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
Is TiVo transforming itself into an intellectual property company? There have been several patent-related stories in the past year involving TiVo. Ars Technica has the latest on a couple of very interesting applications. --Dennis
Industry analyst Phillip Swann is reporting that Netflix "is planning to introduce a set-top box that can download movies via a high-speed Internet connection" as early as this year, according to an announcement by a company VP. Link: TVPredictions. UPI also has the story via Monsters & Critics. I agree with Swann that the future is in stored content, though this is still another "another box" story. I still like TiVo's chances in this space. Like Netflix (but unlike MovieBeam) it has good brand awareness and, most importantly, already has the box.
Also see Apple And Netflix In Download Movie Race. Link: Filmfodder News. --Dennis
FCC chairman Kevin Martin supports cable must carry for all DTV program streams. With the appointment of the new commissioner, Robert McDowell, he had scheduled it for tomorrow's (6/21) agenda. However, Drew Clark reports that McDowell apparently favors a voluntary solution and it's been pulled from that agenda. Read the story at National Journal. --Dennis
This green paper is a companion document for the [Banff World Television Festival] Town Hall discussion
of the future of Canadian television and Canadian television
programming. ¶ The green paper argues that Canada’s future in television will be
determined by its ability to seize opportunities and address challenges
presented by technological developments, foreign markets, and by its
own domestic strategies and policies. This paper dissects the
technology challenge, takes stock of the sector’s position in the
international production scene, and then articulates policy choices for
addressing its financing gap and competitive challenges. In green paper
tradition, there are no recommendations. Instead, we present fact-based
logic that should underpin an informed debate on key issues and
... In traditional business, small customers are all too often a barely-tolerated distraction on the road to getting big customers. They can cost as much to serve as their richer counterparts but generate less revenue. But digital businesses can be efficient enough to serve people who generate no revenue at all. Even if only a tiny fraction of them convert into paying customers, a small percentage of a very large number can still be a big number. ¶ I call this "scaling down", and it's a core Long Tail competency. Traditional businesses target the top end of the market--the biggest hits and the richest customers--for the same reason that Willie Sutton robbed banks: because they think that's where the money is. If you have only so many salespeople and only so many marketing dollars, such a discriminating approach makes sense. But the lesson of the Long Tail is that, as Nobel physicist Richard Feynman predicted, "there's a lot of room at the bottom." ...
HD Radio skeptic Mark Ramsey does some calculations of listenership at whatever time 20 million HD Radios are sold. Link: Hear 2.0.
Also see his Evolution vs. Revolution, where he writes: "One of the difficulties the radio industry is going to have with the development of HD radio is this: The nature of the industry itself. ..." Link: Hear 2.0. --Dennis
... PBS' fiscal 2007 strategic plan calls for the pursuit of "value chain initiatives" that include refining children's content priorities, developing multiplatform capabilities, building ownership of key content and rights, increasing use of new Internet formats and building partnerships to leverage the PBS brand. ¶ The strategic planning that Kerger is overseeing begs the ultimate question: Can public broadcasting survive and thrive in the digital world? New-media's consumer-supported business model is not much different from public broadcasting's long-standing membership pledges and corporate sponsorships. ¶ Clearly, digital broadband interactivity is blurring the lines between the commercial and the noncommercial, and presenting legitimate new revenue streams for public broadcasting. ...
High-definition television could tip the balance between phone companies and cable operators as they compete for TV dollars. ¶ After years of hype, HDTV,
with its enhanced picture quality and superior sound, is finally
becoming a reality. Consumers are starting to buy new HDTV sets in
droves. Providing those people with more than one channel of HDTV
programming could become a key selling point for the phone and cable providers battling to sign up TV subscribers. ...