UpStream: The Worldwide Voice of Streaming Media
Vol. 1, No. 2 / Monday, July 31, 2000
'Together we will show the world.'
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**IMPORTANT: UpStream IS A NON-PROFIT CONTROLLED CIRCULATION NEWSLETTER**
'UpStream: The Worldwide Voice of Streaming Media' is the often irreverant,
provocative, interactive electronic controlled circulation newsletter
dialogue among broadcasters and distributors of, and executives interested
in, dynamic, rich streaming media. It is designed to be the voice of the
streaming industry to the 'outside' corporate world. UpStream is published
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**************************** INFORMATION ********************************
Get a free issue of Streaming Magazine!
The July issue has a story about the hottest-ever streaming org!
August is all about 'Getting Akamized'!
Interview: CEO George Conrades
When it's out: http://www.streamingmagazine.com/currentissue.asp
<> MONETIZE THIS! Or take a hike.
<> OUCH! Streaming Media Sector down 62.77%
<> YES ICANN! Hey, we can pack the ballots!
<> ONE GIANT LEP FOR MANKIND. It's an HDPC.
<> ORGANIZE THIS! Penthouse packed for Alliance session.
<> BRAND THIS! Where is that new paradigm when we need it?
<> SERVERS ARE DEAD. Long live data storage.
<> MOVIES ARE HOT! Not!
<> FLY-BY-NIGHT. Eagles may soar, but ...
<> CALENDAR: Dizzy, bizzy weeks ahead.
For the streaming industry, lately it's a life or death question.
Are you making money on content? How!?
Since we last spoke (eight short weeks ago -- we promise to be more
punctual!), dozens of Dotcoms, streaming and non-streaming alike, are among
the dearly departed. The streaming industry was hit hard by the failure of
Digital Entertainment Network (DEN), which had a fun time spending $65 of
OPM (Other People's Money) in an effort to "destroy television" (last we
looked, between our ongoing skirmishes with Time Warner Cable [TWC] over
two boxes it never delivered, TV is still there). And to its credit, at
least one celebrated failure (-$125m OPM), Boo.com, tried to scare us
upfront with its name.
Here we are with what is in theory this really cool ability to show great
moving images to every man, woman and child on the planet simultaneously.
Except we can't yet. Meanwhile, until we can, what is not working is the
revenue models; and the vulture capitalists are circling their wagons as
the real vultures have come swooping in.
On August 22, the nascent NYC chapter of the Streaming Media Alliance,
Inc., is planning a roundtable and a panel -- if we can just find
*somebodies* who are making money from content. It's a sure bet that
content "will be King" in the near future, but keeping a footprint in
content and turning your content side into cash flow is a tricky, tricky
Do you syndicate, grab eyeballs and sponsorships, sell 'branding' concepts,
merchandise, hire out, farm out, barter, charge per view or per broadcast,
converge, partner, license, co-produce? What are the niches that work?
We know that companies providing sBusiness solutions, software, hardware
and signal distributions (fiber optics, wireless), etc., have a model.
Yet, if there is no content, what will they distribute? Maybe there is no
other answer except to suggest to those with this future need for content
that interim investment subsidies to content producers are in their best
interests? Or is there another way?
While they're not 'streamers', they are on the web, and Time Warner's (hey
Norman, know anybody over at TWC?) flashy new eCompany
(http://www.ecompany.com), in its third issue, finds 11 profitable
Websters. They could be candidates for our Daniel award.
If you have an inside-the-box or outside-the-box solution, give us your
feedback at email@example.com! And if you can be in NYC
August 22, let us know and join the Streaming Media NYC Roundtable!
EAT MORE FIBER? OUCH!
StreamingSector whopping 62.77% off their highs!
Sector Analyst Forum begins process to stem the tide.
300.htm [copy and paste if url doesn't wrap around]
http://quote.yahoo.com (User Name = streamingalliance; Password = stream)
EVERY ONE of the 82 public companies comprising the 'StreamingSector'
portfolio that we have set up (see instructions above) to link from the
StreamingMediaAlliance.org website is down. BIG. In fact, if you had
purchased one share of each of the companies at their highs over the past
12 months, you would have paid $4,497, and today you'd have only about
$1,675 to show for it! Ouch! On average, as of Friday, the 82 companies
are down 62.77% from their annual highs! Bottom fishers, take note.
Comparatively, the Nasdaq, despite last week's spiral, is down only 28% off
its high, and the Dow is down only 10%.
The companies "not quite so far in the hole", as we search to put any kind
of positive light on things, are Enron (NYSE: ENE), down only 4.75% (did
"Mr. Robinson" mention "fiber optics?"), Broadcom (NYSE: BRCM) and Vialog
Corp. (AMEX: VX), both down *only* 18%, Excaliber (Nasdaq: EXCA), off 19%,
and Quest (NYSE: Q) and NDS Group (Nasdaq: NNDS), both down 24%. The only
other companies breaking 40% are Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL), -35%, Liberty
Livewire (Nasdaq: LWIRA) (which is acquiring a satellite and fiber optic
carrier, Visual Services (AMEX: VS), -26%, Macromedia (Nasdaq: MASD), -37%,
and Network Appliance (Nasdaq: NTAP) and Polycom (Nasdaq: PLCM), both -32%.
Even newcomer Virage (Nasdaq: VRGE), which ran up to 30-5/8, where we
'snared' it for our online portfolio, is off 44% to 17-1/8!
Of course, if you bought all of our portfolio companies at their lows, you
and your favorite Mercedes Benz salesman are both very happy. But that's
not a good indicator. We're looking at what was, what should be, and what
may yet (someday?) be again.
Six of the companies in the portfolio gathered June 13 at our Task Force on
Capital Growth's 1st annual Streaming Media Sector Analyst Forum in New
York in a gallant bid to begin the arduous task of reminding Wall Street
that their companies and their sector have something going for them bigger
than Dotcom addresses and their dotcomical valuations.
You can still catch the archived presentations (links above) of:
David Bullis, President and COO, Loudeye Technologies, (Nasdaq: LOUD),
Ran Eisenberg, CEO, Optibase, (Nasdaq: OBAS) http://www.optibase.com/.
Kirk O. Knapp, Streaming Media Business Development Manager, Network
Appliance, (Nasdaq: NTAP) http://www.netapp.com/.
Doug Mcintyre, President and CEO, On2.com, (Amex: ONT) http://www.on2.com/.
James D. Rupp, President and CEO, Streamedia Communications (Nasdaq: SMIL)
Randy S. Selman, President and Chairman, Visual Data Corporation (Nasdaq:
Viewcast (Nasdaq: VCST), unable to present due to other commitments,
sponsored the continental breakfast for attending analysts and brokers.
The Forum, attended by approximately 100 analysts, brokers and investment
professionals, was chaired by D. Terence Jones, Esq., Partner, Wiggin & Dana
(http://www.wiggin.com/), who is General Counsel to the Alliance's
Organizing Committee, and whose firm is finalizing our non-profit
YES ICANN! YES ICANN! TODAY'S THE DEADLINE!
Streamers 'could' elect 5 if we all move fast.
Is there a Microsoft.sex in our future?
If all 21,000 of us register by today's (Monday, July 31 / 2400 GMT)
deadline, because only 30,000 had signed up as of last week, we could
conceivably elect all five At Large Directors of the Internet Corporation
for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in this fall's elections. ICANN's
role is to administer the Domain Name System on behalf of all Internet
Through a global online election later this year, the At Large Membership
will select five Directors to the Board of ICANN. The At Large election
process will take place in three phases:
Self-nomination process (August 1 - August 31)
Campaign phase (September 1 - September 30)
Online vote (October 1 - October 10)
Earlier this month, ICANN Regulators voted to increase the number of
suffixes at the end of every e-mail address and Web page, opening the
dot-com world to the potential of Websites with names ranging from
".travel" to ".museum."
"We were looking for diversity among domain names," said Esther Dyson,
ICANN's chairwoman. "The meaning of this is a reduction of scarcity. We're
expecting new names by early next year " Beginning in August, ICANN will
begin accepting applications from any Internet users or organizations with
an interest in establishing a new domain. Applicants will be required to
pay a $50,000 submission fee to cover the costs to evaluate the
application. Though Ms. Dyson said the board had no preferences, one of
ICANN's working groups has already proposed domain names like ".banc,"
".museum," ".union," ".travel" and ".sex."
The five new Directors At Large will be selected regionally, with one
Director being elected by each of five geographic regions: Africa,
Asia/Pacific, Europe, Latin America/Caribbean, and North America. The
Streaming Media Alliance, Inc., will help facilitate nominations for each
of these from among our readership, to be submitted until August 31. Then
we could together load up the ballots for our choices to assure that the
streaming media industry has at least one or more representative(s).
But to have an impact, we'd all have to be registered by Monday.
ONE GIANT LEP FOR MANKIND!
Not to mention the portability of your stream.
HDTV? How about HDPC!? Keep a stream in your pocket.
By Alice Hill*
Don't adjust your spell checker: The new term someday soon for your laptop
display will be LEP, not LCD.
Before the less-technical among you flee this column and the certain
three-letter-acronym hell in store for you, allow me to spell it out. A
breakthrough has happened, my friends, and someday very soon the laptop
screen you use will seem as dated and clunky as an Etch A Sketch.
In fact, we're about to see a whole new range of display devices, including
the possible replacement of the morning newspaper.
Developed in England by Cambridge Display Technologies, LEP (or Light
Emitting Polymer) technology is a fancy term for an ultra-thin plastic or
glass display that works with natural light instead of the power-hungry
backlighting found in today's LCD technology. (LCD, in case you forgot,
stands for Liquid Crystal Display.)
LCDs use crystal molecules that take reflected light and send it through a
polarizing layer that either turns a color on or off. To light up these
crystals, a strong backlight is needed, which is why looking at an LCD
screen from certain angles will result in a dark or completely unviewable
Not so with the LEP screen. LEPs are based on plastic polymer molecules
that glow when they come into contact with electricity. By creating a
polymer "sandwich," researchers have been able to charge two plates, fill
the insides with polymer molecules, and then paste the sandwich onto either
a glass or plastic surface.
If that sounds bulky, don't be fooled: A polymer sandwich housed on plastic
translates to a wafer-thin display you could roll up and put in your pocket
or simply read like a large sheet of shirt cardboard at the breakfast
table. And because the technology doesn't require backlighting, the colors
remain vibrant from any angle.
Best of all, an LEP display is created by an inkjet printer, if you can
Seiko-Epson has come up with a specialty printer that can shoot red, blue
and green polymer inks (the base colors necessary for creating every color
the human eye can distinguish) from three separate cartridges, then mix
with a fourth cartridge that contains a conductive polymer. The printer
"prints" small drops of the four inks onto a thin screen, which combined
with electrodes will make an LEP display.
When you consider the fact that the standard LCD display is only 72 dpi,
the potential sharpness of an LEP's 200 dpi will mean a welcome contrast to
anyone who uses an LCD-based phone, laptop, palmtop or camcorder
viewfinder. Best of all, Seiko-Epson is working on a mammoth printer that
will create screens 15 feet across with no seams and without the staggering
yield problems that plague LCD technology.
If you've ever used a laptop that had a dead pixel or even a damaged area
that didn't light up properly, you can appreciate how hard it is to get an
LCD screen "right." The larger the screen size, the more bad screens are
produced for every usable one. Because LEPs are easier to produce, they may
finally spell the end of the huge glass-tubed monitors on our desks,
without sacrificing the sharpness and brightness we're accustomed to.
Small molecules LEPs aren't the only display game in town. Eastman Kodak
Co. is championing a technology it calls "small molecule" or OLED. Motorola
has signed up to "go small" with the new OLED technology as early as next
year. But even more than LCDs, OLEDs are very complex to produce. They
require multiple layers of organic films and can't be printed simply like
The downside to LEP is that it is almost there, but not quite. Cambridge
Display Technologies is perfecting the product's shelf life from thousands
of hours to tens of thousands of hours; furthermore, the company has yet to
get the LEP to work on any surface other than glass. However, with the
shortage for LCDs growing every year, and the boom in small devices that
use colorful displays, expect to see LEPs as early as 2001 and in my book,
probably a commonplace reality by 2004.
As the song goes, you have to admit it's getting better.
(*) Alice Hill was the vice president of development and editorial director
for CNET. She covers technology every other week for ZDNet News, and is
building her own newsletter at http://www.alicehill.com.
NYC session of Streaming Media Alliance packs 'em in.
We knew there was going to keen interest in the organizing session for the
Streaming Media Alliance, Inc., June 12, during Streaming Media East in
NYC, when the first two random conversations overheard in the NY Hilton
that morning was 'buzz' about the impending event. But it wasn't until
around 6 p.m. when the crowd began to overflow the spacious Penthouse West
Suite that it became apparent the Alliance has really struck a chord. When
it was over, more than 200 executives had signed on.
More importantly, volunteers to organize the various Task Forces spoke up
enmasse. The reason that is important is that the Alliance's bylaws call
for the Task Forces to become the heart and soul of the organization,
operating virtually autonomously as we group together to concentrate on
identifying and tackling the industry's problems and promises, one by one.
Every member is required to join at least one of the initial 12 Task
Forces, and can join up to three. If you haven't done so, please do that
TASK FORCES. Initial organizers are: Content & Internet Media Rights -
Jane Curtis, firstname.lastname@example.org; Bandwidth Access - Dave Burstein,
email@example.com; Internet and Civilization -Paul Siegel,
firstname.lastname@example.org; Streaming Technology - Chip Ruhnke,
email@example.com; Wireless and Appliances - Jeffery D. Erb,
firstname.lastname@example.org; Global Commerce - James W. Ottaway,
email@example.com; Education - Jennie Bourne, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Capital Growth - Alan Stone, email@example.com; Advertising and
Sponsorships - Ed St. James, firstname.lastname@example.org; Streaming Media Foundation -
(Volunteer Invited); Business-to-Business - David Baumann,
email@example.com; and Arts & Entertainment - Jonathan Slaff,
A nominating committee is presently underway to choose the intial directors
from among the members who had signed up at the session or on-line after
the first 'UpStream' was published.
NOMINATING COMMITTEE. Members are: CHAIR: Robert L. Robinson, Jr.,
firstname.lastname@example.org; Jennie Bourne, email@example.com; Dave Burstein,
firstname.lastname@example.org; Andy Calimano, email@example.com; Carol Davis
Dillard, Carol2D@aol.com; Stephen G. Flanagan, SFlanagan@icast.com; Ray
Ivatt, rivatt@Watson-International.com; Rich Kirby, rkirby@Directrix.com;
Jonathan Slaff, metro@NYTheatre-Wire.com; Mark D. Smith,
firstname.lastname@example.org; Alan Stone, email@example.com; Barry Struhl,
firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, check the Alliance website.
Membership is free for the first six months for anyone joining by September
1. Dues will be set by the directors after their elections.
REGIONAL CHAPTERS. Several regional chapters are being formed. These
include: AUSTRALIA: Mark Muggeridge, email@example.com; BENELUX:
Erwin Jansen, Erwin.Jansen@expandedmedia.be; UNITED KINGDOM: Garvan Rigby,
firstname.lastname@example.org; SILICON VALLEY: Chuck Fishman, email@example.com; U.S.
NORTHEAST: Robert L. Robinson, Jr., firstname.lastname@example.org.
Write email@example.com if there is none in your area and
you want to organize one.
We also want to again recognize MediaLink (Nasdaq: MDLK) and its
NewsStream.com subsidiary for sponsoring the reception preceding and during
the organizing session!
What's different about online? Not much.
Some believe that the web has created a new paradigm for 'branding', but
that is not the opinion of B.L. Ochman, president of whatsnextonline.com, a
full-service marketing agency that builds global traffic and sales for
Internet businesses. In her weekly marketing tactics newsletter, she says
that "perhaps nothing is more misunderstood online than the meaning of
"Branding in the pre-internet world required the integration of
advertising, customer service, sales promotion, public relations, direct
mail, newsletters, frequency discounts, event sponsorship, word of mouth,
and other communications tactics to present a unified message about the
company, its products or services," says Ochman. "And guess what? It
She says branding is something that happens over time as the result of a
consistent effort to communicate a clear message. "It begins with a
marketable concept as the foundation of a business. That means that the
business founders have given great thought to how they will distinguish
their business from the five or five thousand other businesses selling
essentially the same products and services."
The bottom line, she says, is a "need for quality, dynamic information,
superb customer service, a searchable library of articles by experts on the
subject, online events, by-lined articles for other web sites, and so on."
However, she points out that while Al Ries and Jack Trout, in their classic
marketing book, "Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind," said that only one
company can have the top share of the consumer's mind, "that is one thing
that the Internet has changed."
Ochman says even a tiny online company has the opportunity to become the
biggest and the best. "That unique selling proposition needs to be built
into the business plan. No meaningful branding will happen without it -- no
matter how many gerbils the company president kills on national television."
SERVERS ARE DEAD.
Long live data storage.
EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) CEO Mike Ruettgers predicts that by 2003 all
mission-critical backup and restoration of data will be done on disk rather
than tape. Moreover, disks will no longer be sold with servers.
The typical "global 2000" business, he predicts, will have more than a
petabyte (one quadrillion bytes) of online data by then. Ruettgers is used
to dealing in lots of zeroes. His company recently completed its first
Ruettgers believes that storage is the foundation of all business. Familiar
Internet applications -- data warehousing, Windows NT implementations,
e-commerce and ERP applications -- account for only part of the demand,
though. Emerging drivers include optical networking, the wireless boom,
the genome gold rush and a realization that all data is becoming
mission-critical. "The growing importance of what this industry does
cannot be underestimated," Ruettgers stated. "Storage is becoming more and
more key to what we do."
When EMC recently surveyed 800 companies in 15 countries, 40% listed storage
as their first task in building infrastructure, while 20 percent listed
networking and 25 percent listed applications. Only 12 percent listed
servers. "Today, everything that revolves around servers is, in fact,
gone," Ruettgers states. "Servers are simply not what the world revolves
Ruettgers also says tape is not a good solution for backing up and
restoring data. It takes over a year and a half to recover a petabyte of
data from tape. He says if anyone has a solution to 'get in touch'.
MOVIES ARE HOTTER'N EVER ...
Oh yeah? And if this be from TV, what will be from PC?
According to the Cinema Advertising Association monitor (CAA) UK ticket
sales for the first 6 months of the year have soared to their highest total
since 1974. It's that "1974" that gets your attention.
A cracking 71 million were sold up to June despite the warm month
coinciding with the European Championship when sales fell by around 30%.
Distributors naturally avoided releasing profile films at this time and,
despite the CAA's prediction of a poor July as well, (after Episode I -
July 1999) the end of year prediction is still expected to be 5 or 6
million higher than last year's already strong impressive 139 million.
Of course this is baby food compared to the 1.5 billion plus admissions
JUST WONDERING ...
If flying is so safe, why do they call the airport the 'terminal'?
If you are flying at the speed of light and you turn your wing lights on,
What would Geronimo say if he jumped out of an airplane?
Why are there flotation devices in the seats of planes instead of parachutes?
You know that indestructible black box that is used on airplanes? Why
don't they make the whole plane out of that stuff?
When a plane is cruising at 10,000 feet, what does it take to join the
And something to remember: eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked
into jet engines.
****************************** ADV THIS! *********************************
If your ad were here, it'd be seen right now!
By 21,000 streamers and stream supporters, and growing.
Available to Alliance SPONSORS.
Check the 'Sponsor' box at http://www.streamingmediaalliance.org
1 of 2 'INFORMATION' spots rotating in 'UpStream'.
PLUS: recognition and links at http://www.streamingmediaalliance.org
sEvents on the horizon: August 1 to September 15.
Add events: write firstname.lastname@example.org
1 to 2: Herring on Hollywood, Los Angeles
1 to 3: eTV 2000, Lowe’s Hotel, Santa Monica
2 to 7: 4th Annual Hollywood Film Festival, Los Angeles
3: Next 20 Years in Technology Gala, 5:30 p.m., New York City, Lincoln Center
8 to 10: DCI’s Corporate Portals Conference, Boston
9 to 12: 3rd Annual Atlantis Music Conference, Atlanta
10: Discovery Expo, Chicago
14 to 16: ISPCon Australia 2000, Melbourne
14 to 18: NetWorld + Interop, Singapore
15 to 16: Jupiter Online Advertising Forum, New York City
17 to 19: Regional Investment Bankers Association Capital Conference, Chicago
17 to 19: PopKomm 2000 Music Festival and Exhibition, Koln
22 to 25: Comdex/SUCESU-SP Brazil 2000, Sao Paulo
23 to 24: DVD Entertainment 2000, Universal City, CA.
23 to 26: Comdex Korea 2000, Seoul
28 to 31: Seybold Publishing 2000, San Francisco
7 to 9: Internet World Thailand 2000 at BITEC, Bangkok
9 to 10: eShow, the Consumer Internet Event, New York City
12 to 14: Digital Coast 2000, Los Angeles
13 to 15: Internet World Argentina 2000, Buenos Aires
13 to 16: Radio and Television News Directors Association Convention and
15 to Oct. 1: Olympics, Sydney
--- [c] Copyright, 2000, all rights reserved, by ESCO Capital Management
Co., administrators for Streaming Media Alliance, Inc. PERMISSION GRANTED
TO COPY and redistribute excerpts with credit and inclusion of URL.
Streaming Media Alliance, Inc. is a non-profit organization established by
and for Internet broadcasters and distributors as a research, reference,
data, informational and resource tool to address the means to resolve many
of the pressing issues confronting the streaming media community, as well
as to increase the opportunities for dialogue about the important issues
impacting Members and participants.
Membership in the Streaming Media Alliance, Inc. signifies support for the
Alliance's bylaws, missions and standards. To join, write
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'Together we will show the world.'