Opinion

The Great Debate

Do tough times draw TV-viewers to Web?

— Eric Auchard is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –

In the first global recession of the Internet Age, budget-conscious consumers are showing they no longer have an endless appetite for every new gadget or media service.

Many users are looking to eliminate overlapping services that offer more of the same old formula entertainment in a different package or on another device.

With iPods, digital TVs, video recorders, multimedia PCs and broadband connections in many households, consumers considering their options now find a range of cost-effective online substitutes for broadcast, cable or satellite TV.

TV programming, not just short-form entertainment, is served up on video sites in markets around the googleglobe at Google Inc’s YouTube, Daily Motion, Joost or at Hulu in the United States.

Cleantech stock implosion yields gems

– Eric Auchard is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –

Cleantech, with its intoxicating mix of high-tech promise and save-the-world bloody-mindedness, has fallen harder and faster in the destruction that has visited growth stocks in 2008.solar

Underscoring the sector’s risks, German solar cell maker Q-Cells cut its 2009 outlook on Tuesday, saying slack demand could linger until the middle of next year amid a growing industry price war. The stock lost nearly a fifth of its value in trading and the news sent down shares of rival companies.

Ecommerce loses immunity to economy woes

— Eric Auchard is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –

For years, Web retailers have touted their convenience and efficiency over conventional retailers, and enjoyed surging double-digit sales growth, especially in the crucial year-end holiday shopping season.

But the steady draining of consumer confidence reflected in recent government data and the latest market research reports suggest the online retail industry is bracing for a humbling first-ever year of flat or even contracting holiday sales.
amazon
Ecommerce, for reasons tied to both the global economic crash and Web-specific factors, is poised to fall harder than the much maligned retail store industry, itself struggling with recent high-profile bankruptcies and widespread signs that consumers are looking to sharply curtail their spending.

Silence is no defense for Euro tech executives

— Eric Auchard is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –

phones

A man keys in a message onto a mobile phone in a Milan bar March 3, 2006. REUTERS/Daniele LA Monaca When on trial, any attorney will tell you, the best defense is to stick with what you know and speculate about nothing.

For Yahoo’s Yang, news keeps getting worse

– Eric Auchard is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –

Jerry Yang’s elevation to chief executive at Yahoo Inc after a long period of decline at the Web pioneer had the air of a fairy tale where the noble prince grows up and restores his kingdom’s faded glory.

But Yang has worn his leadership like an ill-fitting coat since coming to power last year, appearing reluctant to make the dramatic restructuring moves analysts and investors have long considered vital to get Yahoo to reaccelerate its growth.

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