Posted on February 3, 2011
There may appear to be no connection between Time-Warner boss Jeff Bewkes and the Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War, but they’re linked by false confidence in the status quo. Every time the press quotes Time-Warner’s “Content is King” mantra I am reminded of the failed Confederacy’s “King Cotton” diplomacy.
After 150 years we laugh at “King Cotton”, but the argument seemed plausible at the time. When the war began cotton accounted for 60% of United States exports. The American South represented 70% of the World’s production. Furthermore, shipments were almost certain to increase for years because cotton was rapidly becoming the essential fabric for garments in the civilized world.
Initially the Confederate government attempted to induce European recognition with a voluntary cotton embargo. Later the Union blockade cut exports even more sharply. Consequently cotton production increased in India, Egypt, and Argentina. As the South’s best customers turned to other suppliers, it was forced to trade with the enemy. New England textile mills sent agents south into Federal-controlled war zones to acquire – by whatever means – all the cotton they could get. Read more…
Posted on January 6, 2010
Today’s post is a reprint of an article I wrote for Online Video Insider yesterday.
Lessons from Early Radio
By: Philip Leigh
January 5, 2010
Much like today’s Internet, during its early years radio enjoyed a high intrinsic growth. For example, while most industries were shrinking during the Great Depression radio advertising alone grew from $27 million in 1929 to $185 million in 1939 translating to a compound annual growth rate of 21%. Radio entertainment during the era included mix of music, drama, comedy, and variety shows. However, music was considered essential. Read more…
Posted on December 12, 2009
Comcast bought NBC to gain control over content distributed by its CATV system. Time-Warner advocates that popular TV shows be made available on the Internet only to consumers already subscribing to conventional Cable and Satellite networks. Prominent publishers require that new book releases be hard-cover-only thereby delaying ebook versions by four months. Such actions reflect the spurious notion that “Content is King”. Unfortunately it’ll prove to be about as effective as King Cotton diplomacy was for the Confederacy. Read more…
Posted on March 31, 2009
What if popular TV shows are only permitted to be viewed over-the-Net by subscribers to conventional CATV, Satellite, and IPTV services?
Such a plan seems to be gaining momentum among companies such as Time Warner, Direct TV, and Verizon. They want to discourage subscribers from “cutting the cord” to conventional TV and alternately watching the shows via broadband ISP service at websites like Hulu, Joost, and TV.com. Simultaneously they reason the plan provides added value to conventional subscribers because it gives viewers an alternate way to watch the shows. Read more…