New Media interchange, my new show with 3rd Pass Media, is now available on iTunes.
New Media Interchange is a podcast spotlighting various developments in New Media & focusing on the media world beyond mainstream television and radio, including podcasting, YouTube, live streaming, gaming and more. Hosted by Douglas E. Welch , pioneer podcaster, blogger and new media consultant.
New Media Interchange is part of the 3rd Pass Media Network which is launching a series of shows this week including Mindul(l) Media, The Render Break Report, New Media Interchange and More. You’ll find more information about 3rd Pass Media at http://3rdPass.Media.
This is New Media Interchange where we talk about the media world beyond mainstream television and radio, including podcasting, YouTube, live streaming, gaming and more. I’m your host, Douglas E. Welch, pioneer podcaster, blogger and writer.
In today’ show…
- Podcasting Patent Trolls Turned Back
- .Sucks domains also suck for new media creators
- Part 1 of my interview with Michael Anderson of GameWisp.com which is helping game play video makers expand their monetization optons
- I’ll round out the show with the next installment of my Subscribed series.
More after this…
Today’s show is brought to you by Audible.com. I love New Media like podcasting and YouTube, but I also love all types of books. If you love audio books you can support New Media Interchange and 3rdPass Media by starting your free 30-day trial with Audible today. Choose from over 100,000 books. Including one of my favorites, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – an amazing magical fantasy novel. Visit AudibleTrial.com/3rdpass or use the link in the show notes today.
Podcasting Patents Invalidated
In a move that is sure to warm the hearts of many a New Media producer, The US Patent and Trademark Office invalidated a number of claims on podcasting patents that were held by the company Personal Audio. Personal Audio made a splash in the podcasting world a few years ago by claiming that they owned a patent on the various podcasting technologies and everyone — especially the big boys of podcasting including Adam Carolla, Leo Laporte and even CBS — either paid them licensing fees or face being sued. CBS even settled a lawsuit that was filed by Personal Audio in Texas rather than fight the claim. They might be wondering what they paid for now, though, as the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) effectively countered Personal Audio’s patent claims, leading the USPTO to invalidate key portions of the company’s patents. This doesn’t necessarily mean that Personal Audio, or others, won’t try to claim these patents in the future, but it certainly limits their options.
The USPTO ruled that the patent granted did not take into consideration the fact that the technologies and methods of podcasting were quite obvious at the time of filing and therefore not new, unique or patentable.This is a very common problem with patents in the US as it struggles to deal with technologies never even imagined when it was first set up. The New Media world will be continue to be threatened by “patent trolls” such as this due to the nature of the US patent system, and its inherent flaws, If people can find a way to exploit the system to their advantage, they will, until some of those flaws are corrected.
In an EFF Press Release, Staff Attorney Vera Ranieri said, “We have a lot to celebrate here. But unfortunately, our work to protect podcasting is not done. Personal Audio continues to seek patents related to podcasting. We will continue to fight for podcasters, and we hope the Patent Office does not give them any more weapons to shake down small podcasters.”
For my own part, in 10 years of podcasting I have seen many people attempt to make money on the back of content creators. Individuals and companies have tried to insert themselves as content gatekeepers, subvert podcasting content and RSS feeds to their own ends through portals and basically acting as “digital carpetbaggers” — attempting to extract income in every way but creating content themselves. Every new industry faces this particular type of intruder as it grows, so all New Media creators must be constantly vigilant of how they might be abused and how to stand up for themselves when issues occur.
You’ll find links to additional information, as always, in the show notes.
Read more at:
- EFF Helps Bust Bogus Patent That Was Being Used To Shake Down Podcasters
- Podcasts are safer after the EFF helps gut a patent troll
- EFF Busts Podcasting Patent, Invalidating Key Claims at Patent Office
Why .sucks — sucks
.com. .org. .edu .mil. These are all familiar endings to Internet domains we type into our browsers every day. They are called Top Level Domains or TLDs by ICANN or Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. These are the folks that control a large part of the Internet, including domain name systems. For years, we lived with relatively few TLDs like those mentioned earlier, but lately there has been an explosion of new TLDs being offered including .tv, .guru, .tips, .events and even — as our own network 3rd Pass Media uses — .media. There are a host of reasons for adding new TLDs, even if the average Internet user still reflexively types .com when entering a web address. Companies and individuals want to reinforce their brand. I understand that. They are looking for web URLs that somehow better reflect the nature of their business. I have a variety of issues with one new TLD, though, .sucks.
Yes, you can now purchase a domain name like xyz123.sucks to host your blog and other content. As you might be able to see though, .sucks is different. Unlike other Top Level Domains, .sucks is almost universally derogatory and I believe, like a recent article on The Next Web declares, “This new domain is the future of trolling.” There are very few scenarios I see for someone purchasing a .sucks domain and none of them are pretty.
First, there will be the trolls mentioned in the article, buying well-known names in order to harass companies or individuals and generally make a pain of themselves. Trolls, spammers and other nefarious Internet users already cause a host of trouble. Do we really need to give them another weapon in their arsenal. While I can’t imagine DouglasEWelch.sucks being that popular, you can imagine sites like apple.sucks. windows.sucks and more have already been snapped up. This is inevitable with such a derogatory TLD. We are basically giving people the right to troll others in ways unheard of before. Sure people could have registered applesucks.com or some such name, but being able to use the new TLD certainly makes it easier to brand the site and for people to find it.
I am not sure what ICANN or Vox Populi — the company hosting and selling the new TLD — were thinking when they set up .sucks, but it sure feels like nothing more than a money grab.
It strikes me much like the old unlisted phone number scam used by telcom companies before the Internet. They’d sell your phone number to telemarketers so you could get sales calls every night of the week and then, when you looked for some relief from this, charge you for the privilege of making your phone number unlisted. Talk about double-dipping.
Not only will Vox Populi make money selling the TLD to discontented Internet trolls, they can also sell the .sucks domains to large companies and individuals in a peremptory effort to keep it out of the hands of these trolls. For me, this smacks of exploitation, if not outright extortion. “Buy your .sucks domain now or who knows who might snap it up and use it against you.” This same tactic has been used to sell nearly every previous TLD additions like .net and .info, but we have never had to face such a singularly derogatory TLD like .sucks. before. Those who might have been inclined to ignore previous calls to buy every permutation of their domains might be more inclined to buy when it comes to .sucks.
Some, but not all, it seems. In an interview with NPR, Adobe’s associate general counsel J. Scott Evans said, “I basically think it’s extortion. We are not going to participate in any kind of extortion scheme. I’ve told my people the best way not to get included is not to suck.” I feel much the same way and I’m glad to see someone standing up against the process.
Vox Populi stands to make a lot of money on .sucks, especially when allowing trademark-holding companies to purchase any pertinent domains during the so-called “sunrise period” before the new domains are sold to the public. Vox Populi is charging trademark holders almost $2500 per domain during this period, although the public will be able to register .sucks domains for around $25 when they are made available to everyone. Large companies like Apple, Microsoft and Google have reportedly purchased large numbers of .sucks domains in an effort to protect their trademark and brand.
For me, this points up a large problem with TLDs in general. While all new TLDs are promoted as providing some special cache, some special need, some special benefit, the end goal seems to be to simply make money, as quickly as possible. Derogatory domains like .sucks only ramp up the process and send companies and individuals into a frenzy of buying in what I consider a misguided attempt at self-protection. Are we going to see an escalation of these tactics into even more threatening TLDs like .die, .kill, .hate and more. I know it sounds a bit ludicrous, but after seeing .sucks approved as an official TLD, I’m not so sure.
Buying a domain so that it can never be used shouldn’t be a business and Internet content creators shouldn’t feel that it is required of them. This seems the very definition of extortion to me. “Buy .sucks now or we’ll sell it to some troll who will make you look bad.” Not cool. Not cool at all.
What’s your opinion on .sucks and other domain TLDs? Sound off in the comments or via Twitter at @NMIPodcast.
Read more at:
YouTube starts move towards providing ad free subscriptions
A few months ago, YouTube floated the idea of providing a subscription service that would make all videos on the site free of ads. As a YouTube content creator myself, my first question was “Ok, if you remove ads, then how I am going to get paid.” YouTube monetization via Google Adsense is a main income stream for many well-known YouTubers, so I am sure that my question was echoed by many content creators around the world.
Lacking any additional information from Google at that time, I imagined the system would be similar to Amazon’s KDP Select Program for Prime Members, where I am paid from a collective fund whenever a Prime member downloads my books for free. Now that YouTube has updated their terms and conditions, it seems I was close. Subscribers who pay a monthly fee will see my videos without ads, but I will then receive a portion (which looks to be 55%) of the subscription proceeds based on my “share” of the audience — how many views, how many minute watched, etc compared to other channels.
Now that this missing piece has been filled in, we will probably see further movement towards this ad-free environment. As music services such as Pandora and Spotify have shown, people are willing to pay to avoid advertising if they can. As a long time podcaster, I’ve never really been convinced that traditional advertising was really the best way to earn a profit from my content. This move by YouTube could be part of an on-going trend to break out of advertising models and follow along the path of other subscription services available for Pandora, Spotify and Twitch TV and patronage systems like Patreon.
There is one major issue yet to be resolved, though. YouTube seems to be choosing to be a bit of a bully when it comes to enrolling people in this new program. If YouTube Creators want to monetize any of their videos in the usual way, they will also have to enroll them in the new subscription service or risk having those video set to “private” mode. This would still allow them to host the videos on YouTube, but make them virtually undiscoverable on YouTube itself.
While I can understand that YouTube wants to insure a large amount of ad-free content is available for subscribers at the start and simplify their placement of advertising on videos, it seems a bit extreme to force everyone to make all their videos available to subscribers ad-free. For small channels like myself, I probably would have registered with the new service anyway, but being pressured into doing so still doesn’t feel very good. Larger YouTube Channels might find that they can make more money outside of the subscription system and won’t like being forced into this program either. This could result in the exact opposite of the desired effect — reducing the number and quality of the videos available to subscribers. We won’t truly know how it affects YouTube Creators, though, until YouTube and Google provide more info.
Ad-Free subscriptions are just one way in which New Media can provide a service traditional television or radio cannot and yet another way for services like YouTube to build their — and hopefully content creators — profits. I know that I will eagerly watching for more information on this ad-free subscription service and how it will work for both the viewers and content creators.
Read more at:
- YouTube without ads? Yes, for a price
- YouTube plans video subscription service without those annoying ads
SFX: MediaTwits Opening Audio
In a followup to the media fragmentation story in the last episode, MediaShift from PBS has an online series on Cord Cutting — viewers who are abandoning cable television subscriptions in favor of over-the-top services like Netflix, HBO Now and Amazon Prime.
In their article, MediaShift writes, “Cutting the cord to cable has gone from a fringe action to a way of life for millions of Americans that have given up on expensive cable and satellite TV packages and built their own on-demand TV experience with streaming TV.”
I am a cord cutter myself, turning off my cable television subscription in favor of over-the-air broadcasts for those few mainstream shows I watch and a combination of Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon Instant Video for movie rentals. We cut the cord when our cable television cost, along with Internet service rose above $100 per month. After a quick review, we realised how little television we were watching and how we would only ever watch a fraction of the channels provided. My son was aging out of the world of Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network and was focusing more and more on his YouTube subscriptions, so that made the decision even easier.
Some people warn that you can end up paying more for online subscriptions than you were paying for cable television. That said, even if you are paying a similar amount, I believe that the quality and quantity of content you receive is far more in-line with your entertainment wants and needs. You might be paying the same or more, but you are getting far more bang for your buck.
A recent edition of MediaShift’s companion discussion show, MediaTwits discusses cord cutting and the move of both HBO and CBS’ into the over-the-top streaming market. You can watch the entire episode of MediaTwits using the link in the show notes and their online article includes a large number of links for further reading on cord cutting in our New Media world. You’ll find a link in the show notes.
SFX: Theme for Harold (var. 3) by Kevin MacLeod (http://incompetch.com) under Creative Commons License
Interview with Michael Anderson of GameWisp – Part 1
SFX: Interview audio
SFX: Science @ NASA Opening audio
A geek in one thing, a geek in all things. This is how I often describe myself. I can geek out on nearly anything — gardening, robotics, beekeeping, architecture, whatever. Since my earliest days as a student, I have also always geeked out over science in all its forms. This love of science means that I am always tuned in to what is happening at NASA and other scientific organizations. I even have a friend who works at JPL who helps to keep me informed and has provided me several opportunities to visit and hang out with the scientists there. Despite what many of us older folks may have believed in high school — science is cool!
One great way of keeping in touch with the many scientific projects and discoveries at NASA is by subscribing to their YouTube channel, Science @ NASA. Amazing and informative new content arrives nearly every week and recent episodes have included “How Desert Dust Feeds Amazon Forests”, “The Mystery of Nanoflares”, and “The Strange Way Fluids Slosh on the International Space Station.” Science @ NASA is a great way of feeding my geek needs and it is always a pleasure to see it pop-up in my YouTube subscription list of new videos.
On the Science @ NASA YouTube page, you’ll also found even more links to great NASA channels produced by installations like NASA Ames Research Center, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and NASA Kennedy Space Center.
You’ll find Science @ NASA’s YouTube channel at ScienceAtNASA or you can use the link in the show notes.
SFX: Music Bed
That’s it for this episode of New Media Interchange where I talk about the media world beyond mainstream television and radio, including podcasting, YouTube, live streaming, gaming and more.
Want to get each new episode of the show automatically? Be sure to subscribe via iTunes, the Podcasts app or Stitcher on your iOS devices or any other of your favorite podcasting clients. You can use the direct links in the show notes or search for New Media Interchange and look for the red, white and black New Media Interchange Logo
New Media Interchange is part of the 3rd Pass Media network. For more information, visit 3rdPass.media. Do you have questions or comments? Send them along to NMI@3rdpass.media or via Twitter at @NMIPodcast .
I’m Douglas E. Welch and I’ll be back next week with more New Media news on New Media Interchange..