Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Why Netflix Won (And Why Digital Music Start-Ups Can't)

Here’s a good coda to last week’s “digital music start-ups are screwed/no they’re not” debate: A concise explanation of the Netflix digital success story, via Venrock’s David Pakman. Key insight: A really big check solves a lot of problems. Unstated corollary: Netflix can write a really big check because consumers place a much higher value on TV + movies than on music: They’ll pay $9 a month for limited access to video but not $10 a month for unlimited tunes.


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work