Starz: We Need To Kiss Cable Company Ass

Netflix offered Starz more than $300 million per year to renew their agreement…

Starz wanted Netflix to charge a premium price for its content in order to put the popular online video service more in line with cable and satellite providers. Protecting relationships with multiplatform video programming distributors (MVPDs) like DirecTV and Time Warner Cable is critical to Starz.

Even though the $300M offered was 10 times what Starz received yearly from the previous contract, they walked away because Netflix (rightly) held firm to no tiered pricing.

Why does Starz care what Netflix charges? Simple. The cable companies charge premium fees for Starz content, and were not happy to see that content on Netflix with no premium. Starz opted to “protect relationships” with the cable companies rather than let Netflix customers see their content.

I’d love for this decision to backfire on Starz. It would help loosen the cable companies’ grip on alternate sources of content.

Video of Green Day on the iPad: Everything worthwhile has already been invented

for a guy like Steve Jobs, when is enough, enough.

They sum up at the end by saying “In short, the iPad is stupid”.

I don’t care if they like the device, and their concerns on what Apple has “done” to the music industry are shared by many “old style” artists (i.e., those that started when physical media still ruled). I disagree, and think things would be much worse had Apple and others not provided a legal alternative for what was going to happen anyway, but I respect their opinion on it.

I also disagree that people are buying an iPad to figure out WTF it is. On the contrary, I believe people are buying an iPad because, once they actually use one, it’s immediately obvious what it is.

What I most take exception to is the “when is enough, enough” question. To me, there’s a massive shortsightedness in your views on technology when the crux of your argument is that somehow we’ve gone far enough with it, and apparently we can just stop now. Do these guys feel the same way about music?

Paul Thurrott: Pot, Meet Kettle

I’m glad to see that my initial reactions to this thing were accurate. Anyone who believes this thing is a game changer is a tool. I’m sorry, but that’s just the way it is… That so few early reviews called this out says a lot about those reviewers.

It’s laughable for Thurrott to call out other reviewers — many of which he refers to as “Friends of Apple”, as if he’s not Microsoft’s BFF — for their reviews.

The only serious doubters at this stage are the idealogical ones, and Thurrott isn’t even railing against that:

  • He wants four (4!) speakers in the thing so it’s always stereo no matter how you turn it? You’re not getting stereo with speakers just a few inches apart. Any real music lover could tell you that.
  • He clings to widescreen as if bestowing computers with such screens was ever more than a cost-saving measure. A 16:9 screen is worse for every task you do except watching video.
  • And then there’s his usual criticism that it’s an Apple product, so people want it only because of Apple’s super hypnotic powers. Or something. Seriously, Thurrott wanders into tin foil hat territory sometimes.

His silly notes, which will form the basis of an equally silly review, culminate in the quote above. It’s astonishing that Mr. Pot, the Microsoft über shill, would feel he’s in any position to call out any other reviewer on anything.

Love Zune? No, But I’ll Help Microsoft Out.


Microsoft is trying to get people to tweet about how great the Zune is. If you do, you could get a free Zune in the process. Yes, it’s Microsoft’s attempt at a completely genuine fake grassroots campaign.

I think the Zune software is an abomination, so I did my part with the tweet above.

Come on, join in. Love it or hate it, tweet what you really feel about the Zune, and be sure to use the #ilovezune tag. 

Online Publishers: Other Industries Must Navigate Change, Not Us.

Here’s my point: businesses don’t get to pick the timetable for when their preferred model takes a permanent dirt nap. It’s insane to me that these businesses’ fans see this so much more clearly than their actual stakeholders do.

Merlin Mann is stirring up the online publishing community with this one, but he’s spot on, IMO.

Is there some sense of “entitlement” in the content space? Sure. Is that the reason some online publishers can’t make enough money, or grow the way they want to? No. This is like the music industry blaming piracy for their woes, which everyone — even these same online publishers — calls them on.

Apparently, since online publishers consider themselves “new media” they’re free to blame their customers in a way they don’t think “old media” can. Bullshit.

If your existing model isn’t working, change it. If you can’t (or won’t) then you’ll probably go under, as most businesses do. Blaming your customer is never the answer.