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AD: Fans, Friends & Followers

Monday, April 20, 2009

Three Monday Links: Flash Wants to Be Omnipresent ... Lumina's Business Model ... Inside the Pirate's Mind

- The NY Times reports this morning on Adobe's efforts to get TVs and mobile phones to support its Flash format for online video. From the piece:

    For consumers, what sounds like a bit of inconsequential Internet plumbing actually means that a long overhyped notion is a step closer to reality: viewing a video clip or Internet application on a TV or mobile phone.

    For Hollywood studios and other content creators, a single format for Web video is even more enticing. It means they can create their entertainment once in Flash — as the animated documentary “Waltz With Bashir,” from Sony Pictures Classics, was made — and distribute it cheaply throughout the expanding ecosystem of digital devices.

    “Coming generations of consumers clearly expect to get their content wherever they want on it, on any device, when they want it,” said Bud Albers, the chief technology officer of the Disney Interactive Media Group, who will join Adobe executives at the convention to voice Disney’s support for the Flash format. “This gets us where we want to go.”


- Dan Carew of the blog Indie 2.0 offers a great example of someone taking the "Fans, Friends & Followers" approach to building an audience for her work: Jen Thym, director of the online series "Lumina." Thym explains her business model in a Q&A with Carew:

    On LUMINA, we’re going with the fan supported business model, which basically goes like this: Viewing is free. If you like us and want to support us, please spread the word about us and, if you’re feeling really generous, buy our mechandise. Webcomics have succeeded on this model with varying degrees of success - Penny Arcade probably being the most famous of these - and they even have a themed convention called PAX now, next year I’m sure they’re going to host a panel on the moon or something! On the music side, Nine Inch Nails did something similar by giving away Ghosts for free, and then selling limited editions of the CD, concert tickets, and so forth.


- Slate's Farhad Manjoo explains why there isn't yet an expansive, totally comprehensive movie service. And he offers some insights into the thinking of people who get their movies illegally:

    ... I've been getting my programming from the friendly BitTorrent peer-to-peer network. Pirates aren't popular these days, but let's give them this—they know how to put together a killer on-demand entertainment system.

    I sometimes feel bad about my plundering ways. Like many scofflaws, though, I blame the system. I wouldn't have to steal if Hollywood would only give me a decent online movie-streaming service. In my dreams, here's what it would look like: a site that offers a huge selection—50,000 or more titles to choose from, with lots of Hollywood new releases, indies, and a smorgasbord of old films and TV shows. (By comparison, Netflix says it offers more than 100,000 titles.) Don't gum it up with restrictions, like a requirement that I watch a certain movie within a specified time after choosing it. The only reasonable limit might be to force me to stream the movies so that I won't be able to save the flicks to my computer. Beyond that, charge me a monthly fee and let me watch whatever I want, whenever I want, as often as I want.

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