Dennis Haarsager's rolling environmental scan for electronic media. "Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us." --Jerry Garcia "Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then." --Bob Seger
The lateset public radio program to be podcast is Moira Gunn's Tech Nation. The impressive ITConversations effort is doing it. The first one features an interview with novelist (Neuromancer) William Gibson. Link: ITConversations.
An Apple iPod or other digital music players can hold anything up to 10,000 songs, which is a lot of space to fill. ¶ But more and more iPod owners are filling that space with audio content created by an unpredictable assortment of producers. ... Link: BBC News.
The average Internet user in the United States spends three hours a day online, with much of that time devoted to work and more than half of it to communications, according to a survey conducted by a group of political scientists. ¶ The survey found that use of the Internet has displaced television watching and a range of other activities. Internet users watch television for one hour and 42 minutes a day, compared with the national average of two hours, said Norman H. Nie, director of the Stanford Institute for the Quantitative Study of Society, a research group that has been exploring the social consequences of the Internet. ¶ "People don't understand that time is hydraulic," he said, meaning that time spent on the Internet is time taken away from other activities. ...¶... Data collection was performed by Knowledge Networks, a survey research firm based in Menlo Park, Calif. The researchers plan to release the study on Monday on their Web site ... Link: The New York Times.
Thanks to Stephen Hill for tips on the following two articles. --Dennis
2004 Year in Review: Online Content Services. DRM-powered online content services in 2004 focused primarily on music, as they did the previous year. Events during this past year in the online music market followed two trends: consolidation among me-too download services, which is not proceeding as quickly as we predicted in our 2003 year-end review, and the coming rapprochement between DRM and P2P file sharing, which did happen as we predicted. ... Link: DRM Watch.
2004 Year in Review: DRM Technologies. 2004 was a year of both solidification of DRM for consumer media and introduction of alternative technologies. It was also the first full year for Enterprise DRM as a market on its own. In our year-end review for 2003, we made a number of predictions for 2004 and beyond; let's see how well we did. ... Link: DRM Watch.
David Pogue: "What if I told you about a new product that could improve your TV picture, eliminate one of your remote controls, simplify your home-theater setup and save you money every month? ¶ And then what if I told you that your local distributor wished, in its heart of hearts, that nobody even knew about it? ¶ The brilliant invention really exists. It's the CableCard, a small metal card ... that slides into a slot on the back of many new high-definition TV sets from nearly every manufacturer. The CableCard's simple mission is to eliminate your cable box. The card stores all the account information that used to be monitored by the box, like descramblers for your movie channels - a bit of circuitry miniaturization that's about 15 years overdue. ..." Link: The New York Times.
Consultant Terry Heaton writes: "2005 will be the most important and difficult year in the history of local broadcasting, and by year's end, the landscape could well be littered with the corpses of those who hung on too long. The industry faces significant fiscal challenges and accelerating changes in viewer preferences and behaviors, things it is ill-prepared to handle, much less turn into profit. Absent some economic miracle or very smart and quick action, it will be a year of deep darkness and trouble for broadcasting and the people who work in it. ...¶... Of all the challenges facing broadcasters, none is greater than ignorance born of denial. Locked into old formulas and business models, the industry hasn't paid enough attention to teaching and training itself and its employees about what's been happening in the media world around them. The challenges faced by media companies — especially broadcasters — have been bubbling and brewing for years, but few have had the courage to act on them. ..." Link: Donata Communications.
The grassroots movement to post "vlogs" makes amazing viewing, and the growing audience may give them an increasing impact. ¶ Following in the footsteps of text blogs, video blogs are starting to take off on the Internet. This new form of grassroots digital media is being shepherded along by groups of film makers and video buffs who started pooling publishing tips and linking to each other in earnest this year. ¶ The results are astonishing, downright funny, and sometimes puzzling. However you describe it, the new video blogs, or what some call vlogs, are compelling in the creativity they're unleashing and the changes they could bring to the media status quo (see Online Video: The Sequel). ... Link: BusinessWeek.
Not long ago many local radio broadcasters were excited by the prospect of reaching larger audiences via the Internet. ... Blinded by the excitement of the new medium, broadcasters had to quickly face the music of reality. Ironically enough, reaching a larger audience actually worked against them. Worldwide royalty charges were applied to online audiences, an economic burden local broadcasters couldn't bare. They also realized over the long-term they wouldn't deliver the local audiences advertisers desired. Soon may were pulling their broadcasts off the Internet. ¶ Decisionmark's Air-to-Web Broadcast Replication technology may provide a solution to get more local broadcasters back on the Web. ...¶... The technology is basically derived from the Geneva technologies ... a solution for the Satellite Home Viewer Act issue with DBS carriers. What that technology does is regulates the delivery of broadcast signals to a household based on signal prediction. Using that technology, we applied it to the Internet. Whereby radio and TV, based on a viewer's location, could be validated and then serve them with those signals that they would otherwise receive with an antenna.... Link: TVSpy. Thanks to David Liroff for the tip. --Dennis
... The money [Suzanne] Vega received was royalties earned from satellite and Internet radio, a growing source of income that many artists and record labels are just beginning to notice. ¶ The amount paid by SoundExchange...is a fraction of what is made in royalties by composers and publishers from traditional radio, but it has grown significantly in recent years with the rise and expansion of the satellite radio services XM and Sirius. ¶ The main difference with the new royalties, though, is that they are paid not to composers and publishers but to the performers - the singers and musicians in a song - and the copyright holder of the recording, which in most cases is a record label. ... Link: The New York Times. Thanks to Gens Johnson for the tip. --Dennis