first original shows from YouTube debuted on its premium service in 2016, starting with series from some of the platform’s most popular video creators. It added programming from Hollywood stars and also released a batch of children’s shows including Emmy-winning Fruit Ninja Frenzy Force.

WASHINGTON, July 10, 2018 (News Wires) - YouTube unveiled plans to invest $25 million in news organizations as part of an effort to boosted trusted journalism and combat misinformation.

The Google-owned online video service said it would offer funding "across approximately 20 global markets to support news organizations in building sustainable video operations."

The grants "will enable our partners to build key capabilities, train staff on video best practices, enhance production facilities and develop formats optimized for online video," YouTube said in a statement late Monday.

The latest move is part of a $300 million Google News Initiative announced earlier this year by YouTube's parent to help curb manipulation and misinformation, which can spread easily online.

The YouTube effort comes as Google and Facebook -- companies that drew heavy criticism following the 2016 US election for failing to prevent the propagation of false news -- have been taking a series of steps to promote verifiable journalism.

"The work of trusted journalistic organizations is as critical as ever, especially when it comes to seeking information about current events online," YouTube said.

In addition to helping news organizations with video, YouTube said it was stepping up efforts to help its users identify "authoritative" news sources.

"Authoritativeness is essential to viewers, especially during fast-moving, breaking news events, so we've been investing in new product features to prominently surface authoritative sources," the statement said.

 

SAN FRANCISCO, June 30, 2018 (News Wires) - YouTube is running a “small and brief” experiment, involving 0.3 per cent of users for a few weeks, however it’s causing a bit of an uproar among the community of creators.

When browsing YouTube videos, each link has a preview image, or thumbnail, as they call it.

For those YouTube creators looking to get more views, a custom thumbnail could make a difference and often they put great effort into making theirs stand out, which is why the latest decision by the company to test auto-generated thumbnails has not been well received.

Therefore 0.3 per cent of viewers will see YouTube’s auto-generated thumbnail, across all channels, instead of the custom-made ones from the creators.

This was announced in a post, in a YouTube Help Forum on June 27, noting that “this will not affect the content of the videos” and “There are no current plans to change or remove the ability to add custom thumbnails.”

Despite noting that it is “a top request [they] get from creators who use them,” many have taken to Twitter to express their unhappiness about this trial designed to test “effectiveness,” which some feel YouTube could have publicised better beforehand, rather than waiting for someone to confront them.

In response to a tweet from @AlarconGareca on June 28, @TeamYouTube followed up with more explanations, noting that 99.7 per cent of users “still see the creator’s custom thumbnail.”

 

SAN FRANCISCO, June 29, 2018 (News Wires) - Facebook’s Instagram service is loosening its restraints on video in an attempt to lure younger viewers away from video platform YouTube when they’re looking for something to watch on their smartphones.

The expansion announced recently, dubbed IGTV, will increase Instagram’s video time limit from one minute to 10 minutes for most users. Accounts with large audiences will be able to go as long as an hour.

Video will be available through Instagram or a new app called IGTV. The video will eventually give Facebook more opportunities to sell advertising.

It’s the latest instance in which Instagram has ripped a page from a rival’s playbook in an effort to preserve its status as a cool place for young people to share and view content. In this case, Instagram is mimicking Google’s YouTube. Before, Facebook and Instagram have copied Snapchat – another magnet for teens and young adults.

Instagram, now nearly 8 years old, is moving further from its roots as a photo-sharing service as it dives headlong into longer-form video.

 

 

 

SAN FRANCISCO, June 23, 2018 (News Wires) - YouTube, often criticised for not compensating creators well enough, will allow them to set up paid channel memberships, the company said recently.

Currently the vast majority of revenue at the Google-owned service comes from advertising and that will remain a focus, said Neal Mohan, YouTube’s chief products officer.

“But we also want to think beyond ads. Creators should have as many ways and opportunities to make money as possible,” he said.

Viewers will pay $4.99 a month for channel memberships giving them access to exclusive content including livestreams, extra videos or shout-outs on channels with more than 100,000 subscribers.

Creators will also be able to sell merchandise like shirts or phone cases directly on their channels, the company said.

YouTube returns a small part of its advertising revenue to content creators who regularly accuse the platform of giving them only crumbs.

The site is facing increasing competition from other platforms using more and more video.

YouTube says it has more than 1.9 billion users but the figure only counts those who log in via their accounts.

 

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