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by Paula Bernstein
July 19, 2013 12:36 PM
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Cable Costs, Vine Videos, Apple TV and More: 5 Tech Stories That Filmmakers (And Film Fans) Need to Read

"Mad Men" on AMC AMC
1. Unbundled Cable: Many of us gripe about cable costs, especially in a VOD world where we expect to watch what we want, when we want it. Why should we have to pay for channels we never watch? Wouldn't it be cheaper to buy our favorite shows a la carte? Over at "The Atlantic," Derek Thompson investigates and finds that, according to analysis from Needham Insights, ESPN alone would cost $30/month if you paid for it a la carte. AMC would cost around $10. As Thompson points out, most cable subscribers pay a little under $40 a month for cable, which is about the same as it would cost to get just ESPN and AMC. "In simpler English: TV just got more expensive with just two a la carte channels," writes Thompson. What do you think? Does a la carte still sound appealing?

2. Vine Videos To TV:  We've written about how Vine is impacting the indie film world. Now, with a new contest from Virgin Mobile, Vine video is coming to TV. It could be a way for buddy indie filmmakers to get some commercial experience. The contest, which runs through July 21, asks users to submit their best “Happy Accident." The winning videos will be included in the Virgin campaign -- which features people deliberately destroying their phones so they can switch to Virgin Mobile. No word on whether "filmmakers" will be paid.

3. Amazon Domain: Looking for a domain name for your new production company or indie feature. Note: when choosing a name, do not infringe on the rights of indigenous people. Amazon recently found this out the hard way. A group of Latin American countries has blocked Amazon from from using .amazon as a new suffix for Internet addresses, saying that "‘.amazon’ is a geographic name that represents important territories of some of our countries, which have relevant communities, with their own culture and identity directly connected with the name,” according to "The New York Times."

4. Apple TV: Earlier this week, we wrote about how Apple is reportedly developing an ad-skipping service. Apple has even more ambitious plans and is "collaborating with distributors like Time Warner Cable and programmers like the Walt Disney Company on apps that might eliminate the unpleasant parts of TV watching, like bothersome set-top boxes or clunky remote controls," according to "The New York Times." Will Apple ever manage to revolutionize TV like it revolutionized computers and phones?

5. Disney Wristbands: Many of us were creeped out when Disney said it would be giving park visitors wristbands which use radio frequency identification (RFID) chips and collect tons of data about the preferences of guests, including children. But the Mouse's hi-tech wristbands have been a success, at least financially. At a conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, Disney's parks division chairman Thomas Staggs said that guests with the wristbands were spending more on average than other customers, according to Bloomberg News. We're still not sold.

You can check out the Virgin Mobile Vine contest below:







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3 Comments

  • Katy Kern | July 19, 2013 3:34 PMReply

    With the last couple of years of watching episodic television on Netflix, I am game for anything that would eliminate commercials. I really only watch a few channels on Cable now with maybe a few shows per throughout the year. None are the paid channels like HBO or Starz. I really don't need 500+ channels, never did.

    If a company can come up with a program that would get rid of advertising during shows, sign me up!

  • spassky | July 19, 2013 1:27 PMReply

    Who in this country only pays $40 for cable???

    NO ONE

  • Alex C. | July 20, 2013 10:28 AM

    That's exactly what I wanted to know. The cheapest basic package in our area runs $80+ per month. Add $30+ if you want HBO.