Wednesday Wrap-Up #419

Nick Carolan

Screen Australia snaps up emerging video talent
Screen Australia and Snapchat have joined forces on a new initiative aimed at developing and producing premium short-form, scripted Australian vertical video content made for a global audience.

Submissions for the grant need to encompass a proposal for 10 episodes of up to five minutes each, with a team of at least two fulfilling the roles of writer, director and producer. Two mobile series will be created initially, with the chosen recipients receiving $15,000 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Snapchat HQ in Los Angeles to develop their concepts for the platform. Following that initial development period, successful applicants will then be able to apply for production funding from Screen Australia to produce their series in full.

YouTube TV comes to PlayStation 4
YouTube has signed an agreement to bring YouTube TV to the PlayStation 4, making it the first third-party live TV subscription service to launch on Sony’s game console. The move comes as Sony prepares to bid farewell to PlayStation Vue, its own TV streaming service which is due to close at the end of this month.

LinkedIn brings Elevate to Company Pages
LinkedIn has announced that it will be merging Elevate, its employee engagement platform, into its Company Pages suite of tools. As a stand-alone tool, Elevate enables businesses to curate content for team members to share, while providing metrics on how those posts have performed. LinkedIn hopes that bringing the tool to Pages will give users more ways to engage audiences and build employee advocacy on the platform. For now, Elevate will remain a paid-for add-on to Company Pages, however, LinkedIn is said to be reviewing how its fees are structured.

TikTok signs new music licensing deal
As part of its ongoing plans to create a music-streaming service to rival the likes of Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music, TikTok has signed a licensing deal with global agency Merlin, so that music which its labels represent can now be used legally on TikTok anywhere that the app is available. TechCrunch also reports that a source close to TikTok has confirmed that the new deal will cover its upcoming music subscription service, Resso.

Samsung seeks SanctuARy
We’re very proud to announce that we’ve partnered with Samsung Global and Samsung Thailand, Facebook, and the tech wizards at Resn to launch the Samsung SanctuARy. The unique AR experience was created with a view to raising awareness of some of Thailand’s most endangered species by challenging 16 of the best Thai creators to create 10 artistic representations of native species using the AR Doodle feature on the Galaxy Note10. From 14-year-old up-and-coming talent to established artists, the power of collaboration was harnessed and leveraged through Facebook Messenger’s augmented reality capabilities, enabling us to place threatened species directly in the users’ hands and empower others to share the message further.

In a world-first, we also created a disappearing lens for visitors to the lush rooftop garden of Samyan Mitrtown in Bangkok, where they could capture a selfie as an at-risk animal using a face filter that quickly faded from view – further dramatising the plight of those species that are perilously close to fading from our planet.

Digital 2020 is coming!
Digital 2020, our annual compendium of data, trends and insights from the global digital world, launches later this week. Check out last year’s report to get a sense of what’s to come, and make sure you sign up to our newsletter to be among the first to read this year’s edition.

Ones to watch
Instagram has started adding a new Stories @ mention option which highlights any Stories that mention your profile and enables you to easily re-share them; Twitter’s direct messages now come with several emoji reactions including thumbs up, laughing face, heart, and crying face; and Dom Hofmann, the co-creator of Vine, has released a new looping video app, called Byte.