ebregman FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Programming/Distribution

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from Austin

  • Activity

    • We're troubleshooting RTAA

      1 week ago

      ebregman Programming/Distribution

      I was asked to post more about the fires we're fighting, so here you go:

      We've had numerous users report playback issues on RTAA, but we have never been able to recreate the issue ourselves...until this week. Good news is it's an easy fix going forward! Bad news is the solution as of today is to deliver RTAA in 1080 instead of 4K. More bad news: we still don't really know what the problem is.

      There seems to be an issue with the static footage we use to separate scenes in many episodes, but we've been unable to pinpoint anything specific that would cause it. The error was tough to recreate because it occurred only in specific resolutions, and our transcoder makes manifest files at multiple resolutions and serves you the best one for your device/connection/etc. When I watch one episode I might not be served the 1080 version, which has an error at 120s, so it might play OK for me but not for someone else. When we saw reports of last Monday's episode giving trouble, @mikequinn watched it at every resolution until he was able to recreate the issue.

      Keep letting us know when you see playback errors, I will not rest until they are all fixed.

    • RIP, John Perry Barlow

      1 week ago

      ebregman Programming/Distribution

      Hearing JP Barlow speak almost a decade ago was a formative moment for me. I got to listen to him and Vint Cerf explain why the very foundation of the internet reflected a simple, unavoidable, and formative truth: information wants to be free. I think about that almost every day. It inspired me to pursue a career in independent digital media, and it led me to work here at RT.

      In his honor, posting a link here to A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace. I hope it energizes you.

      ...increasingly obsolete information industries would perpetuate themselves by proposing laws, in America and elsewhere, that claim to own speech itself throughout the world. These laws would declare ideas to be another industrial product, no more noble than pig iron. In our world, whatever the human mind may create can be reproduced and distributed infinitely at no cost. The global conveyance of thought no longer requires your factories to accomplish.

    • Monthly Patch Notes - What do you want to see?

      2 weeks ago

      ebregman Programming/Distribution

      I saw the request in Ezra's post for a monthly update on what we saw in the past month, and what my team learned from it. I'm in!

      What would you find interesting in these posts, and what are you hoping to get out of them? I talk a lot about data, and happy to keep doing that, but not sure that's exactly what you're looking for...

    • How an amazing 2017 will lead us to an even better 2018

      1 month ago

      ebregman Programming/Distribution

      Today we made some noise about a crazy ambitious, completely awesome slate of animated shows we’re bringing you in 2018, all of which will premiere exclusively for FIRST members and then become free for everyone to watch and enjoy. As we start to give you a taste of what’s to come in 2018, I wanted to give you insight into how this plan came about. What you’ll read in this post are the same points and data we’ve been discussing in meetings since September. While we won’t discuss specific numbers, this will dive into the trends that inform us.

      First of all, THANK YOU for an incredible 2017, which by our measures was the most-watched year in in Rooster Teeth’s history. (Not bad for a company that will turn 15 years old this year!) We ended up producing far more content in 2017 than initially projected, mostly due to extensive use of live streams (especially from channels like GameAttack). Best of all, the additional content we produced was almost all free-to-watch. Even as we increased the total number of minutes we produced exclusively for FIRST members, our number of free-to-watch minutes skyrocketed:


      A lot of content also means a lot of data. We probably learned more in 2017 than ever before about what you guys like to watch, and I was able to use that data to recommend a strategy for 2018 that does a better job of accomplishing my department’s ultimate goal: making the right content in the right place at the right time.

      Below are three key things we learned in 2017 that inform the plan for 2018 and beyond.

      You love it when we launch new FIRST exclusives. 

      Fresh content available for FIRST Members was the biggest reason people became members in 2017. Some of you like to sign up right when a new show is available; others like to jump in once a few episodes are available; and still others prefer to wait until the entire series is out so you can binge through the whole thing. Regardless, we can tell that our programming needs to continually and regularly provide new ideas.

      This might seem simple enough. But for us, it dictates a way to allocate our budget that’s slightly different than what we tried in the last few years. It means we need to develop and try new ideas constantly. It means we need to expand our live action production team to be able to handle even more projects simultaneously. And it means we likely won’t earmark a large portion of our budget for a single project; instead, we can increase our spend on many projects throughout the year, increasing the total number of new FIRST exclusives, and also increasing run times and production values for all FIRST exclusives.

      If you watch Let’s Play videos, you come back almost every day, or at least once per week.

      Viewers of Let’s Play (the series) are a minority of our unique viewers on the whole, but these unique viewers drive a disproportionately large amount of our day-to-day traffic. That made Let’s Play our most watched series almost every month of the year. To see why, check out this sample from January – April 2017 comparing sessions from RWBY viewers and sessions from Let’s Play viewers. While RWBY is posting new episodes it’s clearly quite popular (no surprise there), but Let’s Play viewers visit RoosterTeeth.com so consistently that their total viewership in 2017 ends up being larger. This everyday habit is incredibly important to us. Our programming can help existing FIRST members come back even more often and also bring new people into the habit in 2018 and beyond.


      Another data point that stood out on this subject: of the top 10 individual videos that caused people to sign up for FIRST, the majority were unscripted videos featuring talent from the Let’s Play family. This makes sense, because if you’re a fan of the Rooster Teeth brand, you’ve had almost 15 years to sign up for FIRST. Cow Chop and Sugar Pine 7 are still brand new by comparison, so their communities are filled with people who might not even be familiar with FIRST at all.

      Said a different way, we’re increasingly focused on making sure when you sign up for FIRST and every time you visit RoosterTeeth.com, you’re getting something that only Rooster Teeth can give you. That includes hit shows, and we’ll continue to make those and find more. But clearly another thing to focus on is premium series featuring our awesome, ridiculous, and growing family of Let’s Play partners. We’re going to make more of those, and continue to weave a common thread between all of it.

      You want us to keep experimenting.

      On free-to-watch platforms in 2017, our biggest audience growth was on Facebook and Twitter, both of which reached over 1MM followers, and on Instagram, which is our second-fastest growing free-to-watch platform. Our channels on YouTube are about flat year-over-year in views, but watch time exploded: we served 2.6 BILLION more minutes in 2017 than in 2016. Chalk this up, in part, to us successfully leaning into all the changes in YouTube’s platform, the goal of which were to increase watch time across the platform. Watch time and views are generally inversely related, because the more time you spend watching a video the less time you have to click on a new one (and everyone only has 24 hours in their day).

      Besides overall changes in all of these platforms in 2017, the way we used non-YouTube platforms in 2017 has another thing in common: the content we posted there was much more experimental.

      If you’ve been watching Rooster Teeth consistently for the last few years, you’ve likely noticed we make a lot more high-quality series across all our platforms, but less of the standalone shorts that might have made you discover us in the first place. In 2017 we tried to address this by expanding RT Life into two or three days per week, and launching Burnie’s vlog. It worked alright, but we found the creative constraints of RT Life to be pretty limiting, and not conducive to our general goal of just making a cool video when we thought of it. The one time we really did follow our gut and make something we just thought was funny, Blaine ended up on the front page of Reddit in a video I still can't watch all the way through.

      It’s clear we need to return to our roots. To do this, we created a space on RoosterTeeth.com to try new, standalone videos: The Lab. Think of it like the Achievement Hunter series inside the Achievement Hunter channel; it’s a place where we’ll post just about anything that doesn’t fit somewhere else. We might end up making multiple episodes of the types of videos that work, but these probably won’t air in consecutive weeks or days. If something from The Lab really works, we might develop it into a bigger series. Everything from The Lab will premiere on RoosterTeeth.com for FIRST members, become free to watch on RoosterTeeth.com after 24 hours, and then make its way to YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, or some combination of all of those. Just to be clear, we might not post these videos on all of those platforms (besides RoosterTeeth.com), might not post everywhere all at the same time, or even all in the same form. Every platform has its own best practices, and the idea here after all is to experiment. We’re also building a new team that focuses only on this, and we’ll have more to share about that in the coming months.

      Thank you again for an incredible 2017. I am so energized by this community every day, and honestly, I get more excited about 2018 with every passing day – not just the programming, but our brand new platform, even bigger events, you name it! As always, I’ll be in the comments answering questions.

    • A small reorganization to help your browsing experience

      2 months ago

      ebregman Programming/Distribution

      This week we're re-organizing the library on RT.com a little bit to make it easier to browse, and easier to find some of our most-watched FIRST Exclusive content: talk show post shows.

      If you've navigated to certain show pages  you've likely noticed anything that is a bonus video (i.e., not a full show episode) is numbered as 0, and appears at the beginning of the Episode list. We did this so you could easily binge a show like RWBY from episode to episode, without being served a Coming Up Next video, trailer, behind the scenes, or World of Remnant. These are all great videos deserving of your viewership, but data shows us that when viewers encounter them in a playlist, they're very likely to exit the viewing session altogether.

      Then again sometimes you WANT to watch a bonus video right after a main episode. Talk show post shows are the clearest example: when you watch RT Podcast #470 you almost definitely want to roll into RTP #470 Post Show. Also in these cases, the bonus videos are a key value add for being a FIRST member, and it's some of our most regularly posted content. Instead of burying these videos inside an episode page and out of viewing order, we can do a better job highlighting them.

      This week we're making two key updates to address these cases:

      • Series pages will have a new tab titled "Bonus Features" (picture at the bottom). It'll be right next to the Episodes tab, and will be home to any BTS videos, trailers, or other non-episode bonus content related to a series.
      • We're creating new Series pages to house talk show post shows and other videos that are regularly posted "episode extensions." Anyone who watches the Dude Soup Post show or Try Harder is familiar with this setup; we're just applying it across the board. I should note this also includes Immersion Extra Runs, which will get their own Series page.

      Lastly, in our CMS we can now specifically define a video as associated with another video, which will eventually be used in our binge logic to override other binge actions and instead roll a viewer directly from the video s/he's watching into the admin-assigned video. All that to say if you're binging RTP, you'll be able to go right from an RTP episode into its post show, and then back into the next RTP episode

      Stay tuned for more updates like this in the coming months. As always send me some questions to answer in the comments!

      EDIT: This change should not affect the URLs of any videos, so that RTP Post Show you bookmarked that one time because Burnie does that thing that you like should still be good to go.


    • Programming Team Community Service Day

      2 months ago

      ebregman Programming/Distribution

      This is my second holidays at RT, and the first when my team has been more than just me and one other person! That meant it was time to do some team bonding, and my favorite way to get closer to folks is good ol' fashioned volunteering.

      This year we spent time with the fine residents of the House Rabbit Resource Center, where one of our team members volunteers every week. Yes, we pet bunnies all morning (and fed them!).

      Couldn't help but share this familiar face who we met as soon as we walked in - a sassy Californian rabbit named...Yang. Can't make this up guys.


    • ContentID and the holidays

      2 months ago

      ebregman Programming/Distribution

      Thanks for your ridiculously awesome fan projects this RWBY Volume (and always, really). We're closed for the holidays this Thurs and Fri 11/23-24 (and the weekend of course), which means we won't be manually reviewing ContentID claims until we're back in the office on Monday 11/27. If you send us an email in that time, we WILL receive it - don't delete your video, and don't send us more than 1 email, we're on it as soon as we get back!

      Thanks in advance for your patience, have an awesome Thanksgiving.

    • Pardon our dust while we make RoosterTeeth.com videos way better

      3 months ago

      ebregman Programming/Distribution

      Checking in today to give everyone a heads up: in our constant quest to make RoosterTeeth.com the greatest place for you to watch our content and engage with the community, we’ve discovered a batch of video source files that have technical errors. These videos might be playable for some of you, but not necessarily consistently, or at a  resolution that makes for a good viewing experience, and they might cause an app crash.

      In order to fix these videos, we need to temporarily unpublish them from RoosterTeeth.com. The total number of videos being unpublished is 2,033 out of our 24,000+ video library. Fear not! We are well on our way to fixing them, and many will be back online in a matter of weeks.

      How are we fixing them, you ask? Well, allow me to get really boring and procedural for a few paragraphs...

      When we first saw there was a problem, we knew it would take a while to accurately diagnose which specific files needed to be fixed, and we knew it would take a while to fix them. Rather than take those two steps in sequence, which would take the maximum amount of time, we generated a list of priority videos we knew absolutely had to work on RT.com, and we got to work immediately creating new source files for those videos that we knew definitely worked. Priority videos include our major series like Red vs. Blue, plus all videos that together make up over 85% of our total watch time on YouTube in 2017 (We used YouTube data because site data would be skewed toward those videos that actually work).

      We partnered with a division of Fullscreen called Video Labs to help us do the grunt work. All our videos are archived at high resolution, but accessing the archive is labor-intensive and expensive, especially at this scale. Instead we chose to grab the videos from YouTube. Video Labs downloaded the videos and clipped off the YouTube-specific elements, like annotated end screens and opening bumpers advertising RT Store sales.

      Dave just needs to write up the program that will deploy them in bulk, which will happen in the next 6 weeks. We’re bringing the problem videos offline now to help our engineering team put finishing touches on our new website beta, and aid us in our library deliveries to VRV. Those videos that do not come back online in the next 6 weeks might take a few months to be back, but we’re on it.

      If you’re still with me (bonus points!), another piece of this project has been auditing and fixing metadata on RoosterTeeth.com and creating brand new artwork for every show so it all looks fantastic in our new website. That will all roll out over the next few months too, so if the current website starts looking strange, trust us it’s for the right reasons.

      Questions about how our content ops works, our new website, or anything else? Leave me a comment!

    • We Want Your Fan Projects! Here’s What’s OK and What’s Not.

      4 months ago

      ebregman Programming/Distribution

      RWBY is a mere three days away on FIRST! Just a reminder, Volume 5 Chapter 1 premieres Saturday at 10am for FIRST Members, and then on Tuesday 10/17 at 10a CT it’s free to watch for anyone with a registered account on RoosterTeeth.com. And don’t forget to join us for the premiere of RWBY Rewind with Chad and Yssa, live for FIRST Members on Tuesday 10/17 at 5p CT!

      RWBY’s premiere means we’re approaching the most intense time of year for my team, who, as part of their responsibilities, helps to review fan projects to make sure they follow our Content Usage Guidelines. To give you a glimpse of what’s involved in this task, we typically receive about 30-50 YouTube ContentID claims per week, and that figure will more than double starting next week. That doesn’t include stuff from unauthorized third-party websites, which can be huge.

      We absolutely love fan projects, and encourage you to keep making them! Technically, Rooster Teeth was founded as a fan project. Since Microsoft and 343 are kind enough to let us keep making Red vs. Blue even 15 seasons later, we feel a deep responsibility to pay it forward by allowing our community to participate in our content, transform it, play with it, react to it, and generally have fun with it.

      To support this goal, we wrote up these handy Content Usage Guidelines that outline our approach toward fan projects. I’m proud to say we have some of the most lenient usage guidelines of any company I’ve ever seen.

      Like I mentioned at the start, actually enforcing these guidelines is complicated and very manual. It’s impossible for a computer/algorithm/machine to reliably understand the difference between a reuploaded episode of RWBY and a reaction video where the reactor doesn’t say much, for instance. Because of that, if you feel a machine/computer/algorithm has flagged a project that in fact follows our guidelines, we have a process that makes sure you can let us and/or our partners at Fullscreen know when you want a human to review your project. We review these as quickly as possible during business hours (Monday through Friday, 10am - 6pm CT).

      When you use our process to route your project for manual review, whether that’s in an email, on YouTube, or otherwise, we have our staff (actual, human people - not robots) handle your correspondence. We recognize this could be a very stressful situation, and we really appreciate your patience and kindness when it comes to this communication. This team works very hard and loves RT as much as you do, and they want to help you.  

      If you have questions about what’s OK and what is not, please take a minute to thoroughly review the Content Usage Guidelines. I’ll surface a few key points here for the TL;DR crowd:

      • In general, you’re allowed to use Rooster Teeth characters, worlds, video clips, or game play in your fan project, so long as your project is free to watch for everyone and/or you are not selling your project to any third parties.

      • It’s not OK to use our trademarked logos or words. This can confuse viewers into thinking your project is an officially endorsed RT project, which we want to avoid. Trademarks include the RWBY logo, Rooster Teeth logo, official illustrations of RWBY characters, or any designs featured on Rooster Teeth merch.

      • On YouTube, we use the ContentID tool to help us detect piracy. If your fan project contains a large amount of a Rooster Teeth video, it will most likely be claimed automatically when you upload it to your channel. The first policy we automatically apply is a “block” policy, which means your video won’t be visible at first. When this happens, all you need to do is dispute the claim in your Video Manager (here are more details on how dispute a claim). Within two business days, we will review your video and will either remove the claim or change the policy. If we don’t remove the claim or change the policy, that means our staff member who watched it decided it does not follow the Content Usage Guidelines or fair use provisions of the US Copyright Act, and our claim and/or policy is correct.

      • If your dispute was rejected and you still think your fan project follows the content usage guidelines, you can appeal the rejection and we will review the video a second time. At that point, we will reach out via email with three options: 1) If we agree on second review that your video should have a different policy applied, we will ask you to remove your appeal in a specified timeframe so we can apply a new policy to the video. We can’t apply a new policy unless you remove the appeal first. 2) If on second review we still think your video should have the same policy applied, we will ask you to remove your appeal in a specified timeframe. 3) If you do not remove your appeal within the timeframe we specify, we issue a copyright takedown and a strike will be issued to your channel. We hate doing this and rarely do it (about 1% of disputes end in takedowns, and I want that to be lower).

      • We will not review your fan project in advance and give approval ahead of time. Our process begins when you post your project to the web.

      • When we post content early on FIRST, we generally appreciate if you can limit your fan projects on other platforms, but we will apply the same guidelines to all fan projects no matter when/where they are posted.

      • Last but not least, we always reserve the right to handle your fan project as we see fit, or change these guidelines if we feel it’s necessary.

      If you have any questions about this process, now is your chance to ask! We’ve spent a year adjusting and honing our guidelines based on specific cases we’ve run into, and we always want to find ways to make it better.

    • RWBY Windowing!

      5 months ago

      ebregman Programming/Distribution

      We are officially one month away from the October 14 premiere of RWBY Volume 5! The entire RT Animation crew has been making amazing happen every day, and we can't wait to show you what's in store for this volume.

      This past year, we switched to a 7-day exclusive window for FIRST members for many of our shows, and we've greatly appreciated your viewership and feedback. (For more information on why we went this route, check out this journal post.) We understand and recognize that RWBY is a unique show with a unique audience, and we’ve been listening to all your feedback on the 7-day window as the year has progressed. We want to make sure we can help facilitate the community interaction and conversation around every episode. With your feedback top of mind, we decided to implement a 3-day FIRST-exclusive window for RWBY. So the schedule will be as follows:

      • Saturdays starting October 14 at 10am CT: FIRST members
      • Tuesdays starting October 17 at 10am CT: Free for all registered RoosterTeeth.com members
      • Saturdays starting October 21 (a week after airing) at 10am CT: Free for everyone on RoosterTeeth.com (and new episode premieres for FIRST members)

      Once again, we are so thankful for your support and feedback as we try new things. Our community continues to impress us, and prove that you are the best group of people in the world.

      And don’t forget, if you live in the US and want to see Volume 5 Chapter 1 even earlier, it will be in theaters around the US on October 12! You can get tickets here.

      Stay tuned for more details of what's coming down the pipeline. We have an incredible year ahead of us! As always, send over your questions below and I'll answer them through the next day or so.

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  • Comments (2)

    • RWBimbie Keeper of Poems

      3 months ago

      A few months ago on Sept11 (currently Nov 17)

      the youtubers Spaz Boys Comedy gave up on reaction vids for RvB & RWBY

      Did I Pee On Rooster Teeth's Shoe Or Something?! " .

      because they tried following the guidelines as laid out in Fanprojects faq and still got blocked.


      what words of encouragement (or condemnation) do you have for Spaz Boys Comedy

      for continuing to do on youtube what Murder Of Birds was commended & got famous doing? 

      Spaz Boys refuses to try to cheat teh system with GoogleDrive or inverting, speedAltering, or otherwise bypassing the takedown DRM systems of youtube.


      ... should they have not given up?  

      Without any reason from RT to not give up, why shouldnt they give up on RT?

      RT fans tell them to cheat the system instead of following instructions... should they just try to steal RT Intellectual Property because using it within authorization terms simply doesnt work?

    • JohnJoe

      10 months ago

      I appreciate you laying out exactly what the thought process was for extending the wait period 7 days instead of the 24 hour one that we have enjoyed. You seem like a very cool dude, and even though it is a little late, taking the time to address it is very much appreciated.

      I would love if you guys would keep narrative shows like RvB and RWBY at a 24 hour exclusive to FIRST members, not only to because they are story-driven, but because they have always been available for everyone(mostly).

      Thank you again for cutting out the bullshit and telling us why you guys did what you did, and if you do listen to us, I will be able to purchase a FIRST membership feeling like I am helping out my favorite community- driven company, rather than feeling like buying one is the way to watch my favorite shows without being a week behind.

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