HBO without cable coming in 2015
Peter Kafka reports at Recode:
[HBO CEO Richard] Plepler said the company will go “beyond the wall” and launch a “stand alone, over the top” version of HBO in the US next year, and would work with “current partners,” and may work with others as well. But he wouldn’t provide any other detail.
Plepler has been pondering this possibility for a while, and a couple of years ago I did some back-of-the-napkin math which suggested there is a lot of money to be had in a web-only subscription.
I’m not known for my math skills, but it looks like I was on to something.
Correction: This post has been updated because I originally stated the year HBO plans to launch its web-only offering as 2014 in the link at the top, instead of 2015, which is the correct year. Sorry folks.
Kevin Spacey knows what viewers want
Actor Kevin Spacey, speaking at the James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture at the Edinburgh Television Festival:
Clearly the success of the Netflix model – releasing the entire season of House Of Cards at once – has proved one thing: the audience wants control. They want freedom. If they want to binge – as they’ve been doing on House Of Cards – then we should let them binge.
It’s so simple, and while Netflix and a few others have learned the lesson the music industry so painfully failed to learn for so long, the television industry still fails to recognize and adapt to the dissipation of distinctions between which piece of glass is glowing with their product.
Netflix launch reduces BitTorrent use
Joe Hanlon of TechRadar:
Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos says that there is a correlation between the Netflix launching in a country and BitTorrent traffic slowing down in the same region.
If you stream it, they will pay.
HBO exec laments piracy of low-quality editions of ‘Game of Thrones’
HBO programming president Michael Lombardo, speaking to Entertainment Weekly‘s James Hibberd:
The production values of this show are so incredible. So I’m hoping that in the purloined different generation of cuts that the show is holding up.
More good news for those of us hoping something will change as far as non-cable TV subscription access to the massively popular show and the HBO stable in general.
Antigua responds to US gambling ban with government-backed infringement plan
The Carribean nation Antigua and Barbuda and the World Trade Organization say a US ban on online gambling is costing jobs and “billions of dollars.” The WTO has approved a plan to allow infringement of US-based copyright interests to the tune of $21 million per year.
The recovery looks de minimis next to the claimed loss, but experts quoted in Annie Lowery’s New York Times article are probably right: this a ploy to get US artists up in arms about Congress conceding to Antigua and Barbuda on this conflict.
What a strange, strange story.
The Release Windows Archaism
Frédéric Filloux at Monday Note:
As for the TV shows such as Homeland and others hits, there is not justification whatsoever to preserve this calendar archaism. They should be made universally available from the day when they are aired on TV, period. Or customers will vote with their mouse anyway and find the right file-sharing sites.
I’ve been preaching this line for a while, but Mr. Filloux articulates, by far, the best argument I’ve heard.