As ‘Game of Thrones’ Returns, Is Sharing Your HBO Password O.K.?

Excerpt from this article:

The seventh season of “Game of Thrones” returns on Sunday, and if you’re like a significant chunk of HBO’s viewership, you can watch it thanks to the login credentials tracing back to your friend’s ex-boyfriend’s parents.

But if you listened to the headlines after a court decision last July, you might fear a SWAT team could bust down your door in the middle of your illicit “Veep” episode. Countless news sites reported that sharing your password would be a “federal crime,” while others suggested you might “go to jail” for it.

The less hysteric truth is more complicated but experts largely agree: You are in very little danger of legal trouble by sharing your password or using a shared one. The laws remain murky, but the government is unlikely to prosecute you, and the streaming video services have shown no desire to go after customers.

(We’re not saying you should use someone else’s password. As an ethical issue, it’s probably a good idea to pay for it. The same goes for news.)

Advertisements

Indian commuters are coping with their terrible commutes by watching Netflix

netflix-promo-image-e1488908453783

Excerpt from this article:

Netflix’s subscribers are setting their own “primetime” streaming hours around the world.

Globally, streaming on the web-video service peaks around 9pm on weekdays, according to data provided by Netflix—the US included. Keeping in line with Americans’ viewing habits in the 90-year history of television, that’s also when most viewers tune in to traditional TV, Nielsen data shows.

But, in India, Netflix streaming peaks at 5pm, the earliest primetime in the world. It’s not unusual for workers in India to spend one to three hours commuting each way by bus, train, or car, which explains the heavy viewing during those hours. Mobile video, which accounts for 60% of mobile data traffic, is also on the rise the country, so viewers can stream on the go. Subscribers there are also 82% more likely to watch Netflix at 9am than the rest of the world, Netflix found.

The Downside to Cord-Cutting

Credit Minh Uong/The New York Times

Excerpt from this article:

Yet the overwhelming majority of Americans — about 100 million homes — still cling to cable.

What could be getting in the way of cutting the cord? To assess this, I tried Sony’s Vue and Dish Network’s similar streaming service, Sling TV, which also offers a slimmer bundle of TV channels than traditional cable. I decided to compare the two TV bundles rather than stand-alone apps like HBO Go, Netflix and Hulu, because Vue and Sling TV were designed to replace traditional cable packages.

After testing the two for a week, I had an answer: Neither streaming service felt like an adequate substitute for a cable package, largely because of content restrictions, broadcast delays and the difficulty of using a game controller with one of the services.

 

Spotify data hints at a ‘musical midlife crisis’ for 42-year-old music fans

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek (32) and investor Sean Parker (35) are a few years off musical midlife crises – in theory

Excerpt from this article:

Streaming music service Spotify has identified 42 as the age when many of its users rediscover the joys of current pop music, as part of research into how their tastes mature over time.

“We’re starting to listen to ‘our’ music, not ‘the’ music. Music taste reaches maturity at age 35. Around age 42, music taste briefly curves back to the popular charts — a musical midlife crisis and attempt to harken back to our youth, perhaps?”

The findings come from a study conducted by Ajay Kalia, who oversees Spotify’s “taste profiles” product, which tries to understand people’s tastes based on their listening habits.

The Koreans who televise themselves eating dinner

Lee Chang-hyun

Excerpt from this article:

How do you fancy eating your dinner at home in front of a webcam and letting thousands of people watch? If they like the way you eat, they will pay you money – maybe a few hundred dollars a night… a good salary for doing what you would do anyway. This is happening now in South Korea.

It’s often said that if you want to see the future look at how technology is emerging in perhaps the most connected country on the planet. The food phenomenon is called mukbang – a combination of the Korean word for eating (muk-ja) and broadcasting (bang-song).

…Some 10,000 people watch him eating per day, he says. They send a constant stream of messages to his computer and he responds verbally (by talking) and orally (by eating, very visibly and noisily).

If the audience like the performance, they allocate him what are called “star balloons” and each of these means a payment to him and to the internet television channel on which he performs.

Love in the Time of Binge-Watching

Excerpt from this article:

The simple act of gathering around a TV set to share the experience of watching a program together feels increasingly quaint. Thanks to streaming services, on-demand access and the little devices we carry in our pockets and purses, we can watch what we want, when we want, where we want.

Yet with all those options, it can be tough to align the where-when-how of two busy people.

For Mr. Kolko, co-watching works well. But the high-tech fussiness required to produce an oldfangled enjoyment is not lost on him. “Neither the problem nor the solution would have existed a few years ago,” he said.

…In modern-day romance, resisting the impulse to binge so that you may watch with a lover is the new equivalent of meeting the parents or sharing a sober kiss. “You know you’ve found the one when they say they won’t watch the next episode of the series you’ve been binge-watching together without you”…

…[Another] couple likes to stockpile episodes of shows like “Top Chef” and then watch over a single weekend. To make sure that plots lines and suspense are not sacrificed in the name of finding time to see the show together, the couple enact filtering functions on Twitter.

For instance, Ms. Thomas will change her settings such that any mention of a “Top Chef” contestant is filtered from her feed, and she will mute the posts coming from Bravo, the network that presents “Top Chef,” as well as those from one of the program’s judges, Tom Colicchio. “You have to be really proactive,” Ms. Thomas said. “It’s really quite an undertaking.”

For Millennials, the End of the TV Viewing Party

Excerpt from this article:

A decade ago, a home — even, in many cases, a dorm room — without a television would have seemed virtually unthinkable, like a house without a telephone.

And, that, in a sense, is the point.

Just as the landline went from household staple to quaint anachronism seemingly overnight during the last decade (acquiring a profoundly uncool air along the way), the television set has started to look at best like a luxury, if not an irrelevance, in the eyes of many members of the wired generation, who have moved past the “cord-cutter” stage, in which they get rid of cable, to getting rid of their TV sets entirely.

…“I live in New York City, I find events to go to every night, and have seen my social and professional life flourish as a result,” Ms. Lieberman said. “While there are certainly the rare nights where I find myself curling up with an iPad to catch a show, the only time I watch a program from an actual set is during my daily morning run at the gym.”