Mediatwits #30: Netflix, Time Warner Make Peace?; E-Books Price-Fixing; Holiday Gadgets

    by Mark Glaser
    December 9, 2011
    For just $875, you can get this Dieter Rams SK5 Phonosuper Record Player. The ultimate in nerd porn. (From the Wirecutter's Gifting Guide for Humans)

    Welcome to the 30th episode of “The Mediatwits,” the weekly audio podcast from MediaShift. The co-hosts are MediaShift’s Mark Glaser and Rafat Ali. This week we have an eclectic mix of topics. First up is the UBS Media and Technology Conference in New York, where the talk of the conference was the rise of over-the-top video services and talks by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes. Special guest Jeff Roberts from PaidContent was at the show and talks about what he heard (and the mainly optimistic mood there). Plus, Roberts comments on the ongoing investigations into price-fixing in the e-books market between Apple and big book publishers.

    Then we turn to our seasonal conundrum: What gadget gifts are right for our loved ones? Special guest Brian Lam from the Wirecutter did a great shopping guide for gadgets and non-gadgets so we get his take on the right gifts for everyone. Lam believes that gadgets can be a tough gift to give because it’s hard to find the perfect model for each person. He prefers surprising gifts that come with rich back stories.

    "When you hear the stories on objects, they become more than what they're made of, which is more beautiful when it comes to gift-giving." -Brian Lam

    Check it out!



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    Intro and outro music by 3 Feet Up; mid-podcast music by Autumn Eyes via Mevio’s Music Alley.

    Here are some highlighted topics from the show:


    1:20: Twitter redesign coming

    2:00: Future show on brand pages on social media?

    2:25: Rundown of topics on the show

    i-303f1d4153ebfaf7962a2805a28c2c3b-Jeff Roberts.jpg
    Jeff Roberts

    UBS Media Conference

    3:55: Special guest Jeff Roberts from PaidContent

    4:30: Netflix CEO and Time Warner CEO speak out

    6:20: Roberts: Netflix is in a tough position but Hulu is better off

    E-Books investigation into price-fixing

    9:10: EU, U.S. Justice department have investigations

    10:30: Roberts: Not a big deal for Apple; bigger deal for book publishers

    12:20: Consumers don’t want to wait months for e-book editions of new releases

    14:00: Roberts: Viacom vs. YouTube verdict coming; more on piracy

    Holiday gadget guide

    15:20: Special guest Brian Lam from the Wirecutter

    17:30: Lam: Things made in factories were less memorable for me as gifts

    i-2fb8a049050d9f090ef9ab798aff1d09-brian lam.jpeg
    Brian Lam

    19:00: Why gadgets aren’t good gifts for gadget people

    21:40: Lam rates iPad, then Kindle Fire, then Kindle Touch

    23:20: Lam likes a kazoo trumpet as an offbeat gift, or a model airplane called The Crow

    25:00: Rafat wants a special tea kettle

    More Reading

    Netflix CEO Compares Company To Bank Of America And Oakland A’s at PaidContent

    Media Moguls See Netflix, Hulu Video as Top Issue to Navigate at Bloomberg

    Netflix CEO: We got overconfident at CNN Money

    What’s up with Netflix/Time Warner love-in? at Marketwatch

    Cable-TV Honchos Cry Foul Over Soaring Cost of ESPN at WSJ

    Apple, e-book publishers in EU crosshairs over e-book sales at CNET

    Justice Department Confirms E-Book Pricing Probe at WSJ

    Be Thoughtful: A Gifting Guide for Humans at the Wirecutter

    Be Thoughtful: A Gifting Guide for Humans, Finale at the Wirecutter

    Weekly Poll

    Don’t forget to vote in our weekly poll, this time about what gadget you want to get:

    Mark Glaser is executive editor of MediaShift and Idea Lab. He also writes the bi-weekly OPA Intelligence Report email newsletter for the Online Publishers Association. He lives in San Francisco with his son Julian. You can follow him on Twitter @mediatwit. and Circle him on Google+

    Tagged: e-books gadgets netflix price-fixing streaming video time warner ubs media wirecutter

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