Posts filed under “Digital Media”

Who Do You Trust?

That’s an intriguing question.

It applies to personal relationships and business matters alike. I suspect the recent slippage in mainstream media readership has been a function of a loss of trust.

This question has repercussions for other corporate relationships you may have, too.

Consider: Apple (AAPL) can get away with a snafu like the iPhone pricing issue, because it has earned the trust, even the adoration, of its users. Could you imagine having that trust with Microsoft (MSFT)?

Dell used to have that trust, but frittered it away, as they moved from one of the best to much worse customer service in the PC space. AOL also — they’ve decayed, become a garbage service for the clueless. (AIM remains mostly worthwhile).

Google (GOOG) has earned my confidence, and — so far — has not given me any reason to reconsider that trust.

Yahoo (YHOO) still has some residual trust — but its waning fast. I still use Yahoo as a home page, but their inattentiveness to some of their properties is shameful. They have a very, very brief period to right the ship, or their long horrific slide into irrelevancy will be irreversible. Yahoo has frittered away so many good properties, I find it embarrassing. (WhoTF is advising them?)

I run across an inordinate amount of spam in anything Yahoo related (think Hotmail, circa 2001). My office IM is Trillian, and I come in each morning to at least one, often more, Yahoo IM spams. (WTF? Can’t you stop that?) Lots of blog comment spam is via a Yahoo email address. And what was once a grand experiment in investor democracy — the message boards — decayed into a haven for spammers, scammers, or worse. Shameful wastage. This should have been aggressively attacked 5 years ago.

Then there’s the run of existing companies that seem to become rather careless with their clients data

Which leads me to this morning’s topic: Trusting new companies with your personal data.

Some time ago, I explained in painful detail Why I Don’t Do Social Networking Sites. The short version is, I don’t trust these companies with my data. And I don’t trust that their VC backers or a judge at any bankruptcy hearing to treat my personal data the way they would want their 16 year old daughters to be treated. 

The latest reminder of this involves Scoble and Facebook. For those of you who may be unfamiliar, Scoble is a nice enough fellow who I refused to read back when he was working as Microsoft’s Leni Riefenstahl. I know too much about the evil empire to acquiesce to a warm fuzzy face being placed on them.

Anyway, for scraping his own freakin’ data off their site, Scoble’s account was erased. A big brouhaha erupted, and after some ring kissing and genuflecting, he was readmitted.

Which brings me back to our topic today, that of Trust.

I am naturally skeptical. I see too much bullshit everywhere. Hence, I believe Trust is something that must be earned, not given away. Not demanded, not assumed, but actually earned. Especially if you are a startup company, with enormous access to lots and lots of very personal data. These firms should have to earn your confidence. They have gotten carte blanche so far, but I suspect the era of blind faith is coming to an end.

Ask yourself these questions: Who do I trust? Who can I rely on, confide in, bank on, have faith in? 

Who do you read? Who do you let get inside your head? Who do you believe? Who are you sure about? 

What companies do you entrust with your personal files and passwords? Your social security number, bank account data, personal financial info, data?

Who do you trust?

And, who trusts you back . . .?

Category: Digital Media, Psychology, Web/Tech, Weblogs

2007 Movie Theater Attendance = Flat

Category: Digital Media, Film, Technology

Friday Evening Jazz: Oscar Peterson (II)

Exclusively_for_my_friends_box_setOscar Peterson has been recording and performing for over half a century. He passed away Christmas Eve ’07 at the age of 82.

He may be the single most recorded of all piano players. 

Oscar bridged the swing and bop eras, rooting himself in a style that was at the same time stunningly complex yet soulfully elegant. 

Nobody used more notes to swing! Oscar is sometimes dismissed because he wasn’t groundbreaking in the way that many of his contemporaries were. But the range of expression he achieved on the piano along with his technical prowess is hardly rivaled in mainstream jazz.

Trio_2 Many consider his solo recordings of the late 60s and early 70s to be his most outstanding work, but do not overlook his trio recordings both with Ray Brown and Ed Thigpen and later with Joe Pass and Niels-Henning Orsted Pederson.

The live album "The Trio" from 1973 (not to be confused with a Verve release of the same title) is a great recording of Oscar with Pass and Pederson and shows Oscar at his most virtuosic. Check out the Brown Thigpen work live here.

Satch_and_joshFor a
compendium of his 1960s work in both trio and solo settings, the
excellent box set "Exclusively for My Friends" will keep you
entertained for years.

Of course, there are the standard "songbook"
albums (George Gershwin, Cole Porter, etc.) and the duets with greats like Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Clark Terry and
Dizzy Gillespie.

I am also partial to A Jazz Portrait of Frank Sinatra.

Night_trainThe 1962 album "Night Train" with Ray Brown and Ed Thigpen is also a favorite. It showcases Oscar at his best on both ballads and uptempo numbers and he really shows his blues chops.

A_jazz_portrait_of_frank_sinatra

Oscar Peterson will be missed . . .

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Sources:


80th Birthday Tribute to Oscar Peterson
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4829211
 PLAYER

http://www.npr.org/templates/player/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=4829211&m=4830843


Oscar Peterson’s ‘Jazz Odyssey’
   
Hear an extended version of Bob Edwards’ interview with Oscar Peterson.   

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1170182


Oscar Peterson, 82, Jazz’s Piano Virtuoso, Dies
 
RICHARD SEVERO
NYT,  December 25, 2007    

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/25/arts/25peterson.html

A Jazz ‘Behemoth’ Moves On
NAT HENTOFF
WSJ, December 28, 2007
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119878787299653457.html


Tributes paid to Oscar Peterson

BBC, Tuesday, 25 December 2007, 08:00 GMT     http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/7159772.stm>

Read More

Category: Digital Media, Friday Night Jazz, Music

A Different Kind of Music List: Best of 2007

It’s that time of year again! Following our successful outings the past three years, I’m at it again. Here’s our Different Kind of Top 10 Music List for 2007. If you missed prior versions (2006 and 2005 and 2004), here’s the deal: There are a gazillion Best of Lists out there (and one list to…Read More

Category: Digital Media, Music

Move over CDs: DVDs, Concerts also slump

We have been documenting the slow death of CDs over the past 7 years. This year brought the first slowing sales in that other shiny polycarbonate disc, the DVD.

In a recent report, Alliance Bernstein Research observed that through early December, DVD sales
were down 4.1% YTD
, including a 2.1% decline in Q4.
Bernstein cited data from Nielsen VideoScan.

DVD sales were flat in 2006,pulling in the same ~$16 billion as 2005. Total home video revenues — including both sales and rentals — looks like they will hit ~$23 billion in 2007. That’s a $ billion shy of 2006 revenues.

These are only minor drops, but what makes them significant is that, no matter how you measure it, 2007 is the first negative year-over-year sales growth since DVDs came to market.

I suspect that the usual attention scarcity — which have been hurting CD sales — are also be impacting DVDs. And DRM certainly isn’t helping (What do you mean I can’t watch this DVD on my iPod?). However, DVD buyers are also wrestling with the additional factor of the latest format war.

Speaking personally, I’ve throttled back on my DVD purchases, as I await the winner of the HD/Blu Ray battle. Whatever DVDs I buy these days are disposable/rental priced (i.e., $5.99). The various HD formats are much pricier, and until that fight gets resolved, I, like many consumers, are buying less (Do I want this in HD? Gee, I better wait). Who wants to get stuck (again) with another extinct format?

There may be other macro factors at play: namely, an over-extended consumer. That showed up in not just DVD and CD sales, but in concert ticket revenue, also. 

PoliceDespite several big "reunion" tours — the Police, Van Halen and Genesis — the total North American concert industry posted its slowest year since 2004. According to Pollstar, the top 20 tours generated $996 million, down 15.6% percent from 2006 totals. The 2004 total was $951.1 million, when Prince and Madonna were touring. Perhaps a long tail effect is spreading less revenue to more bands.   

Here’s the specifics on revenue and ticket prices:

Top 20 Selling Tours of 2007 (Millions)

1. The Police  $ 131.9
2. Kenny Chesney $ 71.1 
3.  Justin Timberlake $ 70.6 
4. Celine Dion $ 65.3 
5.  Van Halen $ 56.7 
6. Tim McGraw
and Faith Hill 
$ 52.3
7. Rod Stewart $ 49 
8.  Genesis $ 47.6
9.  Josh Groban $ 43 
10.   Rascal Flatts $ 41.5 
11.   Dave Matthews Band  $ 41.1
12. Billy Joel $ 39.1 
  13.  Roger Waters  $ 38.3
14. Bruce Springsteen
& The E Street Band 
$ 38.2
15.  Hanna Montana
/ Miley Cyrus 
$ 36
16.   Elton John $ 35.7 
17. Jimmy Buffett  $ 35.6 
18.    Barry Manilow $ 34.8
19.  Toby Keith $ 34.3 
20.   Maná $ 33.9

(Based on total dollar volume of tickets sold)

Source: Pollstar

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An interesting side note: The average price of concert tickets (sold through StubHub’s secondary market)  in 2007 was $117 — a price decrease of $28 per ticket compared to 2006. Note that these are not face value, but secondary (scalped) tickets.

Highest Average Ticket Price of 2007

1. Celine Dion $ 347
2. Elton John $ 260 
3.  Hannah Montana  $ 257
4. Eric Clapton $ 253 
5.  Bon Jovi  $ 239 
6. Bruce Springsteen $ 226
7. Van Halen $ 217 
8.  Genesis $ 210
9.  The Police  $ 209 
10. Michael Buble  $ 195

(For tours that sold over 3,000 total tickets)

Source: CNN Money, Stubhub

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You something unusual is occurring in the economy when consumers pull back on their entertainment spending . . .

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Sources:

CDs Are Dying. Are DVDs Next?
Eric Savitz
Tech Trader Daily, December 21, 2007, 2:36 pm
http://blogs.barrons.com/techtraderdaily/2007/12/21/cds-are-dying-are-dvds-next/

Big media sees reversal of fortune
Georg Szalai
Hollywood Reporter,
Dec 11, 2007   
http://tinyurl.com/yszshy

DVD-ISASTER SALES   
BRIAN GARRITY   
NYPost,
December 4, 2007   
http://www.nypost.com/seven/12042007/business/dvd_isaster_sales_806649.htm

The Police Lock Top 2007 Tours Spot
Wednesday, Dec 26, 2007 1:02PM   
http://www.pollstar.com/news/viewnews.pl?NewsID=9020

U.S. concert business slumps despite reunion tours
Dean Goodman
Reuters, Sun Dec 23, 2007 12:44pm EST
http://www.reuters.com/article/musicNews/idUSN2129255420071224

2007 StubHub Concert Ticket Annual Report 2007
December 05, 2007: 06:12 PM EST
http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/marketwire/0336458.htm

The Life Cycle of a CD or DVD
http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/osw/students/finalposter.pdf

Category: Digital Media, Music, Video

Friday Night Jazz: Favorite Holiday CDs

Category: Digital Media, Music

Blade Runner DVD NOT Released Today

Category: Digital Media, Film

Comedy Writers, VCs to Disintermediate TV Studios

Category: Digital Media, Television, Web/Tech

Wish List Dreams

Category: Digital Media

Online Ad Spend: $42 Billion by 2011

Category: Digital Media, Web/Tech