April 22, 2008
There has been a ton of talk about Bubble 2.0, it started with Fred Wilson back in March of ’05, was picked up by Vulture Central in Oct of the same year and has since since spawned everything from an official blog to a Wikipedia entry. However, the only sure sign that Bubble 2.0 is in full effect is the recent launch of 5 major web sites focused on the Black audience. The last time this many copy-cat Black sites, with major backers, launched was at the tail end of the dotcom boom in late ’99 and 2000.
Back then a series of lackluster online efforts launched and failed in rapid succession. These sites were generally the brainchild of a disgruntled black executive in a traditional media firm who had snagged a white funding source. He (its always a he) would then hire a bunch of magazine writers, movie/music promotions people, traditional ad-sales folks and some witless MBA’s for legitimacy. What none of these sites had was a real problem to solve, a raison d’etre that was unique to their target audience, or a technological basis to solve that problem.
Read the rest of this entry »
February 28, 2007
Our friends at Akihabar News ran a blurb on a very interesting product from the folks at Olympus. I have long since given up listening to radio, with its overly repetitiously play list, its canned DJ’s and its monotonous pop drone (can Mos Def get some airplay?). Anyway, while the radio isnt that interesting by itself, the idea of sticking a hard drive in the radio and and allowing it to record in the WMA format, which can easily be ripped to MP3, is interesting. Olympus may be doing this to Radio’s today, but watch for Apex to add harddrives to TV’s tomorrow. Read the hilarious BableFish translation here or the Japanese original here.
February 14, 2007
Do you still go to the movies? Then your one of an ever dwindling number of Americans that still do. A factoid released by the good folks at Kagan Research puts a sunny face on the industries declining fourtunes. In it Kagan helpfully points out that movie theaters making money despite sinking sales by gouging anyone still not using Netflicks, GooTube or Bittorent for the movie needs.
Kagan points out that although sales have declined for the last four years theaters still managed to eek out a profit though higher price and advertising. Since 1997 ticket prices have grown by more then 4% a year which more then makes up for the decline in ticket sales. In Kagans view this news is a reason for the major studios smile. Think of it as an “honesty tax”. . .
Now, I dont have a raft of MBA’s running models for me or hordes of baby-faced analyst like Wade Holden crunching data but I dont think fewer people coming to my business and higher prices for my remaining customers is any reason to smile.
February 12, 2007
A central tenet of the RIAA/IFPI terror campaign against file downloading has been that file downloading causes the industry to loose billion of dollars a year. This point is hotly debated by many who point out that downloading is more like sampling then buying and has probably resulted in net growth for the industry. However, the
myopic, luddite brain-dead response of the music industry has been to ignore the mounting evidence of the negligible impact of file-sharing on music sales. Instead they prefer to sue old ladies and children and further poison their relationship with their customers.
Needless to say these arent the brightest folks in business. Fortunately, our good friends in the Ivory covered halls of academia have been busy crunching numbers and running models to see just what is what. Well the latest in a string of reports from some well lettered individuals is in and the numbers show that file-sharing is likely to have negatively impacted just .7% of CD sales. Ars Technica has the full story and its not good for the labels. You cant argue with science man.
Some of the previous research (Price and Piracy, Piracy and Sales, SSRN articles)