Google's Spotlight Stories is no more. The VR studio's executive producer, Karen Dufilho, has sent out an email to announce that the division is shutting down. Stories started as a partnership between Google and Motorola as a way to create 360-degree…
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YouTube is thrilled to debut “Shawn Mendes,” its latest Artist Spotlight Story, created in collaboration with international pop phenomenon Shawn Mendes. The Spotlight Story gives fans an authentic and intimate look into Shawn’s life following the launch of his latest self-titled album. Mendes has grown to be one of the most popular musicians today with a massive fanbase that stemmed from his early YouTube uploads covering other artists.
“It was just about doing it for fun and posting videos,” Shawn recalls of his earliest YouTube uploads in “Shawn Mendes,” the latest installment of the Artist Spotlight Stories series from YouTube Music. “I wasn’t dreaming about stadiums, or Grammys. I was dreaming of my friends being like, ‘That’s very cool. I love that. You sounded great.’ I just wanted to be that guy who sang and played guitar on YouTube.”
Directed by YouTube Creator, filmmaker, and longtime friend Casey Neistat, “Shawn Mendes” looks back on Mendes’ journey from uploading covers to YouTube in his suburban-Toronto bedroom to performing on the world’s biggest stages as he gets ready to release his self-titled third album. Casey follows Shawn on the road and documents his rise to stardom through revealing interviews that showcase Shawn’s hard-working nature and youthful resilience.
With 15.7 million fans subscribed to his official channel, the three-time Juno winner is currently one of the biggest musicians on the planet. He’s racked up 2.2 billion views across YouTube in the past 12 months alone, with “Treat You Better” and “Stitches” both passing the billion-view mark — making him the youngest artist to have more than one video break nine digits. More recently, his 2018 anthem “In My Blood” charted on YouTube in over 15 countries and landed the singer three MTV VMA nominations.
YouTube Music’s Artist Spotlight Stories are intimate and personal video portraits of artists who are pushing the boundaries of creativity and connecting with fans in unique and powerful ways on YouTube. Recent YouTube Spotlight Stories include Janelle Monáe: “A Revolution of Love,” J Balvin: “Redefining Mainstream,” G-Eazy: “These Things Happened,” and Camila Cabello: “Made in Miami.” The series is meant to shine a light on artist journeys and how they have leveraged YouTube to be successful, in hopes that their stories inspire others in the music community to do the same.
Everyday young professionals in India move out of their small towns to the big cities in search of their dream jobs and to earn a steady income. Srinath and Laxman did the same and they were employed by a well established media company, earning a good income to take care of their families back home.
They lived together in a small rented apartment and cooked on their own. They made their traditional recipes but frequently used YouTube to try out new cuisines. They were awestruck to see the millions of views for recipe videos on YouTube. With a background in post production, they decided to explore the opportunity for themselves and in August 2016 launched a traditional Indian recipes channel on YouTube.
Despite concerns from their families, they quit their jobs and decided to pursue this as a full-time career. When they partnered with Laxman’s 106-year-old grandmother – Mastanamma – their channel skyrocketed. Her delicious traditional recipes have received audience attention all around the world. We spoke with Srinath about their passion for food, the power of YouTube, and what lies ahead:
How did your family and friends react when you told them about your plans to quit your job and start a YouTube channel?
When I first told my wife about my plans to quit my job to start a YouTube channel, she was not very happy. At the time, I had a good job and a decent salary – we also have kids so she was not supportive of my decision and didn’t understand why I wanted to do this. But both Laxman and I were convinced that we wanted to do this – so we quit our jobs and started the channel and became YouTube creators.
What were your expectations?
We were blessed that our channel started doing well pretty quickly and we started making a similar amount of money as we were in our past jobs. This gave my family some confidence in what I was doing. But after four months, we realized that we needed to do something different to sustain our growth.
At any point did you think that this may not work?
We were visiting Laxman’s village called Gudiwada and since it’s a small village, everybody was aware of our YouTube channel. They were all very happy for us but they had no idea that we were looking for new ideas to build on our start.
That’s when Laxman’s mother suggested that we should try the recipes of Laxman’s grandmother, Mastanamma, because she makes really authentic and delicious dishes. At first we didn’t think much of it but we decided to try her food. Her food was amazing and it was not like anything we had tried before so we decided to record a few videos with her.
Our first video with her was a hit and received 3 million views. We uploaded another video titled “Watermelon Chicken by My Granny” and that went viral! We couldn’t believe that this recipe video hit over 8 million views. There truly is magic in her recipes and the food she makes, and that magic is now available on YouTube for everyone to enjoy. She is 106 years old and still enjoys cooking herself and for everyone. Because of YouTube, she’s able to share that passion on a global scale.
What does Mastanamma think about having her own food channel that is now popular all over the world?
Having a YouTube channel has given her new experiences that none of us ever thought were possible. She was even recently interviewed by the BBC! She doesn’t completely realize what she has created but it’s something that is connecting people all around the world. We now visit her once a month and shoot new videos for two or three days of the newest recipes she wants to share on YouTube.
Have you thought about what you want to do next?
We never expected to come this far but we’re delighted that we took a chance and our families are now very happy and supportive of our work. Our income has also gone up tremendously and our viewership comes from all over the world. We want to build on this success and are already working on a new animation channel for kids and families. We’re excited to create something unique in that space as well.
What advice does Mastanamma have for her viewers?
She says that there is no better food than the food you make yourself. Everyone should learn to cook because it’s healthier and brings people together.
Cloud services are bigger than ever, and Microsoft is taking advantage of that. Just don’t mention the Lumia line, where sales are so poor they’re affecting other marketable areas for Redmond.
The post Lumia who? Microsoft's latest earnings release puts cloud in the spotlight appeared first on Digital Trends.
Editor’s note: This year, we’ve expanded the lens of what you can see on YouTube, transporting you to new places to see new things. We brought virtual reality (VR) features to YouTube’s Android app so that you can feel as though you are right there and 360-degree video support so creators can share new perspectives with their fans. Now we’re widening the lens even further by bringing you a new interactive video format, Google Spotlight Stories. For select Android devices now. More soon.
A humble caretaker is surprised when a mysterious stranger causes mischief on the roof. He investigates, but can’t seem to catch even a glimpse of the troublemaker. And so the chase goes… room to room… up and down… The stranger remains just out of sight, leaving behind only a trail of gifts…
Meanwhile, you’re following the action at your own pace, from whatever angle you please—behind you, to your left, to your right, or in front of you. All on your mobile phone.
Today we’re bringing Google Spotlight Stories to YouTube with “Special Delivery,” an original short film made by Academy Award-winning animation studio Aardman Animations (Wallace and Gromit fans, take note), viewable on the YouTube app on many Android devices.
“Special Delivery” is the latest of several Spotlight Stories to come out of Google ATAP (our Advanced Technology and Projects group). With Google Spotlight Stories, your phone becomes a window to a story happening all around you. The sensors on your phone allow the story to be interactive, so when you move your phone to various scenes, you unlock mini-stories within the story.
We didn’t want anyone to miss Aardman’s “Pink Panther”-style holiday caper! So we also made a YouTube 360 version for other Android devices, iOS devices, and the web. You can find both versions of “Special Delivery” on the Spotlight Stories YouTube channel, and you can also watch with Google Cardboard. Next year, we’ll bring Google Spotlight Stories to more Android devices and the YouTube iOS app.
You’ll want to watch “Special Delivery” a few times to find all the surprises within the story. In the full interactive experience, you’ll encounter 10 subplots, three potential ways to view the ending, and 60+ moments where you can decide to follow the story in different ways. Each viewing is unique. We don’t want to spoil the ending, so that’s all we’ll say for now…
Posted by Kurt Wilms, Senior Product Manager, YouTube VR, recently watched “Special Delivery,” and Rachid El Guerrab, Technical Project Lead, Spotlight Stories, Google ATAP, recently watched “Time Couch.”