I've also stopped going to the movies and watching episodic TV. Most of what I watch on my TiVo comes from the web (TWiT, TED, Rev3, several YouTube channels , etc.) rather than cable, which I only keep because I'm too big a sports fan to let it go completely. (Though I am weighing some options on this end.)
However, as a longtime music podcaster who *does* seek out music from small indie labels and unsigned artists to share with people, I'd be remiss if I didn't suggest giving indie music podcasts a try, because there's LOTS of great music out there that has no ties to big media. Start at musicpodcasting.org and go from there. You'll be glad you did.
Only too easily distracted by the shiny to get organized over this. Most people just want to be entertained, and the crap the movie biz dishes out is, shockingly, still mostly good enough for them. If people stopped giving the industry money, things would change, but we haven't convinced enough people to do that yet.
...is a cable company that owns NBC Universal, so it has no qualms with going along with this. Most ISPs -- including Time Warner Cable, the horrible company I'm stuck giving my money to right now -- are huge corporations that couldn't care less about their customers or proper customer service. They're probably getting enough cash from Hollywood that the loss of their customer bases hasn't even crossed their minds. This can't possibly end well for anyone.
Ummmm... it helps UFC's bottom line because the bar is BUYING the stream legally and showing it publicly, and bars usually have to shell out a LOT more than home viewers for UFC streams, because they bring in people who don't want to pay $50 a fight but are fine paying $10-15 for beer and wings. How is any sort of "stealing" happening there?
What I don't get is how Sony can constantly pull stunts like this, from the rootkit fiasco on down, yet latch on to AllVid and demand that cable companies open up their services to 3rd-party boxes. Seems like Sony is just asking big cable to cede control over to them, rather than actually "be more open." How can you trust a request to be more open from Sony?
We're still pretty far from a doomsday scenario here.
While I agree with the sentiment here that the content companies are overvaluing their content, I'm far from ready to say that Netflix is doomed.
The bottom line is the bottom line here, and the Hollywood Reporter article spells it out. 16.9 million subscribers paying an average of $8.99/month* equals more than $1.82 BILLION a year in sales. Meanwhile, Netflix is expected to pay $700M for content in 2011 and $1.2B in 2012. So even with zero subscriber growth, Netflix makes $3.64B in 24 months, and in that same span pays $1.9B for content.
(* - I freely admit I pulled this number out of my arse. I suspect the average monthly fee per customer is actually a bit higher than this.)
So the content companies see a cash-rich company, and they demand more money for their content. But here's the irony: it's the increasing price of content that's driving people to switch to Netflix in the first place. Those same content networks demanding more cash from Netflix are also demanding higher carriage fees from cable and satellite companies. The TV providers then pass those costs on to customers. Guess what? The customers are dropping cable in favor of Netflix! And as more people do that, Netflix has more money to spend on content, which adds more value to its service.
Eventually, it may get to the point where Netflix has to start charging customers more as well, but we're a long way from that yet, and $12.99 a month for Netflix HD streaming is still a lot cheaper than $65/month for a decent digital cable package. And once the sports networks start busting out their own streaming services, Netflix growth will only accelerate, and the cash they have to spend on content will increase dramatically.
Studios asking for more money is way down on the list of Netflix's worries right now. They have more to worry about from ISP's potentially degrading their service and competitors like Hulu creating something more compelling. Ultimately, though, it seems to me that Netflix + Hulu + ESPN will be the magic combo that brings down the house for cable and satellite TV. Everyone else will just be a niche app, but plenty of those niches will do just fine.
...but it's not a surprise, because you clearly don't understand what's at stake here.
I use my podcast to promote music I like. I also use it to promote the idea that music is something that people can and should share with each other. Everyone has shared memories of certain songs, and those songs and those memories add something worthwhile to our lives. We should be encouraging that sort of sharing, rather than attacking music fans for doing something that comes naturally to them.
The A2IM has come out and said that music blogs that share MP3s -- even MP3s that the copyright holders sent to them and gave them permission to share -- are a problem, and that the correct way to fix that problem is to let the government seize those blogs' domains in a way that violates the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
If the A2IM promotes that idea, why on earth should I promote the A2IM or any of its members? Why should I open myself up to that sort of liability and risk losing my domain?
You'll notice that no members of the A2IM ever bothered to reply to any of my comments here. They're not interested in engaging with music lovers who promote the good stuff online. They're interested in spin control. I have my own form of spin control -- not spinning their records.
I admit my comment about Pandora might have been angry and misguided. I personally know at least one unsigned indie artist who has benefited quite a bit from Pandora. Nevertheless, it doesn't change my opinion of the A2IM. I am free choose what to promote on my show, and I freely choose NOT to promote an organization that encourages the government to break its own constitution.
If you really have a problem with that... well, you're free not to listen to my show.
I don't get why anyone who wants to own a movie would buy from a service like CinemaNow. It's practically the same price as a Blu-ray or DVD disc, but with far less overall value and no first-sale rights. These services would be fine for PPV -- $3 to $5 has been a pretty steady price for movie rentals over the years -- but for ownership? Really?
Then again, if more customers made educated decisions, a lot of people would be out of business, wouldn't they?
"Now those blogs are facing seizures and legal ramifications. And A2IM supports those seizures."
Wake up and smell the coffee, Mr. Mahoney. Your organization publicly supports a government policy that opens music podcasters like me to CRIMINAL LIABILITY. Mr. Bengloff can talk all he wants about working with new media to promote his labels' music, but how can we be certain someone else working for the A2IM won't look at our podcasts, unilaterally declare that we're violating your members' copyrights, and suggest to the ICE that our domains should be seized in a blatantly unconstitutional manner?
If Mr. Bengloff wrote and distributed that letter that was published here, then it's clear that I can't trust him, I can't trust you, and I can't trust ANYONE involved with the A2IM, because just like the RIAA, your organization's right hand doesn't know what it's left hand is doing.
Unless the A2IM reverses its stance on the ICE's seizure of these domains, I cannot and will not work with your member labels any further. It's that simple.
1.) Do you admit to signing your name and sending member labels the letter that was published in this Techdirt article?
2.) If so, do you admit, then, that you support the government's action to seize of domain names of music blogs and podcasts without a grand jury indictment or other due process of law, as outlined in the 5th Amendment of the United States Constitution?
If the answer is yes to both of these questions, then I simply cannot trust that your organization will allow me to play the music of its member labels without the threat of government persecution. Your actions suggest here that I can no longer play songs from the CDs that OM Records and ESL Music have sent me, because there's clearly a possibility that your organization will use my playing those songs on my show as evidence that I'm criminally liable for copyright infringement.
Maybe that's not such a big loss for you, given that my show only has a little over 10,000 listeners and you can reach a lot more people through services like Pandora and Jango. Nevertheless, unless you publicly reverse your position in that letter, at least two of your members have lost a promotional outlet today.
You cannot begin to fathom how angry this news makes me.
Two A2IM member labels have used my music podcast as a promotional avenue for their music: OM Records and ESL Music. I have quite a few emails from them stating I had permission to play their music on my show. OM even sent me half a dozen promo CDs, and Thievery Corporation's people came directly to me, gave me an album and gave me permission to play music from that album. What's more, one of my favorite music podcasts plays TONS of music from A2IM member labels -- labels that work with that show's host directly and practically send him dozens of new releases every month to play on his show.
And the organization that represents these labels has the unmitigated gall to suggest that I'm somehow distributing their music illegally, and that the government has every right to seize my domain with no trial and no due process of law, which flies in the face of the United States Constitution. Never mind that the copyright holders GAVE ME PERMISSION TO DISTRIBUTE COPIES. In the eyes of the A2IM, I'm a pirate, and I must be stopped by any means necessary.
OM and ESL just lost a promotional outlet today. No more A2IM music, period.