The Future of Hulu and U.S. TV

Who will buy Hulu, the IPTV streaming service and why should we care? I’m not sure I do care, now that Lie to Me has been canceled, but in case you are an American who feels the future of series television is important, here’s what I think is going on.

The Wall $treet Journal says Apple is thinking of making a bid for Hulu and says Microsoft’s is no longer interested, which leaves Amazon, Apple, Google, Yahoo, and any unnamed parties. I can’t think of any unnamed parties, by the way, so I’m guessing one of these will walk with Hulu, which went into play a couple weeks ago following an […]

2011 prediction #6: Yahoo barfs

This is a sad one.  Venerable Yahoo, the original web portal, is in such trouble that it doesn’t know what to do.  So Yahoo will this year begin tearing itself apart.

This will be presented as a semblance of a strategy but I doubt that’s true.  More likely it will be the company attempting to maintain or even increase earnings by selling its seed corn. So look for Yahoo to dispose of its huge assets in China, to sell the part that it owns of Yahoo Japan, and to spin-off photo-sharing site Flickr as a separate company.

It will make the stock look great… for awhile.

AOL+Yahoo is a Jealousy Game

If you think AOL actually intends to buy Yahoo, you are wrong. That story hit the press this week but it’s a ruse to motivate Google exactly as I explained a few days ago. AOL has neither the money nor the motivation to buy Yahoo, which is analogous to a bus company buying a poorly-managed airline.  AOL just wants to make Google jealous.

Here’s what I think happened. This is pure speculation on my part, of course, but I know most of the players and am even correct from time to time. I think one or more private equity firms brought the deal to AOL: they’ll put up the capital if AOL’s Tim Armstrong […]

Trolling for Dollars

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen filed suit this week against a litany of Internet companies claiming they had violated patents awarded years ago to Allen’s now-defunct Interval Research. Many writers, including one passing himself off as me, claimed this made Allen a so-called “patent troll. ”

I don’t think that is the case.

Patent trolls are individuals or companies that habitually sue others over obscure patents. While the Interval patents generally are obscure, that doesn’t make them invalid. And the fact that Allen and then-partner Dave Liddle paid $100 million for the basic research behind those patents, well that hardly sounds like troll behavior.

If Paul Allen actually were a patent troll. he would have sued in […]

The Future of Television (part II)

predicta2My last column generated a lively debate on the prospects for various business and technical options for the delivery of Internet TV so it makes sense to continue this topic and build it into a more full-featured model.  I used to write quite a bit about this back when I was trying to get NerdTV going.  The core of what I’ll write here can be found in a couple dozen columns from back then — columns that would seem to have been for the most part forgotten given the direction last week’s discussion took.  You see the future of television IS Internet television.  There is no other in sight.

No business or technology exists in a […]