TIME Media

Here’s How Spotify Plans to Make Video Work

Spotify Press Announcement
Taylor Hill—FilmMagic Spotify founder Daniel Ek speaks during the Spotify New Platform Launch at S.I.R. Studios on May 20, 2015 in New York City.

Spotify is looking to take on YouTube and other video sites

Spotify, which has built its name by letting users stream music, now wants to be a home for video as well. That could be a tricky transition, but one key feature of the platform’s new video content could make it go more smoothly.

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek told the Wall Street Journal that some of Spotify’s video content will be made so it’s just as enjoyable to listen to as it is to watch. Spotify spokesman Graham James confirmed to TIME that such a feature is indeed planned as part of the company’s video rollout but is not yet available.

Letting users listen to just the audio from videos could help boost Spotify consumption and get users more comfortable with firing up videos on the platform. Formerly an audio-only service, many users have probably grown comfortable using Spotify while doing other things rather than focusing all their visual attention on the app.

YouTube enabled a similar feature earlier this year with its YouTube Music Key subscription service, which lets users listen to YouTube videos even when their phones are locked.

TIME Media

This Is How YouTube Is Fighting its Amazon-Owned Rival

FRANCE-INTERNET-TECHNOLOGY-LEWEB12
AFP—AFP/Getty Images A picture shows a You Tube logo on December 4, 2012 during LeWeb Paris 2012 in Saint-Denis near Paris.

It's about to get better for livestreaming video games

YouTube announced Thursday that it will begin live streaming content at 60 frames per second, an important boost that will make it a better platform for streaming video game footage.

For now, the feature is exclusive to browsers compatible with HTML5 — the newest versions of most modern browsers should work fine. In browsers that work with YouTube’s HTML5 player, users will also be able to skip backwards in a livestream and catch up at 1.5x or 2x normal speed.

The changes appear squarely aimed at helping YouTube compete with Twitch, the gaming-focused live-streaming video site Amazon bought for $970 million last year. Twitch can broadcast live-streams at 60 FPS and has amassed a huge following of gaming fans, as well as partnerships with console manufacturers like Sony and Microsoft. Google was reportedly interested in snapping up Twitch to help expand YouTube. Instead, the two sites will be competitors as live streams of e-sports and other gaming content become more popular.

TIME Music

Debunking One of Rock Music’s Original Myths

May 21, 1965
TIME The May 21, 1965, cover of TIME

"Where it once was squaresville to flip for the rock scene, it now is the wiggiest of kicks," TIME declared in 1965

The phrase rock ‘n’ roll first popped up in the pages of TIME in 1955, with a mention that the music business had turned to a trend “known to the teen-age public as ‘cat music’ or ‘rock ‘n’ roll,'” distinguished by “a clanking, socked-out beat, a braying, honking saxophone, a belted vocal, and, too often, suggestive lyrics.”

The idea that rock was largely the music of teenagers became accepted truth. But when TIME devoted its May 21, 1965, cover story to the topic—precisely a half-century ago now—it turned out that it was mostly a myth.

Sure, teens liked the music of the bands listed by the magazine (and what a list: “The Trashmen. The Kinks. Goldie and the Gingerbreads. The Ripchords. Bent Fabric. Reparata and the Delrons. Barry and the Remains. The Pretty Things. The Emotions. The Detergents. Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs. The Guess Who’s. Cannibal and the Headhunters. Them. The Orlons. The Liver-birds. Wump and the Werbles”). In countries like Bulgaria, Cold-War-era governments launched propaganda campaigns to dissuade their young citizens from mimicking the haircuts of the capitalist Beatles. Even in the U.S., a Senate subcommittee was formed to investigate whether the music contributed to juvenile delinquency. Academics studied the subject too, investigating whether the new music was messing with young Americans’ morals.

It’s just that the listeners weren’t only teenagers. The stereotype of the old fogey who hates all that noise turned out not to be true. Even the too-cool-for-pop-music college kids who flocked to folk and jazz were coming around; “On campus, where it once was squaresville to flip for the rock scene, it now is the wiggiest of kicks,” TIME declared.

In fact, when grown-ups started admitting in the ’60s that they actually liked rock, the record companies responded with a big “I told you so,” as the magazine explained:

The sudden public acceptance of rock ‘n’ roll by so many people who supposedly should know better came as no surprise to the record and radio industries. Their surveys have long shown the existence of a vast underground of adult rock ‘n’ roll fans, including those who were raised on Elvis Presley and, though too embarrassed to admit it, never outgrew their hound-dog tastes. Today more than 40% of the “teen beat” records sold in the U.S. are bought by persons over 20. When a Manhattan rock ‘n’ roll disk jockey solicited votes for a “rate the record” feature one recent school-day morning, the station was deluged with 18,000 phone calls, all but a few from housewives. The same feature, aired during prime teen-age listening times, never drew more than 12,000 calls. With a seismographic eye on their markets, many of the sponsors for rock ‘n’ roll radio and TV shows are such Mom-oriented products as detergents, baby lotions and dishwashers.

By 1965, pop music was truly popular: it was the music of everyone everywhere. But while record-label honchos could certainly gloat about that fact, not everyone was happy about it. “We no sooner develop a new dance or something,” one teenager lamented to TIME’s rock reporter, “and our parents are doing it.”

Read the whole story, here in the TIME Vault: The Sound of the Sixties

TIME Media

Real-World Peggy Olson on What She Wants for the ‘Mad Men’ Character After the Credits Roll

Thomas Dunne Books

Jane Maas was a creative director at Ogilvy & Mather and Wells Rich Greene, and president of Earle Palmer Brown. She is the author of Mad Women.

Mad Men gets a lot right, like the three-martini lunches

As a woman in advertising in the 60s and 70s, I’ve been called a real-world Peggy Olson. In the finale of Mad Men, I think Peggy will become a creative director. When I became a creative director at Olgivy in the early 70s, I had men working for me as well as women, and there was really no problem. But I think it’s going to be important for Peggy to soften a little. She’s scrambled her way up and had to develop a tough hide, but I think she’ll do just fine.

Mad Men gets a lot right. The look and feel— you can almost smell the cigarettes—is right. But it’s carried a little far. I don’t think men were hitting on women so overtly. When a new secretary arrived, you didn’t get 12 men gathered around her, but you did get glances. I don’t remember any bottles of booze coming out at 10 in the morning, but certainly at 5 in the evening if we were working late.

There were indeed the three-martini lunches. Men took part in that, and they did happen every day. Women didn’t—in part because we couldn’t afford it because we being paid 50 to 60% what the man in the next office was. It was also a matter of calories. And we also had a firmer work ethic: Someone had to be in the office at 2 o’clock. The senior men had couches in their office and could take a nap.

The senior men also had the most amorous relationships in the office: They had offices with doors that locked, and couches. I wasn’t aware of any industry except the world of advertising where sex was so prevalent. There was a lot of adultery and sex going on, in the office, at night when people were working late, and in hotel rooms near the agency.

We women copywriters and account executives were so grateful to be allowed into this male world that we didn’t feel that we were being treated badly. Mad Men has women such as Joan realize they’re being ill-treated. But I think it took us a long time. There were a lot of protest movements—the Civil Rights Movement, the Gay Rights Movement—before women began to think that we’d better do something about our status. It wasn’t until the end of the 1970s that the women’s rights movement raised its head.

I remember one time when we were representing Maxim Coffee, the world’s first freeze-dried coffee, and Patricia Neal, the Academy Award winning actress, was our spokeswoman. I wrote commercials for her where she’d say, “I think Maxim is a wonderful coffee. But more important, my husband thinks so, too.” I look at that commercial now and I think, “Oh my God, Did I write that drivel?” But that’s the way the world was. Advertising at its best mirrors society. It doesn’t lead society.

Only about 3% of the creative directors in advertising are women today. You know the advertising slogan, “You’ve come a long way baby”? I don’t think we’ve come such a long way as we think, baby.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Media

Hulu Is Suddenly Assembling a Pretty Killer Lineup

The cast of The Mindy Project
NBC/Getty Images The cast of The Mindy Project

Nabbing The Mindy Project shows the streaming service is serious about competing with bigger rivals

In the online video streaming wars, Hulu has felt like a perennial also-ran for years. The company introduced a generation to the concept of legally streaming television shows online when it debuted in 2007, but its premium video offering, called Hulu Plus, has never received the critical or commercial attention of competitors like Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video.

Suddenly, that’s all changing. Hulu announced Friday that it secured the rights to season four of The Mindy Project, the recently cancelled Fox sitcom helmed by former The Office star Mindy Kaling. It’s just the latest in a string of recent announcements that could give Hulu the library it needs to be appeal to the growing legion of cord-cutters looking for cheaper ways to watch TV.

Hulu scored big in April by tying up the rights to stream the entire run of Seinfeld, marking the first time the show would appear on an online service. The deal, which reportedly cost Hulu more than $150 million, takes the last of the ‘90s most iconic sitcoms off the market from competitors — Friends was snapped up by Netflix last year and The Simpsons now has its own dedicated streaming app. Hulu also has exclusive streaming rights to South Park and the original CSI, as well non-exclusive rights to popular shows from NBC, ABC, Fox and Comedy Central, among others. All told, the service has developed into a more-than-viable option for the binge watchers of the world.

In terms of current shows, Hulu beats its rivals for keeping up with what’s on TV right now. The service is jointly owned by NBC, Fox and Disney, meaning it boasts a large selection of shows from their networks available one day after they air on television. Empire, Fox’s spring breakout hit, for example, streams exclusively on Hulu. On Netflix, the latest seasons of exclusive shows like Mad Men typically don’t appear until months after they aired on TV. For people who want to dump cable but still be able to watch broadcast shows on-demand, Hulu is a solid alternative (though current CBS shows typically aren’t available).

Hulu’s library of past and current hits has proven attractive with customers. The service now has almost 9 million paying subscribers in the U.S., up from 6 million a year ago. That’s far from Netflix’s 40 million, though it has grown into a sizable userbase. But to reach Netflix levels, Hulu needs strong original programming to define its brand. So far, the service’s original shows have mostly been low-budget fare that failed to garner attention—Hulu is still waiting for its House of Cards. That could come with 11/22/63, a new JFK assassination thriller starring James Franco that’s slated to premiere next year. And, of course, exclusive episodes of The Mindy Project will certainly help.

There are big flaws in Hulu’s service, though. The ads, even for paying customers, feel like a frustrating byprodcut of the service’s network ownership, and its movie selection is abysmal compared to Netflix and Amazon. However, it’s become clear that Hulu doesn’t want to be seen as an afterthought behind its more well-known competitors — the fact that it’s the cheapest of the bunch at $7.99 per month also helps. As more big exclusives hit the service, the former runt of the streaming litter will be harder to ignore.

TIME Media

TiVo Wants to Totally Change TV — Again

TiVo
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images A TiVo Inc. remote control is displayed at Pepcom DigitalFocus in New York, U.S., on Thursday, April 11, 2013.

It wants to bring the Aereo model back from the dead

TiVo—remember them?—has plans to imitate Aereo, the live-TV streaming service whose business model was ruled illegal by the Supreme Court. TiVo CEO Tom Rogers told Multichannel News that his company, mostly known for its DVRs, is planning to launch a service that is “kind of the Aero model, done legally and better.”

Aereo allowed customers to live-stream content from broadcast television networks over the Internet for a monthly fee and save programming to watch later using a cloud-based DVR service. The company used tiny, remotely-located antennae to pick up the broadcast signals of networks like CBS, then streamed the content to users on their phones and tablets. However, Aereo didn’t pay the broadcasters for their content, leading to a fatal Supreme Court decision that resulted in Aereo’s end last summer.

It’s not clear which parts of Aereo’s model TiVo wants to mimic, or how the company would do so without running afoul of the law. According to Multichannel News, the play could be to bundle over-the-air networks delivered via the Internet with subscription services like Netflix or Hulu. However, if TiVo is forced to pay the networks retransmission fees to carry their content, it could be tough to make such an offering cheaper than the basic TV packages that cable operators already offer.

A TiVo spokesperson told Multichannel that the company has a product announcement planned for July. Meanwhile, TiVo acquired Aereo’s customer list and other assets for $1 million back in March. So it’s fair to expect something unusual this summer from the the company that already changed the way we watch TV once.

TIME Media

There’s Finally a Cheaper Alternative to Spotify

Rdio Select will let you listen to a small number of songs on-demand every day

For years, $9.99 has been the standard price for ad-free, on-demand music streaming services like Spotify and Beats Music. But now it looks like companies are finally experimenting with new business models.

Rdio, a small but longstanding player in music streaming, announced Thursday a stripped-down version of its subscription service that costs just $3.99 per month. The new service, called Rdio Select, will allow users to select up to 25 songs per day out of Rdio’s library to listen to on demand as often as they like online or offline.

Users can also listen to ad-free streaming radio stations and skip past tracks on these stations whenever they want. The service will also feature curated playlists to help users find new songs to place in their rotating selection of 25 on-demand tunes.

Rdio Select is an interesting compromise between the free, ad-supported streaming tiers that struggle to make money for artists or the companies that run them and the $10-per-month plans that have so far appealed to only a small sliver of the music-listening public (Rdio still offers services in both those categories). The company points out that its new service costs less than $50 per year, which is around the price that the average music buyer spends on recorded music each year. Services like Spotify, Beats Music, and Rdio’s high-end tier are asking users to spend $120 per month on songs, more than double the consumer average.

Rdio isn’t the first company to try the straddle the line between a free service and full-on premium subscription. Rhapsody last year unveiled its unRadio service, which also allows users to listen to radio ad-free and download a select number of songs for $4.99 per month.

TIME Media

TIME on Pot: 5 Cover Stories About Marijuana

See how society's view evolved over the decades

This week’s TIME cover story examines how little we actually know about marijuana’s effects on our brains, even as cities and states around the United States are legalizing the drug.

It’s not the first time marijuana has been cover-story material. TIME has published five cover stories about the drug that, taken together, show how society’s view of marijuana has evolved over two decades.

Read the new cover story here, on Time.com: The Great Pot Experiment

TIME Media

Read the TIME Essay That Advocated for the Vietnam War

US Marines landing in Da Nang.  (Photo b
Larry Burrows—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty US Marines landing in Da Nang in 1965

Fifty years ago, the magazine made the case for it being 'the right war at the right time'

It’s easy to forget now, 40 years after the Fall of Saigon and freshly removed from the prospect of Iraq and Afghanistan lapsing into “another Vietnam,” that there was a time when many believed that escalation in Vietnam was the right thing to do. Among the prominent voices who felt that way were the editors of TIME who, 50 years ago today, on May 14, 1965, published an influential essay backing the President’s decision to step up the ground campaign in Asia. It was, the headline proclaimed, “The Right War at the Right Time”:

Obviously, after overcoming his early hesitation, Lyndon Johnson will not allow the U.S. to be pushed out of Viet Nam. For if that were to happen, Americans would only have to make another stand against Asian Communism later, under worse conditions and in less tenable locations. As Demosthenes said about expansionist Macedonia in the 4th century B.C.: “You will be wise to defend yourselves now, but if you let the opportunity pass, you will not be able to act even if you want to.” Despite all its excruciating difficulties, the Vietnamese struggle is absolutely inescapable for the U.S. in the mid-60s—and in that sense, it is the right war in the right place at the right time.

Anticipating counterarguments, the essay swatted away objections. An American offensive wouldn’t be interfering with a civil war because Communism was a worldwide issue. South Vietnam’s continued fighting was indication that they wanted help. Once Communism was entrenched, it was nearly impossible to get rid of. A Communist Vietnam would seek to dominate the region. There was no evidence that U.S. involvement would draw in China or Russia. Events in Asia did matter to American interests. And, finally, there was no value in negotiating with Communists. All in all, the essay concluded, the critics of the war had no ground on which to stand.

The magazine would later change its perspective. In recent conversations about the war, former TIME Saigon bureau chief Peter Ross Range said that he sensed a shift after the Tet Offensive in 1968. “We were all news reporters, but I think there was a shared attitude, a widely shared attitude especially among younger correspondents like me, that the war was not a good thing,” he said. “It was never discussed openly at the magazine but if you read the magazine over time, over the last year before I went, you would get very much the same feeling.”

Years later, after the end of the Cold War, another TIME essay revisited the idea, positing that though the Cold War may have been the right war, Vietnam was the wrong battle—and, the piece concluded, the consequences of that wrong decision would continue to be felt for many years to come.

Read the full 1965 essay, here in the TIME Vault: The Right War at the Right Time

TIME Social Networking

You’re About to Get News on Facebook in a Whole New Way

Facebook Announces New Launcher Service For Android Phones
Justin Sullivan—Getty Images A Facebook employee holds a laptop with a "like" sticker on it during an event at Facebook headquarters during an event at Facebook headquarters on April 4, 2013 in Menlo Park, California.

News outlets will start publishing stories directly to Facebook

Facebook users are no strangers to seeing and sharing news stories in their News Feed, especially on mobile devices. But they’re about to experience them in a whole new way.

The social networking giant will begin publishing articles from nine partner publications directly onto its mobile platform starting Wednesday, the company announced. Instant Articles, as the long-rumored new product is called, will include content from the New York Times, BuzzFeed, NBC, The Guardian, The Atlantic, National Geographic, BBC News, Spiegel and Bild.

“As more people get their news on mobile devices, we want to make the experience faster and richer on Facebook,” product manager Michael Reckhow wrote in an introduction. “People share a lot of articles on Facebook, particularly on our mobile app. To date, however, these stories take an average of eight seconds to load, by far the slowest single content type on Facebook. Instant Articles makes the reading experience as much as ten times faster than standard mobile web articles.”

Facebook says the platform will offer a rich multimedia experience including high-resolution photos and auto-play videos. However, the deal has also raised questions and concerns about whether the new publication method will undercut media partners’ business models.

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