An individual's desire to consume content is not a differentiator/strategic advantage for any one company. Why is it really hard to build a successful new social network, search engine or smartphone platform? Because Facebook has the network effect, Google search is a superior product as it's improved each day by its 100 of millions of users and Apple has a vertically integrated ecosystem that locks users into using an iPhone.
Google's search is barely rivaled by anyone because it returns the best results, which are content.
The network effect is important. One of the major reasons it's important is because it can deliver more and better content.
Understanding tech companies different business models and how paid-for content fits into that does.
Even content from one's garage that users put up on eBay or the paint splatters up for auction at Sothebys New York?
These processes require precision, careful cost analysis, and ultimately employ 10s of thousands of people, all in the process of providing basic living essentials like food, transport, energy, medicine, etc.
What do Disney (#52 Fortune 500) or Time Warner (#95 Fortune 500) do that warrants their presence alongside the Pfizers (provides medication; #54) and 3Ms (provides all kinds of materials and plastics; #94) of the world? They throw mud at the wall until it sticks and then just rehash, rehash, rehash. It is far more profitable than any natural business, meaning a business that exist due to real market forces instead of artificially-imposed monopolies (without copyright, there is virtually unlimited supply to "content", making the market infertile at best).
We have given away the farm to content owners. Copyright must be substantially weakened. Content is only so grotesquely profitable because we threaten to imprison those persons who copy things without the consent of their local MegaCorp; that is, such transactions occur within a completely artificial marketplace. We need to fix this.
The best way to reply is to link to the M.I.T. PDF on most profitable business models - search the word creator: http://ccs.mit.edu/papers/pdf/wp226.pdf
"...Figure 4 shows the distribution of different business models in our sample of large US firms. By far the most common basic business model in our sample is Creator, with 46% of total revenues of the firms in our sample falling within this category.
Landlord type models account for 34% of total revenues, followed by Distributors with 18% of total revenues, and Brokers with 2%. In addition, an overwhelming portion (70%) of the business of large-revenue, publicly traded firms still involves physical assets. Financial and Human assets account for 12% and 13%, respectively, and Intangible assets are only 4% of the revenues of large firms. Figure 4 also shows the numbers of firms generating revenues with each model and asset type. ..."
Creating food is content as well.
These movies came out in the 1930s. They are almost 100-years old.
NetFlix got that fact pretty quickly when the studios wanted to renegotiate contracts and that is where the bulk of their money is coming from. [They are] the creator and the distributor.
edit to fix typo.
As product owners/creators, we can easily obsess about our platform and loose sight of the needs of the users we set out to serve, then scratch our heads when users jump ships to a crappier service (in our biased judgement) which happens to have more content.
Eg. during The Electronic Entertainment Expo 2017 (E3) in June there where multiple YouTube channels streaming with side chat, comments and what not. I think I have seen it with the recent Star Wars releases too.
Maybe it is not quite what you describe, but this seems to be a trend
- Have it be friends-specific. I don't always want to watch with strangers.
- Be able to talk to each other, but modify the audio on-the-fly so that it doesn't overpower the audio from the show. In the ideal case, I want to be able to "hear" from my friend on my "left". Hard to do, but worth it
- If it's totally public, there has to be a way to surface relevant content. Twitch has more of a "stadium" feel. I want something more high-quality. I want to hear what my favorite reviewer from the A.V. Club is saying, for example
- Emoji reactions!!!!!!!! Sticky-text isn't always the best thing, sometimes I just want in-the-moment ephemeral reactions
- Discovery for online watching groups. This can split out to something far better down the line
- Integration with PS4, XBox 1, Apple TV, Roku, and other TV platforms. I don't want to look at my phone while watching Game of Thrones or my favorite movie
It seems to me that this does happen, but for all I know, maybe FB considered your idea, and the idea failed market validation.
Or maybe you're dead on! (shruggie emoticon)
On the downside, it punishes people who can't start exactly on time and prevents people pausing to grab a drink or go to the bathroom, so it isn't purely a no-brainer. People who "fall out of sync" would need to disconnect to avoid spoilers.
They are also big aspects of the value!
When someone says "it sure is hard to get my friends together for a party", it's not completely helpful to answer "so don't get together"
Twitch is the closest thing to a major player in this space that I'm aware of -- they've even gone to the point of simulating the live-chat experience while you watch an old stream, by replaying chat messages at their correct time-offsets.
Things like this for television do exist specifically for group-watching with a known set of friends, but I think the really interesting part would be stumbling into a community you didn't know about in advance, and making new friends.
Anyway, it's a shame that the licensing regimes built around the media that garners these kinds of audiences are unlikely to permit the sort of experimentation required to find the right experience here! Maybe someone will figure it out.
I agree that it's a neat idea. I'm sure the content problem is why there aren't more attempts at the moment.
I am convinced I love twitter as much as I do because I use it primarily as a way to watch and discuss sports with other people who love that team/sport/game as much as I do. Even among my real life sports fan friends, our interest in a particular game or sport differs. Not so much those who are actively watching and commenting on the games on twitter. You are there and engaged because you want to be. Due to this, I was able to meet fans of my teams that live in multiple countries and consistently talk to them, even outside of that particular event. Especially for sports, so much of the interaction happens arounds the games (who to play, who to sign, tactics, etc.). I would hate to only interact with people in that small time frame and miss all surrounding discussion from people whose opinions I find well thought out or think in a similar manner that I do.
The short snippets of text are great for getting stats and updates directly from reporters/teams/leagues, too. Highlights are able to be immediately played via twitter and photos, gifs, and screenshots are immediately shared. The NBA has really embraced social media with its content policies (cannot use more than two consecutive minutes of broadcast footage without a license; 20 minutes of spliced highlights is fair use) that lets fans make mix tapes, instant highlights, gifs, etc, easily and without fear of copyright takedown notices. In turn, the NBA essentially gets free marketing from its fans. This is where the NFL really blew things, even locking down offical team accounts. Teams are starting to use Periscope to broadcast press conferences, interviews, and warmpus to their fan bases.
If you want to see this kind of dynamic live, check out a big game or a night with a lot of games on NBA twitter. A good-ish place to start would be the SB Nation accounts for the teams and who they are RTing and interacting with. It can be a whole lot of fun and it is easy to catch the highlights of the other games or know if someone is having a monster game you should switch over to.
To me, the wider web of people that twitter catches is much more appropriate for these types of interactions than facebook ever will be. If your goal is to have your small group of friends watch a show, I can see where you find current offerings lacking. But when you want to get involved in an existing "event" twitter is really great for that.
The author might or might not be right on his general position, but this is a bizarro argument. Apple had in fact kickstarted the whole no-DRM thing.
Neither DRM nor their (meagre, since most just pirated and ripped stuff anyway) iTunes collections is what kept people to iOS / the Mac.
This was I think why at the time BuyMusic.com made a huge deal of launching its store as Windows only
How was it a moat? First, it only is a moat if people can't move platform. But:
1) iTunes was available for both Mac and Windows. So they could move OS.
2) Few people had any significant iTunes paid-for library, to make it any kind of significant barrier to live the iTunes music ecosystem. The huge majority of the songs on those iPods were ripped and pirated.
3) If anything, people kept coming INTO Macs FROM Windows (to the tune of Mac laptop share going from 2-3% to 10%), the other way around. Why would the existing Mac users even consider jumping ship (even if there was no moat as I say), if the general trend was the opposite?
I don't know why you're particularly invested in denying it. I don't think Apple treated it as a strategic priority, but it was definitely a thing at the time; if you went down the iTunes route, you pretty much had to use an Apple portable media player. The alternative was MP3s and the freedom to choose any player you like, including iPod.
Apple wanted to make a legal music store -- and for that needed license to sell music from the record companies.
Napster was a music sharing/download site so didn't need to have anything.
Apple is responsible for getting rid of DRM'd in music sold legally.
They are also responsible for the introduction of mass selling of DRM encumbered music. Like many cults, Apple provides the relief for the distress it, itself, introduced.
Because at the time, and Job's later letter on DRM is proof for that, it was not Apple's idea, but a demand of the music companies in order to give their catalogues to the (still unmade and with not much leverage) iTunes store.
>Like many cults, Apple provides the relief for the distress it, itself, introduced.
Or, many people can't recognize that Apple accepted DRM (like every other outlet at the time) in order to be able to license major label music, and then came forward and helped abolish it.
If you mean CDs, then yes. But that's not an argument.
I don't get this part, Netflix is producing original or buying exclusive content which it tries to distribute globally. The same is true for Amazon. Who is this not competing with the best content for its service?
overall this is content marketing for a16z, right along their great podcasts, etc. attracting start-ups and good candidates to work for them.
being a visible, renowned think tank is not a bad place to be, if you have the money and patience to execute along that line. it is amazingly hard work to churn out quality content throughout the year.
>"it is amazingly hard work to churn out quality content throughout the year."
One of the best examples I've seen of this was David Gardener's Rule Breaker portfolio in the 90s. He publicly wrote up analysis after analysis on technologies and companies, along with the occasional announcement he was buying or selling a stock. There were a few whiffs, but he got AOL in '94, Amazon in '97, and Amgen, eBay and Starbucks in '98. He was highly visible, forward predicting and right in a way that was quantifiable. I'm not a fan of the direction his business (fool.com) has gone in the past 10 years, but throughout the first dotcom boom, he made some great contrarian picks despite extreme push-back, particularly for Amazon.
The same can be said, on the whole, of the predictions of Ray Kurzweil. Even though he wasn't talking about individual companies, there were specific predictions and timelines that could be compared to predictions of his peer and what actually happened (e.g. a chess AI beating the top human player, the mapping of the human genome by 2000, etc) http://bigthink.com/endless-innovation/why-ray-kurzweils-pre...
How was the early 90s about Interactive TV and not the web?
If you're interested in learning more about this era of internet history, I highly recommend this podcast: http://www.internethistorypodcast.com/
Between all that and stupid pwnable "smart" TVs that take half a minute to boot up while adding no value, things are sort of worse than they used to be, in TV land. Thanks, computers!
Netflix, Amazon, et all - are not redefining content. They're redefining the medium.
This seems confused. Ultimately Amazon's primary purpose is probably not to sell the devices and the lock-in works in the sense that you have your Kindle library (even if you strip the DRM you can't keep all your notes and highlights), your recommendations, and your more or less automatic impulse to go to the Kindle store for books.
This first sentence is just wrong. The phrase 'content is king' came up more than a decade ago, in a time when major media outlets struggled with the first wave of online tech. It was a desparate statement to play down the upcoming threat (and the media knew it). Tech never thought of content as king and media stopped saying this for a very long time.
This is about the important of access to content in the broad strategy of online content distribution platforms. Once the major platforms have access to roughly the same content, the importance of content diminishes.
However, before getting to that state, access to content was a key strategic point for those platforms.
Perhaps this could be taken as interesting from some kind of "10th man rule" perspective? Otherwise it just seems like a lot of assertions based on causality I can't quite logically wrap my head around.
Distribution is king.
The company that controls the access to content via distribution controls pricing.
Most music streaming platforms share roughly the same library, so exclusive music is not a lever these days, but merely a marketing strategy.
I did not get his point of view on ebooks however. Do most online ebook distributors share roughly the same library of titles? Or is it even important to discuss, since Amazon seemingly has a monopoly on ebook distribution? What he mentions, instead, is that DRM in ebooks lock you into the app, but not the platform, so ebook exclusivity aren't a key strategic lever for that platform. If you cancel your subscription, you get to keep your content.
And then he's wondering how the effect of on-demand distribution will affect TV/Movies. Will the major tech distribution platforms transform the TV industry and render irrelevant content exclusivity?
The content is just a means.