Letter to Axs.tv President about Coachella video sponsorship

Dear Axs.tv President,

I love how you bought out the online live video streaming rights to the Coachella Music Festival and are making people watch it ONLY on your USA cable TV station. Brilliant! Surely the extra profits you bring shareholders will be worth completely alienating the online community that Coachella built over the last 3 years by not offering any online live video feeds. Who made this decision? Is it the same guy that argues that NFL blackouts would be a great way to increase ticket sales and build a loyal fanbase? Surely you understand I’m not asking for something for nothing, if you can’t make the ad supported business models work to make it free, then I will gladly pay $50 a-la-cart a night to get the official online live feed.

The chance you had to create an online experience for this year’s huge audience was epic. Analogous to the experience a student has taking a class on Coursera with 80,000 other students from all over the world…mind blowing and something you will never forget. Instead you decided to take the easy way out and call a play right from the standard tight-gripped content management playbook, why?

Help the online Coachella community understand your motives and how your video sponsorship is a good thing. From my current perspective your actions have left me without access to the live feeds and without any feasible way to pay and get setup. You’ve essentially destroyed any potential revenue stream with me and created a negative experience by limited my ability to have access to your content. I just can’t understand why you would sponsor a video feed that was available online for the last 3 years and not offer that option. It’s like buying a hotdog and icecream stand to only close the grill…you just squandered 3 years of online community building, why?  Do you really think the future is through “Comcast like contracts” for living room and bedroom TVs that are connected to cable boxes?  Have you see the amount of cord cutting going on and alternatives that the Internet brings, just imagine in 5 years how much content will be consumed on all kind of screens.

A simple solution would be to accept Bitcoin for each night using a service like BitPay.com to convert your money into USD (so you have zero exposure to the Bitcoin price).  You also would have no chargebacks or fraud and be able to track your users and provide an easy way to upsell them into other physical goods such as concert t shirts and virtual products like mp3s and ebooks.  All of this is online and so it can scale way bigger then your little physical event can. Chat rooms and other communities provide a great way to connect people to the moment and segment interests so that all the Jagmar Ma fans are together online at the same time.

All the best and please understand the long term play to be made here by investing in what your young core audience wants, and not what the “Edward Bernays” in your office are trying to manipulating the public into thinking…that without a cable TV subscription they can’t get content.

Phil Maher

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REPLY FROM MARK CUBAN, President of Axs.tv:

“You have it wrong.  We don’t own those rights and didn’t buy out anythingb”

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The business agreement nomenclature doesn’t matter, the issue is that you “bought” advertising inventory that has been sold for the last 3 years as an online live video feed for Coachella.  It’s almost like buying search ads on Google for your plumbing business when someone types in ‘Britney Spears’…and it’s actually way worse than this simple mismatch, here’s why. You are advertising a cable tv channel to an online cord cutting audience by not providing the core function the audience is there for…the video feed? I mean this would be a great modern day Seinfeld episode. Jerry’s like “Did you hear about the one where the cable channel sponsored the 2014 Coachella video feed with no video? Hilarious, they can take the feed, but they can’t keep the feed.”

Simply put, as a Coachella consumer I go to watch the online feed and see Axs.tv taking up the screen real-estate that I expected would contain a live video feed…so naturally I associate my disappointment with Axs.tv’s lack of any online viewing options. How does your CMO rationalize the use case I just laid out as a positive brand interaction? Would the ‘Ad Wizard’ behind this mind doing a reddit AMA or something to help clear the air?

The question then becomes, is the master plan to never do online and push customers into cable tv channels? If so then no problem, just don’t put your logo where an online video stream was, surely this years’ efforts will prove to have been counter-productive at best and modern viral brand destruction at worst.

On the other hand, if you are just incompetent in online video streaming technology then here is a great chance to publicly admit you let down the online Coachella community and are putting resources towards fixing this next year.  If this is the case, then I will even spend $100 USD of my own money on a Google Adwords Campaign to tell the community that Axs.tv is awesome to help with your damage control. Why? Because I support companies that innovate, and not ones that use their power and connections to force antiquated and reactionary products on consumers. Which one are you?

Looking forward to your reply,
Phil Maher
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REPLY FROM MARK CUBAN, President of Axs.tv:

First of all I INVENTED THE STREAMING BUSINESS.

feel free to Google that.   And your logic is a mess. We had millions of people watching the show on TV.  so just cause you are in your own little world,  don’t think everyone else is

So to answer your question,  yes we are doing festivals all summer long.  And will do them again for years to come and we will push people to axs.tv

You should try us.  We play great music
M

BloodBanker.org tests interesting model for charity

BloodBanker.org is paying people Givecoin in a bounty program they started. Givecoin Bounty Program. What is great is that they are vowing not to convert any of the donations they are getting, here: http://explorer.givecoin.info/address/76DAU2No5gDZgULCAACZKmWWSpWgiZvHzh into any other digital currencies, like bitcoin or digitialcoin.

This is interesting because it creates a whole ecosystem where donors can see where exactly their money is going. As a donor I know exactly how much the charity has by checking the block explorer. Then, on the other side, the bounty program creates a direct way for people to provide value for the charity. By paying out in bounties you are providing jobs for people that want to help a charity but might not necessarily have financial wealth.

Granted, a charity isn’t going to get 100% of its funding through a cryptocoin, but what if a charity uses a bounty program as a way to tap into a new younger crowd of advocates and donors. It’s a self sustaining system you’ve created as long as there are enough onramps and offramps so people can freely trade Givecoin with other currency as they please.

What if this can be productized into something that all charities can do?  Almost a distributed autonomous corporation (or really more of an entity) where a charity accepts donations and then automatically dishes out the funds based on criteria. This is the heart of the programmable money story and how these sorts of agreements can “live” in a cryptocurrency.  This really gets interesting when you start to consider multisignature agreements to act as the arbiter when someone completes a bounty but doesn’t get paid.  A company like bitrated.com could supply the human factor when a dispute needs to be resolved…or are some situations where the 3rd party in the multi-signature would be a rules-based bot? Thinking about algorithmically based arbitration is where it is at. For example, maybe something like a worker filing out a survey form is paid upon completion by a automatic 3rd party. In multi-sig you need 2 of the 3 signatures to release the money.

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