YouTube Charging For Music Videos, Facebook Clones Snapchat, And More… [Tech News Digest]
Also, the world’s largest collection of video games sells for $750k, Microsoft slashes the price of the Surface Pro 2, hundreds of new emoji are unveiled, and OK Go insist The Writing’s On The Wall with a music video full of optical illusions.
YouTube Confirms Paid Music Service
YouTube will be launching a premium music subscription service later this year, which will allow users to watch and listen to music without adverts, as well as download songs to their smartphones. Google will be testing the service imminently, which is bad news for the record labels that haven’t signed up to be a part of the service.
According to The Guardian, music videos from these labels, most of which are smaller, independent labels, will disappear from YouTube. This is because YouTube doesn’t want to offer videos for free that won’t also be available through the subscription-based offering.
YouTube claims to have secured deals with labels representing around 90 percent of the music industry. But the holdouts are reportedly being told to accept the licensing terms being offered or lose YouTube as a source of income completely.
We should make it clear that nothing will change for the majority of YouTube users: YouTube will still host most music videos for free supported by advertising, but those who pay for the privilege will gain extra features and ad-free viewing. Which is similar to how both Spotify and Deezer currently operate.
Facebook Launches Slingshot, Officially
My only conclusion is that Slingshot is Facebook’s new way of A/B testing insane UX ideas to see how much they’ll piss off their users.
— MG Siegler (@parislemon) June 17, 2014
Facebook has officially launched Slingshot, its latest mobile messaging app. This offering takes its cue from Snapshot, as many people noted when it was accidentally teased last week . In fact, Slingshot is an amalgamation of several existing mobile apps, with features pulled from Vine, Instagram, and Frontback.
The biggest feature of Slingshot is the requirement to send a photo or video back to a friend in order to see what they have sent. This immediately ensures a constant flow of content, something which Facebook will undoubtedly herald as proof of the success of Slingshot.
Slingshot from Facebook [Broken URL Removed] is available on iOS and Android now, and the only way to see if it offers anything new from Snapchat and others is to try it out for yourself.
Video Games Collection Sells For $750,000
The world’s largest collection of video games, as certified by Guinness World Records, has sold by auction on GameGavel for an incredible $750,000. The collection includes over 11,000 games, 2,600 of which are still in their original packaging. The only problem the buyer faces is getting hold of the 100 consoles required to play the full collection.
Microsoft Slashes Surface Pro 2 Prices
I have the Surface Pro 2 and I LOVE it, that’s why I want the Surface Pro 3 now! #GreatestDad
— Tracy Iglesias (@Tracy_Iglesias) June 11, 2014
With the Surface Pro 3 available to pre-order, Microsoft has cut the prices of the Surface Pro 2. In the U.S., the 64GB and 128GB models are $100 cheaper ($899 and $999 respectively), while the 256GB and 512GB models are $200 cheaper ($1,299 and $1,799 respectively). It should be noted that the Surface Pro 3 is enjoying more positive reviews than its predecessor, so this isn’t necessarily a great deal.
Hundreds Of New Emoji On Way
How about instead of adding more emoji to replace words, we learn how to spell the words we already have?
— Jeff Gordon (@urbanstrata) June 17, 2014
A total of 240 new emoji [PDF link] are heading our way as part of Version 7.0 of the Unicode Standard. New emoji include a hand giving the middle finger, the Vulcan salute from Star Trek, a keyboard and mouse, and a silhouetted secret agent. All useful to someone, somewhere, we’re sure.
OK Go Release Latest Crazy Music Video
OK Go have made a name for themselves by producing innovative music videos, starting with Here It Goes Again, otherwise known as the one with all the treadmills. The American alternative rock band have now released their latest effort for the song The Writing’s On The Wall.
This time OK Go have focused on optical illusions , with four minutes of visual trickery featuring the band and a heap of props. The music video for The Writing’s On The Wall was filmed in one take, which is an astonishing achievement in its own right.
Your Views On Today’s Tech News
Are you interested in YouTube’s new subscription-based music service? Do you feel YouTube is unfairly treating the labels not willing to acquiesce to its demands? Will you be downloading Facebook’s Slingshot? Do you think it has any hope of overtaking Snapchat in terms of popularity?
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