News & Analysis
First Newspapers, Now TV – the Internet Reformation Rolls On
Citibank Says It's 'Flummoxed' By Ratings Collapse In Cable TV ... Citibank entertainment media analyst Jason B. Bazinet and his team wrote in a note to investors today that they are baffled by the audience ratings decline they're seeing in cable TV. Citi downgraded CBS, Disney, Discovery, News Corp and Scripps from "Buy" to "Neutral" in the note after concluding that the ratings falloff was accompanied by a similar decline in the growth of ad dollars being spent on cable. Citi left Time Warner and Viacom as "Buys." Cable continues to grow revenues, up 8 percent (compound annual growth rate) since 2008, on Citi's numbers. That's more than the media sector as a whole, which only grew 2 percent. Audience ratings, however, are in a tailspin. – Business Insider
Dominant Social Theme: Newspapers and magazines are having trouble because of the Internet. But it is just a passing phase.
Free-Market Analysis: Citibank entertainment media analyst Jason B. Bazinet is in the news today. He wrote to investors that he simply cannot account for the slump in cable TV viewers.
As a result, he downgraded CBS, Disney, Discovery, News Corp and Scripps from "Buy" to "Neutral." This is no small thing. Ads follow viewers. Fewer viewers, fewer ads – and less ad dollars.
He notes that in aggregate, cable TV is up some eight percent since 2008, when the ongoing "depression" began to gather steam. But revenues are not ratings. Audiences continue to slump, and over time this bodes ill for the industry.
What could be causing the malaise? He cited a combination of "Netflix, warmer weather, job gains, lack of hit shows, and faulty Nielsen measurement." But here's the bottom line: "While we've tried to quantify these sources ... we can't explain the entire ratings shortfall."
Gee, a leading media analyst can't figure out why cable TV – and the visual media generally – is in a slump? How about the Internet?
The Internet is perhaps the "fifth communication technology wave," as we see it. There are plenty of nuances involoved in such a statemet, but in our view it constitutes at least a rough description.
What were they? Well, perhaps the first was rock painting, the second was carved tablets, the third paper and ink (papyrus), the fourth book printing and the fifth ... electronic communication technology. But this fully came into its own with the Internet, which is a fundamental adaption, whereas TV, phones, etc. were not.
We've discussed what's going on via a paradigm that we call the Internet Reformation. We've long argued that the Internet Reformation is as fundamental as the Gutenberg Press that brought tremendous changes to the world.
These include the Renaissance, the Reformation and the populating of the New World as well as the advent of the scientific method and the gradually diminishment of the Roman Catholic Church as the world's ultimate arbitrator.
Some will say that the Internet is merely a tool, but human beings are tool-using creatures and tend to define their societies by the tools they use. Tools, in other words, can be transformative. Here's some more from the article:
Citi cited a combination of Netflix, warmer weather, job gains, lack of hit shows, and faulty Nielsen measurement as possible culprits. Bazinet et al then concluded: "...while we've tried to quantify these sources, the bottom line is that we can't explain the entire ratings shortfall. We are flummoxed."
Here's one possible solution: People aren't watching cable anymore because they're using their cable service to play on the internet instead. I've argued for month now that the TV business as a whole is now sliding down the same slope that ruined the newspaper business: People abandoning old, expensive media for cheap, new web media.
This is a big deal and it's probably true. The global elites have literally depended on their media distribution network to promote certain dominant social themes. The end-game is global governance.
But much as the Gutenberg Press undermined the system set up by the powers-that-be 500 years ago, so the Internet is doing the same sort of thing now. This bodes poorly for the kind of mind control that the elites exercised in the 20th century. It is another reason to be hopeful about the future.
Conclusion: The Internet is NOTHING like TV. It is an active interrelationship more akin to reading than a passive one, like TV. The transformation of society's messaging continues apace, and this is surely not to the liking of the power elite. But the Internet is a process not an episode.
Posted by Wrusssr on 04/12/12 03:27 AM
Ah, Ross B, thou hast hit the proverbial nail. . .Feed back and exchange is the point. And why a cottage industry for online publication censors sprang up so quickly. They, whoever they are, couldn't/can't handle fly-over feedback. Aka semi-truth. From semi-literates like me. I often wondered if these publication reply censors spring from common eggs. There's an eerie similarity among them. Hard to say. Except, they don't like you throwing rocks at propaganda, lies, and disinformation that has been labored over and rolled out. Huff Post finally said no mas. My last attempt at correspondence with the publication was ". . .come, let us reason together." Silence. Tried again after Murdoch siphoned up HP, but the Brits strung him from their PR yardarm before he could reply. So it goes. Got a stern warning from AltNet once when I replied to their article: "The ten most influential television programs that helped shape America." Or something like that. I opened with: "These 10 droolers? Whatever happened to books, good writing, thoughtful essays and great debate?" Or words to that effect. Heard the buzzer go off when I hit submit. Had the most fun with late night replies to "Get the Copenhagen Global Warming Hacker" articles. Slipped them onto London Guardian and NYT pieces under cover of darkness. They lasted until the morning crews came on. Don't understand it. I try to always use spell-check and avoid cuss words, caps, innuendos. Maybe it's the taste of Instant Internet words or something. It's hard to figure. Thank god for the DB and the others.
Posted by bridgepro on 04/12/12 12:09 AM
When I moved into my present apartment just over six years ago, the previous tenant had not cancelled his Comcast cable. So I called Comcast to switch the account to my name. They said they could not do it until the previous tenant cancelled his account. So I waited a couple of weeks until they contacted him to cancel. Then, when I wanted to set up an account, they said that they would have to send someone over to verify that everything was working OK. So, since they would not send someone on the weekend, I would have to take a day off work to check a cable connection that was already working just fine! I told them to forget it and cancel the account. I have been using over-the-air digital TV ever since!
Posted by Agent Weebley on 04/11/12 05:00 PM
I always seem to forget the link . . . silly me.
Click to view link
Posted by Agent Weebley on 04/11/12 04:56 PM
TV is pretty well out the window, but online Newspapers can be used to promote alrernative media . . .
e.g. someone named tilak wrote this:
Yesterday 11:11 PM
Purchased two items from Best Buy in New York in February. Sold a refurbished item as new (cheaper in John Lewis, in fact!!!) and the iPad turned out to be faulty. Cheerfully misled that the Apple warranty was only valid in the US (valid internationally and exchanged in London) and should pay an additional $ 129 to protect my purchase! Major chains in the UK wouldn't engage in such disgraceful sharp practices, so this chappie's departure seems par for the course where Best ('Worst?'!) Buy is concerned.
And I just wrote this reply @ approximately 9:10PM BST/GMT
18 minutes ago
How weird is this? I just wrote about the John Lewis store in Sheffield today. It's about creating manufacturing jobs opposite their store in the heart of the city . . . in that 20 acre expropriated Sevenstone, the now seemingly defunct government / private retail "scheme" . . . with my Great Grandfather's place, Leah's Yard, as the GCHQ . . . a Sevenstone Doughnut. We're now looking for Angel Investors.
Click to view link
I have a question . . . was the second item an iPad too, or a temperature probe?
NB: I had initially inserted the word "fascist" between "private" and "retail," but it last 5 seconds before being sucked down the memory hole, so I removed that word and posted it again. Success!
My point? Short of a video photobomb on MSM news . . . Click to view link . . . a nice selection box of words that does not include words like "fascist" or "pigdogs," is AOK . . . and encouraged!
Posted by gabe on 04/11/12 03:25 PM
I agree Mr Sogwood. I got carried away. There are a lot of things one can do and I have not even thought of many of the things a person can do, therefore it was a ridiculous statement. However, if the trend accelerates it would be fun to watch the media providers suffer.
Posted by billkruse on 04/11/12 03:03 PM
TV was ok when there was nothing else to do. Now there's something much more interesting to occupy time with so no-one's bothering with tv any more. If it wants to compete with the new medium, it's going to have to shape up and get with the interesting programming.
Posted by oldman67 on 04/11/12 02:31 PM
My tv makes a great computer monitor screen. I see enough corporate controlled news media propaganda on my computer so i don't care to watch even more on tv.
Posted by Don from the Republic of Lakotah on 04/11/12 02:15 PM
Q. What could be causing the malaise?
A. Backtalk. Only Inet provides infinite backtalk. PE hates backtalk.
"The only difficulty was that I was rated as sassy. I just had to talk back at established authority and that established authority hated backtalk worse than barbed-wire pie." - Zora Neale Hurston
"The State of the News Media 2012" arguably offers the best free "layman's" data on mass media trends.
Click to view link
Posted by amanfromMars on 04/11/12 01:36 PM
Thanks for the info, runderwo, ... ... but one must always be prepared for everyone knowing everything about what one is doing and has done.
What one is going to do is in the land of fantasy and make believe though, and can never be accurately predicted, no matter how many algorithms one would wield and wheel out to try and prove a possible second and third party course of action was certain and/or likely.
Which is why I suppose there are so many cases of active government entrapment with agents posing as active criminal collaborators in fantastic plots to justify the course of their actions and scare more shekels out of puppet governments and police states and fascist administrations.
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and there aint no mistake in that.
Posted by rossbcan on 04/11/12 01:34 PM
DB: "But this fully came into its own with the Internet, which is a fundamental adaption, whereas TV, phones, etc. were not. "
Previous (pre-internet) media were unicast (one provider to many information consumers) with no meaningful, unignorable feedback from information consumer, to producer, apart from "not interested". The internet is bidirectional multicast, both one to many and, many to one, allowing information providers (and thus information) to converge to truth. Very few see the profound significance, nor futility of fighting the "quest for truth" and REAL social / economic consensus.
FEEDBACK is EVERYTHING, in the quest for truth. LIES have ZERO CHANCE of survival, with the entire, connected, ad-hoc organized class of intelligent human beings on the planet swatting lies faster than they can be created:
Click to view link
Our tyrant's terror is abject, they are cornered and, their only options are to cave in (and, deal with justice), or, start "the big one" and destroy everything, internet included.
Posted by chad2 on 04/11/12 01:23 PM
There's nothing worth watching on TV! It's trash! The funny thing is people can't bring themselves to canceling cable with revenues rising... I think it's funny too that TV equipment has never been better and yet the programming and even the movies are so poor! haha! I think the same can be said for music... Perhaps sports is the only thing on... Well, I canceled my cable and I find antena TV is just fine. Join me!
Posted by Dilence Sogwood on 04/11/12 01:07 PM
The single most important step is to "... sell their TV"?
That's a crazy categorical statement. It's up there with "Global Warming is the greatest threat to out national security."
Posted by runderwo on 04/11/12 01:02 PM
This Internet provider pledges to put your privacy first. Always.
Click to view link
decade of revelations has underlined the intimate relationship between many telecommunications companies and Washington officialdom. Leading providers including AT&T and Verizon handed billions of customer telephone records to the National Security Agency; only Qwest refused to participate. Verizon turned over customer data to the FBI without court orders. An AT&T whistleblower accused the company of illegally opening its network to the NSA, a practice that the U.S. Congress retroactively made legal in 2008.
By contrast, Merrill says his ISP, to be run by a non-profit called the Calyx Institute with for-profit subsidiaries, will put customers first. "Calyx will use all legal and technical means available to protect the privacy and integrity of user data," he says.
Merrill is in the unique position of being the first ISP exec to fight back against the Patriot Act's expanded police powers -- and win.
His recipe for Calyx was inspired by those six years of interminable legal wrangling with the Feds: Take wireless service like that offered by Clear, which began selling 4G WiMAX broadband in 2009. Inject end-to-end encryption for Web browsing. Add e-mail that's stored in encrypted form, so even Calyx can't read it after it arrives. Wrap all of this up into an easy-to-use package and sell it for competitive prices, ideally around $20 a month without data caps, though perhaps prepaid for a full year.
Merrill has formed an advisory board with members including Sascha Meinrath from the New America Foundation; former NSA technical director Brian Snow; and Jacob Appelbaum from the Tor Project.
The next step for Merrill is to raise about $2 million and then, if all goes well, launch the service later this year. Right now Calyx is largely self-funded. Thanks to a travel grant from the Ford Foundation, Merrill is heading to the San Francisco Bay area later this month to meet with venture capitalists and individual angel investors.
Posted by amanfromMars on 04/11/12 12:11 PM
Novel and enlightening content is future ace, king, queen and jack of all trades and suits, and with TV and newspapers providing more of the same old Garbage In Garbage Out, what are they to expect whenever inquisitive beings discover in a new and engaging and spontaneously interacting medium, that they are also being sublimely and anonymously led to uncover the spinning of deceitful tales specifically designed to have control over them and exercise crushing powers on them, just to keep an artificial virtual reality in the minds of an established old hierarchy model, alive, and its controllers in clover/fabulous fiat riches at the expense of everyone else?
Of course interest in mindless garbage will wane and fervent search for that which will replace it will ensue. It aint rocket science, is it, common sense?
And one does wonder what sort of idiot savant would be providing intelligence to those old hierarchical systems for it certainly aint bright enough to leading with anything for anyone in the future, and nowhere near clever enough for its and ITs Virtual Futures and Derivatives Portfolios and Cyber Ventures with Turing AIdVenturers... .. SMART PioneerShips.
Posted by gabe on 04/11/12 11:51 AM
If people want to protest or do "Occupy" movements or join the "reLOVEution" then the single most important step is to cancel their cable/newspaper/magazine subscriptions and sell their TV. Save some money and use alternative media or create some alternative media.