Felix Salmon

How the movie studios caused Netflix’s problems

Adam Knight has a smart take on why Netflix is unbundling its DVD service from its streaming service:

Readers won’t share ads

Is there a company in the world which isn’t trying to “harness and leverage the power of social media to amplify our brand” or somesuch? I’m a pretty small fish in the Twitter pond, and I get asked on a very regular basis to talk to various marketing types about how they should be using Twitter. A smart organization with a big Twitter presence, then, will naturally start trying to leverage its ability to leverage Twitter by putting together sophisticated presentations full of “insights to help marketers align their content-sharing strategies” and the like. Which is exactly what the New York Times has just done.

Will the virus claim Rupert Murdoch himself?

The News Corp hacking virus is proving both virulent and highly contagious. Rupert Murdoch tried to treat it with amputation, by closing down the News of the World, but the surgery came too late, and he couldn’t prevent the virus from spreading to the Sun and the Sunday Times. At that point, the virus was unstoppable: its next victim was Murdoch’s $12 billion bid to take control of BSkyB. Now, with the UK police investigation barely having started, the virus has managed to jump over the Atlantic: the FBI is getting involved, looking into allegations that Murdoch’s papers tried to hack the phones of 9/11 victims.

The new dynamics of Netflix

I’ve received some very interesting reactions to yesterday’s post on Netflix, including David Leonhardt reminding me about his profile of the company five years ago.

Did Netflix just kill its long-tail model?

Back in 2009, Chris Anderson posted this chart, showing how Netflix’s consumers were embracing the long tail of its offerings. As the number of movies in Netflix’s library grew from 4,500 to 18,000, the top 500 movies in the library went from constituting more than 70% of demand to less than 50% of demand.

Dispatches from the new news landscape, Univision edition

Univision is a massive television network in the United States, which has had a lot of success providing popular programming in Spanish. It’s had a news operation for a while, but nothing investigative — and up until now it has made a point of telling only upbeat and positive stories about the hispanic population in the US.

What damage could Rebekah Brooks do to News Corp?

The implosion of the News of the World, and of News Corp’s bluster surrounding hacking and bribery allegations, comes less than a week after the Bribery Act of 2010 finally became law in the UK. The Bribery Act had an unbelievably long gestation — a distant relation of mine, Cyril Salmon, headed up the Salmon Commission on Standards in Public Life and put forward recommendations on the subject as long ago as 1976.

Brand and crisis management, Murdoch style

For a man who’s spent his entire life in the media business and understands it as well as anybody who’s ever lived, Rupert Murdoch is quite astonishingly inept at crisis management.

Bringing sense to business-method patents

It’s rare that I consider Andrew Ross Sorkin too harsh on Wall Street, but today is one of those times.