Tech News

YouTube Copies Netflix, Google Kills Songza… [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 03-12-2015

YouTube channels the spirit of Netflix, Google subsumes Songza, Wikipedia creates a new AI, Adele admits streaming is the future, and the pop songs of 2015 get mashed up into one.

YouTube Wants to be the New Netflix

YouTube is keen to become the new Netflix, with sources claiming the Google-owned company is actively pursuing the rights to stream movies and TV shows.

According to the Wall Street Journal, negotiations are at an early stage, but Google is keen to have “a robust collection of original programming and licensed programming in 2016 and beyond.”

Right now, details are very thin on the ground, but our guess is that YouTube is trying to add content to its new subscription service, YouTube Red You Can Now Pay to Watch YouTube, The Dangers of Tesla Autopilot... [Tech News Digest] YouTube Red adds subscription fees, testing Tesla Autopilot, Android stops draining your battery, polling your friends on Twitter, Mythbusters stops busting myths, and Back to the Future in 90 seconds. Read More . One way of persuading people to pay $10-a-month for YouTube would be to add a range of licensed content. YouTube Red already boasts homemade content from the likes of PewDiePie and Rooster Teeth.

There is already strong competition in the streaming arena, including Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Instant Video. However, YouTube has a famous brand, hundreds of millions of users, and the backing of Google/Alphabet Google Is Now Part Of...Alphabet? What You Need To Know Google, the Internet giant, is turning into Alphabet. Here's what that means for you. Read More . All of which means YouTube could represent a serious threat to the competition if it starts aggressively buying up both old and new content.

Google Is Killing Off Songza

Google is killing Songza, with the website and app due disappear on Jan. 31, 2016. Google acquired Songza The NSA Can Spy On Almost Everybody, Google Buys Songza, And More... [Tech News Digest] Online book sales have overtaken retail book sales, the UK is investigating the Facebook experiment, IFTTT makes Yo useful, Oculus Rift experiment gives third-person perspective, and Google tests our general knowledge with Smarty Pins. Read More in July 2014, and has slowly but surely been adding Songza’s features to Google Play Music. And Google hopes all Songza users will now switch to using Google Play Music The Best Music Player on Android: Google Play Music Reviewed Google Play Music is a music streaming service, a local music player, and a podcast player all mashed into one. And it's great. Read More .

The Songza founders claim the two services have now reached parity, hence Songza has become surplus to requirements. However, that will offer little comfort to those who, for whatever reason, preferred Songza to Google Play Music.

As is so often the case, Google has acquired a rival service purely to subsume its best features into its own offering. Meanwhile, the Songza founders are happy telling you to switch over to Google Play Music in between bouts of feverishly counting the money sitting in their bank accounts.

Wikipedia AI Spots Bad Edits

Wikipedia has created a new artificial intelligence designed to recognize potentially bad edits and flag them to human editors. In addition, the person responsible for a revision that’s deleted will now receive a notification informing them why their edit hasn’t been accepted.

The Objective Revision Evaluation Service (ORES) “functions like a pair of X-ray specs,” seeing through attempts to fool the team of humans maintaining order at the online encyclopedia The Origins of Wikipedia: How It Came To Be [Geek History Lesson] Read More . Wikipedia has always employed tools to monitor content The Bots Who Edit Wikipedia (And The Humans Who Made Them) Humans aren't the only ones who edit Wikipedia — a significant portion of the site's contributions are actually made by bots. Read More , but ORES is the first one that’s able to differentiate between malicious edits and human errors.

Adele Admits Streaming Is the Future

Adele isn’t a fan of streaming music services such as Spotify and Apple Music. So much so that her new album 25 isn’t available to stream on these services. Except on Pandora Beware of Black Friday Scams, Avoid Star Wars Spoilers... [Tech News Digest] Beware the Black Friday scammers, avoid Star Wars spoilers, listen to Adele on Pandora, watch movies on Tubi TV, and Samsung encourages us to break our old television sets. Read More , when the odd song from it will play randomly. Which isn’t ideal.

However, Adele has admitted that streaming is the future, telling Rolling Stone:

“[Streaming] probably is the future, but, eh. There are kids I know who are, like, nine who don’t even know what a f**king CD is! I’ve got my CDs out on display in my house just to prove a point. Maybe CDs will have a massive comeback like vinyl did.”

We doubt CDs will make a comeback in any big way, despite recently discovering that most of our readers still own CD players. As for Adele, we suspect she’ll have to embrace the new medium at some point in the future, even if it around the time she releases an album titled 72.

Watch 50 Shades of Pop 2015

And finally, we have the United State of Pop 2015 video, as put together lovingly by DJ Earworm. This year, as every year, DJ Earworm has produced a mashup Mad Mashups: 7 YouTube Channels Full Of Fun Remixes [Weird & Wonderful Web] YouTube remixers don't get the credit they deserve. It's time to right that wrong, by doffing our caps to the masters of mash-ups. Read More of the biggest pop songs released over the previous 12 months into one glorious whole. This year’s song is titled 50 Shades of Pop.

Artists to have made the cut include Adele, Ariana Grande, Drake, Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber, Nicki Minaj, Sam Smith, and Taylor Swift. Even if you’re not a fan of pop music 10 Of The Funniest Song Parodies Of All Time On YouTube Song parodies have existed for centuries in one form or another. We won't be travelling that far back through the swirling mists of time, but what follows are 10 of the funniest song parodies you... Read More , this is still worth watching. And who knows, perhaps you’ll discover a new appreciation for Fetty Wap or The Weeknd.

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

Will you be subscribing to YouTube Red? Are you sorry to see the end of Songza? Is Wikipedia still plagued by factual errors? Should Adele embrace streaming as the future of music? How many songs did you recognize in 50 Shades of Pop 2015?

Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.

Image Credits: Rego Korosi via Flickr

Related topics: Google, Netflix, Wikipedia, YouTube.

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  1. Cheryl S.
    December 30, 2015 at 9:27 am

    "However, that will offer little comfort to those who, for whatever reason, preferred Songza to Google Play Music"..... The "whatever reason" is the fact that Songza was AD-FREE without annoying commercials chirping between songs, unlike the new merged Google Play Music (free version). They have destroyed what was a perfect product in the original (free) Songza. :(

  2. Keith Gatling
    December 7, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    I sort of look at streaming as being like radio. It's there, and then it's not. You can't decide *when* to hear a certain song (well, at least you can't with Pandora, which is a lot like radio). And if the streaming services are compensating artists like radio does, that seems fair to me.

    On the other hand, if streaming means being able to play *that* song *on demand*, then maybe the compensation rate should be a little higher.

    As for kids not knowing what a CD is, I don't really buy physical CDs anymore, but I still spend upwards of $1.29 per song to buy stuff from iTunes...because I read "1984" in 8th grade, and know that the Record Industry giveth and the Record Industry taketh away. What's available for streaming this week could suddenly be unavailable next week...for years.

    But what I buy and download is mine *forever*.

    Besides, the streaming model assumes that everyone has a phone with an unlimited data plan; which most of us *don't*. I've got a 64gb iPod Touch for my music and a cheap Android Tracfone for *calling*. I spend about $100 a *year* for service on the phone, including 1.2gb of data...hardly enough to be streaming all the time.

    I don't need to have instant access to every song in the world, including Edison's recording of "Mary Had a Little Lamb" on tinfoil. If I really want the song, I can wait until I get to a place with WiFi, see if iTunes has it, and download it then...and keep it forever.

  3. Mike S.
    December 4, 2015 at 2:28 pm

    Streaming is the future but still needs to really work on compensating the creators more than they do. I still buy CDs regularly and attend shows when I can. I try to buy directly from the artist site if possible or from an affiliate link to get the artists the most per purchase that I can. I refuse to spend $40 on a t-shirt at a concert even though they get the most revenue from merchandise.

  4. Leland
    December 4, 2015 at 3:38 am

    Hello Guys ..... and Girls! - My comment is a little about YouTube Red but mostly about Google Play Music. I am subscribed to YouTube Red just because it was the "icing on the cake" when I subscribed to Google Music. I used to embrace Spotify but now am a happy subscriber to Google Music. With Google Music you can upload your own private, edited or rare music and add that audio to your playlists. You can take with you not only the music publicly available but also your private collection and all of it will seamlessly play together. I believe this is the only streaming service that makes it possible.
    Streaming music is the future and it is possible to make it profitable but artists will only be paid their fair share after enough people begin paying for subscriptions. Once a majority of people have subscribed and are paying $10 each month, the funds should be enough to pay artists the proper amount.

  5. MG
    December 3, 2015 at 10:26 pm

    With all the advances in technology, who are we kidding that everything is so much better than in the past? In terms of sound, where is the high fidelity? In terms of video, where is the seamless immersion? In terms of text, why don't we learn how to spell and get things right? Yes, we have a lot more technology, but we are not improving things by all that much!!!

  6. Anonymous
    December 3, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    I don't know what Adele is but I do think it's every artist's right to decide how their music is presented. Streaming means low fidelity bit streams, a morass of extra rights issues and consumer lock in for various platforms. If she's smart enough to see that and didn't want to participate, good for her.

  7. Anonymous
    December 3, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    "Google Is Killing Off Songza"
    Microsoft made "Embrace, Extend, Extinguish" famous. Google is going Microsoft one better, they are skipping the "Extend" part.