Archive for December, 2011
With most other businesses, if a supplier makes unreasonable demands, a retailer can turn to other providers. Since copyright law gives record labels and publishers a government-granted monopoly, no such option is possible with music. Digital vendors have only two options: Accept the terms or not include those songs in their offering.
It’s a ridiculous situation that innovative companies like Spotify are beholden to such lazy companies as the major record labels. The terms of their deals are so laughably one-sided that it’s almost unbelievable. Could you imagine going into a “normal” business negotiation with these?
Hopefully, as time goes on, and the majors’ artist rosters dwindle from relevant new acts eschewing them, the tables will turn. Yes, the majors’ will always have their catalog, but if things continue on their current path, they may be forced to license out the catalog at a discounted rate in order to stay relevant.
Because of a proposed class action settlement, Ticketmaster is being forced to credit $1.50 per ticket order (up to 17 orders) to customers due to the fact that they profited off of “processing fees” without declaring as much.
And despite the reparations, Ticketmaster can continue to profit off transactions — they just have to say they’re doing so on their website.
According to court documents, the original claim, filed October 21, 2003, also implicates UPS’ delivery price for expedited delivery of tickets as deceptive. Those part of the UPS subclass of the suit are entitled to an additional $5.00 credit per ticket. Both credits are in the form of vouchers, which can be redeemed a maximum of two at a time.
Sooooo you’re telling us that we can only redeem $3 of vouchers at a time? (Assuming we never bought expedited shipping) Great, now I only have to go to 8.5 overpriced events in order to fully utilize the $22.50 windfall I’m getting for being overcharged at every event I’ve been to in the past decade!
via Yahoo! Finance.
Another year, another Spike Video Game Awards show to
suffer watch through. It’s got to be having some sort of success, or else they wouldn’t be putting it on every year, right? That, or the sponsorship money they’re getting from the games publishers and Kraft Macaroni and Cheese is enough to keep the show afloat.
Overall, the show was roughly the same as it was last year, maybe slightly better. Jason Scherier had a finely crafted open letter about the Spike VGAs that eloquently states why actual game enthusiasts have been so frustrated with the production each and every year. Honestly, there’s some elements the show nails, like the augmented reality elements and the actual awards themselves. Spike is wise to leave the nominations and selections of the awards themselves to people who know about the games themselves. That’s why the show hasn’t devolved into complete dreck – because the core of what they’re trying to accomplish is actually solid. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the occasional potty-humor bit and I’m sure others do too. But we also know when that line is crossed into cringe-worthy unfunny. I don’t know, maybe Spike should hire Louis CK as a consultant? That guy gets how to incorporate crude humor in a way that is funny without insulting its audience.
Anyway, as long as the show stays awkward, I’ll have fun with these running diaries. Again, this year’s awards were on a Saturday night, so what follows is a retro-liveblog off my DVR.
I really hope people keep buying it a lot, so I can have shitloads of money, but at this point I think we can safely say that the experiment really worked. If anybody stole it, it wasn’t many of you. Pretty much everybody bought it. And so now we all get to know that about people and stuff. I’m really glad I put this out here this way and I’ll certainly do it again.
Really glad to see that Louis CK’s “experiment” of making it as easy and affordable as possible for fans to buy his product was successful. Who would have thought that treating your fans well and not overcharging them for DRM-saddled content was a good idea? Sure, he would have made more for himself if he let a large corporation handle the sales, but the goodwill he’s getting here will more than make up for it down the road.
via Louis CK.net.
Apparently, this video also doubles as the title sequence for David Fincher’s upcoming film, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Kinda reminds you of the now classic title sequence for Se7en, huh?
What makes it interesting, though, is that Google is also launching a basic content publishing platform for small publishers (like yours truly) to easily create a touch-screen optimized content portal.
Alongside Google Currents, we’re also launching a self-service platform that gives publishers the flexibility to design, brand and customize their web content. For example, if you’re a small regional news outlet, a non-profit organization without access to a mobile development team, or a national TV network with web content, you can effortlessly create hands-on digital publications for Google Currents.
It’s pretty basic, and you’ll still need to tackle the problem of growing your subscriber base, but it’s an interesting angle of attack nonetheless.
We’ve been waiting for years for someone to seamlessly wed editorial content like Rolling Stone and Pitchfork’s lists and reviews to a deep music backend, and this is a great step in that direction. These beta apps, though, are merely a first step, and don’t fully reflect the deep archives, sorting features, and knowledge of these sites yet, and we’re hoping to see that in future versions.
If I’m in a pinch for time to get some new music, oftentimes I’ll just troll Pitchfork’s best new music section for stuff to listen to on Spotify. With the Pitchfork App, I can listen to the album right there on the same page of the review. It’s awesome and time-saving. Houston is right in that many of the apps are bare-bones as of now, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction and we’re truly seeing a killer music app that combines content curation with instant gratification start to take shape.
From a business standpoint, it was brilliant for Spotify to bring the app makers to the Spotify client, rather than the other way around. It ensures that people will be Spotify users first and foremost.
You can try out Spotify apps out for yourself by downloading a preview client here. (Shame on Spotify for not linking to this on their Apps product page!)
via The Verge.
“Inside our office, I’ve been recently declaring, ‘I’m going to retire, I’m going to retire,’” Miyamoto said through his interpreter. “I’m not saying that I’m going to retire from game development altogether. What I mean by retiring is, retiring from my current position.”
“What I really want to do is be in the forefront of game development once again myself,” Miyamoto said. “Probably working on a smaller project with even younger developers. Or I might be interested in making something that I can make myself, by myself. Something really small.”
Sad to see Miyamoto not overseeing Nintendo’s blockbuster titles anymore, but perhaps this is for the best. Bigger teams and bigger budgets on established franchises doesn’t really afford much room for radical innovation. You can bet I’ll be very interested to see what sort of games he cooks up himself or with a small team. Imagine if Miyamoto put his talents toward revolutionizing smartphone gaming just as he did the console industry way back when…