The disaggregation of linear TV is accelerating???

From Business Insider???s The Future of Digital

I was just talking yesterday about two French ISPs having given up on building their own linear content packages. One might argue that they did this in part because they see linear TV on a downward slope. The news last night about the Disney / Netflix deal will probably comfort them in that line of reasoning???

Earlier this year it looked like Netflix was facing an increasingly uphill battle to maintain its rich content at such a low price to consumers, and some of the large majors seemed to be poised to bet on cable as opposed to Netflix. But last night Disney and Netflix announced a multi-year agreement for Netflix to distribute Disney movies in the earliest Pay TV slot on their US platform. Of course, we have no idea what the financial aspects of the deal are, and whether in the long term such deals will drive Netflix???s costs (and therefore their prices) up. Still, it certainly puts a halt to rumours that Netflix would not be able to negociate access to such contents.

And as the slide above shows, 16% of US TV sets were used at prime time for non-linear video viewing 4 years ago, it???s now 33%. Maybe Disney sees the writing on the wall as well.

Linear TV is not the future of the Internet.

Schibsted???s extraordinary click machines

It all starts in 2005 with a Power Point presentation in Paris. At the time, Schibsted ASA, the Norwegian media group, is busy deploying its free newspapers in Switzerland, France and Spain. Schibsted wants its French partner Ouest-France ??? the largest regional newspapers group ??? to co-invest in a weird concept: free online classifieds. As always with the Scandinavian, the deck of slides is built around a small number of key points. To them, three symptoms attest to the maturity of a market???s online classified business:  (a) The number one player in the field ranks systematically among the top 10 web sites, regardless of the category; (b) it is always much bigger than the number two; (c) it reaps most of the profits in the sector.

December in Dubai

Telephony: Sender Pays

In many ways the telephone leaned heavily on the telegraph service for its service model, which, in turn, leaned on the postal service, establishing a provenance for the telephone service model that stretched back over some centuries to at least the 1680s and London’s Penny Post, if not earlier.

The postal service model that gained ascendency over the preceding centuries was one in which the original sender of the letter paid for the entire service of letter delivery. If the postal service that received the letter in the first place needed to use the services of a different postal service to complete the delivery, neither the sender nor the intended recipient were aware of it. The postal services were meant to divide the money received from the sender to deliver the letter, and apportion it between themselves to compensate each service provider for undertaking its part in the delivery of the letter.

The telephone service, for the most part, operates in a very similar fashion. The caller pays for the entire cost of the call, and the called party pays nothing.

Of course, the called party rarely paid nothing. Perhaps no additional charge to receive, but then they had subscribed to the service with the purpose of receiving. So it was that the “free” reception of letters in a box on side of the road, was never akin to the paid reception of calls at a subscribers telephone.

The Web We Lost

When you see interesting data mash-ups today, they are often still using Flickr photos because Instagram’s meager metadata sucks, and the app is only reluctantly on the web at all. We get excuses about why we can’t search for old tweets or our own relevant Facebook content, though we got more comprehensive results from a Technorati search that was cobbled together on the feeble software platforms of its era. We get bullshit turf battles like Tumblr not being able to find your Twitter friends or Facebook not letting Instagram photos show up on Twitter because of giant companies pursuing their agendas instead of collaborating in a way that would serve users. And we get a generation of entrepreneurs encouraged to make more narrow-minded, web-hostile products like these because it continues to make a small number of wealthy people even more wealthy, instead of letting lots of people build innovative new opportunities for themselves on top of the web itself.

Open for all, closed for a few. Beneficiaries I mean.

Internet humbles UN telecoms agency

In the end, the ITU and the conference chair, having backed themselves to the edge of a cliff, dared governments to push them off. They duly did. And without even peeking over, the crowd turned around and walked away.

Another one bites the dust. While this report may romanticise the event, it’s another power struggle lost by incumbents to the masses.

Responding to Martin Geddes

There are lots of social values created by internet use that aren’t adequately “paid for” by individual internet subscribers, and aren’t appropriately appropriated by network owners.  Innovation is one of those positive spillovers that we don’t want to allow a single property owner to own forever, because the second innovator might do a better job with the idea.  Same thing online — the network owners shouldn’t necessarily be allowed to internalize all of these externalities, because we can’t assume that optimal social values will be the result.  Rewarding a single innovator isn’t always the best thing to do.

This was a poor excerpt to illustrate the title, it’s just such a good point I wanted to bring it out.  Benefits that don’t accrue to the operator, essential, the more the merrier.  Relates to monopoly generally, telco, copyright, patent et al.  A point that those dismissing Metcalfe’s Law overlooked, no the n^2 factor does not accrue to the operator, leaving value on the table makes renting seats at the table easier.

More selected Martin Geddes

Cyber-bullying: education and narrow focus critical

“We understand that physical bullying is far more prevalent than cyber-bullying and that cyber-bullying peaks in Years 9 and 10. It is clear to us that cyber-bullying cannot be addressed without simultaneously addressing bullying as a whole in schools.”

“While generally supportive of the legislative measures proposed by the Communications (New Media) Bill, InternetNZ has put forward 10 recommendations to address the policy issues it raises. In particular, InternetNZ recommends that the Communications Principles should be used for guidance and education only. Further, given a lack of evidence that a Tribunal is really required, those provisions should be removed from any new legislation developed. A review should be held after two years to determine whether a Tribunal is in fact really needed.”

via InternetNZ

Browsers should have been cars. Instead they’re shopping carts.

I want to drive on the Web, but instead I’m being driven. All of us are. And that’s a problem.

It’s not for lack of trying on the part of websites and services such as search engines. But they don’t make cars. They make stores and utilities that try to be personal, but aren’t, and never can be.

Take, for example, the matter of location. The Internet has no location, and that’s one of its graces. But sites and services want to serve, so many notice what IP address you appear to be arriving from. Then they customize their page for you, based on that location. While that might sound innocent enough, and well-intended, it also fails to know one’s true intentions, which matter far more to each of us than whatever a website guesses about us, especially if the guessing is wrong.

Shopping carts on rails according to a later analogy from Doc. And that’s really sad. I used to compare railways to telcos, their services, their time-table, their price. And the Internet to the personal vehicle. From Doc’s perspective it appears the mass consumer Internet is trending that way.