Friday, October 24, 2014

Up The Amazon Without A Profit

Amazon has just posted some eyewateringly bad results, adding yet more heavy losses onto their shareholders. And this is despite their alleged price gouging and tax avoidance.

Essentially, Amazon is an indulgent money pit for Jeff Bezos' ego and, unlike the other leading dot com survivors, it has failed to reward those who have patiently backed it for nearly two decades.

In the meantime, the company has fostered many good things, such as a long tail of specialist retailers a pioneering cloud infrastructure, and has had  a particular effect on British retailers, as the woes of that industry show (The effect is probably greater in bottom line terms than the challenge of the German discounters).

But it is investments in areas like cloud computing, content services and devices like the Kindle and Fire which I suspect are the hidden sinkholes (as Google had to admit this week as it fell short of targets).

The race to the bottom in cloud computing must be painful, and as more and more experienced players park their tanks on Amazon's lawn, you have to wonder how long the patience of their shareholders will hold out.

But the real issue, I believe, is that Amazon does not know what business it is in. Is it a retailer ? A logistics company ? A content or entertainment company, or is it a technology company ? Is it selling picks and shovels, or digging for gold?

The company needs a good strategic review.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

West Brom v Man U - single pirate site gets over 60,000 viewers

The recent 2-2 draw was a big "ratings winner" for one of the top pirate sites monitored by the KLipcorp Sentinel service.

Our systems showed over 60,000 viewers on the identified site at any one time with cumulative figures likely to be well in excess of that number.

Putting this into context the attendance at the game was 26,000 so a single pirate website was generating over double the attendance.

Cumulative viewing figures for that fixture across the 15 Sentinel sites was an estimated 530,000 unique visitors.

Overall weekly pirate viewing figures across the 15 sentinel sites have shown a 12% increase over the week reaching 47 million unique viewers and generating 188 million impressions. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Top 15 sports pirate sites hit 45.2 million unique visitors this week

The KLipcorp IP Sentinel system continues to deliver some very interesting data and this week the combined unique visitors from the Top 15 sports pirate sites hit 45.2 million.

To set this in some kind of context we thought it might be interesting to compare the Alexa rankings of some of the top pirate sites (the lower the ranking the more popular the site - Google is frequently number 1). is used as a reference point. : 952

Pirate 1 : 1937

Pirate 2 : 3722

Pirate 3 : 6456

The top 15 pirate sites combined generate more unique visitors than

The audeince growth rates of some of the pirates is astonishing:

Pirate 3 ranking in July 2014: 3.4 million

Pirate 3 ranking in October 2014 : 6456

This very rapid growth is illustrated on the chart below from Alexa;

 For further infromation please contact

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Competition Heats Up For Netflix

Netflix and BSkyB announced their results on the same day, and it seems that the latter business is in ruder health than the former.

The British broadcaster's strategy of launching everywhere premium services seems to have been astonishingly successful, especially considering how creaky its core sports portfolio now is (last night the only live sports on any of the five Sky Sports channels was greyhound racing...).

Meanwhile, the news that HBO is to launch its own OTT service must be of great concern to Netflix (although it will be interesting to see how this pans out in territories like the UK where Sky has a buy out with HBO for its content - it remains to be seen if the HBO plans are domestic to the US only for now).

Meanwhile Blinkbox is up for sale and Amazon seems to be making scant inroads with its service. So, all eyes on Cupertino this afternoon to see if Apple will make any announcements about its Apple TV service.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Dear Netflix

Like millions of other users, I suck up the resources of the Internet in consuming your services and think it's great (but not brilliant). Probably a third of my copious consumption of moving media entertainment is now on your service.

Indeed, many people exalt your service, but I feel that there are a few things you could be doing better.

1) Remove What I've Seen - or at least tag it as viewed. I've probably viewed around 5% of all your content and around 60% of anything I'll ever watch. Starting a movie and realising I saw it two years ago is just annoying...

2) Improve your suggestions - I keep being recommended vampire stuff and I've never watched or been interested in this or anything related to it.

3) Vary your lists - many of my suggested lists are very similar, the same. Intent comes up time and again, so 

4) Improve your content - the perennial complaint: the range of content is really poor and it seems that very little is added or changed.

I'm beginning to think that the thing to do is to subscribe to Blinkbox for a few months, Amazon for a few months and then Netflix for a few months and then rotate again...

I hope you find this useful and can do sow thing about it.

Yours faithfully,

Iolo Jones

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


There are many things that make me mad. The TV industry is full of stupidity and vicissitudes, But nothing is more idiotic than the helicopter noises that replace local TV coverage on BBC HD regularly during the day. Run a HD service or don't bother, fat cats.

This organisation gets hundreds of millions from a tax and programme sales and has been incapable of delivering local news in HD for years for unfathomable reasons.

This is sheer broadcasting madness and the BBC should have their Charter reviewed if they can't do something this easy and simple.

And of politicians can find the will to sponsor local TV stations, surely, they can find a will to sort this mess out.


The "rights window" has been the fundamental building block of creative content for over a century.

The idea that you release to one medium and then another. (Did you know that the UK got movies after Europe because they got US prints, whereas subtitled prints could be released earlier).

Today, anything can be released to any platform in any country almost immediately, with perhaps a pause to translate and subtitle of a day or so.

But the challenge for content investors and owners is how the maximise the return on their investments. As rights windows collapse this becomes more complex and difficult.

It reminds me of how, in 18th century England, the government introduced a tax on windows - yes the physical kind. You still find boarded up windows all over London in older buildings.

So, as things change fundamentally in the content industry, how do you cope with the changing windows ? Well, that's what we're figuring out and investing in at TV Everywhere.

Monday, October 13, 2014

NFL viewing figures (pirate): 895,000 unique visitors

Continuing our review of viewing figures by KLipcorp IP across the top 16 pirate sites being analysed by the Sentinel we reviewed the NFL fixtures last week on Monday, Thursday and across 3 time slots on Sunday.

Our systems identified continuous coverage of all fixtures being supported by the usual group of bookmakers and digital ad agencies. Approximately 80% of the identified traffic was USA based.

The figures were a total of 895,000 unique visitors split as follows:

Monday: 110,000 uniques

Thursday: 135,000 uniques

Sunday 6pm: 250,000 uniques

Sunday 9pm ; 300,000 uniques

Sunday / Monday 1am : 100,000 uniques

For further information please contact