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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"There is a point where three great powers -- Russia, Turkey and Persia -- meet: the Caucasus. At the moment they converge in a country called Azerbaijan. That fact makes Azerbaijan a battleground for these three great powers, which have competed with each other along various borders for centuries. Until 1991 Azerbaijan was part of the Soviet Union, as was the rest of the South Caucasus. But as the Russian border moved north, Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan were once more unveiled by history. Of the three, Azerbaijan won the geopolitical prize of bordering the three great regional powers. It also emerged as a major energy producer. At the end of the 19th century, half of the oil in the world was produced in Azerbaijan, whose oil fields around the capital, Baku, were developed by the Nobel brothers, famed for dynamite and prizes. This is where they made their fortune. I had the pleasure of dining at their mansion a few years ago, a guest of government officials. Whatever others might have thought in that elegant house, I thought of Hitler urgently trying to reach Baku and its oil, and the fact that his disaster at Stalingrad was actually part of his attempt to seize Azerbaijan's oil fields. Azerbaijan was once the prize of empire. It is now independent in a very dangerous place." (STRATFOR)


"As the world waits to see if Yahoo will succeed in bringing Hulu into the Sunnyvale fold, it’s worth asking a long-term question about Yahoo and video. That question is this: Could Yahoo ever become the next major TV network — alongside ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC? I think the answer is yes. And it’s especially likely when you throw Tumblr and Yahoo’s potential big mobile acquisitions into the mix. To understand why, let’s start with the big changes in TV. If you’ve only skimmed the latest literature on where TV is headed, you’re familiar with two major trends. The first is the growth of cord-cutters: People who part ways with pay TV in favor of online and other video sources, like Hulu and Netflix. Cord-cutting numbers are heading north of a million viewers; there’s also a healthy population of cord-nevers — viewers who enter adulthood without ever getting pay TV at all. The second major shift is in the TV experience itself. Simply put, the TV experience is growing closer to the online experience every day — between TV sets that easily integrate with social media and apps and the rise of addressable TV ads that target viewers directly, the way many online ads do. The upshot is that we’re heading into a world where the Web and TV basically merge into a single premium video channel — or, at the very least, into two channels that overlap and interact tremendously." (AllThingsD)

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