Google NZ’s Ross Young with Courtenay Creative Co-founder Kristy Grant
This week I headed along to the opening of Courtenay Creative, a new space in the heart of Wellington that will host workshops, exhibitions, live performances, rehearsals and training for the screen and creative industries. Wellington already has a strong reputation for having some of the world’s best screen talent, thanks in no small part to the work of Sir Peter Jackson and the presence of Weta Workshop. Courtenay Creative has been cofounded by Kristy Grant and her business partner Jamie Selkirk, an industry legend in who received an Academy Award for his editing work on Lord of the Rings trilogy. Google has lent its support to Courtenay Creative, and its sister institution, the Miramar Creative Centre, which opened in partnership with Victoria University in 2017. One of the ways we plan to remain involved is by holding a YouTube creator workshop with the Miramar Creative Centre in 2019. We’ve chosen to support these projects because of the tangible benefits they generate for Wellington’s creative community. They provide a space for students from Massey, Toi Whakaari, Te Auaha and Victoria University to showcase their work, and to gain valuable contacts and knowledge from industry professionals. We’ve also lent our support knowing how important YouTube is becoming as a channel for young creators to get started, grow audiences, and build careers. YouTube is already the platform of choice for Kiwis who want to watch high quality video content online, with millions of us watching every month. It’s encouraging to see spaces like Courtenay Creative opening which give younger generations of New Zealanders practical pathways to careers in the screen and creative industries. I’m proud that Google is playing a modest role, and i’m looking forward to enjoying the colour and energy that Courtenay Creative will add to Wellington’s already vibrant cultural life. Posted by Ross Young, Public Policy and Government Relations, Google New Zealand
Krystal and Mario from Tikilounge Productions, creators of Housiewives
Last night I joined around a hundred New Zealand based creators and members of the creative community at the Auckland Art Gallery to celebrate the launch of three new Kiwi web series on YouTube. The series were funded through Skip Ahead, a joint initiative between Google New Zealand and NZ On Air designed to help local rising stars create unique online content and engage new audiences around the world. Along with the funding, the creators of the series also travelled to Sydney for mentoring and training from renowned Australian directors and producers, Julie Kalceff and Mike Jones. This work reflects the diversity of talent that exists here in New Zealand. Finding Jeremy is the story of a Christchurch family’s search for a US serviceman they were trapped with inside the Hotel Grand Chancellor following the 2011 quake, Housiewives is a hilarious South-Auckland dramedy with a soap-style ‘whodunnit’ plot, and Rainbow Buddies is an animated educational series for toddlers.
Amber and Andy from Bus Life NZ, creators of Finding Jeremy
YouTube is committed to supporting Kiwi creators, and it was great to celebrate the launch of these series with everyone who had worked so hard to put them together. It’s encouraging to note too, that 100 Kiwi YouTube creators now have at least 100,000 subscribers, which is the point where many turn their content into a career, whether full or part time. We want to encourage even more Kiwi creators to find their place on the global stage that is YouTube. At the event, I announced that from 2019 we’ll do just this by hosting YouTube creator workshops that will be offered to local creators around New Zealand, including the regions. This will allow us to meet, teach and work with more local creators in more parts of the country.
Caroline Rainsford addressing guests at the celebration
Working with NZ On Air on Skip Ahead has been a really enjoyable and constructive experience to shine a light on the unique and diverse talent in this country. Now, we’re looking forward to hosting creator workshops to help even more Kiwis kick start careers in an ever-changing media environment. Posted by Caroline Rainsford, NZ Country Manager
We launched our first Chromecast in 2013 with the aim to make it easy to get your favorite content right from your phone to your TV. With thousands of compatible apps to cast from, people are tapping the Cast button more than ever. And since Chromecast, the Made by Google family of products has continued to grow, bringing the best of hardware, software, and AI together. So for this 5th year of Chromecast, we wanted to share the top 5 reasons we’re excited about our newest Chromecast:
Fits right in. With a new design and two colors - Chalk and Charcoal - Chromecast blends in with your decor and the rest of the Made by Google family.
Stream hands-free. Chromecast and Google Home work seamlessly together. Just say what you want to watch from compatible services, like YouTube or Netflix, and control your TV just by asking. Try, “Hey Google, play Lost in Space from Netflix.” (You’ll need a Netflix subscription to get started).
Picture perfect at 60fps. Our newest Chromecast supports streaming in 1080p at 60 frames per second, giving you a more lifelike image. So when you’re watching the game, it will feel even more like you’re there.
More than a screen, it’s a canvas. With Ambient Mode, you can personalize your TV with a constantly updating stream of the best and latest photos taken by you, your friends and your family from Google Photos. With new Live Albums from Google Photos, you can enjoy photos of people and pets you care about and skip blurry photos and duplicates- all without lifting a finger. New photos will show up automatically on your TV - no uploading hassles.
And still has an RRP of just $69 So it’s the perfect gift this upcoming holiday season for the streamer in your life.
The new Chromecast is available in New Zealand from the Google Store, Noel Leeming, Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi, The Warehouse & others starting today.
Keep on streaming!
PS - if you’re looking for the perfect companion for your 4K TV, check out Chromecast Ultra to stream in up to 4K UHD, HDR, and Dolby Vision. Posted by Jess Bonner, Chromecast PM
The kākāpō is the only flightless parrot, and one of the rarest birds in the entire world. Only 148 of them remain, all on tiny islands off the coast of New Zealand. Here on these remote windswept sanctuaries, a dedicated team of rangers and researchers works around the clock to keep the world's last kākāpō safe from predators and help restore the species to its ancestral home.
These pristine preserves have always been off-limits to visitors, but starting today we're giving everyone a ticket inside. Now with Google Maps Street View and Google Earth, you can virtually step into the home of the kākāpō and explore prehistoric New Zealand just as it was millions of years before the first boat ever landed on its shores. Immerse yourself even further with a special video from David Attenborough and the New Zealand Department of Conservation.
The kākāpō recovery team monitors each bird in the field and conducts regular health checks and other scientific analysis.
Until land mammals were introduced by human settlers, New Zealand had none at all. In their absence, a variety of birds evolved over millions of years to fill the ecological niches that their mammalian counterparts would usually occupy. Kākāpō took on a similar role to rabbits and other burrowing mammals — they are nocturnal, herbivorous, well-camouflaged, and have a keen sense of smell. Most critically, they lost their ability to fly and instead took on other adaptations that allowed them to become one of the most common birds in New Zealand up until several hundred years ago.
The arrival of new predators (like rats and stoats) devastated the kākāpō and their populations fell dramatically. In 1894, the naturalist Richard Henry pioneered the approach of relocating kākāpō to predator-free offshore islands, but his efforts were stymied by the expansion of invasive predators to these islands as well. Numerous other relocation and conservation attempts followed for the next century, but kākāpō numbers continued to fall. By 1995, only 51 kākāpō survived, all on offshore islands.
In 1996, a new kākāpō recovery plan was put into action, and since then the population has recovered to more than 150 birds. Today's conservation strategy includes supplemental feeding and nest monitoring during breeding season, as well as the tracking and monitoring of every living kākāpō. Ongoing scientific research also helps ensure the continued success of the recovery effort. For example, the kākāpō recently became the first species to have a complete genome sequencing done for every single living individual — this will be critical to maintaining genetic diversity with such a severely constrained population.
The rugged conditions on the kākāpō islands made this one of the most challenging Street View projects ever conducted in New Zealand.
Although we don't have a time machine to take you back to prehistoric New Zealand, these carefully-maintained island sanctuaries are the next best thing. To give you a tour, we airlifted the Street View Trekker to two of these islands — Whenua Hou and Anchor Island — and explored the forests where kākāpō still thrive. Now you can explore both of these preserves in Street View and get a different kind of bird's eye view.
It's currently conservation week in New Zealand, and around the entire world it's the Year of the Bird. We can't imagine a better time to share this story with you! And if you fall in love with these plucky little parrots, remember that you don't need to be a ranger on a windswept southern isle to help out - there are plenty of ways that you can help save native birds in every corner of the globe. So wherever you are, spread your wings and join us in Google Earth and Street View to explore the ancient forests of the kākāpō.
Posted by Stafford Marquardt, Product Manager, Google Maps Street View
The wait is over! Starting today, YouTube Music is available to everyone in New Zealand, Australia, the U.S, Mexico and South Korea* in addition to 12 new countries including Austria, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Now fans around the world can find more of the music they love and effortlessly discover new favourites. YouTube Music is a new music streaming service built on top of all the music on YouTube that you can’t find anywhere else - personalised and all simply organised in one new app and web player. Here’s how it all comes together:
Recommendations built for you. A home screen that dynamically adapts to provide recommendations based on the artists and songs you’ve played before, where you are and what you’re doing. Chilling at the beach with friends? Need some motivation? The right music is right here, built just for you.
Thousands of playlists across any genre, mood or activity. Try The Happiest Pop for brighter tunes on a cloudy day, the Pop Hotlist for the biggest hits around the world or Distrito Latino for Latin pop hits of the moment.
Smart search so we’ll find the song, even if you can’t remember what it’s called. “That space-themed Spice Girls song in the desert.” Here you go. You can also search by lyrics (even if they’re wrong). It’s “Hold me closer, Tony Danza”, right?
Ad-free listening, downloads and more. Get YouTube Music Premium to listen ad-free, in the background and on-the-go with downloads. Plus, your Offline Mixtape automatically downloads songs you love just in case you forgot to. For a limited time, get three months free of YouTube Music Premium, ($12.99 per month after, $19.99 per month for a Family Plan)*.
YouTube Premium also launches today Starting today, YouTube Premium (formerly YouTube Red) will be available in 17 countries, providing members with the benefits of Music Premium, plus ad-free, background, and downloads across all of YouTube. YouTube Premium members also get access to the full slate of YouTube Originals shows and movies including the hit series Cobra Kai, Impulse, F2 Finding Football and The Sidemen Show. For a limited time, get three months free of YouTube Premium here, ($15.99 per month after, $23.99 per month for a Family Plan)*. Current YouTube Red and Google Play Music members (including family plans) in New Zealand, Australia, the U.S., and Mexico will automatically receive access to YouTube Premium at their current price. Google Play Music subscribers in all other countries will automatically receive access to YouTube Music Premium at their current price as it becomes available there. Nothing is changing with Google Play Music - you'll still be able to access all of your purchased music, uploads and playlists in Google Play Music just like always. Try YouTube Music and YouTube Premium Get the new YouTube Music from the Play Store and App Store today or check out the brand new web player at music.youtube.com. You can sign up for YouTube Premium at youtube.com/premium. *YouTube Music Premium is $12.99 per month and YouTube Premium is $15.99 per month for individual memberships in New Zealand. Pricing and Family Plan availability varies by country. Only first-time YouTube Premium, YouTube Music Premium, YouTube Red and Google Play subscribers are eligible for free trials. South Korea will only offer YouTube Premium at the current price of YouTube Red.
Industry has long been talking about the need for STEM skills in our future workforce, and increasingly we’re seeing that a core competency in computational thinking is critical for the jobs of the future. To equip teachers with the skills needed to both inspire and prepare students for this future we are delighted to announce our 2018 Google Educator Professional Development Grant recipients.
Google’s Educator PD Grants (formerly CS4HS) program has been running in Australia and New Zealand since 2011, and in that time has trained over 12,000 teachers. The program aims to equip teachers through practical professional development workshops, giving them the skills and resources they need to confidently teach computational thinking and computer science concepts in new and exciting ways.
A recipient of our 2017 program Mahsa Mohaghegh from Auckland University of Technology’s workshop was held in November 2017 and included hands-on activities for teachers to engage in. Attendee Barry Hook, a Computer Science teacher, who has attended several workshops shared that the hands on activities offered, along with the opportunity to connect with peers are the key to building confidence and skills in teachers to deliver the digital technologies curriculum.
“The major thing we have here [in NZ] is a curriculum which defines what we have to do, but not how we do it. Without having conversations outside of your normal confidence area, you just can’t expand your experience," said Barry. "Until today, I’d never thought of using the Internet of Things. Suddenly, I have a purpose for which I can use some of my robotics resources. It suddenly introduces a twist, and it’s that twist which will make the kids find it more interesting; students which are currently losing interest will now have something to excite them again.”
New Zealand Educators at the Auckland University of Technology CS4HS 2017 Workshop
Conferences and workshops like these connect like-minded educators, and has allowed Barry to “open up conversations or ways and approaches which I would not have had the opportunity to observe in my own development online”. Discussing his PD exposure, he said, “I basically rely upon these Google conferences as my sole source of non-self-directed professional development.”
We’re excited to announce the following 2018 CS Educator Grants Awardees, which will continue to motivate and inspire educators like Roxy and Peter around Australia and New Zealand.
Last week we announced the new YouTube Music. Today, we’re excited to start rolling out early access of the new YouTube Music in the U.S., Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea. To be the first to know when it’s available for you, head to music.youtube.com/coming-soon.
Here are six reasons we think you’re gonna like it:
It’s ALL here. Not just music videos, but official albums, singles, remixes, live performances, covers and hard-to-find music you can only get on YouTube.
Recommendations built for you. A home screen that dynamically adapts to provide recommendations based on what you’ve played before, where you are and what you’re doing. At the gym workin’ on that fitness? Escaping during your commute? The right music is right here, built just for you.
Thousands of playlists across any genre, mood or activity. Try “Blogged 50” to discover new music or “Indie Under Pressure” to get the heart rate going.
Smart search so we’ll find the song, even if you can’t remember what it’s called. “That rap song with flute”? We got you. You can also search by lyrics (even if they’re wrong). It’s “Starbucks lovers”, right?
The hottest videos. We’ll keep you on top of what’s hot! The hottest videos in the world right now are right there, on their own dedicated Hotlist screen. Today in the U.S., it features Anderson.Paak, Jessie Reyez, and G-Eazy.
No internet? No problem. Paid members can download music and listen ads-free and in the background. Plus, your Offline Mixtape automatically downloads songs you love just in case you forgot to.
To the Google Play Music users out there, nothing will change - you’ll still be able to access and add to all of your purchased music, uploads and playlists in Google Play Music just like always. For additional information on what we announced last week, be sure to check out our blog. We can’t wait for music fans across the globe to get their hands on YouTube Music! If you’re interested in learning more and getting access, head to music.youtube.com/coming-soon. Elias Roman, Product Manager, YouTube Music. Recently played Miranda lambert - Little Red Wagon.
From Beyonce’s livestream at Coachella to landmark videos like “Despacito”, “New Rules” and “This Is America,” more than 1 billion music fans come to YouTube each month to be part of music culture and discover new music. It’s also where over 2 million artists come to share their voices and art with the world. YouTube is where artists and fans connect: creating and discovering a world of music.
But YouTube was made for video, not just music. On Wednesday, May 23 (NZST), we’ll be changing that by introducing YouTube Music, a new music streaming service made for music with the magic of YouTube: making the world of music, including your favourite Kiwi artists, easier to explore and more personalised than ever. The days of jumping back and forth between multiple music apps and YouTube are over. Whether you want to listen, watch or discover, it’s all here.
YouTube Music is a new music streaming service made for music: official songs, albums, thousands of playlists and artist radio plus YouTube’s tremendous catalog of remixes, live performances, covers and music videos that you can’t find anywhere else - all simply organised and personalised. For the first time, all the ways music moves you can be found in one place.
So what is YouTube Music exactly?
A new music streaming service from YouTube
A reimagined mobile app and brand new desktop player that are designed for music.
YouTube Music has thousands of playlists, which also surface local Kiwi artists, the official versions of millions of songs, albums, artist radio and more, in addition to all the music videos people expect from YouTube.
Find more of the music you’re looking for, including from your favourite Kiwi artists
Remixes, covers, live versions as well as deep cuts you can’t find anywhere else – from the biggest artists in the world, your favourite local Kiwi artists, to the freshest voices breaking through.
Effortlessly discover new music and new Kiwi artists
YouTube Music’s personalised home screen dynamically adapts to provide recommendations based on people’s listening history, where they are and what they’re doing. At the airport? We’ll recommend something relaxing before the flight. Entering the gym? We’ll suggest some beats to get the heart-rate going.
Thousands of playlists built to help you discover new music. That means no matter what kind of music you like, where you are, what you’re doing, or what mood you’re in, you can easily find the right playlist for that moment.
While fans can enjoy the new ad-supported version of YouTube Music for free, we’re also launching YouTube Music Premium, a paid membership that gives you background listening, downloads and an ad-free experience for AU$11.99 a month. If you are a subscriber to Google Play Music, good news, you get a YouTube Music Premium membership as part of your subscription each month. And if you use Google Play Music, nothing will change -- you’ll still be able to access all of your purchased music, uploads and playlists in Google Play Music just like always.
To extend the features of YouTube Music Premium beyond the music app, we’re soon introducing YouTube Premium, the new name for our YouTube Red subscription service. YouTube Premium includes ad-free, background and offline across all of YouTube, as well as access to all YouTube Originals including Cobra Kai, Step Up: High Water and Youth & Consequences. YouTube Premium will continue to provide an ad-free experience, background play, and downloads across the millions of videos on YouTube. But because it includes our brand new YouTube Music service, the price will be NZ$15.99 for all new members. If you’re already a YouTube Red (soon to be YouTube Premium) member, don’t worry you’ll still enjoy your current price.
Starting Wednesday (NZST), we're rolling out the new YouTube Music experience in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and South Korea*. It will expand more broadly in the coming weeks. We’ll also soon be launching in Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. If you want to know when the new YouTube Music is available in your country, head to music.youtube.com/coming-soon and let us know you’re interested.
*South Korea will only offer the YouTube Premium membership, not YouTube Music Premium.
Since launching YouTube Red in 2015, we’ve been thrilled with how people are enjoying the service, whether it’s downloading videos for a flight, binging the first season of Cobra Kai, or listening to the wide breadth of ad-free music. As part of ongoing enhancements to the member experience, today we’re excited to announce that YouTube Red is becoming YouTube Premium!
The new YouTube Premium includes:
The new YouTube Music: ad-free, with background listening and downloads
More, bigger original series and movies
Ad-free, background play, and downloads across YouTube
It’s all coming soon to even more countries.
The new YouTube Music is a music streaming service that combines music listening with the magic of YouTube: making the world of music easier to explore and more personalised than ever. YouTube Music includes a reimagined mobile app and brand new desktop player that are designed for music.
YouTube Premium unlocks the full YouTube Music experience: ad-free music, background listening, and downloads.
With YouTube Premium, you’ll get access to the full slate of YouTube Originals, including recent hits like the Karate Kid-inspired series, Cobra Kai, the dance drama, Step Up: High Water, and upcoming series like the sci-fi thriller, Impulse, and Liza Koshy's Liza on Demand.
More new Originals from around the globe are on the way—featuring comedies, dramas, reality series and action adventure shows from the U.K., Germany, France, Mexico, and more.
Ad-free, background play, and downloads across YouTube
YouTube Premium will continue to provide an ad-free experience, background play, and downloads across the millions of videos on YouTube, which simultaneously supports our incredible creators and artists.
Pricing and Availability
YouTube Premium rolls out soon in existing markets: the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, and South Korea*. It’s also coming soon to new markets: Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. We look forward to more expansion throughout 2018 and beyond.
YouTube Premium will be available for NZ$15.99 per month or you can unlock the full experience of the new YouTube Music by itself with Music Premium for NZ$12.99 per month.
When YouTube Premium launches, YouTube Red members will automatically receive access at their current price. In countries where YouTube Red is currently available, a new member can also secure this price ($12.99 in New Zealand) by joining now at youtube.com/red.**
*South Korea will only offer YouTube Premium at the current price of YouTube Red. **If that price changes in the future, we will give plenty of notice.
Last year, we outlined Google’s commitment to comply with Europe’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), across all of the services we provide in the European Union. We’ve been working on our compliance efforts for over eighteen months, and ahead of the new law coming into effect, here’s an update on some of the key steps we've taken.
Improved user controls Every day, nearly 20 million people around the globe visit My Account, our central hub that brings together all the different ways you can review your Google security, privacy and ad settings. As part of our GDPR compliance efforts, we’ve improved both the controls and the clarity of information in My Account so that people are better informed about how and why their data is collected. Within My Account, you can:
Use Activity Controls to choose what activity is saved to your Google Account. We provide simple on/off switches to control Location History, Web and App Activity, YouTube Search History and more, across all devices that are signed in to your account.
View or delete data—including search history, location history, browsing history—from our services using My Activity. To make it easier to browse your past online activity, we have given you tools to search by topic, date, and product. You can permanently delete specific activities, entire days or weeks of activity that you don’t want associated with your account.
Take a Security Checkup or Privacy Checkup to reassure yourself that your account is secure, and that your privacy settings work for you. We’ve recently added an option that allows you to subscribe to more frequent prompts to take the Privacy Checkup.
Manage or mute the ads you see on Google, on websites and in apps using the recently upgraded Ads Settings tool and Mute This Ad control. We have provided more information about how and why certain ads are personalized, and will also be further simplifying the look and feel of these tools in the coming months.
Get a clear overview of all the Google products that you use—and the data associated with them—via Google Dashboard. We’ve recently made the Dashboard more mobile-friendly so it's now easy to use across different devices.
Improved data portability Since its launch in 2011, people around the world have used our Download Your Data tool to export data from products like Google Photos, Drive, Calendar, Google Play Music and Gmail, either to their own computer, or to storage services like OneDrive, Dropbox and Box. We are further improving and expanding this feature, adding more Google services, including more contextual data controls, and creating a new setting that helps people schedule regular downloads.
While we’ve enabled people to download data from our services for many years, the GDPR encourages companies to enable direct service-to-service data transfers where feasible, for example from Google Photos to another photo service. To support that aim, we've recently initiated the Data Transfer Project on GitHub, providing early-stage open source code that will, in time, be of use to any developer wanting to offer seamless transfer of data from one service directly into an alternative (or vice versa).
Parental consent and improved tools for children online. Under the new rules, companies must get consent from parents to process their children’s data in certain circumstances. To obtain that consent and to make sure that parents and children have the tools to manage their online experiences, we’re rolling out Family Link–already available in various countries around the world–throughout the EU.
Through Family Link, parents can create a Google Account for their child and are required to provide consent for certain processing of their child’s data. Family Link also allows parents to set certain digital ground rules on their child’s Android device– like approving or blocking apps, keeping an eye on screen time, or remotely locking their child’s device. We plan to evolve Family Link’s functionality over time, working closely with parents and advocacy groups.
Helping our business customers and partners The GDPR places new obligations on Google, but also on any business providing services to people in the EU. That includes our partners around the globe: advertisers, publishers, developers and cloud customers. We’ve been working with them to prepare for May 25th, consulting with regulators, civil society groups, academics, industry groups and others.
For our advertising partners, we’ve clarified how our advertising policies will change when the GDPR takes effect. We already ask publishers to get consent from their users for the use of our ad tech on their sites and apps under existing legislation, but we’ve now updated that requirement in line with GDPR guidance. We’re also working closely with our publisher partners to provide a range of tools to help them gather user consent, and have built a solution for publishers that want to show non-personalized ads, using only contextual information.
For our Google Cloud customers, we’ve updated our data processing terms for G Suite and Google Cloud Platform and provided detailed information to customers about our approach to data portability, data incident notifications, secure infrastructure and third party audits and certifications, among other features. For more information, visit the Google Cloud blog.
Strengthening our privacy compliance program Over the last decade, Google has built a strong global privacy compliance program, taking advice from regulators around the world. Across the company, we have dedicated teams of engineers and compliance experts who work in full-time privacy roles, ensuring that no Google product launches without a comprehensive privacy review. We’ve now further improved our privacy program, enhancing our product launch review processes, and more comprehensively documenting our processing of data, in line with the accountability requirements of the GDPR.
This is a snapshot of things we’ve done to date to be ready for May 25, 2018. But our commitment to compliance with the GDPR, and the rights it gives people, will continue long beyond this date. As we evolve our products over time, we’ll continue to improve our Privacy Program and the protections we offer to users. Our ambition is to have the highest possible standards of data security and privacy, and to put our users and partners in control.
Posted by William Malcolm, Director, Privacy Legal, EMEA