DIGITAL MEDIA FROM THE INSIDE OUT: My focus is digital content -- production, distribution, collaboration, innovation, creativity. Some posts have appeared across the web (HuffPo, Tribeca's Future of Film, The Wrap, MIPblog, etc.). To receive these posts regularly via email, sign up for my newsletter here.

Entries in cable TV (2)



If you follow my Twitter feed (@nickdemartino), you will have seen a distinct tilt towards news and stories that explore new fundraising models for start-up businesses and creative projects. How do we stimulate innovation? It's a question I am obsessed with, and so with fair warning, I'll be taking a dive into the topic over the coming months. 

But First: Speakers (including me) were announced this week for two upcoming conferences. : Henry Jenkins' Transmedia Hollywood 3 on April 6 at USC in Los Angeles and WyrdCon, June 21-24 in Costa Mesa CA.


See why serial entrepreneur Jason Calacanis calls AngelList and Kickstarter "the two most important startups in the world." This is a manifesto on disruptive fundraising models, and, notwithstanding the author's posturing, is a really interesting dive into why the "wisdom" of the crowds should justify risk by all, not just a select circle of "investors." 

Just this week, AngelList launched a tool that could lead to the standardization of pitch decks for startups. Why? "Most investors (and journalists) receive hundreds of pitches every month, so finding (as he says) crisp yet complete ways to express your startup’s vision, impact, traction, and so on can be the difference between going on to success or finding yourself in irrelevance."

Of course, the Kickstarter model is itself an innovation -- donors do not get equity like traditional investors, and yet, millions of dollars have been raised for a dizzying array of projects. And, indeed, for-profit businesses may turn to the crowd-funding model. For instance, here's a post that urges start-up businesses to consider crowd-funding their capital needs.

And recently CrowdBackers launched to bring Kickstarter-style crowd sourced financing to the world of early-stage start-ups. 

Meanwhile, with three $M-plus projects in just the past month, Kickstarter is on a roll, entering its growth stage that success brings. More projects need to understand how the modle works. Here's a useful tip sheet on how to launch campaigns in Kickstarter (and smaller crowd funding site IndieGogo)

Even more interesting is this post that analyzes the performance of different Kickstarter "perks" in raising money.

A completely different model for stimulating innovation or novel solutions is the cash-driven competition or prize, examined in some depth in a NY Times piece just this week..

The Knight Foundation has been running its "News Challenge" online for several years, a variation of the competition model for innovation in news and journalism in the digital era.  This year the foundation has restructured, with the first of three cycles launching now through March 17. Even if you are not working on an eligible project, the model for stimulating solutions through competition is fascinating.

Entrepreneurs of all stripes will benefit from the launch of, a video-based learning site comprised entirely of talks from investors and founders. The site is a passion project by Rony El-Nashar, a VC at SeedStartup, according to this post at Arabnet. 

Finally: These models argue for the democratization of innovation, but Jon Gertner's piece in the NY Times reminds us that the centralized corporate research model, as epitomized by Bell Labs, produced an astonishing volume and range of innovation during much of the 20th Century, much of it forming the foundation for innovations that we see today.


The battle of prognosticators over whether cable TV is collapsing or thriving continues with posts that flat-out contradict each other. You decide. My friend Seth Shapiro debunks five theories on the death of cable TV on Media Shift. "Goodbye Cable TV" is Business Insider's story, occasioned by 2.3 million cancelled subscribers since 2010. Which of course is contradicted by Paid Content's post entitled "Cord Cutting Can Wait," triggered by a surge of nearly 350,000 new subs in Q4. You decide!

Meanwhile, the future of cable TV, as I've written, is better use of data. Check out Mark Phillip's app, called "Are You Watching This?" or RUWT, which points to a future that leverages viewing and channel data in service to nice audiences, in this case, sports as a bellweather category that could impact all of TV

All you ever wanted to know about Twitter (perhaps), in this exhaustive profile from Business Week. One of our smarter digerati, Brian Solis, offers his thoughts on the "state of the Twitterverse," c. 2012.

All Things D interviews YouTube chief Salar Kamangar. 

The Guardian offers a very nice overview of "how apps have taken over the world" since Apple created the platform in 2007. 

Henry Blodget deconstructs Apple's financials to see what it would take for Apple to go to $1,000 per share.

"Why Are Harvard Graduates in the Mailroom?" asks Adam Davidson, as he explores the "lottery system" of labor economics, and worries that the whole economy is shifting to this cutthroat model with no Plan B.

Broadcasters sued Aereo, the start-up that brings over-the-air TV to the Internet. It took less than 2 weeks.


Congrats to Moonbot, the Louisiana based animation startup that won the Oscar for best animated short film, "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore," a form of which also debuted as an engaging iPad app. Venture Beat interviewed Brandon Oldenburg, a partner (and Oscar winner). I met Brandon at the Dallas Video Fest and have been so impressed with Moonbot's strategy for sustaining creativity in the new digital marketplace.

If you're a Godard freak (me), you won't want to miss these remixes of his classic Alphaville. Thanks to Anne Thompson (@akstanwyck), whose commentary is a lovely lecture in itself. 

ZED.To is an 8-month immersive narrative adventure chronicling the end of the world in Toronto, currently raising money on IndieGoGo.

Transmedia LA members have launched the "Miracle Mile" ARG, which will roll out this spring and summer. The first draft of a storyline has been posted on FB here, though the group is by invitation only. 

Meghan Gargan discusses "what Facebook's Timeline means for Transmedia"

Graphicly is a publishing platform born to support the needs of graphic novels. With the tools and especially analytics it has developed, the company is now expanding to other types of books. Take a look at the value proposition.


Curating the Week's Best in Film, TV, Video, Transmedia & Digital Business

Each week I offer my own (human) curation of links, posts, and articles that have informed me in the markets in which I actively consult -- film, television, video, transmedia, and digital business. You can scan the summary, click through, or go to my Twitter account (@nickdemartino), where the items below are among those "favorited" with a star. 


  • It will be interesting to watch the new TV venture from Mark Cuban, Ryan Seacrest, CAA and AEG, reported here in Variety (a gated community). 
  • Long Tail Video created a really excellent overview of HTML5 by cramming a ton of info into easy-to-digest charts and graphics. This is a model of clarity in presentation, especially  if you're into tech subjects.
  • Cable networks are emerging as the most innovative users of social TV apps, as noted in Mashable's rundown of efforts by FX and USA.
  • As part of Netflix's resurrection campaign the company noted that its streaming service is now available on more than 800 devices (!) and that mobile is taking over. 
  • Think Netflix is worried about Hulu and Amazon catching up? Nope, the threat is "TV Everywhere," according to this TNW post.
  • Maybe they should worry more about Apple TV, which GigaOm asserts is finally gaining marketplace traction. 
  • I loved this piece on the impact of VOD binge viewing on future TV business models, posted on WIRED. I'm a binger, aren't you?  
  • YouTube's Reach Begins to Eclipse Television, claims Read Write Web, based upon recent data.
  • As it shifts towards more professional content and a channel-based interface, YouTube reached out to its base of member-creators this week
  • John Seabrook's analysis of Robert Kyncl and YouTube: Will it Revolutionize Television? New Yorker 
  • Perhaps in reaction to YouTube's strategy, Vimeo this week released new features, including a new player and a streamlined look. 

  • One YouTuber who is jumping quite a shark is Dane Beodigheimer's ANNOYING ORANGE, which announced a deal with Cartoon Network this week. 
  • Video is powering a global classroom, according to this story from Mashable.


  • Check out this beautiful display of components that comprised the "multilayered transmedia campaign" in support of HBO's GAME OF THRONES by Steve Coulson who presented this week at the newly named STORYCODE meet up group at Lincoln Center. 
  • Finally, SXSW announced the finalists for its Interactive Awards with a list of links to products in each area, including activism, amusement, art, business, community, education, experimental, film/TV, music, motion graphics and so forth. So helpful if one wishes to actually check out the sites.


  • With the announcement of the Oscar nominations, we move into the home-stretch of the movie biz annual race. the web awash with analysis and predictions, like this one from the Reporter, offering "key factoids." 
  • At the other end of the biz --perhaps in honor of Sundance which is in session-- check this out: Jeffrey Winter, Sheri Candler, and Orly Ravid, three of the four authors of "Selling Your Film Without Selling Your Soul" offer another batch of DIY distribution success stories, posted on Ted Hope's blog.
  • Indeed, Sundance's Robert Redford opened the festival with a nod to alternate distribution. 
  • Cinedigm joint venture seeks to help indie filmmakers compete in the digital space. 


  • Apple's entry into the textbook market got lots of attention last week, including a nice post from the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard, "The Day the Bookshelf Shook." 
  • Though "the network effect" may be the holy grail for digital business, maybe not so much, according to this really smart post from the Business Insider. 
  • The impact of the epic struggle over SOPA has resulted in some interesting long-view posts, including Chris Dorr's analysis, which centers on the fundamental differences between the technological networks employed by the adversaries (Hollywood, Internet). 
  • The Hollywood Reporter dives into "what went wrong" for Hollywood in a nice piece of reporting by Kim Masters. 
  • One sign that a company is important is how much new it makes when it introduces change to its user base. Hence, Twitter made news with a shift in how it "withholds" certain tweets -- is it censorship? The twitterati are atwitter.
  • That will be nothing, however, compared to the online flutter that will attend to the long-awaited filing by Facebook of its long-awaited Initial Public Offering, rumored to be as early as next week.