Wow, there is so much stuff today.
We have a documentary taking a look at if Led Zeppelin played in a local youth center more than 40 years ago. We have a look at the Postal Service's reunion tour stop at Merriweather. And now, we have two — two! — blog items for the price of one on this sunny Thursday morning. It's like Christmas in June. Without the cold. Or the happiness.
Number four, number four.
For it's next trick, Aereo, our favorite oddly named Internet startup, is taking its talents to ... Chicago! Yes, now Kanye West can stream "Judge Judy" reruns on the Internet as he puts North down for a nap. Take it away, Matt Burns, who quoted the company's CEO, Chet Kanojia, in his piece published about an hour ago ...
“There’s no place like Chicago and we’re excited to be launching in this world-class city in September,” Aereo CEO and Founder Chet Kanojia said in a released statement today. “Consumers want more choice and flexibility when it comes to how they watch television and the enthusiastic response to our technology from people across the country has been humbling. At Aereo, we feel that we’ve built something meaningful for consumers and we’re proud of the work we’ve accomplished. However, there’s still much more to come as we continue our expansion into new cities throughout the summer and fall.”
Gut reaction: There's no place like Chicago? Really?! What do you say after you decide which city you are going to invade next, Special K? "There's no place like ... actually there is a place just like Kansas City — Chicago — but there aren't many other places like these. Promise."
Anyway, this comes after the company expanded to Atlanta a few days ago, which, of course, came after the company popped up in Boston, which, of course, came after the company began offering its services in New York City. Got that? Good.
Easy A now faces a tiny conundrum, as Burns so elegantly points out (go read his piece!): The more the operation expands, the more it pokes the bear, constantly reminding the justice system that yes, some day, it's going to have to rule on the service's legality one way or the other. Inherently, then, Aereo now has to ask itself if it should keep throwing flares into the sky, begging for attention, or just figure out how to live life on its increasingly lonely island.
There's probably no real right or wrong answer, of course, but one might believe it unwise to stop now, if you're Aereo. The thing keeps gaining traction by the day it seems, and until someone or something very powerful tries to cut off its knees for good, the only productive thing the company can do is proceed as though it's business as usual.
Remember, friends: It's supposed to hit this area before the end of the year (fingers crossed). That is, assuming it can still walk by the time the end of the year gets here.
UFC 402: Amazon vs. Netflix
Hey, did anyone catch the neat graphic the Wall Street Journal posted Monday morning? I'd put it right below this sentence, but that wouldn't be nice, now would it? Instead, I'll simply commend the lads over there for dissecting Piper Jaffray's analysis of the battle between not only Amazon and Netflix, but also Hulu and Redbox. From Tom Gara ...
"Here’s one metric of the work Amazon has ahead of it: Does it have the shows and movies people actually want to watch?" Gara wrote. "The conclusion? In short, Netflix is on top in films, Hulu in TV, and Amazon in neither. And it’s only Netflix breaking into the double digits in both categories."
Or, in short, no.
The numbers are interesting to look at (again: props to the people at Piper Jaffray). Hulu Plus offers 44 percent of the top 75 television shows available for streaming over the last four years, Netflix has 33 percent and Amazon has ... ready for this? ... seven percent. The company gains ground, however, when it comes to the top 50 movies available for streaming over the last four years, but still can't overcome the Big Red Machine — Netflix, 14 percent; Amazon, 11.
But wait. There's more!
Todd Spangler, the Digital Editor at Variety, took the opposite position when he noted Wednesday that Amazon is not a company others vying for streaming success sould take lightly.
"Amazon.com's streaming war with Netflix continues apace, as the Internet retail expanded its multiyear licensing agreement with PBS for hundreds of additional episodes of shows including NOVA, Masterpiece and Ken Burns documentaries plus kids’ shows like 'Caillou,' 'Arthur,' 'Daniels Tiger’s Neighborhood,' 'Dinosaur Train' and 'Wild Kratts,'" he wrote. "All told, Amazon’s Prime Instant Video service now includes more than 41,000 movies and TV episodes. Shows from PBS Kids that are available on Prime Instant Video will be available in Kindle FreeTime Unlimited, which provides books, games, educational apps, movies and TV shows on the tablet."
House of Cards or "Arthur?" Hey, it's your life, guys.
The most memorable nugget from the entire piece? Amazon Prime, which offers free unlimited two-day shipping on products from the Amazon store and is what the company's streaming service essentially runs through, costs 79 bucks a year. 79 bucks!? Wow. That's something like $6.58 a month, which is just ... it's just ... wait. I pay 10 bucks a month for Netflix, don't I?
OK. Does anyone know if Amazon has any back episodes of "Extreme Couponing" in its library?