VOD – Antenna http://blog.commarts.wisc.edu Responses to Media and Culture Thu, 30 Mar 2017 23:48:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 What Are You Missing? April 17-30 http://blog.commarts.wisc.edu/2011/05/01/what-are-you-missing-april-17-30/ Sun, 01 May 2011 13:22:33 +0000 http://blog.commarts.wisc.edu/?p=9164 Ten (or more) media industry news items you might have missed recently:

1. Facebook’s Like button is a year old, and while a Dislike button apparently won’t be coming around, you can look for Send and also Deals. Facebook content you used to see might not be there anymore due to bogus DCMA claims (and possibly homophobia). Don’t bother looking for your old Friendster content, because after May 31 it’s gone forever. And there are scary rumors that Twitter will make TweetDeck go away forever (please don’t take my TweetDeck away!).

2. Amazon’s cloud went poof last week (but is fixed now), and apparently we can all learn a lot from this. But some might be scared away from cloud services because of it, especially once they hear that some data lost during the outage may not be recoverable. In other weboopsies, Gawker’s redesign fail shows how mistakes can kill traffic, and the new owners of Delicious hope to rectify the old owners’ mistakes.

3. According to a Freedom House report, as more people across the globe use the internet, more governments are clamping down on internet freedom, none worse so than Iran (sorry Burma, you came up just short), which has inspired Anonymous to strike. The US is the Wild West by comparison (only Estonia ranks as freer in the report), though broadband caps are arriving this week, while within the European Union, net neutrality legislation has been nixed.

4. Netflix is really rolling, yet it isn’t standing pat, as the company plans more original programs, family plans with separate profiles, and international launches. It can also count on rising content costs, plus many new competitors, as Wal-Mart, YouTube, Dish, and perhaps even Spotify (coming to America soon!) plan Netflix alternatives.

5. Though consumers are still clinging to DVDs in significant number, they’re simply not embracing Blu-ray, and Netflix sounds pretty happy to dump discs altogether whenever we’re ready (right as competitors might find shipping them to be cheaper). Search engine stats from Google show that users seek out Netflix info far more than DVD info, and Netflix Instant may be putting a crimp in illicit file sharing activities too. Meanwhile, China is shredding DVDs, though just as a piracy PR stunt.

6. The RIAA music shipment figures for 2010 are in, and both physical and mobile units plunged relative to 2009. But there was at least some nice sales news for independents and vinyl in the form of Record Store Day, plus people are still interested in investing in the music biz, and iTunes continues to post impressive sales figures. Amazon is trying to better compete with iTunes by lowering download prices, but Apple’s already looking to move on to cloud streaming and has the edge over Amazon there too due to label deals, such as with Warner Music.

7. You surely heard about the Sony PlayStation Network debacle (which will start to be resolved this week), but you may not have heard that with Wii console sales way down, Nintendo will unveil Wii’s successor at E3 in June, with retail release schedule for 2012. Also in June, Redbox will launch game rentals. Finally, the video game industry does better than anyone else at keeping minors from buying mature content, though it seems that a young gamer’s best odds are at Wal-Mart. (Not that I encourage the underaged to buy mature content. Just passing out news here, folks.)

8. The premium video-on-demand experiment has begun on DirecTV with Adam Sandler’s Just Go With It, and now Comcast wants in on the action, but it might be tough to determine how many consumers actually demand anything in the end. One thing we can all agree on is that there’s much disagreement over how this will affect the industry. In addition to theater owners, many directors and producers are against premium VOD, fearing the death of theatrical exhibition and much lost revenue. Meanwhile, new MPAA head Chris Dodd is just speaking vaguely about building bridges.

9. Some tough indie film news, as a drop in foreign pre-sales hurts, and the future of specialty theater chain Landmark Theaters is in question, with Mark Cuban putting it up for sale. But Harvey Weinstein at least foresees a very profitable 2011, other indie producers and distributors insist that smart choices and a solid libraries will carry the independent film business along, and streaming sites Fandor and Snagfilms believe that Netflix’s focus on television content boosts their fortunes for reaching indie film audiences.

10. Some good News for TV Majors links from the past two weeks: Royal Wedding Coverage & Wedding Ratings, Time Warner & Netflix, Geordie Shore, Spectrum Plan Illegal, Favorite Channels, Couric Officially Out, Bafta Awards, Upfronts Optimism, OVD Category, BBC Cuts, Who’s Back, Lucy Writer Dies, Dish TiVo Ruling, An American Family, ABC Boycott.


What Are You Missing? April 3-16 http://blog.commarts.wisc.edu/2011/04/17/what-are-you-missing-april-3-16/ http://blog.commarts.wisc.edu/2011/04/17/what-are-you-missing-april-3-16/#comments Sun, 17 Apr 2011 13:56:57 +0000 http://blog.commarts.wisc.edu/?p=9055 Ten (or more) media industry news items you might have missed recently:

1. Theater owners have responded angrily to the studios’ premium VOD plans, with AMC Theaters issuing vague threats and some predicting theaters would curtail in-theater advertising for films with VOD deals, which one investment bank says gives theaters a leverage edge (a intriguing issue to debate), plus theaters now have James Cameron on their side. Meanwhile, theaters are turning to other forms of entertainment to fill seats, plus some better food, but they’re also saying goodbye to projectionists.

2. Dish Network bought Blockbuster, for some good reason, I’m sure. Redbox says research shows that discs will still be the dominant home media format at least until 2015 (seems possible that legal issues with streaming will still be mired in legal arguments then too), and Best Buy says the DVD rental delay has helped sales. MG Siegler argues that Blockbuster’s problem wasn’t the decline of physical media but resting on its laurels as Netflix invaded, a lesson even the biggest of companies today need to heed. Comcast must have read that, getting up on its haunches amid claims that Netflix dominates digital movie distribution, while some indie studios are getting wary of Netflix’s treatment of their films.

3. AOL has once again been unceremoniously awful to writers, this time in gutting Cinematical, thus bringing about the end of an era. The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences says it’s starting a new era with a revamped executive structure, with former Film Independent head Dawn Hudson installed as CEO. And conservatives are yet again trying to forge their own era within Hollywood, but Hollywood’s just worried about targeting the mere 11% of us who attend movies frequently.

4. We were told Guitar Hero was dead; apparently it’s not, it’s only mostly dead. GameStop is trying to keep from dying by forging new digital distribution options, while EA Sports is enabling cloud-stored profiles for all of its games. Also new in gaming is an MTV videogame division for tie-ins with Spike and Comedy Central shows (Colbert-Stewart Mortal Kombat!) and an entry point into the Grammy Awards for videogame music, though Alejandro Quan-Madrid questions the implications of this change (and other Grammys changes are being decried). Finally, the FBI has its eyes on gaming fraud, shutting down three major poker websites with indictments and raiding a college student apartment over virtual currency fraud that might even tie in with terrorism.

5. Music labels and services continue to argue: Amazon insists its cloud service will pay off for labels (and Amazom is totally reputable these days); Spotify has put limits on its free music, which it will similarly have to do once it comes to the US any day now; and Google’s just about ready to give up altogether. Maybe Perry Farrell can save us all. Meanwhile, music sales haven’t been quite as terrible lately, and the bids for Warner Music suggest optimism, but stats showing that kids don’t like to pay for their music are surely cause for concern. Bonus link: a Nielsen study on global music consumption.

6. Internet advertising had a record year last year, and search marketing is expected to grow this year. Bing is claiming an increasing share of the search market (apparently taking away from Yahoo and not Google), while check-in services may decline in 2011. And Congress has plans to meddle with the internet, including on net neutrality, internet sales taxes, and privacy. Looking back, Reuters takes an in-depth look at where News Corp went wrong with MySpace.

7. YouTube draws in more viewers than Netflix, but Netflix keeps them there for longer, and Mark Cuban insists that Netflix is hurting YouTube. Google is thus reorganizing YouTube into more a of TV viewing experience, fostering live streaming partnerships, adding a stage for live performances, and supporting new-generation studios. YouTube is also getting all schoolteachery with copyright violators.

8. Fortune digs deeply into troubles at Twitter, and others agree the service is headed for trouble, but Twitter’s co-founder responds that this is just the press finally getting around to a predictable backlash, and changes are being made, plus Twitter is still growing. A serious competitor may be on the horizon, though.

9. We’re not done with the Winklevii yet, as the twins lost an appeal ruling but vow to keep fighting. That other guy is still going after Zuckerberg for Facebook ownership too. Facebook is ignoring all of this, too busy with counting its increasing ad revenue and forging ahead with apparent plans to conquer China, but Kai Lukoff says Facebook needs to heed lessons from MySpace’s China failure.

10. Some good News for TV Majors links from the past two weeks: AMC & OLTL Cancelled, Women Changing Habits, Univision Plans, Fox Threats, Genachowski Speeches, Oprah Finale Rates, Development Buzz, Cord Shaving, Comedy Central Profile, Cable Mistake, iPad Court Battle, TV Show Complaints, Beck Exiting, Mad Men on Netflix, Couric Leaving.


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What Are You Missing? Mar 20-April 2 http://blog.commarts.wisc.edu/2011/04/03/what-are-you-missing-mar-20-april-2/ http://blog.commarts.wisc.edu/2011/04/03/what-are-you-missing-mar-20-april-2/#comments Sun, 03 Apr 2011 14:00:14 +0000 http://blog.commarts.wisc.edu/?p=8873 Ten (or more) media industry news items you might have missed recently:

1. Music recommendation engines have mostly flopped with users, and Google has pulled its music search feature to tinker with it. In the meantime, perhaps Google’s new +1 button will help with music searching and recommending, while the music industry itself is freaking out about Amazon’s cloud service, as labels are mad that Amazon hasn’t secured licensing rights for this use (some of the same issues that have kept Spotify from coming to the US), and Apple and Google are keeping an eye on this for their own future cloud plans. A bonus for Canadian readers: Canada beat the US again in digital music growth! 01 Canada!

2. Blockbuster is shuttering more than 150 stores as it awaits auction this week, with Carl Icahn and Dish Network as possible buyers. Netflix is probably chuckling at that, as its shares went up and it nears a big deal to stream Miramax films. And while Netflix is concerned about data caps in Canada, enough to reduce streaming video quality there, it maybe doesn’t have to worry about the Amazon cloud service, nor are movie studios as perturbed as music labels are by Amazon’s cloud (yet).

3. The role of film festivals and arthouse cinemas is changing as online distribution grows in prominence. Also likely to grow is online movie ticket purchasing through services like Groupon; some wonder if differential ticket pricing would help grow theater attendance; and, as our waistlines continue to grow, at least we won’t have to be reminded of the calories we’re consuming in movie theater popcorn, thanks to an FDA ruling. But the biggest challenge theater owners have now is premium video-on-demand rentals, whose imminent launching angers the National Association of Theater Owners. The underlying message from studios to theater owners at the recent CinemaCon was basically “Quit yer bitchin’ and get with the digital program,” which is sure to go over well.

4. The Writers Guild and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers struck a contract deal, no strike needed, even though it doesn’t offer everything the WGA wanted (note: Variety paywalled article), and some members, who still have to vote on it, think it’s a bad deal (note: NSFW Kurt Sutter tweet). Meanwhile, Michigan has decided its film production tax credits are a bad deal, and filmmakers are fleeing as a result, while Georgia decided to keep theirs.

5. Nielsen has studied the placement of gaming consoles in the home, determining that the Wii rules the living room, while the Xbox dominates in the kids’ bedroom. In terms of games, Guitar Hero 3 tops a list of best-selling games from this generation, and The Weinstein Company hopes to make future lists with video game versions of some of its library titles, mostly horror films like Scream.

6. Burma has banned Skype, while China’s censorship of electronic communication continues to tighten, and Google is especially in its crosshairs. Google is funding development of technologies to detect such censorship, and the US government has given the BBC World Service money to help combat it. But lest we think censorship is only a problem elsewhere, we should take note that the ACLU is fighting to stop schools from blocking LGBT websites.

7. File-sharing music piracy in the US has declined, with 9% of internet users now using P2P services to download. Some point to the shutdown of Limewire as a direct catalyst for the decline; others disagree. Either way, a London School of Economics study claims that file-sharing isn’t responsible for the record industry’s collapse. From the film perspective, new MPAA head Chris Dodd sees things differently, saying that piracy is the single biggest threat to the survival of the movie industry, as DVD piracy in places like China is running wild. So the solution, I guess, is to demand IP addresses of individual downloaders and to totally get that one guy who uploaded Wolverine. Take that, China!

8. David Carr insists we need to recognize Google as a media company, and it’s certainly made the WAYM links a lot lately. Here’s more: Google has picked Kansas City as its fiber network test market, gotten probation for the bad Buzz, been accused of antitrust violations by Microsoft, and added the +1 button; Google Street View has been deemed legal in Germany and got fined in France; and Google Books lost a key court case, which further delays the dream of a universal digital library.

9. Some random internet bits: AOL is consolidating content sites, Dropbox is making money, Groupon is getting sued, Reddit is creeping us out, Firefox 4 is being downloaded a lot, LinkedIn has reached 100 million, and PayPal has new competition, plus check where your state ranks in internet access speed.

10. Some good News for TV Majors links from the past two weeks: Mad Men Agreement, TWC Fight & TWC Pulls Channels, Peabody Awards, Viewing By Race, Profanity Appeals Pause, Internet TV Standards, New Football PlaysStarz Delay for Netflix, Showtime Pulling From Netflix, Mogul Salaries, BBC Cuts.


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What Are You Missing? January 2-15 http://blog.commarts.wisc.edu/2011/01/16/what-are-you-missing-january-2-15/ http://blog.commarts.wisc.edu/2011/01/16/what-are-you-missing-january-2-15/#comments Sun, 16 Jan 2011 15:00:41 +0000 http://blog.commarts.wisc.edu/?p=7916 Ten (or more) media industry stories you might have missed recently:

1. The Weinstein Co. has made a deal with Google for YouTube rentals and bought into Starz Media for DVD and digital distribution, which is also a way to get some Netflix money. Studio executives have a complicated relationship with Netflix, and Redbox is finally starting to feel its competitive pressure. As far as disc sales go, Blu-ray is helping to offset DVD’s decline, but they could both be replaced by something called UltraViolet someday.

2. Anne Thompson tells us everything we need to know about the 2010 box office. And whether you need to know it or not, here are a slew of movie awards and nominations announced in this past fortnight: Producers Guild, Writers Guild, Directors Guild, Art Directors Guild, American Society of Cinematographers, Visual Effects Society, BAFTA, Scientific and Technical Oscars, Broadcast Film Critics Association, and last and boldly least, the Razzie Worst Picture shortlist.

3. Independent film is increasingly going the video-on-demand route, and both Sundance and Slamdance will have films available on VOD, while black-themed films are trying to take advantage of a growing film festival circuit. Edward Jay Epstein sees indie cinema as an endangered species at this point, while Ted Hope is filled with, um, hope for the next decade, though he is frustrated that there still aren’t more indies in the National Film Registry (most recent entries, if you missed them).

4. Pingdom has a bunch of stats about internet use in 2010, and Reddit in particular had a great year, while China is touting how much it censored the internet last year. Kudos! The US trade deficit with China is made notably worse by the iPhone, but when your company is worth $300 billion, your App Store has reached 10 billion downloads, and your Mac App Store is an instant success, you can probably still sleep at night pretty well.

5. Google’s acquisition of eBook Technologies enhances the company’s digital book distribution plans, though Google now has to contend with the European Commission’s concerns. But that’s nowhere near the trouble Borders is dealing with right now, including possibly being cut off by publishers. The trouble seems to stem from Borders being a digital step behind, whereas Barnes & Noble has benefited from sales of its Nook e-reader. (Totally not related to digital distribution but a must-read print industry story that I wanted to fit in: how the New Yorker Saddam Hussein statue article was financed by nonprofit sources.)

6. Hypebot has an infographic breaking down some 2010 demographics of Facebook and Twitter users. Most of the Facebook news this fortnight was about money: a Goldman Sachs investment, plans for an IPO, predicted 2011 profits of $1 billion, and market power evaluations.  Most of the Twitter news was about tweeting: reading the US mood through tweets, the rise of hashtagging, thriving regional slang in tweets, the Ashton Kutcher bump, a UK crackdown on deceptive paid tweets, and the Wikileaks subpoena.

7. MySpace is crumbling, with overseas shutdowns, mass layoffs, and angry ex-employees. Dan Frommer thinks this opens up a great opportunity for Tumblr, while Google appears to have given up on social media. But Douglas Rushkoff worries that corporate marketing could ruin all of social media.

8. 2010 was a very down year for album sales, both in the US and the UK, but it’s been a pretty good past ten years for iTunes, and TorrentFreak claims more music than ever before is being sold, if not on CD any longer. Spotify’s general manager thinks the URL will be the music format of the future, and Pandora wants to get into your car. Too bad Spotify isn’t coming to the US…wait, yes it is…well anyway, should it?

9. Video game sales in 2010 were down 5% and total spending on gaming content was flat compared to last year, but GameStop had a great Christmas (to the consternation of Joystiq commenters). For console sales, Microsoft’s Xbox was king in 2010 thanks to Kinect, but Nintendo wants to remind us that the DS is the best-selling console to date in the US. Some things to keep an eye on in 2011: DC Universe Online, digital sales, and Sony’s PS3 hacker suit.

10. Good News for TV Majors links: Writing Teleseminar, Guide to 1980s Sitcoms, Archie at 40, TV Makers the Gatekeepers, OWN First Week, Networks MIA Cable Involved, PBS Defense, Kennedys Pulled, College Television Awards & Scholarships, Best of 2010, Oprah TVeets, Time Warner Ready to Neutralize Netflix, NYPD Blue Case Tossed Out, Viewing Up.


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What Are You Missing? Aug 29-Sep 11 http://blog.commarts.wisc.edu/2010/09/12/what-are-you-missing-aug-29-sep-11/ http://blog.commarts.wisc.edu/2010/09/12/what-are-you-missing-aug-29-sep-11/#comments Sun, 12 Sep 2010 16:46:31 +0000 http://blog.commarts.wisc.edu/?p=5983 Ten (or more) media industry stories you might have missed recently:

1. This time around, the video game anniversary of note is the Playstation, which has turned 15, and Joystiq celebrates with gifts of not just one but two infographics. This also makes it a good time to ask if classic video games still hold up. We’ll see if Madden on Facebook will hold up. I’m 100% certain The Room Tribute Flash game will; how could it not?

2. The music industry continues to struggle with sales, and while on iTunes music is still central, apps downloads may soon surpass song downloads (though The Oatmeal has a great cartoon about how we really feel when buying apps), and music labels aren’t cooperating with Ping but are cooperating with Google. Maybe Iron Maiden has the solution to the music industry’s problems.

3. Paste Magazine was among the print casualties this fortnight, and Arthur Sulzberger announced the New York Times would be one someday. Right now, newspapers are struggling to maintain their advertising share, and Gawker is beating all newspapers but the New York Times in online hits share, while Vogue is working to make both its print and online sources more advertiser friendly, and Playboy has become more blind-reader friendly.

4. It’s Hollywood summer summary time: summer was slow, attendance was down, ticket price gouging was up, there were summer trends and summer winners and losers, but Kick-Ass wasn’t the loser many first thought.

5. In indie cinema, it’s been a good year for documentaries and a good summer for women in art house seats and behind cameras, but it’s been a tough summer for specialty crossover hits and a tough everything for Terry Gilliam’s Don Quixote project. What it’ll be for I’m Still Here is being hotly debated.

6. Redbox hit its one billionth DVD rental, and now it’s looking to a new horizon: streaming. Google wants to compete in that realm too, one that has helped to make Netflix’s CEO a very rich man. Blockbuster actually has an advantage over the others in being able to offering certain rentals earlier, but it might not have the money to market that fact to consumers. iTunes and video-on-demand consumers can see Freakonomics earlier than even theatergoers can, and David Ehrlich believess such a model can actually help theaters in the end.

7. Twitter now touts 145 million registered users worldwide, but still has yet to truly go mainstream. It’s increasingly a key news platform, however (the Ford Explorer verdict story is especially striking), as well as a music industry factor, and for its alchemy with Werner Herzog and Kanye West (or so we presume) alone, we have to be grateful it exists.

8. Jaron Lanier doesn’t like social media forms; Pepsi loves them. Jim Louderback doesn’t like viral videos; Arcade Fire loves them. Nicholas Carr doesn’t like hyperlinks; Scott Rosenberg loves them.

9. The new Digg got criticized by old users and pwned by Reddit users, part of a larger trajectory of decline for Digg, which has responded to its latest problems by firing an engineer and asking users to chill out, while Reddit has responded by preparing for expansion. No matter who claims supremacy, it’s tougher than you might think to measure online traffic. YouTube Instant certainly got a lot of traffic, so much that YouTube’s CEO offered its undergrad student creator a job. Maybe he could help YouTube finally turn a profit.

10. Some good News for TV Majors links from the past two weeks: Bordwell Says Don’t Bother, Univision Wins 18-49, Please Don’t Call It a Recap, State of Network News, Ramadan TV, Too Much TV?, Smaller Channel Squeeze, Comcast Charity, Done Deal, Apple & Amazon News, TV the New Cinema?, Emmy Coverage.


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What Are You Missing? June 6-June 19 http://blog.commarts.wisc.edu/2010/06/20/what-are-you-missing-june-6-june-19/ Sun, 20 Jun 2010 14:30:24 +0000 http://blog.commarts.wisc.edu/?p=4874 Ten (or more) media industry stories you might have missed recently:

1. There were a number of stories this fortnight about online media and corporate commerce: Ann Taylor responded proactively to Facebook comments, Nike and Pepsi have hijacked World Cup marketing, product placement on blogs is increasing, Gatorade has a command center called Mission Control to oversee social media marketing, Disney/Pixar bought into Twitter trending, and Fox News has started a social media site (related: a Pew Center study finds a huge gap between social web news and traditional news news). Meanwhile, Henry Jenkins wants us to consider the difference between viral and spreadable, and even if they know the definitions, no one is really sure if Bros Icing Bros originated via viral or spreadable means.

2. A Nielsen study says about 22% of the world’s time online is consumed with social networking. We’ve also spent a lot of time looking up World Cup stuff, posting ruthless comments on articles anonymously, and checking out the latest I Can Has Cheezburger entries (seriously, tell me this isn’t awesome), while the Chinese apparently spend a lot of time just waiting for websites to load up. The Japanese are spending increasingly more time Twittering (the Japanese word for “tweet” translates back as “mumble,” which is perfect), but Iranians might not be Twittering as much as we would hope.

3. Hollywood is looking toward the international box office to help cover early summer losses, though the World Cup could slow things down a bit for non-Sex and the City-type films. Avatar is the gift that keeps on giving (though watch out for those glasses), while theaters are drawing more revenue from advertising. Great.

4. With even Pixar falling prey to it, many are lamenting Hollywood’s sequel and remake obsession: Anne Thompson, A.O. Scott, top producers, some guy in Austin who organized a protest. Claude Brodesser-Akner claims Hollywood is responding to some of the reboot bombs by seeking more originals, but Thompson is doubtful and points to the marketing challenge of originals like Knight and Day as a reason why Hollywood will continue turning to pre-sold ideas.

5. Carl Icahn appears even closer to Lions Gate Entertainment control thanks to Mark Cuban, but there’s still an ugly fight ahead. Cuban also suggests that studios should be buying up theater chains (like he’s done with Magnolia Pictures and Landmark Theaters), which sounds like a resurrection of classical-era Hollywood, but it’s for a digital-era reason: to exploit simultaneous VOD and theatrical releases. Of course, theater owners will certainly object, while R. Thomas Umstead says the viability of the day-and-date release is more complicated than many think, and the travails of the film Unthinkable show that piracy makes distribution plans even more complicated.

6. States are increasingly requiring filmmakers to showcase their regions in a favorable light if they want to receive valuable tax credits and subsidies (in response, the NYT had a little fun with the idea of cleaning up the cinematic image of New York), though this is probably more a requirement of independent productions, not major studio films. Similarly worried about negative depictions, conservative factions in Japan oppose the Oscar-winning documentary The Cove and have prevented domestic theatrical screenings of the film, but it will be streamed online via a Japanese video sharing site.

7. Redbox is going Blu-ray; Paramount is going rogue with Redbox, giving the service its new release DVDs right away rather than after a month window like most of the other studios, a decision that MG Siegler supports but David Poland says is a terrible mistake; and Netflix’s stock is going down thanks to a analyst’s claim that Hulu is a future threat, but Dan Rayburn says that projection is a terrible mistake.

8. The annual video game expo E3 took place last week: Bitmob fills us in on the best and worst of the major presentations – Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, EA, Konami, Ubisoft – Stephen C. Webster has more bests and worsts, and Dan Ackerman says hardware trumped software at the show, while Daniel Felt says no matter who won at E3, consumers lose in the end. Win or lose, consumers can look forward to the motion control war, more 3D games, and Rock Banding with the keytar.

9. Sasha Frere-Jones assesses some current online music listening options. One of them, the European subscription service Spotify, is being blocked from an American arrival by US labels due to its free music component. No matter the service, there’s a big challenge in convincing smartphone users to actually pay to listen to music on their handsets. Further, Jeremy Helligar points out that while singles are selling well, that’s not translating into album sales, which doesn’t bode well long-term for artists. Then there’s the web service that actually pays you for sharing music.

10. One thing you likely missed this fortnight was my birthday, but you can give me a belated gift by hitting one of my favorite News for TV Majors posts from the last two weeks: Gender in Televised Sport, Changing TV Culture, Cord Cutting Trends, ESPN Screens, TV Twitterers, DVR Boost, Nevins Profile, Actors Not Shows, Three Screen Report, Inside the Writers Room, The Genius of NewsRadio.