Netflix recently announced it will begin airing an original program, called “Lily Hammer” about a gangster in witness protection. This show will be produced and distributed on Netflix. The typical television format has a studio that produces the show, and a network that distributes it. With Netflix’s new model, the producer and distributer are consolidated into one. Netflix seems to be mimicking cable distributors such as HBO and Showtime, with the difference being that Netflix is an online format.
This marks a turning point for the company. When Netflix first launched, it was a simple video rental website. It shifted the in-store video rental to an online format where costumers had movies mailed directly to their homes. Soon after, they began airing some content through an instant watch online streaming video. However, only certain movies and television shows could be aired through this format. Over the years, Netflix has added more and more content to its instant watch streaming. With its creation of original programming, it seems Netflix is moving further and further in that direction.
In order to air other networks’ original programming on their site, Netflix has to pay networks large licensing fees. If you do the math, it might be cheaper to simply produce the shows themselves. Another new show they have in the works, “House of Cards,” will cost $100 million to produce. That’s a fraction of the cost Netflix paid to simply distribute “Mad Men.”
Netflix also recently announced plans to bring back “Arrested Development”—a critically acclaimed series that went off the air in 2006. When the show was on, it aired on FOX. Through Netflix, the show will be available to instantly stream online.
One has to wonder how networks—both cable and broadcast—feel about this new tactic. Will they feel threatened by Netflix? Will other online streaming sites begin making their own original content? Both Amazon and Google’s YouTube have plans to begin airing and distributing content. With the way the industry is progressing, it seems that the subscription-based television may usurp the traditional broadcast format.
Trouble with Facebook
We have all heard the tales of Facebook danger. Watch what photos you are tagged in, make sure your wall posts are clean, in case parents or elders see such on your timeline, don’t post anything too personal on your statuses- you never know who might be reading them. Mark Bryon, local resident of Ohio who is in the middle of a divorce, is suffering the consequences for his poor actions on Facebook. As he experiences a bitter divorce, Bryon has expressed his frustration about the whole ordeal through various Facebook statuses. The following is an example of one of Bryon’s statuses.
“If you are an evil, vindictive woman who wants to ruin your husband’s life and take your son’s father away from him completely _ all you need to do is say you’re scared of your husband or domestic partner and they’ll take him away.”
Bryon is not calling out his wife, but rather furious that he may lose his son, as any father would be in such a situation. He presumed that by positing such a status, his actions were safe, being that his wife was blocked off his Facebook page. And yet, he landed in a courtroom for his remarks. The judge saw his comments as threats, whereas Bryon saw them as simply expressing anger, what many Facebook users may use from time to time to tell the community their current troubles. The biggest surprise is Bryon’s punishment issued by the judge: To avoid jail time, he must write a Facebook status each night for one month publicly apologizing to his wife and Facebook friends.
Needless to say, the nature of this punishment was criticized by many. Some attorneys say this blatantly violated the First Amendment; this isn’t free speech when you are forcing someone to write remarks. Furthermore, media experts weighed in on this story. As outraged as they were by this punishment, experts say this must be a lesson for users of social networking sites. We constantly think we are safe to post whatever we want, when in reality that is not the case.
What shocked me most about this whole ordeal was that Bryon’s wife, one who was supposedly blocked from her ex husband’s Facebook page, somehow was able to still see her husband’s remarks. I’m sure we all have one ( or more) people blocked off our Facebook page, but is “blocking” as safe as we presume it to be? A friend can easily let these blocked individuals see our page, which could have happen in Bryon’s case. Furthermore, Bryon is definitely not the only one who posts rather personal statuses and yet he faced severe trouble for doing so. The ruling of Bryon’s case was unusual, and we must wonder if more could potentially come. To protect ourselves, it is vital to take advantage of privacy settings. And yet, Face books general privacy settings are now more confusing than before. You use to be able to preview your Facebook page with your desired privacy settings, but this is no longer the case. Facebook is simply a risk, most users run in to none or trivial issues, whereas users like Mark Bryon are faced with punishment for being an everyday user and simply posting a status about one’s inner thoughts.
South by Southwest
South by Southwest is rapidly approaching and it absolutely relates to the rise of Internet media. South by Southwest is a company that puts on events such as conferences, festivals and trade shows. Annually they throw SXSW Music, SXSW Film, SXSW Interactive and SXSWedu. Although their music festival is much more exciting, the Interactive conference is what interests this class, academically at least. The following article is one I ran across while searching for industry news at my internship this morning and found it relevant to our class. South by Southwest is a conference we should all hope one day to attend or even speak at.
Straight from the website (http://sxsw.com/interactive/about), SXSW Interactive is “an incubator of cutting-edge technologies, the event features five days of compelling presentations from the brightest minds in emerging technology, scores of exciting networking events hosted by industry leaders and an unbeatable line up of special programs showcasing the best new websites, video games and startup ideas the community has to offer.” Who wouldn’t want to be apart of that action?
The article from Poynter that stemmed this post is focused more on what journalist can get out of the conference, but Mallory highlights a lot of exciting and relevant speakers and also the interesting fact that there aren’t a lot of “mobile-related” discussions on the docket.
So for anyone interested in South by Southwest, check out the above website link or if you are interested in the journalism aspects like social media, aggregation and crowd sourcing check out this article from Poynter. http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/top-stories/164577/25-south-by-southwest-interactive-panels-that-journalists-wont-want-to-miss/
Check this out…Could Google really be deleting illegal content from its users’ accounts?
We have been discussing the powers (and possible threats of such) that Google holds in regards to its users. But what about the possibility of Google using its Content ID service (which is supposedly only for YouTube) to identify illegal content that users hold in their GMail accounts or even their Google Music accounts? This TechCrunch article describes the response that Google gave to such affirmations. One user claims that a folder (dedicated to MP3 files of copyrighted music) that she kept on her GMail account mysteriously disappeared, leaving only two songs that were from indy artists currently not on YouTube. Google, according to this article, denied present accusations, but did allude to the fact that it holds the power to make such moves in extreme cases (such as court orders).