Posts by Gareth Ward

  • Hard News: Standing together, in reply to Andrew Geddis,

    their advisors ought to be spelling out the risks involved in any particular course of action.

    And those advisors are often (usually?) the ones suggesting the course of action, so I find the standard "lawyers just execute their client's requests as per their obligation" line a little trite.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1712 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music: The Godfather…,

    Morales' tribute mix is incredible - you can feel how personal it is. Tears into Rock With You is a pretty beautiful ending too

    "You can't hide" that Bob put up is legendary - Teddy Pendergrass original then that then Sneak's rework are all individually outstanding. Although when I was playing Frankie tunes on Tuesday afternoon my 3 y/o insisted I turn it off and put Your Love back on. He then proceeded to yell "MAKE IT LOUDER" and dance his little ass off around the lounge.

    Personal faves:

    And this with Morales is probably the greatest house tune ever. Probably.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1712 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music: Changing Times,

    Although digital sales revenue fell 2.1%, it still accounts for two thirds of overall digital revenue. And digital in turn is trumped by physical sales, which fell 11.7% but still comprise more than half of record industry revenue worldwide.

    Are these revenue figures BEFORE distribution costs? i.e. are physical sales revenues the in-store CD price?
    If so that's a huge caveat, as the costs of distribution must be orders of magnitude higher for physical. And the 30% cut of your iTunes et al must be a serious part of digital.

    I guess I'm asking - do you know what the artist return is for physical vs digital vs streaming (for, say, a thousand people purchasing/listening)...

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1712 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Things worth knowing, in reply to George Darroch,

    As government, they've made remarkable progress on that score, while deprioritising investment in other things.

    IIRC there were six priority measures implemented, all of which have done well. Are there measurements of the deprioritised areas? Interested to know what the tradeoffs have been for such a laser focus...

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1712 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music: Going Large,

    I spent a fair while researching Wireless/DAC/Speaker combos when I wanted to set up something simpler for home than the old behemoths (legacy of a university-era hifi job). Interestingly found that Airplay effectively resamples everything to (IIRC) 48khz - I assume above that generates bandwidth requirements beyond what a standard congested home Wifi network would handle.

    Very nearly picked up one of the few DAC/tube-amp combos (ooh eer) just because the idea appealed. But landed on Sonos in the end - the wireless streaming network is dramatically more stable than Airplay/Bluetooth and the quality of their components is surprisingly high for the price. Cleverly, they have a Line-In that you can set to auto-play whenever it detects audio on the line - an Airport plugged into that gives you an on-demand (no powering up, switching channels...) Airplay speaker for when Sonos doesn't have the music service you want (Soundcloud usually for me).

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1712 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Spring Timing,

    I really don't see how the Adams thing isn't orders of magnitude more serious than Collins and Oravida but that's probably just example 372 of me not getting political media scandal...

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1712 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Web, in reply to Grant McDougall,

    Presumably Google must've learnt from Jeeves and their ilks' mistakes and the rest is history.

    I believe the answer to that is PageRank* - Google's original algorithm for search ranking. To follow up Russell's point re the academic origins of the web, I understand that the PageRank patent is Stanford's, not Google's...

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1712 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Telecom and TV, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Which means it's set on a contest with Sky that it basically can't win.

    I'm not completely sure that's true. Certainly the US experience suggests a SVOD player can "win" against cable TV interests (although Netflix's recent outsize growth is at least partly down to their $2b annual content-production budget)
    IF they can hit with a ~$20/mo plan loaded with a fairly decent content spread (including the Freeview suite) on really straightforward lounge-hardware then offshore experience would suggest they could see some success. That IF is a fairly significant one though...

    In the US the cable providers took only tentative steps to directly compete for fear of self-cannibalisation, Sky could be in the same position

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1712 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Telecom and TV, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Yes. I want to hear more about using Apple TV

    Well my AppleTV is set to use a US DNS service (trivial instructions/$) and then set to the US iTunes Store, giving me acces to the Netflix app (and/or Hulu Plus if that seems preferable). I only watch Netflix via my TV, as watching TV via laptop/tablet still seems like a lesser experience. Netflix + DNS is USD13/mo.
    We haven't really watched broadcast television in a very long time (apart from morning Winter Olympics coverage for the kids over breakfast).

    I note that some occasional sports fans are known to pick up their parents' Sky Go credentials, but that's laptop/tablet/phone so probably not enough for the serious sports fan...

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1712 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Telecom and TV,

    there's low-hanging fruit out there. Local webseries are being made, they're even being funded by NZ On Air. But most people still don't have a good way of watching web video on their televisions. Why not aggregate the best stuff, run live feeds from events and shows, do all the things that television has become too risk-averse to do?

    Sorry are you saying a Telecom venture should do that? They'd never be able to monetise that and/or gain the sort of scale they operate at. I think it's (very) valid as a differentiator on your broader television play, but not as a standalone play. Not for them anyway.

    I would have guessed the primary target for SVOD customers are precisely those heavy PVR users who have gotten used to a trove of 4-5 specific shows. I know Netflix got me out of an expensive Sky contract. But there is a benchmark of quality content required to land that (it is just a benchmark though, Netflix does just fine without HBO/Showtime etc) sort of proposition.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1712 posts Report Reply

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