Tinder

I had never tried a social media “dating” service before creating a Tinder account and I did not really know what to expect. After I downloaded the app, I went in to create a profile. The app is well designed, which made the sign-up process painless. I uploaded a few pictures of myself and had to write a bio about myself. I had to ask myself if I wanted to be that “sarcastic-bio guy who thinks he’s too cool for it” or that “Let me pour my soul out in under 140 characters” kind of guy. After a few seconds, I decided to go with a standard “about me” including my career aspirations and what I’m into these days.

Great, now I am ready to go out into the Tinder-verse and see what all the fuss is about. I set out to find a suitable mate with a single press of a button and a barrage of duck-faces attack my screen. I swipe left (which translates to “No way”) until I find someone attractive. I swipe right (which translates to “Mmmmhmmmm”) and wait. Nothing. My self-esteem takes a hit but I press on. I keep swiping hordes of indistinguishable faces for the next few days until I finally hear that heart-stopping alert. “You have a match.” I check to see who it is. I don’t exactly remember her, but I don’t really care at this point. When it comes to Tinder messaging etiquette, I am like a grandparent on Facebook. I send a simple “Hey, what’s up?” to her, hoping for a quick response. I check back five minutes later and I had been unmatched. My self-esteem takes another blow, but I’ll be damned if I let this bring me down.

After a few weeks, I had acquired a handful of matches and had messaged the majority of them. I had a few responses but nothing came from them. I am sick and tired of the constant disappointment at this point and just want to find someone who isn’t a cam-girl spam account. I can’t help but feel like I’m doing something wrong. Should I always message first with something witty? I would but that sounds exhausting.

At this point, I still have yet to meet someone through Tinder. To be honest, I have not really made a huge effort in a few weeks but this app just isn’t worth the energy. But why do I still actively use it every day? I keep asking myself that every time I open the app but something about it is exciting and addictive. A part of the fun is counting the amount of single mothers and Jesus freaks there are. I stopped taking this seriously pretty quickly after creating my profile but I still enjoying using it to pass the time. Who knows, maybe I’ll actually find someone willing to meet up with me, but in the mean time, I’ll be staring at a blank message page waiting for her to message first.

Why You’ll Hate the Apple Watch And The Important Business Lesson You Need To Learn

Link: http://techcrunch.com/2015/04/21/why-youll-hate-the-apple-watch-and-the-important-business-lesson-you-need-to-learn/ncid=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Techcrunch+%28TechCrunch%29&utm_content=FaceBook#.uckszr:9q29

Nir Eyal, contributor to TechCrunch, discusses why people will hate the Apple Watch but they will buy it anyway. Even the author himself admits to already pre-ordering it.

Obviously, this new era of wearable technology is going to take some getting used to, especially traditional watch wearers. An early reviewer of the Apple Watch, John Gruber, stated that, “… for regular watch wearers, it’s going to take some getting used to, and it’s always going to be a bit of an inconvenience compared to an always-glance-able watch. It’s a fundamental conflict: a regular watch never turns off, but a display like Apple Watch’s cannot always stay on.” The first generation of any new technology is going to have its fair share of glitches and problems. Even the first iPhone, which revolutionized the cell phone market, made some mistakes. Mainly, the fact that it was exclusive to AT&T at launch meant poor service and a multitude of dropped calls plagued iPhone pioneers for the first few years.

Eyal continues with, “As for the Apple Watch, over time Apple will no doubt fix quirks in the first generation just as it did in subsequent iPhone editions. Ultimately, better battery life or alternative screens will keep future versions lit throughout the day. But the real delighter behind the Apple Watch, like the iPhone, will be the apps. Cook recently sent an email to Apple employees announcing that more than 1,000 apps have already been submitted.”

There is no doubt in my mind that the Apple Watch is going to be a huge success for Apple and for wearable technology as a whole. Although there are plenty of skeptics who love to bash Apple and other technology giants for the mistakes they have made, I am excited for the future of wearable tech and how it will continue to evolve into something we could not imagine living without.

Eyal concludes with, “We have a love-hate relationship with technology, and the Apple Watch will be no exception. By applying Kano’s model, companies can overcome the unavoidable deficiencies that come with new products by building-in features that continue to surprise and impress.”

Spotify Is Now Worth More Than The US Music Industry

Link: http://www.complex.com/music/2015/04/spotify-valued-at-eight-billion-dollars

Recent reports from multiple news sources have emerged this week talking about how Spotify is now worth more than the entire US Music Industry. According to The Wall Street Journal, “after their recent deal for $400 million in additional funding, Spotify is now worth a total of $8.4 billion, which is double the value of their closest competitor Pandora.” If it wasn’t clear before that music streaming is taking over the industry, it is now. I used to buy physical albums a few years ago because I like to own physical copies of media, but once Spotify started offering college students $5 per month plans, I could not resist any longer. The service is fantastic and I have discovered countless new artists.

According to RIAA, “their valuation for 2014 was $6.972, which is now just behind the value of Spotify. Earlier this year, RIAA announced that for the first time in history, music streaming made more money than the sale of CDs last year, which makes this news about Spotify not all that shocking.” This brings up a larger discussion about the mortality of the music industry in the United States. Obviously, digital sales have completely eclipsed physical music sales and that is not changing anytime soon. But some believe that $10-$15 per month for unlimited music streaming is too much. According to David Pakman, former CEO of eMusic, stated that, “Consumers are willing to spend somewhere around $45 – $65 per year on music … [T]hese numbers have remained consistent regardless of music format, from CD to download. Curiously, the on-demand subscription music services like Spotify, Deezer, Rdio and Beats Music are all priced the same … This is because the three major record labels … have mandated a minimum price … The services are not able to charge a price they believe will result in maximum adoption by consumers. The data shows that $120 per year is far beyond what the overwhelming majority of consumers will pay for music and instead shows that a price closer to $48 per year is likely much closer to a sweet spot to attract a large number of subscribers.” Marc Geiger, the global head of music for William Morris Endeavor, has a different point of view. “Geiger envisioned a future in which 1 billion people pay $15 per month for streaming subscription, yielding a whopping $180 billion in revenues for the music industry. (About 25-30% would go to distributors like Spotify, but even at the $135 billion figure Geiger used, streaming alone would be more than 4x larger than the entire industry was for the labels back in 1999.) On top of that, he thinks that ad-based services like YouTube will generate another $50 billion, of which the labels will get 50%.”

I think $5-$10 a month for unlimited streaming a fair business model that allows the consumer to subscribe monthly, rather than yearly, where they can opt out at any time.

The Future of Netflix

Article: http://theweek.com/articles/441909/future-television

Branching off from a small topic in my last post, the future of online streaming is an entirely new debate going on right now. It is an exciting and terrifying time for the entertainment industry because there is so much room to grow but failure is also a definite possibility. The Week put it best when they wrote, “About 5 million people signed up for Netflix, Hulu, and other low-cost -streaming-video services in 2013, so they could watch shows and movies via the internet. Many of these people simultaneously ‘cut the cord’ on their pay-TV subscriptions, resulting in a net decline of 250,000 cable subscribers that year — the first time that total has gone down. While cable companies still have 56 million subscribers among them, Netflix alone has rapidly amassed 36 million. That number is expected to keep rising, as people switch to the cheaper alternative of watching TV and movies on computers and TVs hooked up to the internet. Some networks already offer cable subscribers the option to stream their content, but next year both HBO and CBS will launch streaming services that don’t require a cable subscription — the start, some say, of an ‘à la carte’ subscription model. ‘The television industry is in transformation,’ says media analyst Jeffrey Kagan. ‘This entire space is going to be a completely different space in five years.'” Streaming exclusives like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black have been a major weapon in winning the war against cable. Although shows like Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead have injected life into a stale television schedule polluted by soulless sitcoms and shameless rip offs.

Sports broadcasting is one issue that has only been slightly addressed through streaming. Although many large events can be streamed through certain websites, a majority of the games are only available through cable. That is probably going to change in the near future but it is a problem for the time being. The Week also points out another problem, “No. Many viewers aren’t willing to wait months or a year for their favorite shows to be available online. And an “à la carte” system may be more expensive than people think. The most popular series are scattered across a number of channels, and the cost of subscribing to all these individually — HBO’s service alone will be at least $15 a month — could well be as much as a cable bundle.” They may be overestimating the price of the services because Hulu Plus has a good number of various popular programs and it only costs about $10 a month. Netflix is around $8 (more if you stream in 4K) and HBO is $15. People could be spending $50 at the most a month for all their favorite shows right when they want them.

Digital vs. Physical Media

Article: http://www.myce.com/news/70-of-british-prefer-physical-dvd-or-blu-ray-over-video-on-demand-71868/

As a huge film enthusiast, the future of the movie industry is always an interest to me. One aspect I am concerned about is the future of film distribution when it comes to Blu-ray/DVD and digital releases. One of my hobbies is collecting Blu-ray movies and a future of downloading movies as the only option saddens me. I have gone on iTunes and bought a few movies before but something about owning an icon on my computer rather than a disc with exciting packaging or exclusives saddens me. One of my absolute favorite things about Tuesdays is deciding which retailer to purchase the film from in case if one has an exclusive version. Going to the store and picking up a physical copy is entirely more gratifying than clicking “Download.”

Finding this article gives me a sense of hope though because physical media sales in Great Britain hold an overwhelming majority over digital sales. I see the future of physical sales following the trend of books. Something about holding an actual book is a feeling no Kindle can match and the same goes for putting a disc into a Blu-ray player and having a shelf holding your collection. I predict that, for the foreseeable future, consumers will have an option whether to download or shop retail because Kindles have been around for a while now and book stores are still alive and doing well (for the most part).

Streaming is a different story though. According to the article, “Although video streaming wins in popularity, 73% of the British video market is sold on physical discs. It appears owning a video, instead of paying for a stream or rental of a disc, is still something special for most consumers, with 70% of consumers paying to keep and just 30% paying to rent movies.” I am a huge advocate for streaming services like HBO Go, Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Video because they are the catalyst in killing off traditional cable services. Today’s cable model is antiquated with more and more people cutting off cable all together and using the money to invest in faster internet services in order to stream however much they want. I have been trying to convince my own parents to cut the cord and join the rest of the country in the wonderful world of streaming but they are waiting on Google Fiber to be installed in Nashville before they make the switch.

Although I will always prefer physical over digital media, having the option to decide which format you prefer to purchase is best for the consumer even though I will never understand how having a digital collection of movies is anywhere as satisfying as having to build yet another shelf for your next stack of movies.