Forget YouTube Premium. What would happen if the video-sharing titan created a more aggressive yet affordable paid subscription service?

Anyone who has been interested in Moore’s Law and its basic tenets, or who has read Free: The future of a radical price, Chris Anderson’s influential book from 2009, is well aware that throughout history there were products and services that saw their prices dwindle to zero or something very close to zero. It happened with transistors, music, hard drives (the cost per byte of storage media) and a few others. At some point, their price tag simply dropped to a negligible value of $0.000… something.

In his book, Anderson mentions Google on countless occasions — including the classic “this…


Clubhouse, Spaces, Fireside… the “pivot to” season is opening again. Here’s what will work and what can go wrong with the next best thing” in media — emphasis on the quotation marks

Remixing is the technological force (and chapter) number 8 from Kevin Kelly’s The Inevitable (2016), a seminal work we’ve already debated here and aims to interpret “the 12 technological forces that will shape our future.” In Remixing’s second paragraph, Kelly says: “We live in a golden age of new mediums. In the last several decades hundreds of media genres have been born, remixed out of old genres. (…) These new genres themselves will be remixed, unbundled, and recombined into hundreds of other new genres.”

Kelly’s logic is straightforward and compelling: the same way a newspaper article was once an extremely…


Behold media’s otherworldly talent of keeping the hope alive: the recycled hype around “new” methods of presenting (and charging for) online content is back

Eleven years ago, at a press event on January 2010, Apple introduced the iPad in that memorable keynote that The Wall Street Journal anticipated with the famous “last time there was this much excitement about a tablet, it had some commandments written on it,” a hell of a sentence that Steve Jobs slipped into his presentation.

One of the headliners of that day, besides the iPad itself, was another newspaper though: The New York Times. When Jobs showed how browsing the web on an iPad was “really great,” the Times was the first website he accessed; when a few selected…


By hiding channels from subscribers who ‘disliked’ a video, YouTube undermines a user’s rights, does the content creator a disservice, and sets up a strategy that only serves its own interests

In 15 years, a company called Soul Connex will develop an algorithmic test that can determine, with 100% accuracy, who your soulmate is. At first, still incensed by the idea of romantic love, people will reject the proposition that an algorithm can unequivocally select the love of your life. Over time, however, they’ll realize that an increasing number of couples are hastening the happily-ever-after goal, and will embrace this ultimate dating technology.

In the mind of William Bridges (one of the writers of Black Mirror), this is the central thread of Soulmates, a TV show that debuted in October on…


A world that is ready to live without all those iPhone plugs is a world prepared to live without journalism (despite Bon Jovi's poignant epiphany)

At this point it’s impossible to determine whether Apple is very good at getting rid of “unnecessary” features or if it ingeniously made us believe it is. A brief retrospective would recall the floppy disk drive, the CD drive and all USB-A ports on Macs, and the headphone jack, the Touch ID and the Lightning port on iPhones. “The charging plug?” you might be wondering. Yes, sorry for the spoiler, but the next generation of iPhones will probably kill it for good. …


Why it is vital to know which companies will corner the “everyware” industry, the ultimate business that will change all of our personal, professional, and commercial interactions

There are some books that belong to a rarely recognized, yet very popular, category called “the books that everyone loves to quote but very few have actually read.” The Innovator’s Dilemma (1997), by Clayton Christensen, would easily secure a lifelong place on the Top 10 if this was an actual list. For starters, The Economist called it one of the six (?) most important business books ever written, which means people felt compelled to read it — or, at least, to pretend they did. Secondly, and don’t tell anyone I said that, although it’s truly interesting, the book is a…


Multiple reports and studies — each one with its own agenda — have been warning that sports industry has a Gen Z problem. The “problem” part is real, but they’re blaming the wrong player

Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens (2014) and Homo Deus (2016) are two of the best non-fiction books of the last decade. Or, at least, two the best “brainy” books of the decade, as The Guardian weirdly put it. Among the many paths taken in Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, one of the most unmistakable turns highlights the importance of reformatting our temporal perception when it comes to interpreting the future. Harari wants the reader to fathom “the history of tomorrow” from a less parochial approach and to dive headfirst into his broader perspective. A daunting task, by my estimates.


Who’s winning — and losing — the battle to sign (and keep) the most subscribers, and why analysts should stop celebrating news media companies’ numbers

Three years ago, I have gathered birds of very different feathers to rock together within a list that comprised streaming services, messaging apps, and social platforms. Just for fun. Well, that and the educational purpose of demonstrating that Spotify could be as popular as Instagram.

Controversial? Hopefully. But that was a breeze. Because now there’s a new list and we’re activating Ultra Nightmare mode.

This renovated chart incorporates social networks and regular apps, free users and paid subscribers, game memberships and software subscriptions, YouTubers and TikTokers, podcasts and newspapers. There are no longer just birds of a different feather, there…


Despite the distorted narrative created by social platforms and indulged by key media figures, misinformation is not led by robots, foreign spies, or algorithmic aliens

David Kirkpatrick’s book The Facebook Effect attributes to Mark Zuckerberg a saying that became an instant classic. When trying to explain the News Feed mechanism to his colleagues, Facebook’s CEO said: “A squirrel dying in front of your house may be more relevant to your interests right now than people dying in Africa.”

You can think what you want about the phrase, it’s a free country (most of them anyway). And this was 2006, a time when social media’s greatest dilemma was the excess of kitten videos over hard news.

If transported 15 years into the future, this squirrel comparison…


Why have neither the virtual assistant AI technology from Amazon (nor the one developed by Google) reached the promised land?

Remember when guilty pleasures were a thing? I'm well aware that 2020 mercilessly redefined that term and now they’re just “pleasures” but, kids, there was a time when we used to work hard to hide these peculiar preferences of our lives. For those who have been Tigerkinging their way to sanity since March, the expression “guilty pleasures” is usually associated with unhealthy food, tacky or bizarre cultural taste, or some odd habit. Roxane Gay's guilty pleasure, for example, is watching Law & Order: SVU. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s is reading trashy novels.

Mine are Korean TV shows (Crash Landing on You

Alexandre Botão

Two decades of hardcore journalism in a past life; now Digital Media PhD candidate @ University of Porto, coffee taster and vinyl aficionado

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