Dreamworks Dumps HBO for Netflix
Need a sign that television as we know it is crumbling? In a deal estimated to be worth $30 million per picture over an unspecified number of years, Dreamworks has decided to dump HBO and pump their films and television specials through Netflix. Dreamworks Animation, the company behind movies like Madagascar and Shrek, are choosing Netflix because the deal is more lucrative. This is being billed as the first time a major Hollywood supplier is choosing Web streaming over pay television.
It is also a bet by Jeffrey Katzenberg, the animation studio’s chief executive, that consumers in the near future will not distinguish between the two. “We are really starting to see a long-term road map of where the industry is headed,” Mr. Katzenberg said in an interview. “This is a game-changing deal.”
via NY Times
Square COO Says NFC Has No Value
At GigaOM’s recent Mobilize conference, Square COO Keith Rabois said NFC has no value proposition for consumers and merchants. “I’ve never met a single merchant in the U.S. who says I want this NFC thing,” said Rabois in an interview with GigaOM founder Om Malik. Rabois went on to say that Google Wallet is just another method for Google to gain information about users and that NFC in general is just something that makes good PR, but doesn’t necessarily benefit merchants or consumers.
If you recall, Square is the company that creates a tiny device that your can plug into your smartphone and accept credit card payments. It’s blowing up worldwide. It works on your iPhone or Android device right now. The hardware is free. NFC, on the other hand, is going to require new hardware and all types of partnerships and other hoops. While I think the NFC technology sounds cool, it does appear that Rabois has a point. What do you think?
Facebook Frictionless Sharing
It’s what we’ve all been waiting for. No more clicking buttons or typing words when we want our Facebook friends to know what we’re doing. Facebook will soon post updates for you automatically based on your interactions with sites and services like Spotify. Basically, through the simple act of minding your business, you could possibly be sharing your activities with everyone you know on Facebook. On one hand, this is pretty cool as it automates something you were probably going to do anyway. On the other hand, this is mad creepy and pushes the boundaries of online privacy. I’m going to need explicit directions on locating the “off” switch.
Spotify has actually taken a couple of hits because of the news. Users found that the Spotify client was automatically sharing everything via Facebook’s Open Graph Protocol. This isn’t a new protocol, but it lies at the heart of Facebook’s frictionless sharing. Once Spotify users discovered the issue, there was minor uproar followed by Spotify releasing a new version of the client with a Private Listening feature.
What is more disconcerting is that, days before this was discovered, Spotify began requiring that new users sign up using their Facebook ID. This is reminiscent of what happened to the Beluga messaging service once acquired by Facebook, except Spotify would now automatically share everything you listened to on Facebook. One has to wonder how many other services may take a similar route. How long before you have services that don’t even have an option to not share your every move? Spotify released a statement in response to the user complaints:
“To us, this is all about creating an amazing new world of music discovery. As most of our users are already social and have already connected to Facebook, it seemed logical to integrate Spotify and Facebook logins. We already use Facebook as part of our backend to power our social features and by adopting Facebook’s login, we’ve created a simple and seamless social experience.From today, all new Spotify users will need to have a Facebook account to join Spotify. Think of it as like a virtual ‘passport’, designed to make the experience smoother and easier, with one less username and password to remember. You don’t need to connect to Facebook and if you do decide to, you can always control what you share and don’t share by changing your Spotify settings at any time.We’re constantly trying new things, always looking for feedback and we’re always going to listen to our users, making changes based on this feedback wherever we can.”via Musically
Federal Law Blocks Facebook and Netflix
The Video Privacy Protection Act is nearly a quarter century old. Congress adopted the measure in 1988 after failed Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork’s video rental history was published by the Washington City Paper during confirmation hearings. The act outlaws the disclosure of video rentals unless the consumer gives consent, on a rental-by-rental basis.
Amazon Finally Launches Android Tablet: Kindle Fire
The long-awaited Android tablet from Amazon is here. What? You thought they launched their own Android Appstore just because? The Kindle Fire will cost you $199 and comes loaded with a forked version of the Android OS which includes Amazon’s own Appstore. The news here is not really the tablet itself, which resembles a Blackberry Playbook, but the fact that Amazon might be the only company that can compete with Apple in the table market. Not because they both start with an ‘A’, but because Amazon has the content and consumer trust behind it.
Category: Tech Week In Review | Tags: amazon, android, dreamworks, facebook, facebook timeline, fire tablet, hbo, Netflix, NFC, open graph, spotify, Square
“Amazon is really the only other guy, the only other potential tablet player, that has a similar offering to what Apple has,” Blair said in an interview last week. “If you look across their product offerings, they have content that none of the other tablet makers currently have because they have content on the media side.” — Brian Blair, an analyst at Wedge Partners Corp. in New York