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SnapStream Blog

SnapStream on TV: KHOU (Houston CBS)

December 01 2015 by Rachel Abbott
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Look Ma, we're on TV! KHOU Anchor, Len Cannon, did an awesome piece on SnapStream for CBS in Houston. Watch this 2 minute clip:


"Have you ever watched The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and asked, 'How do they get those television clips that they make so much fun of?' They're not using just any DVR. You could call them the 'Mother of all DVRs,' and they are made right here in Houston."

- Len Cannon, KHOU Anchor


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"We go to Google, who knows how many times a day, to go search the Internet. We make it so that our customers can search inside TV and find a needle in a haystack."

- Rakesh Agrawal, SnapStream CEO


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Watch SnapStream's CEO, Rakesh Agrawal, on Bloomberg TV

June 26 2014 by Jennifer Miller

Are you curious about the present and future plans of SnapStream? Who better to ask than the CEO and Founder himself!

On Thursday, June 26th, at 9:45am CT, Stephanie Ruhle from Bloomberg TV's "Market Makers" interviewed SnapStream's CEO, Rakesh Agrawal. During this interview Rakesh explains how SnapStream technology is able to search anything said on TV - helping out the likes of corporate firms, federal and government agencies and, of course, television shows such as "The Daily Show" and "Last Week Tonight."

Rakesh also announces the future plans of SnapStream. (Hint: Anyone into social media? We thought so!)

Tune in! (Run Time: 7 minutes)

News Parody Lights Up TV in Europe, the Middle East and Asia

August 14 2012 by Rachel Abbott

Before I began researching the news comedy programs outside the U.S., I had no idea what the world had in store. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart has inspired so many TV shows and spin-offs worldwide, that the initial query of "who are they?" evolved into a four-part series. (See posts 1, 2 and 3.) Right on key, the Foreign Policy in Focus recently wrote about the Global Stewarts, too.

We have learned that comedy and politics are tightly integrated, not just at home, but abroad. It's been good to pop out of our own "cable TV bubble" and to see how the international crowd entertains, from living rooms in South America to Israel. In today's final batch of shows, you'll see that every nation's comedic style reflects the social and political culture of the population. Comedy is how people make sense of, poke holes in, and cope with the critical, and oftentimes trivial, events gripping their daily lives.


Heute-Show

About: The Heute-Show is a straight-up German adaptation of The Daily Show hosted by Oliver Welke. Meaning "today show," Heute-Show is a nightly half-hour news comedy program that mock reports on current issues in the political landscape of Germany, as well as international news. If you're fluent in German, you can enjoy watching a full episode featured above. Viel Spaß!

Where: Cologne, Germany; Channel ZDF

First Aired: 2009

Fun Fact: Anchorman Oliver Welke also co-wrote a book called heute-show with a writer from the TV series, Morten Bold.

Al-Bernameg

About: Born out of the Egyptian revolution and Syrian uprising of 2011, grassroots Al-Bernameg has become a political tour de force and nationwide television sensation. Literally "The Program," Al-Bernameg began as a viral phenom on YouTube, gaining millions of viewers under the title The B+ Show. Host Bassem Youssef says he was inspired by The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Ten episodes later, ONTV offered to take Youssef into broadcast production three times a week, making national history as the first show of its kind. Youssef also became the first media personality to successfully transition from a YouTube Show to broadcast television.

Where: Cairo, Egypt; ONTV

First Aired: 2011

Fun Fact: Before emerging as a TV star, Dr. Bassem Youssef was known as the cardiothoracic surgeon who helped wounded Tahrir Square protesters after the Battle of the Camel. Clearly, he's certified to dissect "the heart of politics" using his own razor-sharp wit.

Parazit

About: Parazit is a Persian-language satirical TV show hosted by two Iranian ex-pats, Kambiz Hosseini and Saman Arbabi. The weekly half-hour show, which originally aired as a 10-minute segment, has now developed a mass following with Iranian audiences. Directly influenced by The Daily Show, Parazit pokes fun at the absurdities of life in the Islamic republic, giving audiences an outlet from their oppressive government. Parazit translates to "static," which references the Iranian government's attempts to jam foreign satellite programming.

Enjoy a full episode with English subtitles, courtesy of Parazit's YouTube channel.

Where: Parazit airs on Voice of America, which airs overseas to Iran via satellite, the Internet and bootleg DVDs. Since the show is broadcast from the United States, it is able to bypass the government's strict censorship.

First Aired: 2008

Fun Fact: The hosting duo, Hosseini and Arabi, made a guest appearance on The Daily Show in January 2011.

Eretz Nehederet

About: Eretz Nehederet (ארץ נהדרת), which means "A Wonderful Country" in Hebrew, is Israel's smash hit spoof news show. Every Friday night, Israeli audiences tune in to enjoy the show's political satire as a welcome source of comic relief. Eretz Nehederet reflects the nation's current affairs, institutions and leaders, with an irreverent style similar to The Daily Show. Host Eyal Kitzis, often compared to Jon Stewart and Ali G, works alongside the country's brightest comedians to make one of the most watched and influential shows on Israeli TV.

Click above to watch the skit, Angry Birds Peace Treaty, which conveniently uses English plus subtitles to translate all of the squawking.

Where: Tel Aviv, Israel; Channel 2

First Aired: 2003

Fun Fact: Eretz Nehederet airs on Friday night (the Sabbath), which means no TV for observant Jews. But, because of the show's permeative effect on Israel's popular culture, a religious lawmaker successfully got the station to air repeats of the show during the week.

If I Were Prime Minister

About: If I Were Prime Minister of Japan (太田光の私が総理大臣になったら…秘書田中) is a prime-time news satire show starring Hikari Ōta, a standup comedian who gives his take on running the country, in a country where direct political satire is considered taboo. Acting as Prime Minister, Ōta begins every show with a radical manifesto that will somehow bring bring peace to Japan and/or the rest of the world. The guests of the day then heatedly debate both sides, lampooning Japan's typical political debate shows. The New York Times wrote about how Ōta is pushing the boundaries of political satire in Japan, saying that he is the closest thing the country has to Jon Stewart.

It seems that content is blocked from the U.S., so I couldn't find a clip to share with you.

Where: Tokyo, Japan; Nippon TV

First Aired: 2006

Fun Fact: Despite the extreme nature of the show, Ōta steers clear of certain topics, such as the imperial family and North Korea, because of the complexities and a general lack of public understanding.

See related posts:

The Daily Show equivalents in South America and Italy

July 31 2012 by Rachel Abbott

Following up on yesterday's post: We're exploring international TV shows equivalent to The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, in terms of their cultural significance and satirical style. To kick off our trip around the world, let's take a look at the funniest fake news TV shows of South America and Italy, where everyone loves Tarantino movies and double entendres. As awesome as descriptions are, it's even more telling to watch the clips!

Caiga Quien Caiga

About: Caiga Quien Caiga, translated to "Whoever May Fall," is the big front-runner on the world stage, having won an International Emmy for Best Non-Scripted Entertainment in 2010. Also known as CQC, this Argentine TV show is a weekly news mashup that injects current affairs, show business and sports with humor and irony. When you watch the clip featured above, you'll get the futuristic, rock-concert vibe right away. CQC has also been adapted in Spain, France, Chile, Italy, Brazil, Portugal, and briefly in Israel and the Netherlands. The hosts vary from country to country, but in Argentina, they are Juan di Natale and Guillermo López.

Where: Argentina et al; Canal 13.

First Aired: 1995

Fun Fact: All presenters on the show wear trademark black suits and sunglasses, inspired by Quentin Tarantino's movie Reservoir Dogs.


Custe o Que Custar

About: Custe O Que Custar, translated to "Whatever It Takes," rounds up weekly events in politics, the arts and sports with a satirical slant. The show, also known as CQC, is directly modeled after its successful counterpart, Caiga Quien Caiga. In the episode featured above, in the Política segment (15:45), the "reporter" appears to be hounding various public officials with ridiculous, off-the-wall questions. Even without speaking Portuguese, you can get the flavor and context! They're known for adding humor with superimposed thought bubbles, graphics and sound effects. The hosts are Rafael Cortez, Felipe Andreoli, Oscar Filho, Monica Iozzi, Mauricio Meirelles and João Pedro Carvalho.

Where: São Paulo, Brazil; Band Network

First Aired: 2008

Fun Fact: Really, who knew Reservoir Dogs was so influential in South America?

Le Iene

About: Le Iene, translated to "The Hyenas," is another adaptation of CQC. The show features comedic sketches and reports covering political affairs and consumer issues. One of the show's most popular recurring sketches, besides the mock news reporting, is the "double interview," in which two people are asked the same questions. Their answers are then edited together on a split screen, so that they answer one after the other. You can watch an example of the intervista doppia in the clip above. The current hosts are Ilary Blasi, Enrico Brignano and Claudio Amendola.

Where: Italy; Italia 1

First Aired: 1997

Fun Fact: Le Iene was also the release name in Italy for the film Reservoir Dogs. And you guessed it: all the presenters on the show don the signature black suits, white shirts and black ties prescribed by the movie.

Striscia la notizia

About: Striscia la notizia literally translates to "the news slithers" in Italian, but more accurately means "strip the news." Stricia airs right before the regular news, which gives it the perfect stronghold to sneer at government corruption and rip scams to shreds. The show is hosted by Ezio Greggio, Enzo Iacchetti, Michelle Hunziker, and the comedy duo of Ficarra and Picone. One of the show's segments can be translated to "the new monsters," and it shows the best and worst of TV, using clips and witty commentary, kind of like The Soup on E!. Watch the clip above for an example.

Where: Italy; Canale 5

First Aired: 1988

Fun Fact: The term striscia has a variety of double meanings which relate to the show's editorial voice: cocaine, which conveys excitement; comic strips, which are funny; and snakes, which are sly.

Come back to SnapStream's blog to learn about the comedy news TV shows of Canada and the United Kingdom.

See related posts:

The Worldview of News Satire TV Shows, like The Daily Show

July 30 2012 by Rachel Abbott

If you've heard of SnapStream's TV monitoring technology, you've likely heard The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report mentioned in the same breath. While we can't take credit for Jon Stewart's acerbic on-air personality or Stephen Colbert's deadpan delivery, we can say one thing: we are the television search technology behind the news-driven humor.

Yup, our very own closed-captioning search technology is at work on the TV production sets of both of these Emmy-award-winning shows. For this reason, we at SnapStream have a special place in our hearts for the TV genre of news satire, or "fake news." So, this got us thinking, when did this trend come into vogue? Are there mock newscast shows in other countries? Who are The Daily Show equivalents worldwide? It turns out, The Daily Show's international impact is pretty astounding.

First let's flash back: The 1960s marked the era of Britain's satire boom in broadcast, with the groundbreaking That Was the Week That Was on BBC. In 1975, Saturday Night Live took off in the U.S. with its mock newscast "Weekend Update," which continues today as the show's longest-running recurring sketch. Then came HBO's Not Necessarily the News (1983-1990). Fast-forward to 1999, when The Daily Show with Jon Stewart first entered America's living rooms.

The Daily Show took a trailblazing comedic direction, focusing on politics, current events and the hypocrisy underlying it all. The show's editorial voice has become deeply influential to our society, confirmed in a phenomenon called "The Daily Show Effect," according to American Politics Research. Look at the books written about the topic, too! (See: News Parody and Political Satire Across the Globe)

 

In 2002, CNN International began airing The Daily Show: Global Edition to overseas audiences, spawning syndication and fan bases in dozens of other countries. There's one official franchise in the Netherlands, The Daily Show (Nederlandse Editie). As a result, broadcasters all over the world have created their own localized spin-offs of The Daily Show, embracing the "infotainment" format and stylings of Jon Stewart.

Here's a clip of Jon Stewart appearing on the The Daily Show: Netherlands Edition, hosted by Jan Jaap van der Wal.

Up next, we will get to know the TV shows outside the U.S. similar to The Daily Show and The Colbert Report:

  • Caiga Quien Caiga
  • Custe o Que Custar
  • Le Iene
  • Striscia la notizia
  • Heute-Show
  • Al-Bernameg
  • Parazit
  • This Hour Has 22 Minutes
  • Rick Mercer Report
  • Week Thus Far
  • Have I Got News For You
  • Eretz Nehederet
  • If I Were Prime Minister
  • Russell Howard's Good News
  • 10 O'Clock Live
  • Good News Week

Stay tuned!

See related posts:

 

SnapStream’s Top 10 Super Bowl Commercials

February 06 2012 by Rachel Eichenbaum and Joel Gabiola

Super Bowl commercials air pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while (in between gnawing on buffalo wings and guzzling beer), you could miss the best ones! Based on our selection of favorites from Super Bowl XLVI, we can conclude that SnapStream is made up of dog lovers and Betty White enthusiasts. Who knew?

An estimated 111.3 million people watched this year's Super Bowl, making it the most watched television show in U.S. History. In case you missed it, we created a 15-second recap of all the greatest ads to catch you up to speed. (Click below.)



Whew, that was a rush of subliminal messaging! We put that together using our very own TV recording and search technology. Now, for the unabridged versions. Please enjoy SnapStream’s handpicked favorites of Super Bowl XLVI, on the house!

1. Doritos: "Man’s Best Friend"
Did you know that Doritos commercials are all user-generated? It's pretty cool, because both of their ads landed in our top picks. In this one, Doritos are centered as the dog’s mischievous bribe to his owner, in regards to the whereabouts of their missing cat. Sorry, Fluffy.
TV search term: “Cat”

2. Honda: “Matthew’s Day Off”
Matthew Broderick easily falls back into the character of Ferris Bueller, the role of a charming, clever high-school slacker which made him famous at the age of 23. In this spinoff, Broderick plays hooky in a red Honda CR-V instead of the red 1961 Ferrari GT California featured in the original film.
TV search term: “Broderick”


3. Bud Light: “Rescue Dog”
This is Pavlovian conditioning at its finest! A "rescue dog" named Weego is expertly trained to fetch Bud Light bottles whenever somebody says, “here we go.” Get it? "Here, Weego!" Clearly, Weego is prepared to handle the most urgent of emergencies, like needing a beer in your hand stat.
TV search terms: “Here we go”

4. Skechers: “Go Run”
Apparently we swoon over anything that includes a cute dog, and an underdog, at that. We also thought the CGI moonwalking was competitive to Michael Jackon's. Do you think Mr. Quiggly is an adequate replacement for the former Skechers spokesperson, Kim Kardashian?
TV search term: “Skechers”

5. The Voice: “Vocal Combat”
Dear Betty White, it is about time someone loved you for more than your body! She's America’s original and most wanted cougar, but with a mix of, "Awww, will you be my grandma?" Hey Betty, SnapStream would love to have you around, knitting sweaters and baking cookies every day.
TV search terms: “The Voice”

6. Volkswagen: “Dog Strikes Back”
At SnapStream, we're participating in a fitness challenge, so we admire this dog’s aspiration to get in shape. Plus, anything with Star Wars wins us over. Did you think the dog was funnier than the Vader kid?
TV search terms: “Get up offa that thing”


Doritos: Slingshot Baby
7. Doritos: “Slingshot Baby”
Another piece of consumer-generated gold for Doritos. Our favorite part is when the baby propels forward in slow-mo. Everything else in the world freezes in that moment of airborne bliss. There’s just nothing like snacking on nacho cheese Doritos with grandma on a sunny day.
TV search terms: “Doritos”


8. Oikos Yogurt: “The Tease”
We were all a big fan of John Stamos on Glee last season, so we were excited to see him make another televised appearance during the Super Bowl. Stamos proudly represents his Greek heritage in the name of protein-packed yogurt. Ladies, would you share your Oikos with John Stamos?
TV search terms: “Oikos”


9. Acura: “Transactions”
We have some serious car buffs in our office, but nothing like Jerry Seinfeld and Jay Leno. These two comedians are well-known for their automobile enthusiasm and collections. We totally want Leno's flying squirrel suit to make our daily commutes more like super hero missions.
TV search terms: “Acura”


10. Chevrolet: “Stunt Anthem”
The stunts featured in this spot were totally extreme and off the wall, just like us. Bravo to Chevy for an excellent musical choice to fuel this epic series of stunts. We could also wax nostalgic about the car’s name, Sonic.
TV search terms: “Chevy Sonic”

And that concludes our Top 10 Favorite Super Bowl Commercials of 2012. What were your favorites this year, and why?

Watch SnapStream's Jingle Bells Remix

December 20 2011 by Rachel Abbott

In the spirit of the season, we are delighted to share a special video treat with you. SnapStream's little helpers ransacked their archive of goodies to produce a year in review through the eyes of TV search. Please pour yourself a glass of eggnog and sing along as we wish you a merry holiday season and a happy new year!



Keep on searching in 2012,

Team SnapStream

All in! Playing poker is a lot like testing software

October 14 2011 by tvsearcheradmin

Several of us SnapStreamers enjoy playing America's game, which involves neither a helmet nor pigskin, nor the trajectory of a wingless bird (cue avian grumbling). We like football and Angry Birds too, but this classic game is poker — No Limit Texas Hold'em to be exact.

You won't see us on this year’s World Series of Poker broadcasts on ESPN, but about once a month we wear sunglasses at night for our own main event, replete with quotes from the cult movie hit Rounders. Highlights from the first SnapStream Poker Night include:

Realizing we were in trouble when our lead tester Zack shuffled up like a dealer from The Bellagio, Zack sending two summer interns to the rail with a full house (Jacks full of interns), and...Zack earning consecutive first place wins. If the urban term ownage applies here, and it clearly does, then so does rematch!

Texas Hold’em is a game of situations that requires knowledge of hand probability, keen observation, a little math, and a lot of intuition. Many times you don’t know for certain if an opponent's hand is strong or weak, so you have to lead out with a bet to gain information, often with only a marginal hand yourself. Knowing how much to bet, and when, is key to success at the table.

If this game of calculated risk sounds a bit like a metaphor for business strategy or investing, then you’re onto something. Rewind to the mid-70s, when part of the money raised for a start up named Microsoft came from the founder’s poker winnings at Harvard. Here’s a passage from Bill Gates’s prophetic 1995 book, The Road Ahead:

"In poker, a player collects different pieces of information—who's betting boldly, what cards are showing, what this guy's pattern of betting and bluffing is—and then crunches all that data together to devise a plan for his own hand. I got pretty good at this kind of information processing."

Pretty good indeed (he says, 16 years later, from a PC running Win7 Pro)... Evidently, the kind of analysis Gates uses to arrive at a poker hand strategy is common to many professions requiring the ability to size up a situation. As an example from software testing, here are a few vectors from our lead tester’s playbook on preparing to test at SnapStream:

“What is the scope of this code check-in, what are the requirements and expectations, what are the boundary cases, performance considerations, security concerns etc? What’s the plan of attack?”

Tackling these and other fundamental questions sharpens our game by clarifying the situation and a course of action. We then play against the software to help strengthen it for our customers. If that sounds like fun, it is!

On that note, the SnapStream Series of Poker continues at the end the month, near Halloween. No doubt a few well-disguised A-games will be lurking at the table, behind some very unusual poker faces. May your full house be pleasantly haunted this autumn, and remember:

“You can’t lose what you don’t put in the middle... but you can’t win much either.” - Mike McDermott (Matt Damon, Rounders)

TV Trend: Jersey Shore, Snooki fly off the charts!

January 07 2011 by Rachel Abbott

Blowing up the Tube

On Thursday night, Jersey Shore premiered with a blowout of 8.4 million viewers, making it the most-watched series telecast in the history of MTV. Love it or hate it, the Shore is up 62% compared to last year's debut, according to the Nielson Co.

On the up-and-up, the reality soap's TV ratings have been progressively climbing, not "creeping," since it first aired in December 2009 with 1.4 million viewers. The Season 2 opener in July 2010 had 5.2 million people hooked.

While this news is shocking, it's also not a huge surprise. When you "punch" in a search on SnapStream's TV Trends (see: Snooki's face punch), the news results and media coverage match up 100%.

Tidal Wave of Jersey Shore News

All puns aside, the American news media propagates the popularity of Jersey Shore with continuous commentary and constant exposure. Think about it, any singular topic garnering this much attention in the press is going to incite public interest and provoke curiosity. No wonder people can't get enough.

The shenanigans on Jersey Shore have become the go-to source of pop culture satire—producing a gold mine of interviews, media appearances, spin-offs and talk material that everyone wants to capitalize on.

Snooki Dominates TV Trends

Play around with the graph below. Or visit tvtrends.com to type in your own keywords and see the context of each mention within the closed captioning. (Playback is reserved for SnapStream TV Search users.)

Snooki gets the most references, the most "hits" - isn't that interesting? She single-handedly outdoes the namesake of the show. If I was her, I'd command higher pay based on the sheer amount of media exposure she's raking in. So in conclusion, Snooki is the icon and MVP of Jersey Shore.

Have a great Friday. GTL.

For fun, here's the cast of Jersey Shore on The View:

TV Trends of Summer!

August 04 2010 by Rachel Abbott

Hey SnapStream Fans,

Since we're always tracking the hottest topics on television, we thought we'd whip up a visual word cloud to represent the sizzling trends of the summer. Taking transcript excerpts from peaking keywords on TV Trends from May to present, we made this beautiful conglomerate of headlining news and pop culture.

Just one of the many cool things you can do with the rich information stored in TV Trends--you know it's open and free for anyone to use, right?

TV Trends of Summer 2010

See the original graph that shows the scope of television media coverage.

 

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