Opinion

Felix Salmon

Making money off free content, Boomerang edition

Felix Salmon
Oct 3, 2011 21:25 UTC

Michael Lewis’s new book, Boomerang, is listed at $25.95, although you can get it for $15.04 at Amazon, or just $10.39 for the Kindle version. (It’s $12.99 on iBooks.)

These are entirely reasonable prices to pay for a new book by Michael Lewis. But here’s the thing: the entire book, with the exception of a very short introduction, is available for free on the web. In its entirety, the book comprises Lewis’s Vanity Fair pieces on Iceland; Greece; Ireland; Germany; and California. That’s it. Follow those links, print them out or Instapaper them, and you have Boomerang right there. The hardback doesn’t even come with an index.

Still, that hasn’t stopped the Kindle edition of Boomerang from reaching #1 on the Amazon nonfiction bestseller list, with the hardback at #2.

All of which is further proof, if proof be needed, that giving your stuff away for free can be the best way of selling it for significant sums of money. David Pogue has worked this out; Adam Mansbach turned a children’s book into a money machine the same way.

Which leaves only one question: What exactly does Boomerang, the title, mean? I asked Norton; they said they’d get back to me.

COMMENT

By the way, everyone should use Adblock on Felix’s site. It makes it load much more cleanly and quickly.

Also, that way all the advertisers can be assured they’re getting little value for their money here.

Don’t worry, Felix won’t get fired. He lives in a fairyworld where everything should be free, and where somehow people make a magic fairly living off giving things away or having their content stolen.

Felix probably has an equation showing that the more people steal your stuff and/or the less they pay for it, the more money you make.

It’s Felix’s fairyland analog to supply-side economics, and we all know how well that worked out.

Posted by EconomistDuNord | Report as abusive

Index excerpt of the day

Felix Salmon
Oct 3, 2011 20:09 UTC

index.jpgDavid Harvey’s Marxian take on the global financial crisis, The Enigma of Capital, just came out in paperback. It’s timely, coinciding as it does with the Occupy Wall Street movement. And it also has the best index of any crisis book I’ve read.

Here’s just a snippet; the whole thing can be read as part of Amazon’s Look Inside function if you’re so inclined. But how is it possible to resist a book with an index entry for “state-finance nexus, failure of”?

COMMENT

“But how is it possible to resist a book with an index entry for “state-finance nexus, failure of”?”

It’s not, but there appears to be only one entry, and a 60 page gap until it shows how such foolishness abides.

It’s a major improvement on Sorkin or Cohan–which is like saying, “sings better than that car dealer’s daughter on Glee“–but we’re still waiting for the Robert Caro of The Really Great Depression. (Hint, Felix…)

Posted by klhoughton | Report as abusive

Is Twitter dominated by 0.05% of users?

Felix Salmon
Oct 3, 2011 17:29 UTC

Joe Hagan’s NYMag cover story on Twitter dredges up one of the most misunderstood factoids about the service:

To surface the content, and keep the audience happy, you have to make sure that the content keeps flowing in, and this, too, is far from a sure thing. A study conducted by sociologists working for Yahoo concluded that 50 percent of all the tweets come from just 20,000 users. “It’s really dominated by this media-celebrity-blogger elite,” says Duncan Watts, one of the researchers. “It’s a small number of users who are hyperconnected, and then there’s everybody else just paying attention to those people.”

Joe doesn’t link to the study, which is here; in any case, it’s not the easiest document to understand. The paper’s language is different to Joe’s:

It remains the case that 20K elite users, comprising less than 0.05% of the user population, attract almost 50% of all attention within Twitter.

I asked Watts to explain exactly what this means, and he replied:

What we actually found is the following: if you take a random Twitter user and look at their feed, roughly 50% of the tweets that you see will come from one of 20,000 users. What we did NOT find is that 50% of all tweets originate from one of 20K users. That is NOT true, and actually is impossible given rate limits on posting tweets.

Joe’s point is absolutely right: if you look at how Twitter is used in practice, a lot of people do a lot more reading than writing, while a very small group of people are responsible for a huge proportion of what is read.

But at the same time, Twitter has actually been astonishingly good at getting people to write anything at all. Back in June, Twitter reached the point at which it was publishing 200 million tweets per day:

For perspective, every day, the world writes the equivalent of a 10 million-page book in Tweets or 8,163 copies of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace.

It’s true that a lot of those tweets are read by a relatively small number of people, and that a tiny minority of those tweets get broadcast to millions, either directly or by being retweeted. But Twitter — along with Facebook — is at the forefront of what Arianna Huffington astutely identified as an incredibly important and powerful new trend: “self-expression has become the new entertainment”.

Think about it this way: what would happen if Twitter was reduced to just those 20,000 accounts broadcasting to the Twitter user base, with nobody else writing anything at all? The service, obviously, would die in a matter of days. The 20,000 most-read Twitter accounts are the bread in the typical user’s sandwich; the flavor comes from everything else — their friends, their unique interests, and, crucially, their own contributions to the stream.

Contra Hagan, then, this particular statistic says nothing in particular about the quantity of content flowing in and around the twittersphere. For that, you’re better off looking at the total number of tweets per day — something which is still rising at an impressive rate. When you have millions of users contributing hundreds of millions of tweets to the ecosystem on a daily basis, some are going to have much more reach than others. But the real power and longevity of the platform will come from its breadth. Not from the broadcasting-like attributes of a handful of power users.

COMMENT

“For perspective, every day, the world writes the equivalent of a 10 million-page book in Tweets or 8,163 copies of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace.” Yes, if every sentence was a worthless sentence fragment. Twitter isn’t writing, it’s texting as conversation.

Posted by MrKunikos | Report as abusive

Business Insider and over-aggregation

Felix Salmon
Sep 29, 2011 10:47 UTC

Henry Blodget has a long and detailed response to Marco Arment, which is fascinating to anybody interested in the nuts and bolts behind a modern for-profit blog.

If you boil Blodget’s 4,000 words down to a single idea, it’s basically this: over-aggregation.

Now the concept of over-aggregation is not well defined, and means different things to different people. To Ryan McCarthy, who used to work at the Huffington Post and is acutely attuned to such things, over-aggregation is what happens when Outlet A writes a story and then Outlet B basically rewrites or copies the story so that there’s no reason to click through to A any more. HuffPo and Business Insider have both been accused of this, as have sites like Newser.

But that’s clearly not what was happening with Marco’s posts, so let’s put that kind of over-aggregation to one side for the moment. The dispute between Marco and Business Insider relates to something different — which is what happens when TBI links out directly to other people’s blog posts.

Now I’m a great believer in linking out directly to other people’s blog posts: I’ve built an entire website which does nothing else. And Counterparties.com doesn’t just have external links, either: each link also comes with a dedicated permalink, like this one.

But here’s the thing: we build Counterparties.com by hand, we write every headline on the site, we add a tag to it, and so on. What you see on Counterparties is our unique content. It links to other sites, but it doesn’t copy anything from those sites. And we link out maybe 20 or 30 times a day, tops. This is not some kind of copy-and-linking robot algorithm, it’s a hand-built list of artfully curated links.

At TBI, by contrast, the areas of the site with nothing but external links work very differently. There are two such areas: one’s a column called “Read Me” which appears on the right hand side of the page if you scroll down a bit, and the other is a dedicated section called “The Tape“. For readers navigating the site, both of them work as they should: you see the headline, you click on the link, you go straight to the other website.

But behind each of those links is a huge CMS (content management system) architecture, whereby every external link is generated from a dedicated permalink page which people navigating the website are never supposed to see.

If you go to Yahoo Site Explorer, it’ll tell you that TBI has — get this — 465,825 separate pages. Now the likes of Henry Blodget and Joe Weisenthal are undeniably prolific, but there’s no way you get to 465,825 pages manually. TBI is about four years old, if you go back to its first incarnation as Silicon Valley Alley Insider; 465,825 stories over four years works out at well over 300 stories per day.

So most of those pages, it turns out, were generated by robots without any human input at all: they look like this, or like this, and they’re just pages which copy-and-paste the headline, the author, and some of the content from third-party websites.

According to Blodget, this huge mass of robo-pages at TBI has an entirely innocent explanation. “To put something into the ReadMe box,” says Blodget, “we need to have a page with the headline and sub-head and author on our site, even if the page will never be seen by our readers.” It’s just a technical necessity! Nothing nefarious about it!

To be honest, it’s not a technical necessity. Other sites which link out a lot — Drudge, say — don’t have millions of hidden permalink pages generating every link on the home page. And Blodget protests a bit too much, I think, when he says he gets no googlejuice from these pages:

In the past, these pages have been indexed by Google, but because they include a link back to the originating site and page, they do not generate much (if any) SEO value for us. They exist only because it was easier for our developers to use the existing post-headline-author metaphor in our publishing system than to create the Tape entirely from scratch…

We always include a link to the original post on this stub page, so Google won’t conclude that we produced the original story.

I don’t think that Blodget is trying to get Google to link prominently to his stub permalink pages; nor is he trying to fool Google that those pages constitute original TBI content.

But those pages can do wonders for his googlejuice even if Google never links to them at all. The main reason is that because those pages are being created every minute of the day, Google is forced to spider TBI on a real-time basis, just to keep up with all that new content. Google likes those kind of sites, because it considers them to have lots of very fresh content — the more frequently you update your site, the higher your PageRank.

And of course since Google is spidering TBI on a real-time basis, it picks up TBI’s home-made stories the minute they appear. So if TBI writes a story about Fred Bloggs, and then someone searches Google for Fred Bloggs one minute later, the TBI story will come up at the top of the search results. Conversely, if I put a story about Fred Bloggs up on felixsalmon.com, which is almost never updated, it could take days to appear on Google. Having lots of robo-pages, then, helps boost the search prominence of TBI’s non-robo-pages.

Blodget does seem to have taken this criticism to heart:

We’re going to see if we can add “no follow” links to the stub pages to make sure that Google doesn’t index them. If we can’t do that, we’ll eventually redesign The Tape, so it doesn’t create stub pages at all.

I suspect that “no follow” links aren’t the best way to do this: I’d suggest instead that Henry put all the stub permalinks on a separate subdomain like articles.businessinsider.com, and then use the robots.txt file to tell Google not to index anything on that subdomain.

But more conceptually, the TBI over-aggregation problem will still exist, in the form of The Tape running huge numbers of other site’s headlines on an indiscriminate basis. (I think that ReadMe, at least, is more curated, although I’m not sure about that.) Henry says that “we created the Tape because we didn’t want to bother with RSS readers anymore”, but the fact is that The Tape is a really bad RSS reader. Building a good web-based RSS reader is hard: just ask Nick Denton, who put a huge amount of effort into building Kinja before abandoning it as a consumer product.

Instead, I think that the driving impetus behind The Tape was the more-is-more approach to web publishing: it has been clearly demonstrated again and again that the more content you put up, and the more frequently you update, the more pageviews and unique visitors you end up getting. That explains not only The Tape, of course, but also the large number of one- and two-paragraph stories on TBI. It’s good for business, but it’s not necessarily good for readers who want less sensationalism and more insight.

COMMENT

Great insight, Felix.

Imo both HuffPo and Business Insider are tabloid-like. Their front page invariably has some semi-dressed female for no apparent reason other than to attract male viewers… again, relegating women to the status of sex objects. I love Reuters for not sinking to that level.

Posted by w.burton | Report as abusive

Is Alessio Rastani a Yes Man?

Felix Salmon
Sep 27, 2011 13:51 UTC

If you look at his blog, his Twitter account, and his interview with Forbes, not to mention his notorious BBC interview, it’s pretty clear that Alessio Rastani is, at least in part, who he says he is. The Yes Men do set up elaborate hoaxes, but they do so with respect to large institutions: they wouldn’t put this much effort into inventing “Alessio Rastani” out of whole cloth. Mostly because there are lots of genuine traders like Alessio Rastani floating around the internet already. They trade their own money, they sometimes win and they sometimes lose, and they aspire to getting famous on the internet and selling their own trading advice.

That said, however, the resemblance to “Jude Finisterra” from the Yes Men is startling. Which raises the question: is it possible that Rastani is both a trader and a member of the Yes Men? And the answer there, I think, is absolutely yes.

Independent traders are, well, independent — and you don’t need to spend very much time hanging around the comments section (or even many of the posts) at Zero Hedge to discern a strong nihilistic and even anti-capitalist strain to much of the thinking in that community. Independent traders are often men in their 20s and 30s who inherited a substantial sum of money and who for whatever reason don’t have a more attractive opportunity in the regular workforce. They work from home, they tend to have a strong contrarian streak, and they have a lot of time on their hands.

All of which is entirely consistent with the profile of the kind of people who might join or become the Yes Men.

If you look at the two videos side by side (here, for instance), two things are pretty clear. One is that Rastani and Finisterra look and sound very similar to each other. But the other is that Finisterra is much less convincing, while Rastani is much more genuine: he seems to know what he’s talking about — stumbling over his words as he tries to explain trading to a broad audience — and believe what he’s saying.

I have no idea, then, whether Alessio Rastani is his real name, or whether he’s a member of the Yes Men. But here’s the thing: even if Rastani were a member of the Yes Men, that wouldn’t necessarily make his interview a hoax. Indeed, a trader who is hoping for a big stock-market crash is exactly the kind of person who might well put time and effort into undermining large corporations like Dow Chemical. Remember that the authors at Zero Hedge call themselves Tyler Durden, after the anarcho-nihilist character in Fight Club who wants to blow up the world.

It’s a common misconception that all traders are die-hard capitalists. But in fact many of them are quite the opposite. They still want to make money, of course. But that doesn’t mean they want the stock market to go up.

COMMENT

Listen I know Alessio Rastani personally and professionally. I was the lead stock market trainer at a London based seminar company in 2006-2008 and let me give the real scoop. This stock market seminar company got a call from the BBC that they needed a trader to go LIVE NOW…Alessio who is a seminar pitch man fielded the call and ran down to the studio to do the gig.

Alessio sells 2K seminars for this company in London, he has learned the terminology in trading over the last 5 years however I have a pretty good idea as an insider he has not made any real money trading. A recession being prayed for is STUPID, first as a trader you don’t want that you want a good bull market, sorry when more win it is best for ALL!. Listen I spent well over 100K on learning to trade and over 16 years and really trade it is NOT easy and can make money but also can lose you money. I do teach seminars for the BIG companies but unlike the majority of speakers I actually trade options.

Alessio is a nice guy and I am sure his statements were more ego and wanting attention as the Telegraph reported, but listen he is a young guy that saw opportunity that is all. His statements were off base and some was right on other parts way off base. He is not a real trader but plays one for money and I am sure many SHEEPLE will sign up for his now Rock Star mentorship and learn how to make no money. He would be on the street if not for selling seminars. For more info see my blog http://vincedowd.com/news/alessio-rastan i-trader-or-pitchman-you-decide/

Posted by adobas | Report as abusive

There’s no reason why stocks are down today

Felix Salmon
Sep 22, 2011 15:48 UTC

There’s a lot of uncertainty in the global economy, and that’s the kind of thing which makes stocks volatile. This morning, we’re seeing that volatility express itself, with global stocks all falling and US stocks down about 2.5% from where they closed yesterday.

But let’s not kid ourselves that there’s any particular reason why global stocks are falling. And especially, let’s not try to invent some spurious reason for the fall, be it broad and inchoate (“global economy fears”) or weirdly specific (“Federal Reserve pessimism”).

It’s may or may not be helpful, here, to check out the price-and-volume chart of the S&P 500 over the past few days.

sp500.tiff

You see that little wobble in the mid-afternoon yesterday, before the high-volume sell-off at the end of the day? That was the immediate reaction to the release of the FOMC statement at 2:30pm. The big plunge, on unusually high volume, started about an hour later. And the big drop at the open today was much more notable in price terms than it was in volume terms.

It’s silly to think that the decline in stock-market prices was a rational reaction to the FOMC statement. If the FOMC is more pessimistic than the market expected, that’s normally a good sign for markets, since it implies that monetary policy will remain looser for longer. The market cares about the Fed because the Fed controls monetary policy. And so Fed forecasts are important because they help drive that policy. No one revised down their growth expectations as a result of the FOMC statement.

As a general rule, if you see “fears” or “pessimism” in a market-report headline, that’s code for “the market fell and we don’t know why”, or alternatively “the market is volatile and yet we feel the need to impose some spurious causality onto it”.

This kind of thing matters — because when news organizations run enormous headlines about intraday movements in the stock market, that’s likely to panic the population as a whole. They think that they should care about such things because if it wasn’t important, the media wouldn’t be shouting about it so loudly. And they internalize other fallacious bits of journalistic laziness as well: like the idea that the direction of the stock market is a good proxy for the future health of the economy, or the idea that rising stocks are always a good thing and falling stocks are always a bad thing.

Or, most invidiously, the idea that the most interesting and important time period when looking at the stock market is one day. The single most reported statistic with regard to the stock market is where it closed, today, compared to where it closed yesterday. It’s an utterly random and pointless number, but because the media treats it with such reverence, the public inevitably gets the impression that it matters.

Here’s a more useful stock market chart, for the vast majority of people for whom the stock market only matters as a long-term investment:

sp5003.tiff

I’m not going to try to read any great narrative into this chart. But if you want to explain stocks to the broad population, this is the sort of thing you should be showing them. Rather than useless and irrelevant news about what happened to stock prices this morning.

COMMENT

Good point. The long-term chart shows a key point that the stock market has not generated a positive return for about a decade, since the peak around 2000.

This is why it is critical that folks own stocks than pay a nice dividend. Examples are AEP, D, RDS-B, MCD, KMB, LLY, etc.

Posted by Farcaster | Report as abusive

Felix Salmon smackdown watch, Netflix edition

Felix Salmon
Sep 20, 2011 17:40 UTC

Christopher Mims makes a really good point:

It makes no sense that writers like Felix Salmon, who is generally excellent on just about everything, describe Netfilx, even pre-split Netflix, as an inexpensive alternative to cable. It’s not. It’s only inexpensive if you take fast broadband at home for granted — you know, like every tech pundit and journalist on the planet.

To be fair, it’s a mistake all of those pundits makes regularly — the conflation of their own situation with that of the wider public. But only one in three Americans pays for broadband, which means that something like two-thirds of the population has access to it. That’s not bad (it’s not great either – it puts us something like 27th in world broadband penetration) and it leaves out precisely the people who are being left behind by both our economy and the digital divide.

I moved to the US before the rollout of the cable modem, and for me it was a game-changer: within a few months of its arrival, sometime in the late 90s, I switched from cable-and-no-broadband to broadband-and-no-cable. I was one of the earliest cord-cutters, long before YouTube or Netflix or any real video content on the web which I had any desire to watch. I didn’t want to watch TV on my computer: I just preferred content online to the content on the TV.

Now, over a decade later, it’s possible to look at the population more broadly, and see how their preferences have revealed themselves. And Mims is right: if you have a cable line coming into your home, you’re much more likely to have cable-and-no-broadband than you are to have broadband-and-no-cable. Cord-cutting was a privileged, yuppie behavior when I did it in the 90s, and it remains a privileged yuppie behavior today.* Sure, I like having an extra $100 in my wallet every month due to the fact that I don’t have cable. But I could easily afford it if I wanted it — the fact is that I stopped watching cable long before I cut that cord.

For the time being, the price of broadband — largely set by cable companies — is being set high enough that cable-but-no-broadband subscribers are not switching to broadband-but-no-cable. In order to cut the cord, it seems, you need broadband first: you need cable and broadband, and then you need to come to the decision that you can do without the cable bit.

So, yes, let’s slow down on visions of free or cheap online services supplanting cable for America’s poor. Because Mims is right: broadband is not free. And the cost of Netflix is therefore comparable to the cost of cable — with no live-TV services at all, and in general a much narrower selection of things to watch. At some point, I’m convinced that IP-based video will indeed replace cable. But in order for it to do so, the cost of broadband is going to have to come down. And that doesn’t look as though it’s going to happen any time soon.

*Update: What I mean here is that the behavior is displayed by privileged yuppies, not that it’s inherently yuppie. The kind of people I’m talking about are people who, given the choice between a lean-forward activity and a lean-back activity, tend to choose the former. Either because they prefer surfing the internet to channel surfing, or else because they have work to do online. Those people tend to be part of the employed-and-educated middle classes.

COMMENT

though i appreciate breaking the cable habit, but soon they will consider paying to watch their content…otherwise i’m with felix
until then rediscover the locals with an antenna and receiver.

Posted by 1richardcavessa | Report as abusive

WSJ branding datapoint of the day

Felix Salmon
Sep 19, 2011 01:36 UTC

Last year, I kicked off quite a big fight with Henry Blodget after posting this to Twitter.

.@hblodget‘s business model: Take a story about M&A fees associated with AIG. Illustrate with 2 hot babes kissing. http://bit.ly/dexECw
Mar 26 10 via TweetDeck Favorite Retweet Reply

 

The Business Insider post in question was illustrated with a black-and-white photo, 400 pixels wide. It was provocative and gratuitous, but it was nothing compared with this:

This is a full-page, full-color ad on page 8 of last week’s New York magazine; apparently it’s appeared in Time, as well.

I’m not even going to hazard a guess as to the thinking behind this ad; its timing does however coincide vaguely with an online request from Saabira Chaudhuri, a WSJ reporter who says that she’s “writing a culture piece on furries” and is “interested in furry couples who have got together using furrymate”.

All of this is, frankly, quite a few steps beyond anything even Blodget would have considered acceptable. Running titillating stories about furries is one thing (although there’s no good reason for the WSJ to write about furries  in the first place.) But branding your entire publication with a huge full-color photo of two hot babes* in animal costumes, kissing — well, one does wonder who the intended audience for this ad is, and what they’re likely to think if and when they actually pick up a copy of the WSJ, only to find a decided lack of this kind of photography.

Rupert Murdoch’s fingerprints are all over this ad — this is exactly the kind of photo that his Sunday Times loves to splash with great prominence, in its perennial attempt to boost circulation at all costs. And I half suspect that the real audience for the ad is not the readership of Time or New York so much as it is the WSJ’s own reporters and editors — people who now know exactly what’s expected of them.

In any case, Henry, feel free to go ahead and break out the hot-babes-kissing pics at any and every opportunity. If it’s OK by the WSJ, this is clearly a battle I’ve lost.

*Update: My commenters reckon that the hot babe on the right is actually a male hot babe. They might well be right.

COMMENT

As one of those interviewed by Ms. Chaudhuri, I assure you that there are plenty of reasons for the WSJ to write about us. Indeed, there was enough for both the Financial Times and the BBC to articles in past years:
http://en.wikifur.com/wiki/Timeline_of_m edia_coverage

Perhaps Reuters will be next?

Posted by GreenReaperLP | Report as abusive

Can Netflix still win when cable TV loses?

Felix Salmon
Sep 15, 2011 22:44 UTC

Ryan Lawler makes a very important point: even as the number of people living in poverty continues to rise, and median incomes have gone nowhere since 1996, the price of cable TV just goes inevitably and inexorably upwards. Which is a nasty dynamic, since cable companies make a huge proportion of their money by selling their service to the poor. A whopping 40% of US households spend all of their income on food, shelter, transportation and healthcare, leaving nothing for the modern necessities of cable TV and phone service.

While Gawker’s Ryan Tate sneers at “Netflix’s entitled yuppie customers”, then, the reality is that a huge reason why the Netflix stock price was so bubblicious to begin with is that investors could see that it was vastly cheaper than cable TV. And that’s a value proposition which is very compelling when you’re struggling to make ends meet.

So the implosion of Netflix, today, is interesting because it seems to indicate that Netflix’s recent unilateral price rise has significantly slowed its subscriber growth — or even possibly put an end to it altogether. No longer does it seem sensible to bet on Netflix supplanting the cable operators as the video provider of choice to cost-concsious America. And that, it turned out, was a large part of what was embedded in the share price.

Netflix is still a formidable competitor, and the likes of Google and Hulu have a lot of work to do before they can credibly challenge it as a cable alternative. In fact, right now nothing is a true cable alternative — and the cable companies are desperate to keep it that way.

Which is why it’s important to note this, from the LA Times report on how the Netflix/Starz deal fell apart:

Representatives for the cable network owned by John Malone’s Liberty Media were insistent that Netflix create a new “tier” for subscribers who wanted its movies at a higher price than the $7.99 it currently charges for online video. That would have put Netflix more in line with the pricing of cable and satellite companies, a step the video company apparently wasn’t willing to take.

Essentially, Starz wanted to turn Netflix into another cable company, and Netflix said no; the logic on both sides is impeccable. Starz makes its money from cable companies; it has no interest in seeing them disrupted. Meanwhile, Netflix makes its money from not being a cable company; it has no interest in getting into that business.

Over the long term, I’m sure that video programming is going to stop rising in price and start falling in price. The large number of poor people in the US demand it, as does the enormous rise in free video content. Even bloggers are getting in on the act now. And technologies like AirPlay are making it ever easier to watch live events on a TV without cable service. The cable TV companies are going to be the losers here; the big question is who will be the winners. Up until now, there’s been a lot of money riding on Netflix. But maybe, after today, that’s not such a foregone conclusion after all.

COMMENT

netflix doesn’t have enough new content to be a direct competitor to cable. It’s a niche add-on for most people. Thus the outcry over the price increase. Most people that use netflix aren’t ditching cable they are using them both. If you have to give up one, I suspect most will give up the one with the old content. It’s awesome its cool but you still can’t pay to watch a new movie. that’s gonna be the sweet spot if Hollywood will come to its senses. Sell the old stuff cheap as a buffet and offer new releases on a pay per view. If netflix can’t negotiate that they’ll die. I believe hollywood wants them to die so this could be a long slow death.

Posted by samuel_c | Report as abusive
  •