Tag Archives: Cable Television

Time Warner Cable Losing Subscribers. I’m One of Them.

Lost (Original Television Soundtrack) album cover
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God, I love being part of a trend! Especially when that trend is to dump your over-priced, inflexible and poorly serviced cable TV via Time Warner Cable.

According to CNet:

The cable operator only gained about 49,000 new lines for a total of 34.2 million during the quarter. And basic video subscriptions decreased by 197,000, to 13.1 million. This drop was attributed to customers ending their service, but was also due to the fact that Time Warner Cable sold some properties.

Aside from the obvious reason that paying close to $100/month to watch TV is a tough pill to swallow in this tight economy, the free alternatives just continue to become easier to access.  I dumped my TWC TV service almost two months ago and continue to see everything I want – I just don’t pay through the nose for the privilege.

While I hate to see anyone lose a job due to a business downsizing, I simply can’t root for Time Warner Cable in this particular battle.

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Are All-You-Can-Eat Music Subscriptions the Future of Music Sales?

There is a compelling post by CNet’s Matt Asay exploring the various potential of future music business models.

So I think the “adoption tax” model is promising. The future is flat-rate: you subscribe, you forget about paying for individual transactions, you enjoy more music than you ever have before.

While I certainly see the appeal of this sort of approach I just canceled my cable TV service because the all-you-can-eat approach wasn’t worth the cost – and, of course, because of all of the alternative means to get that content.

Right now, the same is true for music.  There are so many free ways (both legal and piratey) to acquire music right now that the idea of adding a new monthly music bill to my accounting seems like a stretch.

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Webseries on TV – Breakthrough or Backdoor Ripoff?

Comedy Central logo since 2000
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Full disclosure: I produced the webseries MY BEST FRIEND IS MY PENIS for Comedy Central‘s Atom.com.

This original series was produced for the web and Comedy Central paid pretty much what was industry standard for an original webseries (read: not much).  It was known at the time that Comedy Central might air one or all of the episodes on their TV network as well, as part of what they call AtomTV.

On one hand it is nice for a webseries to get that sort of TV exposure.  At the same time, it is going to increasingly become difficult for all of us to distinguish what is a “web” series and what is a “TV” series.  The main difference of importance at the moment is that TV producers are paid a fair amount of money to make shows for TV while web producers make much less.  This is mostly due to the relative revunue each can theoretically generate but when a “web” show is used on a TV series and ads are sold around it the web producer does not get any monetary benefit.

Let’s not even talk about the issues relating to SAG/AFTRA and how union actors can do a small webseries under non-union conditions (for now) but shouldn’t be doing the same if it is going to be on TV, right?

As the notion of what is “online” and what is “on TV” blurs it will be interesting to see what happens to the once standard models used to budget and finance original programming.

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TidalTV is Pretty Damn Close to TV on the Internets

So, TidalTV is a site that has been in beta for a while and seems to be up and running for any and all to check out.

It is, in it’s simplest form, just another site to watch web videos, except TidalTV has licensed some actual live streams of cable TV including stuff from FoodNetwork, AP and others.  It is a pretty neat layout with a program guide that allows you to channel surf a bit like real TV – something I think has been missing from the web video experience.

While the content is really limited right now and I don’t think TidalTV is something one should invest money in since it seems remarkably easy to duplicate but it’s worth taking a peek to absorb the interface.

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Eisner Suxxor at the Web – Foreign Bodies = EPIC FAIL

So, the word is not good for Michael Eisner run Vuguru and their latest entry into the high end of webisodic entertainment, FOREIGN BODIES:

“The first 9 episodes of the show, which started airing May 27, have drawn fewer than 10,000 views. YouTube has recently given the series a push, showcasing it as a “featured” video, but it’s still not burning up the charts: On Sunday, it racked up 43,000 views, but then fell back to 20,000 on Monday. To date, the show has genereated about 140,000 views, according to TubeMogul.” (via SAI)

Ouch.  I have done better with videos shot on a whim.

Why has FOREIGN BODIES failed so miserably?  Well, for starters, there was virtually no wide-reaching publicity.  Over the past week I was able to find only 2 or 3 people who had even heard of the show and nobody I know has watched it.

I watched two episodes and I’ve got to say it was less than engaging.  Sure, there was a hot girl and I think I saw a boob, but really, on the internet that’s not much of an offer. The story was sort of muddy as was the general tone.

But I still think it wouldn’t have been quite this much of a flop if it had some kind of marketing behind it.  NBC would never launch a brand new series without a major PR push.  And even then networks still fail all the time.

Why Eisner thought he could somehow beat the system and just start putting out average looking TV on the web with no marketing and think it would be a hit is beyond me.

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