As one whose livelyhood and fortunes have gone from boom to bust over my lifetime, I can attest that living on the cutting edge of technology can disrupt fortunes and futures. As an individual of modest means, my only choice has been to adapt.
The power of basic computing and open networks has revolutionized and democratized. That has threatened the business of governmental tyranny and the big media oligarchy. They will use brute force to hold onto power rather than adapt to take advantage of new technology. The them, the lions share of a shrinking pie is preferable to a dominant position in a rising tide that lifts all fortunes.
New media author and self publishing pioneer Cory Doctorow presents a bleak reality that can only be overcome by the diligence of the average citizen.
I have been scratching my head as to why NetFlix did their corporate split between the streaming side and the DVD to the home side of things. It just did not seem to make a lot of sense and brought no advantages to the NetFlix customer. Then I saw this –
Those of us in the U.S. already know how powerful the tiny red kiosks really are. Redbox and Netflix are directly responsible for the demise of offline movie rental giant Blockbuster. Will Redbox’s new streaming plan now steal significant marketshare from Netflix?
At just under four bucks, it’s definitely a threat.
The proposed package would run US$3.95 monthly, and would provide unlimited video streaming, along with customer coupon codes for four free DVD rentals at any Redbox kiosk.
The cheapest plan Netflix currently offers is $8.95 and it doesn’t include streaming, since Netflix split its services into Qwikster (for mail-in DVDs) and the original Netflix brand (for streaming).
No word yet on what hardware the Redbox streaming service will entail, but we’ll definitely be keeping an eye on it.
Still confused? Look if I was NetFlix management and got wind of a competing streaming service that would be a third the price of my cheapest dual service offering I would do something too. What would I do? Split it up. That way regardless of how the dollar cost impacts occur on the streaming side I can still protect my margins on the physical disk side of things. Very logical. But only if you don’t think that the little RedBox kiosk is not a competitor to your DVD to the mailbox service.
That is where NetFlix is making a mistake. The little RedBox kiosk is a direct competitor. Fact a very fast direct competitor. I can dip into the little red kiosk as often as I want. Not so much on the NetFlix side. Especially if your favorites are still sitting in queue for weeks on end.
At least there is some logic to the decision. We’ll see what the marketplace says.
[Update and bump] Well it appears that the NetFlix folks have decided that the split was not a good idea after all. So it looks like we will have a head to head competition between NetFlix and RedBox.
So, I wonder how NetFlix operates if the Post Office does close it’s doors?
Thanks to KH for the tip.
New York Times Chief Executive Janet Robinson, speaking at a Goldman Sachs conference on Wednesday, cited tough economic conditions, saying advertisers were less confident about making upfront commitments.
She said print advertising revenue was feeling the sharpest pinch, forecasting a drop of about 10 percent in the quarter. Digital advertising revenue is likely to be down 2 to 3 percent, she said.
The company said in July that advertising revenue was expected to decline in the 4 percent range.
Newspapers have been hammered by declines in advertising revenue for several quarters as marketers spend money in other media, especially digital. New jitters that the economy could face another downturn only add to the industry’s woes.
I will grant with a down economy and probably to get worse, a revenue drop off was in the cards. NYT won’t be the only industry leader to see this happening.
But sometimes it is what is not said that is critical –
She added she believed the paper was “in a good position right now” due to the paper’s Web subscription plan guaranteeing revenue from “a loyal audience” who “think the news that we have is worth paying for.”
Notice that there is not a smidgen of up sell that digital viewership is growing. None. Just “loyal”. I take that to mean that the results from the digital property is not growing at all or is in minor decline. Which is running counter to the trend. Amazon and B&N are cleaning house in the digital space. More likely the NYT online is having the same morbid results that HuffPo is having.
Not a good sign.
Righthaven chief executive Steve Gibson confirmed by telephone that his company has stopped filing new lawsuits, pending appellate rulings that could take months or even years to filter through the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
“It certainly seems to be prudent to see how all of these cases come out in the wash,” Gibson said, adding that he still reserves the right to file new lawsuits at any time.
Taken together, the setbacks suggest the business model employed by Righthaven has imploded on nearly every front — making it difficult to envision Righthaven copycats or a solid Righthaven future.
“The cases continue to show that their business model is not a viable business model,” said Kurt Opsahl, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which has opposed Righthaven in court.
RightHaven’s claim is that ‘Is this really a fight over whether the blogosphere should be able to take people’s creative works and reproduce it?’, according to CEO Steve Gibson. Yes this was lifted from an article. So in a sense this post fulfills Gibson’s observation. Here is the oddity about claims like RightHaven. How far up the information chain do you go? Go beyond the newspaper, to the event(s). The fact that a reporter is on the scene does not the ultimate source of the story. That is reserved to the participants around the event. Say a reporter covers a public event, town council meeting. Paid for by the taxpayers as part of functioning government. Should the Las Vegas Review be permitted to profit off the event and declare it under copyright? How about an auto wreck on the freeway? Or the weather since they source most of it from taxpayer funded weather services?
We have fair use as a provision in law for a reason. Its a vehicle expected to be used to further the arts and sciences and inform the public. The Las Vegas Review has a right to their property which is the expression of the event, but not the event itself.
How about something more innovative than a law firm? How about a subscription service that is reasonable in price? A sliding scale starting at $20 and goes up based on the blog’s Google Analytics rating. It is delivered to the blog as a private RSS feed. Single use articles on a similar sliding scale starting at 50¢. Automated it would have garnered probably equal to what the net from the lawyers would be. A blog like Drudge, MichelleMalkin, etc could afford those kind of fee rates. The upshot is the standing of someone like the LA Review would have been stronger. They could point to the fact that there was an avenue to acquire the piece and the defendant decided to forego that option.
Hopefully with RightHaven’s demise the idea of legal troll as profit center will wane.
Folks the days of channel programming as a component of the entertainment complex is rapidly drawing to a end. You see I finally have a media box running XBMC operational. Not a real big shucks, for the geeky, but there is a considerable amount of configuration work that has to be done post install.
Some 600 channels delivered via the Internet. No channel provider need apply. All those channels are on-air programming. RTE1 & 2, BBC 1,2,3, SyFy, Several Russian channels as well which is delighting my wife.
But those are still channels Dog. Granted. But I can go over to YouTube and download free movies. Add them to my library. The same with several other feeds that can be found. Work is already afoot by the team to integrate XBMC with NetFlix. The short story of all this is, the free tech already exists to automate your viewing pleasure without spending a dime.
Like the networking and telephony fields, the intelligence is moving to the edge of the network for entertainment as well. Centralized channel deploys will be a thing of the past. A very smart movie studio is going to figure this out.
I could see a XBMC addon provided by the studio. You install it, enter your provided identity code and have access to that studios back list of movies for $5mo. $50/year to have access to the MGM or WB back list. I would go for it at that price. Don’t have to include DRM either. Codecs exist that lock the stream route so it can’t be copied without all the pain of true DRM.
You will excuse me, my wife wants me to turn up the volume.
For the love of God, please stop trying to make your own tablets.
The Tribune Co., owner of the Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun, the Los Angeles Times and several other newspapers and television stations, is reportedly the latest media giant to be seduced by the sweet siren harmonies of multitouch gestures and brushed aluminum. “More than half a dozen current and former Tribune employees” confessed to CNN that the Tribune’s CEO is smitten with the idea of a tablet of his very own, first requesting “anonymity for fear of losing their jobs or of souring relations with a former employer.”
According to these accounts, the Tribune would like to partner with Samsung to produce a modified Android tablet, even though Samsung already makes a popular and quite capable Android tablet, and the Tribune Co. to date has no tablet-optimized Android apps for its newspapers. (Is any part of this making sense yet?)
The author of the piece goes on to recount tech companies better than NYT that flat out failed in the market place. So like the author, I agree that I do not hold much hope for a newsie to get it right. Considering that NYT’s paid for website is not doing all that well I don’t consider they have the track record to pull it off. However —
There is a route that a news publisher could go and still have their tablet narviana. The core of this idea is you don’t build one, you subsume one. It would go something like this:
Do that and you will have an fair chance of make a transition technically. However I should caution that all the tech in the world will not make up for trash content. Too many papers today are a walled garden of mental trash. Seriously, when the primary reason that many people buy a paper is to read the `Page Six` gossip content? Well then you have become nothing more than a move up from The Inquirer.
Good night and Good luck.