Category Archives: Uncategorized

UPDATE: Read VidAngel’s and Disney’s Appeal Briefs to the Ninth Circuit

Legal BattleJustice in the United States court system requires patience (this battle could take years to resolve), but we are trying to keep everyone up-to-date on the progress of the fight to #savefiltering. Here is our report on the appeal to the Ninth Circuit:

December 12th, 2016 - Judge Birotte issues a Preliminary Injunction. You can read the ruling here.
January 11th, 2017 - VidAngel files its Opening Brief on Appeal to the Ninth District Court. The introduction starts at page 17. 
February 8th, 2017 - Disney filed its response (including Disney's standard manipulative mud slinging)

February 22nd, 2017 - VidAngel files its final reply before the Ninth Circuit hearing. 

VidAngel’s mission is to ensure families everywhere have the option to filter content as they wish. The future of filtering is in good hands because these appeals are being argued by Peter K. Stris, who has been to the Supreme Court 7 times.

There is a lot to digest, but we feel that the final two paragraphs of our most recent brief sum it up well:

"Although the public interest in filtering is strong and Congressionally sanctioned, the injunction robbed the public of any viable means to filter. VidAngel is shut down; ClearPlay no longer functions for [streaming] new releases; and the Studios have scared everyone else away.

"According to the Studios, the relevant public interest is in 'upholding copyright protections.' The Studios have confused themselves with the public. The actual public has no interest in seeing America’s only commercially and technologically viable filtering company destroyed through an unnecessary preliminary injunction. The legal questions in this case are as complex and novel as they are important. If the Studios prevail, they will be entitled to damages. If VidAngel prevails, they will not. In either case, there will be a final judgment that 'upholds copyright protections.'"
Now we are just waiting to know when we will get a hearing. We will continue to keep you up to date.

Streaming is Now Only 1 BLEEPING Dollar for all SD Movies*

money

You may have noticed things have been changing around here. Everything is prettier and wittier.

 

The best change of all is that EVERY SD movie on our site is now only $1 with sellback. No tax. No fees. No extra pennies. ONE DOLLAR! In fact, we are so tired of pennies that we are rounding your credit up to the nearest dollar.  For the cherry on top, our new “Auto-sellback” feature means you don’t even have to remember to sell it back. What kind of wizardry is this? We don’t have magical powers – we just like you. That’s why it’s now $1 for all SD movies.

To make life simpler, we have changed all movies to the same price: $20. HD, SD, new release, the 1930s Wizard of Oz… there is no discrimination. All movies and TV shows** are now $20. This means no more confusing prices when you are picking your Friday night flick.

 

Here’s a summary of our recent shenanigans:

 

All SD Movies are now $1 with sellback.

All movies and tv shows, both HD and SD, are now $20 to keep for good.

We created a new, prettier website and logo.

 

* SD Movies can now be sold back for $1 less than purchase price, meaning you only pay $1 for up to 24 hours of unlimited viewing of that particular film.

 

** You may be thinking, why do TV shows cost just as much as movies? That is a great question! We just want to make your experience as simple as possible by standardizing the prices across all shows. The TV shows will still only be $1-$2 with sell-back. In the future, we will be creating a way to buy whole seasons of TV shows if you want to keep the episodes. So hold tight if that’s what you’re looking for.

Our Website is no longer UGLY

VidAngel has a brand new logo, tagline and interface on the website.

We drew the new logo on the office wall with chalk

We drew the new logo on the office wall with chalk

We designed the new system to solve three problems:

  1. Looks. No offense, but the previous version of the website was, well, …gag. It looked like it came from the nineties, and not the good part. As soon as I came on full time, I revamped the logo and we tore into the look and feel of the website. We think the result feels more cinematic.
  2. Speed. Our servers think you guys are lazy, and have too much time on your hands from all the videos you’ve been watching. But really, they’re the lazy ones and have been complaining about all the traffic. This new website loads much faster for you and makes life easier for our servers.
  3. Customers. You’ve given us so many great movie suggestions that we created a better process for requesting movies and TV shows. Now, simply search VidAngel and below the titles we offer, you’ll find results from every movie that has ever existed (almost :).  In addition, customers expressed the desire to remove certain titles from view on VidAngel. You’re welcome.

You know what? I came to VidAngel thinking, “I get to watch movies all I want for free as an employee.” However, I’ve never watched so little because we’ve been working so hard. My excitement has replaced my sleep and movies, and my back is aching for a chiropractor. It was all for you. You’re welcome.

I’m so stoked to announce the new VidAngel. Enjoy, and trust me, it’s going to get even better.

– Megan Rae Morton, Director of Product

We're updating the apps to match the new design as well

We’re updating the apps to match the new design as well

YouTube Refuses To Unblock VidAngel’s Videos From “Safety Mode”

UPDATE: YouTube unblocks two videos from “Safety Mode”; Paintball video still blocked

We have spent the last 3 days reaching out to every contact we have at YouTube, trying to find someone who can reverse the damage trolls did to our video by flagging and blocking all of our videos for anyone with “safety mode” on.

After 36 hrs and a severely damaged viral campaign. Today we got back this apathetic response:

Hi guys,

I apologize for the delay in getting back in touch. I ran this past various teams at YouTube and their feedback was the following: Content containing mild violence, sexual or other provocative content may not show up when using Safety Mode.

Unfortunately that’s about all they’re able to provide — they also shared this link with me in case it helps to have more context on safety mode.

I apologize I’m not able to help more on this issue but appreciate your patience.

Thank you,
Sara

The irony is that ALL but one of our VidAngel videos are blocked in “safety mode”, not just the viral one we released with G/PG paintball marker mild “violence”.

There is no option for appeal. Another rep (who is on our side and trying to help without luck) said that YouTube doesn’t even have a department for this kind of problem.

This response is coming to a team which has signed off on millions upon millions in YouTube advertising spend over the past 4 years (Orabrush, Orapup, PooPourri, Endorse Liberty Super PAC…). In the past I’ve always been impressed with YouTube’s willingness to help on this kind of stuff, but this time I am getting nothing but apathy.

If you are concerned and want to help, you can voice your concern to Google here on this forum.

VidAngel’s Family Friendly Message Is Blocked From Reaching Families On Youtube

UPDATE: YouTube Refuses To Unblock VidAngel’s Videos From “Safety Mode”

UPDATE: YouTube unblocks two videos from “Safety Mode”; Paintball video still blocked

With 700k views in 5 days, YouTube “Safety Mode” is currently blocking families (or anyone with “safety mode” turned on) from seeing our viral ad promoting awareness about the rise of inappropriate content in media. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there; our entire YouTube channel appears to be affected. We suspect this is being caused by trolls or haters flagging our videos as inappropriate content despite its family centric message and G/PG rated content. It seems Youtube provides no quick solution to getting these problems fixed, and thus jeopardizes our entire marketing campaign because our message is being censored from the very people it’s meant for.

Families (with “safety mode”) are Blocked From Finding VidAngel’s Video in Search:

  1. Go to www.youtube.com
  2. Near the bottom of the page, click on Safety: OFF and select Safety: ON
  3. Reload www.youtube.com and search for “vidangel family paintballs
  4. Note that VidAngel’s main video, with over 700k views, DOES NOT show up in the results (only reuploads of the video).
  5. This also blocks it from spreading in the YouTube algorithm among families who care about Safety Mode.

vidangel-family-paintballs-YouTube-safety-mode-enabled_(arrows)

Now, to make it show again:

  1. Go to www.youtube.com
  2. Near the bottom of the page, click on Safety: ON and select Safety: OFF
  3. Reload www.youtube.com and search for “vidangel family paintballs
  4. Note that VidAngel’s main video, with over 700k views, ONLY shows up in the results when Safety Mode is OFF!

vidangel-family-paintballs-YouTube-saftey-mode-disabled_(arrows)


 

VidAngel’s message uses paintball markers, exhaustive safety measures (see behind the scenes) and G/PG rated type action to make a powerful point against swearing, promiscuity, and graphic violence in media. The video is about parents right to control what and how they watch media in their own homes.  This family-message is now being censored similar to graphic sex scenes, graphic violence and other un-family-friendly content.

ALL but one of VidAngel’s Videos Are Censored:

If you visit VidAngel’s channel you will see that YouTube isn’t just blocking our viral paintball hit but all of our videos except one:

SAFETY MODE ON:

VidAngel-Channel-with-safety-mode_(arrows)
SAFETY MODE OFF:

VidAngel-Channel-without-safety-mode_(arrows)

Examples of Content NOT Blocked (compared with blocked VidAngel content):

VidAngel’s Videos Are Blocked From Families Not Censored On YouTube
Main video Game of Thrones Death
VidAngel Video Promoting Awareness about the rise Profanity, Violence, and Promiscuity in film. Disturbing and graphic Game of Thrones Death Scenes with over 300k views
how it works Assasins Creed Trailer
VidAngel How it works video without any paintballs markers at all. Assassin’s Creed Trailer LITERAL with graphic violence and gore.
bts hypocritical-paintball-back-fifa (1)
Behind The Scenes for VidAngel going over the MANY safety precautions used in filming with paintball markers A couple of guys playing the FIFA video game, using the F-word and shooting each other with a paintball gun with no safety equipment. Almost 6 million views.

75% Drop In Conversion Rates

VidAngel’s target audience is everyone who uses “Safety Mode” on YouTube.  Instead our video is now only reaching those who don’t care to even use YouTube safety features, let alone the more robust safety features of VidAngel.  We are still going viral but the crowd we are trying to reach is being blocked. We have seen our conversion rates drop sharply by 75% after the 24th of July when the censoring began.

Dislikes Have Increased by 300%

Because the video is being blocked from our target audience we have seen a massive decline in our likes to dislikes ratio.

likes dislikes ratio for blog post regarding safety mode

How Many Marketing Campaigns Is “Safety Mode” Destroying?

We are aware that this kind of censoring can be triggered by haters gaming the YouTube feedback system to get VidAngel blocked. We assume this is the case as our video could easily be displayed on national TV. In addition The Piano Guys, one of the most family friendly YouTube channels on the Internet, posted our video to their Facebook page and had a 400% better response than their average post.

the-piano-guys-screenshot for blogpost regarding safety mode

 

 

Unfortunately this kind of mistake in YouTube’s system can completely destroy months of work and lots of money invested in a large viral marketing campaign. We hope YouTube will remedy this ASAP. This issue is not limited to VidAngel, but MANY marketing campaigns where enough haters ban together to get an ad censored in safety mode.

This also shows the need of a system like VidAngel on YouTube for parental controls that actually work.

Help us get “Every Word Has Impact” out of Safety Mode. We opened a support request on YouTube’s support forum. Please post a quick reply here to let YouTube know you would like this problem fixed. We hope that with your help we can get the attention needed to resolve this ASAP. If anyone is aware of a quicker solution, please contact us at press@vidangel.com. Thank you for your support!

 

UPDATE: YouTube Refuses To Unblock VidAngel’s Videos From “Safety Mode”

Announcing the VidAngel Affiliate Program

What are affiliates? VidAngel affiliates earn money for each new person they send our way (that signs up for a FREE trial). Pretty simple, eh?

money_imageYou scratch our back, we scratch yours (technically, you scratch the customer’s back too—they get a FREE trial after all).  Your job is easy: just cordially introduce us to them so that they’ll instantly fall in love with us at first site (yes, that was a blatant pun for “website”). It’s our job to win their undying love and loyalty by being awesome and not being stupid. It really comes down to chemistry. If we’re a good match, you make money for playing match maker. Make sense?

Check out our VidAngel Affiliate Program page for more details on how to qualify and get started. We’d love for you to become an affiliate and introduce us to all your cool friends. BTW we shower regularly, wear deodorant and brush our teeth and tongues 🙂

Meet the VidAngel “Bumper”

“What’s a bumper?” you ask? Well, we didn’t know what a bumper was either until a couple weeks ago. All we knew was that we wanted one of those cool “logo thingys” that shows up just before your movie starts to let you know VidAngel is taking care of you 🙂 So we asked Tyler Stevens, a skilled motion graphics artist, to make one for VidAngel.

Tyler politely informed us that the “logo thingy” is technically referred to as a “bumper” in the film world. OK, whatever. Nuance 😉 We told him what we wanted the animation to look like and he brought it to life beautifully, adding some nice touches of his own. Here’s the four second bumper you’ll see before your movie next time.

We LOVE the way it turned out! Hope you do, too 🙂 Please leave all compliments in the comments below. And kindly bottle up and bury any criticism you feel may be in order. Just kidding. But seriously.

 

VidAngel Gets a Facelift

We are updating the design of VidAngel! NOTE: if reading about web design bores you to tears (like it does for most), just go watch a movie instead on VidAngel that’s more entertaining than this blog post (any movie will probably do). But if you’re one of those weirdos (like us) who cares about this kind stuff, read on 🙂

The new look and feel of VidAngel clearly displays the rental price of each movie at a glance without having to click on the movies (see image below) and whether or not it is ONLY available to buy (like 47 Ronin at the time of this writing). (As a side note, when a movie is available for purchase only, that’s decided by the studios and Google, not us.) A light gray now replaces the stark white background, which helps better focus the eye on the movie posters. We’ve also added a floating header bar so you can navigate to different categories of movies and TV shows from the menu dropdowns without having to scroll to the top of the page every time. No more scroll finger fatigue 😉

Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 9.39.03 AM

Another feature some of you might have already seen show up is the playback timeline of the movie displayed at the top of the page when you setup the filter for your movie (see image below). It shows what you will hear and see based on your current settings, and updates dynamically with each tag you change to mute, remove, hear or show.

Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 9.47.20 AM

After gathering tons of honest (and occasionally blunt) customer feedback over the past few weeks, we listened, listened some more, analyzed your ideas, got our feelings hurt (just a little bit), agreed with you, and then adjusted our design accordingly.

At VidAngel, we’re constantly testing, tweaking and improving, and we’re happy to change anything when it is clearly needs changing. Let us know what you think of the new design, and feel free to leave suggestions of your own in the comments below. We are listening and adapting. It’s through ideas like yours that we will constantly make VidAngel better…and prettier.

 

New VidAngel Player – Open to the Public

As of Jan 15, 2014, VidAngel is open to the public.

Big cheers coming from VidAngel headquarters!     🙂

During our private preview of VidAngel, we received lots of feedback that movies with tons of swearing were, at times, allowing a few words through. As soon as we discovered that our player was dropping words, we cancelled the December launch and set out to rebuild our player.

This feedback is the primary reason we decided to delay to launch (so that we could rebuild the system so that it could handle movies with hundreds of tags).

We’re really pleased with the new player. It is smart and adjusts to your computer’s speed, and only cues up small portions of the movie at a time so that the processor can keep up with your viewing experience. We tested it for 10 days internally and got universally positive feedback.

We decided to soft launch this week and open up the system to the public. That said, we’re still BETAish and are really excited to see feedback.

If you ever come across a missed word that you know you have muted, please click the red feedback button as close to the part of the movie that had the problem as possible. Then describe the problem and submit feedback. If we implement your feedback, we’ll pay you VidAngel credit for it.

Thanks for your support in protecting family’s from $#&! on YouTube and in Movies!