Spotify’s Wants to Add Video Service, HBO-Go Wants to Cut Cable

Geek Smack! Show

Geek Smack!

This week I address the PyCon issue and my friend Adria’s stance. Also an update on the GoDaddy issues I had in the last 4 weeks. All SXSW video will be out by end of week.


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Geek Smack! episode 256 Tech News:

CIA works deal with Amazon to build Cloud Infrastructure – Tax free.
Saudi Skye Ban

contemplating a ban on Skype, and WhatsApp because these programs offer encrypted access
Don’t Laser Planes
Man given 30 months for pointing a laser at pilots in-air
NASA Commercial Crowdfund

Group raising money to add commercial right before “Star Trek – Into Darkness”
UnGoogleable is Not a Word
had Sweeden take off the word Ungoogleable and also looking to remove ogooglebar, too
ICANN Clearinghouse
If you have a Trademark you get first dibs on
Facebook Conversation Thread
Facebook adds individual threads for comments made on profiles with 10,000 fans or more.

Geek Smack! Geek News

Yelp Revenue Estimator
adds help for businesses to understand the Impact of .
Duo 3D Sensor
Kickstarter: A 3D Sensor that you build and create apps for
Get That Song Out
Scientist Find a way to get that song out of your head
Facebook Games = $2.8 Billion
Games totalled $2.8 billion on Facebook which is why Zynga needed exclusivity
NBC Universal DMCA
You might get an email from NBC Universal, but will it count toward your six-strike rule?
T-Mobile Removes Contracts
You can get a good without a 2-year contract from
Yahoo! Buys Summly
Teen app developer Summly is snapped up by Yahoo! This makes Nick D’Aloisio a wealthy teen.

Geek Smack: Spotify Planning Streaming Service – HBO Go Might Become Available to non-cable subscribers – Are We Seeing Internet TV Start to Form?

Spotify is planning to increase their media presence by adding streaming video to their service. Their plan is to not only have movies but also original content – similar to what Netflix and Amazon are working on.

In the meantime, HBO is working on an Ala-Carte plan to let you subscribe to their channel without needing to order over cable. If this comes to fruition, HBO will be able to compete with Netflix, Hulu and Amazon on an Internet level.

This is the real start of Internet TV.

I always said this – the first company to take a TV channel off cable and place it on the internet without extra cost will win. Commercial for commercial, show for show. No on demand, just the TV as we know it on the internet.

The problem with that is the process of streaming. With conventional cable, it’s always being pushed. Anyone who watches a show will basically share the stream with millions. Watching on the internet is different.

Lets say an episode of “Game of Thrones” is 1.5 GB to stream. If 10 people decide to watch the same episode at the same time, the service cannot put the downloads together (like with cable). That 1.5 GB video will consume 15 GB of bandwidth for those 10 people to watch.

Streaming has made some changes. Local hubs, for example. If you watch Hulu of an NBC, ABC or Fox show, you will most likely see the watermark of your local TV station. The files get replicated so they have shorter distances to travel and less bottlenecks to endure.

This becomes the “10 million dollar question” for companies like Netflix, Amazon and soon Spotify. How do you keep cost low in sending a video over the internet? For some – giving them a low-resolution version is acceptable. There are others that won’t accept it. A good example: I just watched a TV show on a 120 Hz LCD TV. The picture was so crisp I now want a 120 Hz TV.

Getting into the video streaming game comes with costs. Video take a lot more bandwidth than audio – 3 MB files become 1.3GB or greater. But people love to watch those videos online. And we haven’t even touched mobile video formats.

If Spotify follows the current pattern and offers streaming at $8-10 a month, they will have to get about 2 million customers to see ROI and get contracts with big TV and movie companies to keep current titles. Hulu has about 3 million (as of Dec 2012) and Netflix is around 25 million.

As for HBO-Go, their competition would be more with cable than anything. There are contracts in place that could cause problems if they went to a non-cable method. However, I know it can be done because Starz did it for years first through RealPlayer, then Netflix.

Geek Smack! is a weekly video show and podcast that comes out every Tuesday evening. Your host: Jeffrey Powers – talks tech news, IT news and geek news for the week. Geek Smack! is ©2012 under a Creative Commons no-deriv license. Never take candy from strangers. If you would like more information about what is technology, recent news, Geekazine, and Jeffrey Powers, feel free to contact him. Jeffrey Powers does interviews, just ask!

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