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Digital Trends Live: YouTube Premium and drones that fly forever

On Wednesday’s episode of Digital Trends Live, we discussed YouTube’s decision to offer premium content in exchange for a few ads, and sat down with guests Laura Major and Ben Lee to discuss drones that fly forever and creating brands in the digital world.

YouTube will be making all its original content available for free in 2019, according to The Hollywood Reporter, regardless of whether users pay the $12/month subscription for YouTube Premium. You can still pay the fee to remove ads, but if you are willing to watch a few, you can watch exclusive content from the streaming giant without paying.

Subscriber numbers to YouTube Premium, which offers original content, ad-free viewing, and music, has been dwindling over the years, so rather than have its content wither behind a paywall, YouTube has decided to make their programming more accessible to viewers. We’ll have to wait and see if this is enough to keep the service alive.

Our first guest of the day was Laura Major, CTO of drone company CyPhy, to talk about tethered drones. While the average drone is limited by its battery life (often only around 30 minutes), CyPhy’s tethered drone technology allows for endless flight time, which Major explains is useful in many situations.

The drones are connected to a station on the ground via a small cord which provides power to the device. These drones can be set up quickly and can hover at up to 400 feet without human intervention for as long as they have power. Since they are immune to interception, tethered drones can be used for surveillance and security without a tower, and can even provide communications networks on the fly.

We were also joined by Ben Lee, CEO and co-founder of Rootstrap, a company which helps industry leaders stay on the cutting edge of their respective industries. Rootstrap is the initial point of contact for people looking to create businesses.

“Most people don’t really know what to expect in the next few years,” Lee said. “A.I. and all these things are happening. The need for talent is getting higher, and it is sometimes hard to maintain these cultures internally.”

Lee discussed the growing need for apps in the digital world, but also said his company helps find alternatives for new or established businesses that may need other digital services. To date, Rootstrap has assisted over 1000 product launches.

Digital Trends Live airs Monday through Friday at 9 a.m. PT, with highlights available on demand after the stream ends. For more information, check out the DT Live homepage, and be sure to watch live for the chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card, among other prizes.

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Brie Barbee
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Brie is a writer from Portland, Oregon. She received a bachelor's degree from Portland State University in 2016, where she…
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