March 25, 2008
South Park creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, have done what no other content creators have been able to do online, until now. They launched a site where fans of South Park can legally watch every episode of the show, so long as they are in the US. International fans will have to wait a few months, according the the press release put out earlier today by Comedy Central.
What’s really amazing about this, besides the great content, is that Trey and Matt (we are that close) were able to get all the complex legal and business model issues worked out with Viacom and put the show online. No other content creator has even come close to getting their full catalouge on the web, especially not for content that remains current and popular. Of course fans can watch any content they want online using various web and P2P sites, but this is the first time creators have launched a site that really competes with the free alternatives.
I hate using canned quotes but this one, direct from the press release, is on the money:
When asked about the launch of the new site, Stone and Parker said, “We got really sick of having to download our own show illegally all the time so we gave ourselves a legal alternative.”
To date, the web’s premier, and only, source of full length episodes of South Park has been AllSP.com, which mysteriously went dark earlier this week. A message posted on the site says
The administrator for AllSP.com did not respond to numerous emails but I’m going to go ahead and assume that the reason they are down is because some savvy lawyers over at Comedy Central got in touch with AllSP.com’s host and started causing trouble. Be sure to check out the similarities between AllSP.com and SouthParkStudios.com, it cant be a coincidence.
March 10, 2008
I rarely watch TV, but I do consume a bunch of TV programming. The internet is the primary supplier of my weekly dose of cognitive crack (ie Dexter, BSG, Pushing Dasies, Avatar). From TV station websites, to Joost, Hulu, TVTorrent and various other aggregated sites (ie AllSP.com) there are lots of ways to get your TV fix online. The sheer number of ways to get TV content online is a big part of the problem with the networks online distribution efforts. Enter, PrimeTimeRewind, a new site which pulls together many of the various free (and sanctioned) online sources of content and puts them all into one rather interesting interface.
Drawing content from the websites of ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, USA and TNT, PrimeTimeRewind aggregates, organizes and displays the content from these sites within a unique interface. Rather then a TV or channel metaphor, the site uses a cube (with seven horizontal faces…) as a central interface element. Thumbnails of the shows are displayed on the cube face for easy selection. Rotate the cube on its horizontal axis and programming from different stations is displayed, rotate the cube on its vertical axis and different genres of TV programming gets displayed. Simple, straight forward, organized and centered on TV shows. Perhaps this is something one of the networks should have been brave enough to launch.
November 2, 2007
If your not watching the geek greatness that is Battlestar Galactica then you are missing one of the greatest male soap operas on TV. Yesterday, while perusing my favorite Bittorent sites to get caught-up on the latest episodes of Avatar, Weeds and Dexter, I saw an entry for Battlestar Galactica Razor. “This couldnt be the highly anticipated 4th season premier”, thought I. I joined the crowd leeching the file and sure enough, in about an hour, I had all 87 minutes of the yet-to-be aired season opener, complete and commercial free. Oh and its back to its original, tension filled, beautifully shot glory!
The official Battlestar Galactica site says the show will premier on November 24th at 9pm… A full 3 weeks from now. Why? Its been shot, its been edited, its been pre-sold to advertisers and you can even order the DVD. So why arent our good friends in TV land acknowledging that online distribution is another release window with its own rules, and value chain?
Why is Hollywood still fighting this losing battle? The early release of Razor means I wont be watching its premier on TV and NBC Universal has lost another opportunity to advertise at me. Where is Hulu, NBC’s vain attempt to replace YouTube, in all this? Its out there struggling to attract a user base with a silly name and few shows you can get a bunch of other places, without the weird commercials interruptions.
June 6, 2007
Cable TV service sucks! Most Americans get more satisfaction from waiting in line at the bank, visiting the post office and conversations with their insurance company then they do from their Satellite or cable provider.
According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, Cable and Satellite TV companies perpetually scrape the bottom of the barrel when it comes to customer satisfaction. The numbers for cable and satellite are worse then all other industries
ranked by the ACSI and they are getting worse.
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