TV-B-Gone at CES = TVs Gone at CES

TV-B-Gone at CES = TVs Gone at CES


Trent Reznor: Why won’t people pay $5?

There is an update to my last post on Trent Reznor’s online record sales experiment: He appears to be disappointed that more people did not buy the record and asks why.

I would suggest its simply because he offered the album for free at the same time.

Most people dont give a single cent towards high-end audiophile sound, there is no reason – they have crappy earphones and use MP3 players with bad signal-to-noise ratios.

I would suggest offering the cheaper version for $3 and the high bitrate version for $5. Or how about sell it for $5 and give it away for free one month later?

 Or,  how about consider that a) not very many people liked the music since not that many people d/l it and b) it was a good percentage of buy-in.

 So in this case, the answer may be that the album didnt knock off any sox. 


The Top Two Ways To Protect Your Video Copyrights

I think (I hope!) I’ve done a pretty good job at protecting the copyrights of the video content for Rocketboom. For us, “protecting” does not mean preventing people from getting a copy, it means protecting ownership and rights for the future because who knows what will happen then.

Its kinda of sad but most people are not thinking so much about the implications of their future rights and some bad stuff is happening.

When it comes to protection, I have boiled it down to two main shields. This is not conclusive or meant to replace any security you have, I’m just throwing out a conceptual idea here.

Every time I see a contract, I hone in to see what it says about 1) ability to terminate and 2) the destiny of the content after termination.


Most people think about this already as their number one concern. If one day they get a better deal, can they stop the deal they are in and move over? Usually, luckily, on most of the sharing sites like YouTube, DailyMotion, Metacafe, etc. the answer is yes. You can just take the content down or delete your account, there is no length of term.

With some of the private partners we have, we like really short terms. Short! For the same reason: It’s easy enough to renew and it’s nice to have flexibility for change. But most importantly, it’s nice to be able to get out. You just never know what might come along that you might want instead.

So right now, I don’t really care what YouTube or Revver does with the video. If they decide to do something really crazy with it, like distribute it somewhere, or maybe even use it to promote their site – no matter what they do, if we don’t like it, at least it says in the contract that we can simply say, “Stop now.” With that kind of power, we’ll always be in control and secure in the future.… that is… assuming no other perpetuities exit after the termination.


This is a bit more complex and often contains a popular loop hole for the benefit of the Service mentioned somewhere else in the contract. Sometimes I have seen clauses that say the owner grants the service non-exclusive, worldwide rights in perpetuity though the owner can terminate the account at anytime and that the videos will come down.

Even if the videos come down and the account is deleted, obviously the “company” will have a right to use the content in the future because the owner granted non-exclusive, worldwide rights forever.

Some people might think that this is of no harm anyway, especially if the use is restricted to non-commercial use.

Yet what if one day in 25 years from now, there is a nostalgic demand for the content. An owner of the content may set out to monetize only to find a company is competing by giving the content away as a promotion for free.

Moral of the story? Get a lawyer. 😀 

Seriously though, the right to terminate quickly and the right to cease all future use by any 3rd party is an extremely important position to be in and a lawyer will only be able to protect you if you know what you need to be protected from.


Stay Away from Online Video for Henry

I was EXTREMELY surprised that Henry Bodget now has his own online video show. From TechCrunch:

“The show will be hosted by Henry Bodget (Silicon Alley Insider), Sarah Lacy (Business Week columnist) and Paul Kedrosky and will have 10-20 original segments per week day, focusing on financial news and the CNBC crowd.”

I have been following Blodget’s blog for the last few months and he has been “preaching” to people NOT to do video online, suggesting that there is no money in it.

In fact, if I had to name a person who was the most bearish blogger in online video, without a blink I would say Henry Blodget.

So my thought is simply that he was probably bullshitting us all this time and being deceitful in order to gain a market advantage for himself.

Here are some recent quotes from his blog on the topic:

“The widespread adoption of streaming video may permanently reduce profit margins in the Internet media sector.” [1]

“No matter how you look at it, the message to professional online video producers from this data point is similar to that of our Revver video analysis: Keep your day jobs.” [2]

“Most dedicated streaming video start-ups will never make money and will disappear (either via bankruptcy or fire-sale).  Thus, streaming video entrepreneurs should raise as much cash as possible, now, while investors are still throwing it at them.  (Investors, meanwhile, should stop throwing it–immediately).” [3]

“Internet users don’t want to watch TV shows online: Professionally produced video?  Yes. TV shows?  No.” [4]

“After performing a detailed analysis of the economics of streaming video, we continue to believe it is a very tough business–with high capital costs and low profit margins.” [5]

“Unfortunately, after the splits, the $4.50 is still far below the level needed to sustain life at most online video production shops (you could probably make more money writing short stories). ” [6]

“In general, therefore, we believe that observers are vastly overestimating the amount of money that will be made in streaming video, at least over the next several years” [7]

Even as I wrote my most recent post on TiVo, encouraging others to jump in and rise up, I still asked myself (as I always do) if I am hurting Rocketboom’s business by being so giving with this kind of information.

It’s the opposite kind of approach compared to say, Apple, yet I believe in Apple’s secretive approach too, it’s brilliant for them and it’s very justified.

There is a third way of approaching business and that is to try and “mislead” people into going down the wrong road, in order to then yourself go the way you believe is right. Its legal in some cases I suppose, but who wants to live like that? In otherwords, its not being transparent, and its not being quiet, its being deceitful.

I really dont know whats going on here with Blogdet and what he really thinks about all of this and I certainly have no idea if his Wallstreet advise is sound, but I will say that I think every single one of his conclusions about online video have been completely bogus (i.e. not just a little bogus, I mean completely).

“Internet users don’t want to watch TV shows online” – Henry Blodget (see above image for proof).


Katrina Victim Sues U.S. for $3 Quadrillion

Katrina Victim Sues U.S. for $3 Quadrillion


Number of Women at Video Sites Doubles

Number of Women at Video Sites Doubles


TiVo to open up to all RSS Feeds, finally!

Podcasting News reports, "The new feature, announced Monday at the International Consumer Electronics Show, will let users apply their “Season Pass” recording capabilities to video content available via RSS feeds. Users would need to use TiVo’s software on PCs for the feature, though TiVo said it will provide a guide within its TV-based menu system to record select Web video sources as well.“  

Scheduled to launch in March, this means that content creators have about a month and a half to figure out the technical details including the right kind of filetype and feed. The people who do decide to figure it out BEFORE TiVo unleashes this feature, will likely be in a TINY minority. Thus, it could be a great opportunity to try and stick out from the pack.

Remember when iTunes first came out with video podcasts? There was so little content in the directory, most of the people involved saw a great uptake.

Podcasting News » Podcasting Coming To TiVo


Ogilvy to Layoff

Don’t get me started on the problems media buyers have to face for being in major middle-person type companies.

One of the many major internal problems have to do with the competitive nature of the isolated department structure within the companies and the desire for each department to grow and compete against the others.

For example, imagine the representative from a major car company who is used to spending millions of dollars on TV ad campaigns comes into the office and says “Im really feeling the buzz online and want to do something big on the internets! Instead of spending all of my budget this year on just a TV campaign, I want to go 80/20 with TV and Online.

The problem is, Car Man is dealing with the TV department, not the Internet department and the TV department doesn’t want to give up a major 20% share and needs to eat too. If Car Man takes his campaign online and the TV Agent has to send the guy to another floor in the building, even if at the same company, at what point will the TV agent self destruct from loss of a department?

Apparently today that day may have begun at Ogilvy.

This Adage article suggests a probable layoff of 50 to 100 people  for Ogilvy’s NYC office:

"According to one executive close to the matter, the cuts are necessary ‘primarily because the nature of the business is changing.’ The layoffs are in part a reflection that the agency – whose clients include American Express, America’s Second Harvest and IBM – has seen declining compensation from traditional ad dollars in light of clients’ increased focus on digital, the executive said.”

While yes, “the nature of the business is changing”, it should be possible for this kind of company to communicate internally and evolve the people along with the change in industry. Instead, people may just be getting cut off like dead branches that didn’t make it. It’s possible this entire field could eventually go the way of the stump.

Over the last couple of years, I have seen this departmental conflict happen personally with several media buying companies. The Internet Agent who is trying to pitch big plans online involving Rocketboom is often the brunt of an up-and-coming department that is essentially powerless for it’s nascent state.  

Now is a better time than never to refresh and renew what will.


2008 Presidential Candidates Net Worth-Wealth Graph

2008 Presidential Candidates Net Worth-Wealth Graph

“A pictorially qualitative graph in which each candidate’s size is relative to their net worth”

For zoom, check out this one.