Dead In 2010

I tweeted last week that “Acer Chairman says iPad impact not serious … then offers Easter Bunny job as Chief Strategy Director.” Apologies to the Easter Bunny in suggesting he’d take such a demotion but, … let’s face it, with the iPad, the Netbook is dead in 2010.

Today I sit in front of my new MacBook Air typing this in – and I realized something. She’s got no CD/DVD drive, no drives at all. The spinning disk is dead in 2010.

With announcements of “App Store” for Windows, Mac, Windows Phone 7 and more, I felt a bit sad as I put my iLife 11 DVD in my iMac (the Air came with it preloaded (w a USB Restore Key). I’ll never do that again. Shrinkwrap software distribution is dead in 2010.

This morning I sat on the exercise bike and chose from more shows than I could possibly want on my iPad through Hulu Plus and Netflix (delivered over ATT 3G none the less). I love the new show “The Good Guys” but couldn’t even tell you what night it is on (and I remain a TV junkie). Sure, I canceled Cable TV in 2007 but the family simply doesn’t miss it anymore. Yes, Comcast delivers the Webernet to my home but I got Clear and Verizon as options too. No, everybody doesn’t have as many choices, but we do have choices. The Cable Company as monopoly is dead in 2010.

Cali Lewis is at Revision3 and even Adam Curry has taken a “soft exit” from the company formally known as Podshow. Mevio, the company who first sold Podcasters of the dream of quitting the day job, is dead in 2010.

What else is dead in 2010?

What are you going to change in 2011 as a result?

Ustream Watershed As A Training Platform – Pay For Less

We’re about half way through Podcast Secrets 3.0. It’s been a lot of fun and we’ve learned a lot in the process.

One of the big things we’ve done differently this year is move from audio only training to a weekly hour of streaming video for the members. It’s a new model for me in terms of content delivery and I think, conceptually, that I like this process. I’ll be doing more of it in the future. It’s a good thing to be able to rally your crowds before you send 5 hours of content their way.

I chose the uStream Watershed platform to deliver this stuff for a number of reasons. The biggest two issues were that I love the functionality uStream gave on the free side – and I loved even more the Producer app on the free side. Price was fine with my profit margins so I went ahead with a name I trusted.

Imagine how much more one would get when one pays for it …

Uh, no …

In short, no Producer with uStream Watershed and a bunch of the interactive functions you get with the paid version is not included in this release.

Yes, with free you get more functionality.

What it does, it does fine, but it’s just kinda silly that it doesn’t do more.

I’m ready to pay you more money Ustream and I’m ready to recommend that others do the same but before I pay for services, could you at least move the services to the level of what you’re already giving away for free?

I mean, it does work, works great – I’d just like to do more.

Will you let me, Ustream?

I know freemium is still a really cool model in the valley but the part of freemium that too many forget is that, when all is said and done, you do eventually have to charge somebody at some point.

I hope my readers won’t make the same mistake.

YouTube And Her Secret Plans For World Domination

It’s time for a reality check on YouTube again.

YouTube 1080p. If you haven’t yet seen the Muppet Bohemian Rhapsody bit, do so. Once you’ve done that (you have to be inhuman to not love the Muppets), realize something very important, YOUTUBE IS STREAMING 1080P. This hasn’t got the press it should. Who else is streaming content 1080p? Not Hulu.

YouTube Streams U2. If you didn’t watch it live, it’s all archived. The YouTube stream of the U2 show was incredible and, dear friends, YouTube is “getting into the game.”

YouTube Protects Her Window. The press about the YouTube / Popcorn Hour “conflict” was way overplayed and completely misunderstood by the “sphere.” YouTube isn’t denying anyone anything, they’re just making sure they can track what goes where. Why would they care? Keep on reading.

YouTube “In Talks” Re Streaming Television. Calling this trend an “iTunes Killer” makes about as much sense as calling anything from Blackberry an “iPhone Killer” – but we need make no mistake here, YouTube is getting into “the game.

Enter Paul’s first (and way too easy) prediction for 2010 …

In 2010, YouTube will offer a premium streaming television model that, unlike the other options, will work on the desktop, the phone and the television instantly.

Prediction #2 …

It’s gonna rock.

See, they’re already there.

iPhone is on the computer. No debates there.

But they’re also on every phone that can receive video. Yes, the iPhone has the YouTube app but, … so does Android … and WinMo … and Blackberry … and everything from Nokia (that can do video at least).

And, they all let you enter in your existing YouTube login and password …

But it’s not just the desktop and the phone – although this is impressive.

It’s also the television set.

Tivo has YouTube.

Apple TV has YouTube.

Lots of television boxes – Popcorn Hour, VuNow, nValeo, Playnow (Powering Wii, Xbox, PS3), and others – all carry YouTube.

Don’t forget YouTube XL (made by YouTube for viewing YouTube further away from the computer screen) too.

Oh yeah, there are a bunch of HD television sets and Blu-Ray players that also give you YouTube.

And, they all give you the ability to log in to your account.

Where YouTube ain’t?

Computer – check. Television – check. Telephone – check. Anything with a screen – check!

Other than the Roku box (and, oh yes, a piece coming about them very soon), can you name me on connected device capable of playing streaming video that doesn’t have YouTube?

Exactly.

Oh, wait a minute, are you on YouTube?

Are You On YouTube?

Here’s my YouTube Channel. Where’s yours?

Over a year ago I launched YouTube Secret Weapon with Julie Perry. Version 2.0 has been a long time coming and some announcements should be made soon but … we’re practically being forced to produce this with the realities of what’s ahead.

What Else YouTube?

So, Mark my words, before we see 1/1/11 it will be easier to watch television on YouTube than anything else. Yes, they’ll even trump (already have) the ease of use of anything Apple.

With the tracking that YouTube is demanding (go back to that Popcorn Hour thing), they can even give “the industry” what they’ve been looking for.

With the devices we’ve already purchased, the only thing we’ll have to pay for is access.

And, by the way, when we do the math on that kind of access versus what we’re paying for cable, we’ll be thrilled.

But, back to the question at hand – and my visions of world domination.

If YouTube makes it so much easier than anyone else to deliver content online, why would we go anywhere else?

You on YouTube?

Am I nuts?

Please leave your comments below.

No NDAs were violated in the authoring of this article.

Roku, Mediafly, and Easy Media Direct

This weekend I presented my www.easymediadirect.com vision at Stompernet Live 8.

I’ll get a clip or two up soon – but the vision is this: one source, for all media, on all platforms.

Paul, isn’t this what Podcasting is all about? Yes, it is, but Podcasting has yet to produce a few elements vital to such a vision.

Streaming: Yes, still think it is bad form but there are instances when we do need it. It’s part of both elements below.

A Television Set Top Box: I wrote about this issue a few posts back but it is plain and simple – no box yet (but one) even shows a remote chance of becoming the standard.

Reasonable DRM: By this I mean the leveraging of tech to enable new models of distribution not possible without the tech (while being completely transparent to the end user). For example – live streams and pay per view models.

So, by leveraging the strength of managed RSS (through companies such as Premiumcast), device independent distribution clients (such as Mediafly), and a reasonable set top box play (such as Roku), we have the chance to make this vision a reality.

And, finally, despite the cool geek factors at play here, we finally have a possibility for frictionless media delivery on a scale that can make this space profitable while giving our audience an infrastructure they deserve.

I’m pretty excited about it.

Would love your initial thoughts.

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Will Somebody Please Explain The Model Here?

Sunday night was the new 24 telemovie. I pondered recording it but I knew it would probably be on Hulu (via Boxee thank you very much) in under 24 hours (pun intended).

And it was.

And I enjoyed it while doing a little work Monday night. Nothing like streaming television, on your terms, with just a commercial per break.

This new media thing is starting to “take off.”

iTunes is offering the download of the 24 telemovie for $14.99 ($19.99 if you want HD).

Mind you, this is the same iTunes that sells 24 Episodes at $1.99 each. This was two episodes of 24. This normally retails for $3.98.

The DVD is $15.99 at Amazon and Best Buy.

The Amazon Video On Demand Service is selling it for $9.99.

When I watched it (again, less than 24 hours after it aired), I noted that not only were there PSAs in a few of the commercial slots (btw, Hulu doesn’t get paid for PSAs, that’s what PSAs are), but a few of the commercial slots were, well commercial less. It was liking watching the DVD.

And by the way, the commercials they did show were for an online project that started last September. I’ll bet you this is remnant advertising purchased extremely cheap.

In short, The $15 DVD is being streamed for free. Yes, I know the DVD contains a bunch of extra stuff (hey who doesn’t want cut video of Jack Bauer running around in the forest?). Yes, I realize there are DVD sales as a piece of the revenue pie but so is that whole advertising model that Hulu can’t seem to make work.

If you’re reading this in America (or have some clever proxies in place), you can enjoy the show embedded below (how many paying commercials to you count in this $15 DVD):

Hulu can’t be making anyone money.

I appreciate their desire to have a single commercial per break and I’ll enjoy the ride as long as it goes here but … streaming ain’t cheap (they’re evening doing it in HD now) and they’ve got nothing to show me that they have a long term plan – or that advertisers are actually buying into this. See, when advertisers “buy into” a concept, you see their add “buys” – that’s where the term comes from. You’ll see an occasional product on Hulu and there are some $$ coming in but getting me what I want on my terms is costing them less than they’re making in the deal.

There seems to be a really silly obsession with streaming at all costs. It’s expensive, bandwidth intensive, and darn it, isn’t making the sales they keep promising it will.

Downloads, not streaming, is the future of media delivery. It’s cheaper – much cheaper – and always ends with a better experience (for the customer at least).

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.

But then again, they’re giving CEOs bailouts for making much dumber moves.

If we want to get anywhere in this industry, we need to do what makes sense, not what’s sexy.

Or are we all just waiting for the bailout?

Boxee.TV – 7 Things I’d Change

I am a HUGE fan of Boxee.TV right now. It has changed the face of my home entertainment center and my strategy for 2009 in some pretty major ways, but that isn’t what I want to talk about here.

As I mentioned in the last Blog post, I bought a new MacBook Pro yesterday (and not for the reasons Mike suggested). I’m finding more and more that the Apple angle on life, etc., is more to who I am and that, really, Windows is just another program for me to run on my Mac.

But that, funny enough, isn’t the topic of this post either.

At my home entertainment center, you’ll see an Apple TV. I’ve loved her for a long time and have done everything I can through that device. I’ve loved her through Hulu and Netflix online despite, well, you know.

Then along came Boxee. She’s installed on my Apple TV.

My Apple TV just hit puberty – I always saw her potential, she’s just now showing it to me.

One sub $200 box gives me television, movies, pay per view, streaming, music, Internet Radio, etc. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am.

But, Boxee.TV ain’t perfect (she’s closer than anything else I’ve seen). Here, not that you asked, is what I’d change:

  • I’d put together a master database of all shows, Podcasts, etc. in one space so you don’t have to know that “The Unit” is under CBS while “24” is a Hulu property (let alone, where in the heck to find Ask A Ninja). If we’re really going to “kill” the networks, let’s KILL ‘EM.
  • I’d have some option between “your friends know nothing about what you watch” and “you friends know EVERYTHING you watch.” Some people don’t want the world knowing about their Hannah Montana addiction.
  • Add a very simple “across the room” email and RSS experience to the program. A simple ticker of your latest email at the bottom of the screen while you’re watching a show could be really fun too.
  • Let us change the background image (I know they’re working on that).
  • Let users “subscribe” to individuals and find out not just the last 6 things that all your friends did – but their entire history as well. Suggest some thoughts leaders in different spaces too.
  • Let content producers produce “channel” options on Boxee. For example, I decide I’m a big fan of Ask A Ninja, I click a button and now the “Ask A Ninja Channel” is there right next to the other Internet video options.
  • Produce a $99 box that runs Boxee.

Played with Boxee yet? Your thoughts?

Today’s Starz On Netflix Announcement Is Big

As reported, people who use the Netflix streaming service, can now get movies from Starz (the cable movie channel). Right now, out of the box, you can stream movies like Spider Man 3, Enchanted, and Dan in Real Life.

Earlier I reported on a product called PlayOn that let’s you stream Hulu.com and some other sources right to your Xbox. Their $30 product at the time “promised” coming Netflix integration but I really don’t like to report until we know for sure.

They turned on Netflix integration last week. It didn’t get much attention but was a very impressive implementation. I was going to do a quick video but then with this morning’s announcement …

So now, as you can see in the video embedded below, you can get streaming videos from most of the television networks on your television set. With the Netflix/Starz announcement, you’re not just stuck with Netflix’s “limited” streaming library but you now have access to a premium movie channel’s library, all on demand.

Remember that Microsoft will be introducing a direct Netflix option with their Fall Xbox update the eliminates the need for the Playon product. It also doesn’t bring you Hulu or any of the other sources (so far) and costs $50 a year.

Once you figure out how to connect this all, total access to all this goodness (via the Netflix account) is less than $10 a month.

Remind me why people pay for cable again?

Tracking The Stompernet Launch On The New Media Matters Show

As I’m sure you’ve been hearing buzz about around the new, Stompernet is launching something very cool this Wednesday. It’s a game changer on multiple levels – and just deconstructing this launch would give anyway a serious boost in their online know how.

I, of course, am taking a different handle on this.

Tomorrow (Tuesday the 2nd) at 2PM Pacific, I’ll be detailing my plans on a special edition of the New Media Matters Show. If you’ve got questions, or want the real scoop on the Stompernet Stomping The Search Engines product, attend live. I think you’ll enjoy my “take” on the whole thing – and a little something extra I thought up ….

And then, 30 minutes before the launch on Wednesday, we’ll turn on the cameras again and watch the launch. Will the servers go down? Is the deal really worth it? What else did they throw in, etc. Enjoy the launch with a bunch of friends.

You can tune in here live at the Blog (on this post) or visit – http://www.ustream.tv/channel/new-media-matters-show

Hulu on the Xbox – Here’s How

The video below is a Qik.com file from my 3g iPhone – not the best video in the world – until you consider it streamed live from a phone.

As you can see in the video, I’m streaming not just Hulu, but CBS and YouTube straight to me Xbox.

Some fancy new Vista thingee from Microsoft with a monthly fee attached to it? Nope, a product called “Playon” – currently in free beta.

I’ve got my install of Playon running on a Windows XP box – install was a breeze, interface is easy to use and set up.

I can stream Hulu, CBS and YouTube out of the box (including programs longer than 10 minutes – which aren’t on the AppleTV YouTube option). They promise Netflix soon.

Let’s hit a few highlights here:

  • Despite being more than a year old, there is still no compelling reason to upgrade to Vista. Products like this can quickly, in fact, prevent people from upgrading because they have options that make sense.
  • The “coming” service that streams Netflix to the Xbox in the Fall dashboard update will require a $50 yearly gold account. Rumor is, once they start charging for it, Playon will cost $30.
  • If you check out the Playon site, you’ll notice that they support a number of other set top devices as well. This isn’t just an Xbox play. They even promise Wii support soon.

There is the obvious cool geek factor in this post but this product also has some very important implications for our industry.

The jump of television from the computer screen to the television screen is going to get easier and easier. Whereas this doesn’t have the brain dead ease-of-use elements of the Apple TV, this has the potential audience of all game console players – a very big number indeed. The price of the software (if it is in fact $30) is a no brainer to anyone with a box it can run on and install was as simple as this kind of approach could possibly be. By not requiring Vista, they have everyone with a PC in their market.

And they might even help sell a few more game consoles in the process.

Getting your content to your audience is getting easier and easier.

You can focus on the getting the content there, or being the content.

I’d suggest the latter – there’s much more money in it.