Tag Archives: Shopping

Free Anti-Piracy Advice to NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX et. al.

According to a post on NewTeeVee:

Regardless of how many ads were shown, 90 percent of ABC.com viewers continued to say they’d rather get the show for free than pay to get it without ads.

Why aren’t the TV networks releasing copies of their shows to pirate sites complete with the ads built in?  While I do love my ad-free TV torrents, I tend to watch on Boxee even with the ads since there is simply no wait.  However, I miss being able to download and watch the show on other devices or outside of a wifi hotspot.

I think most people would be perfectly ok with downloading a show with the ads built in.  Sure, one could fast-forward past them but most people don’t bother, especially if the ads are short and varied.

Not only would the networks actually get to show advertisers an ever larger pool of eyeballs but they would be putting the pirates right out of business.

Just thinking aloud…

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Street Fighter on YouTube

This image is a candidate for speedy deletion....
Image via Wikipedia

As YouTube has expanded it’s offering to video posters, some video posters are getting pretty damn creative AND smart.

A new (probably short-lived) YouTube sensation is a clever re-imagining of StreetFighter using the “annotations” feature to turn it into a sort of “choose-your-own-adventure” and as NewTeeVee says, it’s paying off big-time.

Uploaded last week, YouTube Street Fighter videos have already garnered well over 5 million views, and counting. That’s not just due to gamer nostalgia over the coin arcade classic, or because it’s currently featured on YouTube’s home page. A lot of the views are generated by the way the videos were made.

Aside from being clever, the way in which the videos are linked creates an incredible number of views.  This is great for YouTube and the video producer who are collecting a pretty outrageous CPM:

After the first week it went online, Boivin told me by email, the videos had earned him $5,000 in YouTube advertising revenue.

Unfortunately, it is a total ripoff for the advertiser as viewers spend 10-30 seconds on each page and there is barely time for an ad to pop up, let alone be seen and absorbed.  So, while I totally applaud the creativity and the cashification I wonder how advertisers will be responding…

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Kevin Kelly Gets Me Thinking About What I Own

Kevin Kelly
Image via Wikipedia

Kevin Kelly has a great post on the notion of moving from an ownership-based world to an access-based world.  Here’s a taste:

Very likely, in the near future, I won’t “own” any music, or books, or movies. Instead I will have immediate access to all music, all books, all movies using an always-on service, via a subscription fee or tax. I won’t buy – as in make a decision to own — any individual music or books because I can simply request to see or hear them on demand from the stream of ALL. I may pay for them in bulk but I won’t own them. The request to enjoy a work is thus separated from the more complicated choice of whether I want to “own” it. I can consume a movie, music or book without having to decide or follow up on ownership.

In many ways, a lot of us are already there.  The truth is I haven’t bought an media in a physical format in ages.  Not a CD or DVD to speak of and even my dead-tree book purchases have plummeted.

Just what has replaced all of these hard-good purchases? My NetFlix subscription, Pandora, Boxee, Stanza, ITunes and all the rest.  When it gets right down to it about the only things I really buy-to-own these days are food and alcohol and I don’t really “own” those for long.

Of course, the idea of a subscription-based life works for goods that have little-to-no scarcity factor it seems less likely that rental will replace all aspects of ownership.

Check out KK’s whole post.

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Microsoft Soundsmith Remixes – The Next Next Big Thing?

As with most internet fads, better get in quick as it will probably be over by next week.  But until then we have an all-new meme-in-the-making with the help of Microsoft‘s new Songsmith software.

If you missed the priceless web-video about Songsmith, it basically takes any vocals you sing to it and then adds musical backing tracks in a variety of styles.

Now, (via Pitchfork) comes so downright genius “remixes” in which the lyric tracks of famous songs are loaded into Songsmith and the resulting backing tracks are, well, quite a departure from the original.  Of the ones posted on Pitchfork, my favorite had to be this new version of Wonderwall by Oasis:

Aside from being pretty funny, it demonstrates both the possibilities and limitations of a program like Soundsmith.  More importantly, it will be fascinating to see if these sorts of mashups become a true new internet meme or just a funny passing fancy.

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Free Advice for Whole Foods

Whole Foods in the Time Warner Bldg
Image by Susan NYC via Flickr

I was at Whole Foods today, the incredibly crowded one in the Time Warner Center, and noticed that there were ads running on the screen next to the display of the items I purchased.

For just a moment, it looked like the ads were actually related to what I was buying.  I quickly noticed this was not the case but that there were just five or six ads in rotation.

Strikes me as a huge missed opportunity.  There they are scanning every item I am buying so how hard would it be to have that information cross-referenced with the available ads and run ads that actually related to what I was buying.

Sure, I am done shopping for today but what a perfect time to plant an idea in my head for next time.

So, Whole Foods, link that scanner to the ad-delivery program and you might increase those sales in these tough times for no additional cost.

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NYT Sees Gold in YouTube’s Hills (wow, bad metaphore…)

Michael Buckley wears a pair of shorts when he...
Michael Buckley –                         Image by feastoffools via Flickr

The NYT has a splashy piece about people making “real” money posting videos on YouTube.

Actually, it’s about one guy making real money, sort of through YouTube and a lot of other outlets.

“What the Buck” is the YouTube show profiled and it is the one most often trotted out to show how great the YouTube partnership program can be for independent video creators.

The only problem with the article is that makes it seem like what Michael Buckley has done is something that is/could become common on YouTube but that’s just not the case.  The vast majority of semi-pro video makers simply don’t put the sort of time, energy and commitment into their work and thus, do not get much in the way of rev-share from YouTube.

It takes a staggering combination of artistic vision and hard work to make a go of it online, to break through all the noise and to actually produce a consistent product that keeps viewers coming back.

While there is nothing especially wrong with the NYT piece, I think it falls short of communicating how impressive it is for Buckley to have done so well.

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Random House Sees the Ebook Light

Charlie Huston.
Charlie Huston  –  Image via Wikipedia

A few years ago I had the privilege and pleasure of overseeing development on a screenplay adaptation of Charley Huston’s fantastic book “Caught Stealing.”

Well, now it appears that Random House is teaming up with Stanza (iPhone’s #1 Ebook reader) and releasing “Caught Stealing” and a bunch of other books from their catalog for free in Ebook form.

Why would a major publishing house give away free books? Turns out, if you are no longer paying for physically producing and distributing said books it doesn’t turn out to be much of an expense and as a marketing tool it is about as smart as it gets.

What better way to get someone interested in an author than giving them a free sample.

“The initial offerings will be drawn from each author’s backlist and will include excerpts for any new hardcovers coming in 2009. Random House is providing links to retailers like Amazon, Barnes and Noble.com, Borders.com, Powells.com and IndieBound.org to encourage readers to purchase more books by these authors.” (via)

And how do the authors feel about this?

“A free eBook is a great way to sample a new writer, and help spread the word,” says Charlie Huston, whose novels ‘Caught Stealing’, ‘Six Bad Things‘, and ‘A Dangerous Man’ will all be available on Stanza. “Besides, it’s good to give things away. They’re books. We write them for people to read them.” (via)

Amen, Charlie.  Amen.

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