1. Upworthy: The video site has raised $8 million in Series A funding led by Spark Capital, an early investor in Tumblr and Twitter, along with Catamount Ventures, Uprising, and the Knight Foundation, according to TechCrunch. Upworthy, which seems to have a knack for making video content go viral, said it uses a tool which helps to evaluate in real time how the audience is responding to any particular post. With over 20 million unique visitors per month, Upworthy seems to be going in the BuzzFeed direction.
2. Netflix: A Netflix executive said that the company gauges the popularity of shows on piracy sites before purchasing them, Variety reports. "When purchasing series, we look at what does well on piracy sites,” Netflix VP of content acquisition Kelly Merryman said, according to a translation of her comments to Tweakers, a Netherlands-based technology website.
3. Roku: Roku is going head-to-head with Chromecast and plans to add the same basic casting functionality to its hardware as Chromecast by supporting the DIAL protocol, The Verge reports. Sony, Vizio, LG, Panasonic and TiVo all have plans for their devices to be DIAL receivers, per GigaOm. DIAL, a multiscreen protocol that was jointly developed by Netflix and YouTube, is clearly on the way to becoming the industry standard.
4. Videogram: Just when you were getting the hang of Vine, now there's Videogram, a new video discovery system from startup Cinemacraft, reports Variety. The Turner-funded Videogram gives users a storyboard-like summary of a video which features highlights from the video (rather than just relying on a thumbnail image). Check out Videogram here.
5. Noah: The Toronto International Film Festival has created a new audience for its short films on YouTube this year. For the first time, shorts from the fest premiered on YouTube. Walter Woodman and Patrick Cederberg's screencasted film "Noah" has already received over half a million views. The film, told completely through a computer and an iPhone screen, follows Noah Lennox react to what he feels is his girlfriend's waning interest in a relationship with him.
Check it out here:
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