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.
One of the issues with hardware design has been, either its a lone tinkerer at his bench or you are a member of a Hacker design group somewhere in your local area. Well that is now changing there is a new collaboration platform online –
A few years later the founders got back together and without knowing quite what they were going to do, they set out to solve a very real problem. It took them a little while to realize what was sitting there underneath their noses, but they found it in the end. A few pivots and a bit of time went by and they arrived at Upverter’s mission: to foster innovation in physical design and make it universally accessible and as frictionless as possible.
It’s what the founders had always wanted: a solution to the pain that scared them away from hardware; an answer to the isolation and to the reason hardware seems like black magic; a challenge to the reason there are 500,000 mobile apps and only a handful of hardware devices.
At Upverter, we’re trying to fix hardware and we’re starting with making it really easy to extend the limits of mobile devices. We’re trying to make it easy to collaborate, easy to build, and easy to share. We’re helping to build the tools and the lego blocks to snap together hardware. And there is going to be an incredible revolution in hardware and mobile as a result.
As a consequence, UpVerter will do for hardware what the Git service has done for software. Make it portable, shareable and collaborative. For example. Say you are dang good at doing Arduino controls but you need to develop a shield for the board that handles 4 120v relays. You put your design out on the Upverter site. Then you look around for someone with the requisite EE background in power circuits. They can offer up the proper schematics then drop off. You go on to CAD that up as a proto board. The EE pops on just for a review and sign off.
This site could be a revolution in Open Source hardware efforts. Now many people can offer their unique skills to many projects. Only being tasked when they are needed on their own schedules. I expect we will see more coming out of this side of the FOSS camp in the years ahead.
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.
Kids, this is how they use to make books –
The days of the hot shot Linotype is long gone. As are the days of the flat plate press. That book you read today, the type is more likely to be toner rather than ink. But it is an interesting vid of a tech from the past.
HT: The Passive Voice.