““Now I’m president,” he says, “I get to meet a lot of other company presidents. They’re such weird people. I’m fascinated by them.” With a smile, he adds: “I use some of them as enemy characters in our games.””
And the show is definitely gonna get there first. As much as I want the next book sooo baaaad, I’m okay with this. The show is great, and its existence guarantees a (probably satisfactory) end to the story.
Mandated $25 “skinny cable” basic package that can be added to channel by channel. Expectations are that people will spend less on their cable (duh) and that some channels will not survive unbundled. Could spell doom for BookTV after all these years…
Doesn’t this Horace Dediu article come at an interesting time.
<blockquote> <p>My answer is that disruption is predictable. Users are cutting cords, the “uncabled” or “never-cabled” are a significant portion of the population. 13.5% of broadband households with an adult under 35 have no pay-TV subscriptions. 8.6 million US households have broadband Internet but no pay-TV subscription. That’s 7.3% of households, up from 4.2% in 2010. Another 5.6 million households “are prime to be among the next wave of cord-cutters,” according to Experian. […]</p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p>And so it goes. A business dies first slowly then quickly. The exact timing is tricky because of the non-linearity of the phenomenon. It’s also hard to declare end-of-life since business zombies are very common. What is clear however is that the economics will change dramatically and the alliances between talent and distribution will shift to entrants and away from incumbents. The point when we will look back and say that cable was finished will probably come by the end of this decade.</p> </blockquote>
Some coverage in the NYT, who also published this review of the new album: “An album that asks questions as big as this one does, and that will be heard by so many, is a huge taunt to Mr. Lamar’s peers — it’s a dare to ride along, a dare to be different, a dare to be great.”
Let’s follow up about the recent CRTC announcements I linked to last week. Here’s a good article with some more detail and some good analysis. There’s also this (thanks, Xorkaya) that seems to indicate US specialty brands are salivating about how dropping genre protection may mean they can move some channels north. I would point out that unless the CRTC is changing more rules than I’ve heard, those channels would still have to be Canadian-owned and subject to CanCon restrictions (which of course have been eased), so similar to existing branch-plant channels like HBO Canada, History, MTV, Discovery, HGTV, etc. Certainly killing genre protection means we’ll see more American brands up here, but they’re probably still going to have to enlist a Rogers or Bell to do so.
There are further rulings coming Thursday, and it’s likely the CRTC will announce how pick-and-pay for cable channels is going to work.
My opinion? (Not in any way my employer’s opinion!) A lot of this is water under the bridge. The bridge is red and has the word “Netflix” on it. Not that Netflix is the only future, but the future is going to look like a grid of icons with things like “Netflix” on it. Each of them opens up to a grid of shows. (Or perhaps a live feed? The exact thing that opens up is in play now.) Regardless, these things replace channels, and the purpose of these things is to get as many subscribers as possible, so they want to be on as many platforms as possible. They also need content. The Canadian producers / distributors / brands / entities / whatever you want to call them that can either provide content or be the actual icon in the grid, those are the entities that, long term, will survive. It’s similar to the past, but the cultural walls around Canada, if they ever existed, are crumbling. That isn’t scary. We should be thinking about where else in the world we can develop a taste for poutine, maple syrup, good comedy by people who haven’t moved to LA yet, or profoundly terrible hockey teams.
They are relaxing CanCon requirements, dropping genre protection (not being enforced anyway), saying no to a Netflix tax and a few other tweaks. The Shomi/Crave thing sounds like a big deal but isn’t (Bell says it is playing by existing rules regarding exclusive shows anyway). Plenty for consumers to like, plenty for BDUs to like, not a lot for Canadian producers to like.