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Indie Spotlight: New Zealanders Showcase ‘Auckward Love’

5 February 2016 4:24 PM, PST

For the leading ladies of Auckward Love, romance is a confusing and complicated process. The comedy web series, which hails from New Zealand, follows a quartet of women as they seek personal fulfillment in Auckland.

On the surface, it is easy to tag Auckward Love as a typical series about the lives of twenty-somethings in the big city. Creator Holly Shervey and her team, however, manage to create a charming and worthwhile series by focusing on steady character development and outrageous situations. The four women at the center of Auckward Love, who all share a flat together, are well-drawn and generally amusing. They're also hilariously profane, so keep that in mind as you check out the first episode.

Auckward Love has managed to get a decent-sized audience thanks to a deal with Television New Zealand, a local, government-owned broadcaster.

Visit Tubefilter for more great stories. »

- Sam Gutelle

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Spike Lee’s ‘Chi-Raq’ Arrives On Amazon Prime

5 February 2016 3:10 PM, PST

For the past few months, Chi-Raq and its outspoken director have received a lot of attention, and now, viewers are welcome to form their own opinions. The Spike Lee-directed feature film, which retells the Greek play Lysistrata on the violent streets of Chicago, is now available on Amazon.

Chi-Raq is not just the latest Spike Lee joint; it’s also the first offering from Amazon Original Movies, which launched last year as an offshoot of the retailer’s Amazon Studios division. The film was initially released with a limited theatrical run on December 4th, and Amazon Prime subscribers now have a chance to check it out as well.

Ahead of Chi-Raq’s release, Lee made headlines by announcing his decision to boycott the Oscars as a protest against the award show’s lack of minority nominees. Chi-Raq was initially speculated as a potential Oscar contender itself, though it has generated a polarizing reception. »

- Sam Gutelle

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Here’s The Trailer For ‘Who’s Driving Doug,’ Co-Starring Ray William Johnson

5 February 2016 1:55 PM, PST

In May 2014, two months after he hosted his =3 web series for the final time, YouTube star Ray William Johnson was revealed as one of the leads in Who’s Driving Doug, an indie film starring former Breaking Bad cast member Rj Mitte. Now, three weeks ahead of the film’s premiere, viewers have received a first look at it thanks to a new trailer.

In Who’s Driving Doug, Mitte plays a handicapped student named Doug who enlists Johnson’s character, Scott, as his personal driver. Together with the third lead character, portrayed by Paloma Kwiatkowski, Doug and Scott embark on a trip to Las Vegas. The film's writer, Michael Carnick, is handicapped himself, and the trailer tells us the story is "inspired by true events." The trailer also dispalys plenty of familiar road movie tropes and a melancholy indie rock soundtrack that includes songs by the band Death Cab For Cutie. »

- Sam Gutelle

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YouTube Star Lilly Singh Shows Up On ‘The Daily Show,’ ‘Today’

5 February 2016 12:36 PM, PST

Lilly Singh’s promotional tour has taken her to a pair of popular TV shows. On February 4th, fewer than two weeks after she hung out with Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show, the YouTube star known as IISuperwomanII appeared on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. The next day, she chatted with Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager on Today.

Singh’s public appearances are connected to the impending launch of her documentary, A Trip To Unicorn Island, which will premiere on YouTube Red on February 10th. In promoting her film, which she created alongside production company Astronauts Wanted, she has recycled a lot of the same anecdotes and retread some of her most familiar topics: Her parents, her fans, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

Across the stops of her publicity tour, Singh has attracted big crowds. During her Today appearance, dozens of her fans, clad in unicorn costumes, »

- Sam Gutelle

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Netflix Renews ‘Orange Is The New Black,’ Sets June 17 Release Date For Season Four

5 February 2016 8:56 AM, PST

One of the crown jewels of Netflix’s original programming push is going to be around for a long time. The streaming video platform has picked up Orange is the New Black, the women’s prison dramedy led by showrunner Jenji Kohan, for three more seasons. The show’s fourth go-round will premiere on June 17th.

Since it first arrived online in 2013, Orange is the New Black has emerged as one of Netflix’s most popular original programs. Across its first three seasons, it has delivered a strong combination of laughs and emotions, picked up some award season recognition, and even spawned its own fan event, Orangecon.

As Oitnb continues its Netflix run, Kohan will stay on as its executive producer and showrunner. “Three more years! Not quite a political term, but still plenty of time to do some interesting things,” she said. “In some cultures, ‘May you lead an interesting life, »

- Sam Gutelle

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With ‘Horace And Pete,’ Louis C.K. Strives For A Truly Immediate TV Show

4 February 2016 3:42 PM, PST

Earlier this week, comedian Louis C.K. surprised his fans by offering the first episode of a new web series, Horace and Pete, on his website. Before launching the show, C.K. offered as little explanation as possible, but in an ensuing email, he provided more context for the program he is creating. Most pertinently, he announced that more episodes of Horace and Pete are coming, and they will cost between $2-3 each.

C.K’s email, which Variety reprinted in full, provides some fascinating insights about the comedian’s creative process. As he explains it, the goal is to create a more immediate show, one that goes straight from production to release, without any promotion in between. “As a writer, there’s always a weird feeling that as you unfold the story and reveal the characters and the tone, you always know that the audience will never get the benefit »

- Sam Gutelle

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YouTube Personality Franchesca Ramsey Joins Comedy Central’s ‘Nightly Show’

4 February 2016 2:53 PM, PST

In videos on her Chescaleigh YouTube channel, Franchesca Ramsey points out problematic behavior and discusses race relations in the modern world. Now, she has landed a new gig that will bring her digital personality to television: She has joined Comedy Central’s The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore as a writer and contributor.

Wilmore announced The Nightly Show’s decision to hire Ramsey at the beginning of February. “We’re very excited to have Franchesca and her tremendous skill set join the show,” he said. “We were just going to hire her skill set, but we agreed to hire her as well. So it’s a win-win.”

On The Nightly Show, race is a common topic, and so Ramsey--who previously appeared on the show as a guest--is a good fit. On February 2nd, 2016, she made her first appearance as a Nightly Show contributor. During her segment, she spoke out against »

- Sam Gutelle

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AwesomenessFilms Strikes Deal To Adapt Ya-Fiction Book Series Called ‘Replica’

4 February 2016 1:43 PM, PST

With its teenaged audience squarely in its mind, AwesomenessFilms has its eyes on the world of young adult fiction, and it has just struck a deal through which it will adapt a pair of upcoming Ya books. The movie production arm of digital network AwesomenessTV has announced its acquisition of the film rights to Replica, the upcoming first novel in a duology written by Lauren Oliver.

Replica, published by HarperCollins will feature the same sci-fi underpinnings used by popular Ya franchises like Divergent and The Maze Runner. It will focus on a young protagonist named Lyra whose life takes a dramatic turn when she escapes from the secret research facility where she was born and raised. Both the upcoming book (which will be released on October 4th) and the greater duology that contains it are titled Replica; release details about the second book in the series aren’t yet known. »

- Sam Gutelle

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Latest ‘Plants Vs. Zombies’ Title Leads YouTube’s List Of Top Trending Games

4 February 2016 11:17 AM, PST

For January 2016, as it does for every month, YouTube Gaming has chronicled the titles that showed the biggest upward trend. The latest “Top Trending Games” list features the latest entry in the Plants Vs. Zombies franchise--Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2--in its number one spot.

What makes the Top Trending Games list interesting is that it eschews the most popular games on YouTube and instead focuses on the titles that have made the most forward progress in the past month. There’s no Minecraft or Call of Duty here; instead, the 10 games on YouTube are a mix of independent, Steam-powered hits, new, Aaa blockbusters, and casual, multiplayer titles. Plants Vs. Zombies lives within the latter two categories, and ahead of Garden Warfare 2's February 23rd release date, publisher EA launched an open beta. Several YouTube gamers, including TheRadBrad, Zack Scott, and MasterOv, used the beta to get an advance look at the upcoming tower-defense title. »

- Sam Gutelle

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With 318 Million Monthly Viewers, BroadbandTV Tops Comscore’s Network Rankings

4 February 2016 9:07 AM, PST

There’s a new top dog in the world of digital networks. Canada-based company BroadbandTV has eclipsed Maker Studios to snag the number one spot in Comscore’s most recent multi-platform network (Mpn) rankings.

The MPNs included in Comscore’s rankings are commonly referred to as multi-channel networks (MCNs); the updated label respects the diversifying nature of the measured companies. The rankings sort the top MPNs by measuring the number of unique, worldwide viewers they claim each month. By that metric, BroadbandTV is at the top, thanks to the 318,983,000 unique viewers it claims across the globe each month. Maker Studios, with more than 246 million uniques, came in second, and Fullscreen, Machinima, and the newly-united Studio71 network reached third, fourth, and fifth place, respectively.

When sorted by other metrics, BroadbandTV still topped the other MPNs Comscore measured. The Vancouver-based network counted 2.7 billion aggregate views in December 2015, and its viewers watched 8.6 million minutes of content that month. »

- Sam Gutelle

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Justin.tv To Relaunch As Snapchat Channel

3 February 2016 4:17 PM, PST

Justin.tv is coming back. The live streaming platform founded by Justin Kan will return as a Snapchat channel, according to a job posting Kan shared on his website.

When it launched in 2007, Justin.tv was one of the first services built entirely around live streams. By 2008, it had more than 30,000 registered users, and it turned a lot of heads--including ours.

Justin.tv’s biggest moment, however, came in 2011, when it launched a video game streaming service called Twitch.tv. Twitch ultimately became much more popular than Justin.tv, and by 2013, its users were streaming more than 12 billion minutes per year. When Amazon purchased Twitch in 2014, the original Justin.tv service shut down, and Twitch’s parent company was renamed Twitch Interactive.

Now, Twitch is back. In his post, Kan says he has become “obsessed with Snapchat,” and he wants to use the messaging app to chronicle his recent adventures »

- Sam Gutelle

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YouTube Star Grace Helbig’s Second Book, ‘Grace & Style,’ Arrives On Shelves

3 February 2016 3:38 PM, PST

In 2014, when YouTube star Grace Helbig released a self-styled advice book called Grace’s Guide, she was at the forefront of a literary trend that had recently arrived within the online video community. Now, two years later, a lot more digital media personalities have written their own books, but there’s still room for Helbig to offer another published work to her viewers. Her second book, Grace & Style, is now available from both digital and brick-and-mortar retailers.

With Grace’s Guide, Helbig delivered her two cents on hangovers, walks of shame, loneliness, and other irreverent topics. Grace & Style, on the other hand, is much more focused: It hones in on the world of fashion, with Helbig satirizing her particular dress sense. “It’s clear to see I’m a style icon,” reads a description of the book on the website of publisher Simon & Schuster, “remember, you can’t spell icon without ‘con. »

- Sam Gutelle

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Top 50 Most Viewed U.S. YouTube Channels • Week Of 1/22/16

3 February 2016 3:15 PM, PST

It's another installment of the weekly Tubefilter Chart of the Top 50 Most Viewed U.S. YouTube Channels and the Biebs cannot be topped.

Chart Toppers

Justin Bieber maintained his #1 spot on the U.S. chart for the twelfth week in a row. The 21-year-old international pop star's online video library stayed constant in its weekly view count and was played to the tune of nearly 187.6 million times. In second place is still Ryan ToysReview. The U.S.-based epitome of family programming featuring an adorable six-year-old playing with toys shot up 12% to top out at more than 164.2 million views.

WWE held onto its third-place position. The YouTube home of all things World Wrestling Entertainment was down up 4% and slammed down over 127.6 million views on the week. FamilyFunPack is next up in the #4 spot. The online video repository of the this American family of seven closed out the week just shy of 113 million views. »

- Joshua Cohen

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Vice’s TV Channel Announces Leadership Team Ahead Of February 29th Launch

3 February 2016 2:22 PM, PST

This month, Vice will make a bold dive into the world of TV, and it will have some experienced executives at its helm. Filmmaker Spike Jonze, Vice Chief Content Officer Eddy Moretti, and former A&E exec Guy Slattery are the three people at the head of Viceland, a TV channel that will launch on February 29th.

Jonze, an Oscar winner, is a frequent Vice collaborator; his presence within the Viceland structure was announced alongside the channel last November. Moretti will serve as co-president alongside Jonze, and Slattery, whose former company ceded its H2 channel to Viceland, will have a leading role as well. “It’s a pretty crazy moment for us that someone’s giving us a TV channel,” said Jonze in a press release. “We’re trying to make the whole thing just be driven by creativity and making something that feels personal. And the exciting thing about »

- Sam Gutelle

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Top 50 Most Viewed YouTube Channels Worldwide • Week Of 1/22/2016

3 February 2016 12:58 PM, PST

Justin Bieber is once again at the top of the charts, with very little signs of slowing down. The 21-year-old international pop star's YouTube channel stayed almost exactly constant in its week-over-week view count. His online video catalog - including music video associated with singles from his fourth studio a album Purpose - was played almost 187.6 million times during the week. In a not-so-distant second place is Ryan ToysReview. The family-friendly channel starring the six-year-old Ryan and his favorite toys climbed 12% to top out the week at more than 164.2 million views.

WWE is up next in the #3 spot. World Wrestling Entertainment's online video repository of match footage and other clips jumped up 7% in views to end the week with more than 127.6 million of them. In fourth place is Mashamedvedtv. The seemingly perennially popular Russian children's cartoon scored just shy of 119.9 million views in the week.

And rounding out the Top 5 is LittleBabyBum. »

- Joshua Cohen

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YouTube Red’s First Four Original Programs Will Arrive On February 10th

3 February 2016 10:18 AM, PST

On its YouTube Red platform, YouTube offers its users ad-free streaming for $9.99 per month. When the subscription service was first announced, YouTube sweetened the deal by announcing a series of original programs--all featuring popular personalities from within the site’s creative community--that would premiere exclusively on Red.

On February 10th, those original programs will begin to show up. On that day, three films and a series will arrive on YouTube Red. The films are A Trip to Unicorn Island, Lilly Singh’s tour documentary; Lazer Team, Rooster Teeth’s sci-fi action adventure; and Dance Camp, which is produced by AwesomenessFilms and stars Meg DeAngelis. The series is Scare PewDiePie, an unscripted offering from YouTube’s most-subscribed channel.

All of the upcoming programs were announced as YouTube Red originals when the service was launched last October. They are all catered to the fanbases of their respective stars, and Youtube is betting »

- Sam Gutelle

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YouTube Millionaires: For The GlamLifeGuru, “Authenticity Is Key”

3 February 2016 8:50 AM, PST

To her fans, Tati Westbrook isn't just a makeup, beauty, fashion, and lifestyle creator--she's the GlamLifeGuru. Westbrook's channel, on which she shares her personal cosmetic advice with her viewers, has slowly but surely built up a big-time following. Nearly five years after launching her first video, Westbrook now has more than one million subscribers, and we talked to her about what that milestone means.

Tf: How does it feel to have 1 million subscribers? What do you want to say to your fans?

Tw: It's absolutely surreal, I'm so incredibly grateful and humbled with the support from the community. To my friends...every single person watching, you matter to me, I see every view, read every comment, feel every like, and it feels incredible to have such an amazing online family.

Tf: Why did you start your YouTube channel in the first place?

Tw: I know the popular answer is to say it was a hobby, »

- Sam Gutelle

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Fund This: ‘Murder Mystery Dinner Party’ Brings Gothic Lit To Life

2 February 2016 4:44 PM, PST

Project Name: Edgar Allan Poe's Murder Mystery Dinner Party

Asking For: $55,000 on Kickstarter

Amount Raised Thus Far (At Time Of Post): $11,956

Days Remaining In Campaign (At Time Of Post): 33

Description: Guess who's coming to dinner? Here's a hint: If you've read a lot of classic lit, you're going to recognize a lot of the guests. Shipwrecked Comedy is behind Edgar Allan Poe's Murder Mystery Dinner Party, a series that will translate its titular scribe's penchant for Gothic settings to a web series format.

As its title suggests, Murder Mystery Dinner Party will take place at a supper gathering that turns deadly, and Poe's guests will be a combination of literary characters and real-life authors. Shipwrecked co-founder Sinead Persaud, for example, will play Poe's muse Lenore, while Lizzie Bennet Diaries star Ashley Clements will join the fun as Charlotte Brontë. Additional characters will be revealed »

- Sam Gutelle

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YouTube Rumored To Be Working On 360-Degree, Live Streaming Video Platform

2 February 2016 3:27 PM, PST

As it has displayed in the past year, YouTube is eager to invest in 360-degree videos, and to that end, it may be planning to host streams that make viewers feel immersed within live events. According to BuzzFeed News, the world’s top video sharing site has talked with camera manufacturers in hopes of establishing an infrastructure for 360-degree, live streaming videos.

On YouTube’s end, 360-degree live streams could potentially offer a new level of immersion for viewers. By watching those streams through virtual reality (Vr) devices like Google Cardboard, YouTube users would be able to get up close and personal with their favorite events. In its report, BuzzFeed embedded a 360-degree video shot at Tomorrowland; live footage from the Edm festival would give viewers a chance to feel as if they’re actually there.

Vr and live streaming are two areas to which YouTube has recently devoted significant resources. »

- Sam Gutelle

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Astronauts Wanted, Bernie Su’s Canvas Team Up For Crime Thriller

2 February 2016 2:44 PM, PST

A pair of digital studios are teaming up for a new web series. Astronauts Wanted, the production company founded by former MTV exec Judy McGrath, will team up with Bernie Su and David Tochterman’s Canvas Media Studios for Socio, an upcoming crime thriller.

Socio will star actress India Eisley as a social media-obsessed teenager who teams up with a detective to hunt down a serial killer. Su described Eisley’s character to The Hollywood Reporter as “a teenage sociopath who operates on social media,” so viewers should expect a darker tone, especially when compared to previous Su projects like The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and Emma Approved.

Both Astronauts Wanted and Canvas are known for productions that use social media as a storytelling device, so their collaborative effort will naturally feature a large number of transmedia integrations. Viewers will be able to follow the main characters on Twitter and interact with them across social sites, »

- Sam Gutelle

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