Elsewhere

Ericsson has released a new report showing the rapidly changing complexion of TV use. Social media is growing like mad, and although Ericsson downplays it, an additional 7% in cord cutting since 2011 is like a tire iron coming through the windshield.

[And I wish they would stop talking about TV ‘consumption’. No one is consuming anything. Let’s just call it TV use.]

Cord cutting is the new file-sharing.

Of course, I don’t mean to say that all cord cutters are pirates. Sure, a subset of them are definitely getting their TV show fix from BitTorrent sites and cyberlockers after ditching cable, especially in countries where no legal alternatives exist. But in the U.S., many people instead turn to Hulu, Netflix and even free over-the-air TV once they cut the cable cord.

Still, cord cutting and file-sharing have a lot in common. On the surface, both are about paying less for movies and TV shows. But take a closer look, and you’ll realize that money is only part of the equation. What really unites cord cutters and file-sharers is that they want to take their media consumption into their own hands.

Cord cutters don’t just want to watch what’s on TV at any given time anymore, and they don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars a year on channels they don’t need, or don’t agree with. Instead, they want to have access to the media they want, when they want it, on the devices of their choice.

The same is true for file-sharing. Sure, one of the reasons that people download torrents is that they’re free. But more often than not, free is the only price point that TV shows or movies are available at to begin with. It can take months before U.S. TV shows become available in Europe or elsewhere, and broadcasters in countries like Germany still think that their audience would rather listen to horrible dubbing as opposed to the English original. In many cases, the only way to get that new TV show episode everyone is talking about on Twitter and Facebook is BitTorrent.

Finally, both file-sharing and cord cutting are driving innovation, often against established industries that would rather keep things the way they are. If it wasn’t for file-sharing, Spotify & Co. wouldn’t exist. And if it wasn’t for people looking for alternatives to traditional cable, Netflix would still just be a DVD rental service.

Janko Roettgers, Cord Cutting Is The New File-Sharing  via TorrentFreak

Blip.tv released the findings of the largest research initiative to date focusing on original web video.

The study, performed by Dynamic Logic, offers insights into how, when and where blip.tv audiences are consuming online video, and has strong implications for the future of televisiona and online video. The study’s results shed light on viewer attitudes towards online advertising, the extent of cord cutting, and the prime hours for original series viewing.

Key findings include:

- Viewers are cord cutting. Online video consumption is rising as TV viewership is shrinking: compared to six months ago, viewers are watching nearly 9% less cable television, and increasing online content viewing by 26%. Online programming consumption on Mobile and video game platforms is up 19% and 18%, respectively.
Original online series are being watched during prime-time hours. Findings show that 8-11 pm is the most common time period for people to watch. 6-8pm is second most common.
- Advertising is more acceptable for original online series than for television streamed online. The research showed that for blip.tv’s audiences, 43% reacted positively to pre-roll advertising on original online series, whereas only 30% reacted positively to pre-roll advertising on television content streamed online.
- The average viewer of online series is 33 years old, and college educated. And the viewers are evenly divided between men and women.

TV Execs: Blip.tv’s Online Video Study Will Scare You

(via fredericguarino)

TDG: Proclivity to Downgrade PayTV Services Increasing among Netflix Streamers

http://tdgresearch.com/blogs/press-releases/archive/2011/06/09/tdg-proclivity-to-downgrade-paytv-services-increasing-among-netflix-streamers.aspx

According to The Diffusion Group’s (TDG’s) latest analysis of Netflix Streamers—those that stream Netflix content to their net-connected devices—the inclination to downgrade PayTV services has doubled in just the last 12 months.

In March 2011, TDG queried a random sample of adult broadband users that subscribe to cable, satellite, or telcoTV service as to the likelihood they would downgrade their PayTV service in the next six months—that is, “…move from a higher service tier to a lower one, or cancel a premium service of some kind.” In general, the percentage of Netflix Streamers to varying degrees likely to downgrade their PayTV service increased from 16% in 2010 to 32% in 2011.

Though Netflix has gone to great lengths to reassure PayTV operators that its offerings are additive to regular TV viewing and thus not a competitive threat, research now suggests that the ‘Netflix Effect’—that is, growing use of Netflix will lead to PayTV service downgrades and even cancellation—is gaining momentum.

D’uh.

Cutting That Cord - John Gruber

http://daringfireball.net/2011/04/cutting_that_cord

John Gruber predicts Apple’s direction with iOS cord cutting: when we will not have to use a PC to manage our iOS devices.

After Apple’s iPad 2 introduction event last month, I ran into Josh Topolsky, and, of course, we talked about what we thought of it. Topolsky made an interesting observation: that the iPad 2 epitomized how Apple seems to be a generation ahead of its competitors on the device side — both hardware and software — but a generation behind on the cloud side.

I’ve been thinking about the iPad in this context ever since, and I think it’s a perfect synopsis of the state of iOS. There will be no tablet this year from any competitor that matches the iPad 2 in terms of elegance, battery life, or build quality. No competing OS will match iOS in terms of on-the-device user experience.

But most iPad competitors have little-to-no reliance on a connection to a desktop PC, the way an iPad does.

[…]

The announcement many people seem to be waiting for is for Apple to tell iOS users they no longer need iTunes on the Mac or Windows. The announcement I’d like to see is for iOS users to no longer need to pay for MobileMe to wirelessly sync calendars, contacts — and any other small bits of data from apps from the App Store.

iBooks does this. If you pause while reading a book on your iPad, then resume reading on your iPhone, it picks up on the same page in the book. Kindle and a bunch of other e-reading services do this too. The point isn’t that iBooks is unique or ahead of the curve in this regard. It’s that you don’t need MobileMe for iBooks. It’s all handled by the iTunes Store itself. You buy books on your device, you read them on your device, and your history, bookmarks and other metadata all get synced to your iTunes account in the cloud. And it works great. But a lot more apps should work like this. Should wireless Safari bookmark syncing cost $99 a year? Shouldn’t it be easy for iOS game developers to sync progress for the same game across multiple devices using the same iTunes account? App Store developers shouldn’t have to rely on another third party — Dropbox — for this sort of functionality.

And those third-party iOS developers that are depending upon Dropbox — there’s a veritable cottage industry of Dropbox text editors alone — have a far better syncing experience than Apple’s own creative apps. The iPad versions of the iWork suite and GarageBand are exquisite apps — easily some of the best-designed user experiences for creative software ever made. But the process of getting, say, a slide deck created in Keynote on your iPad open in Keynote on your iMac is downright antediluvian. Google Docs has none of the UI panache, but the syncing is invisible. You just open Google Docs, and there are your files. Doesn’t matter which machine you used to edit or create them, or which machine you’re using now, they’re all just there. That’s part of the overall experience.

That’s where Apple is behind.

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