Developer of Minecraft Game sees Piracy as promotion

Two versions of a story  of a game developer working with ‘piracy’ as promotion. CwF+RtB

Although Minecraft already has 658429 registered players, due to the fact that it’s widely available on torrent and warez sites, many of these are unauthorized users.

But what’s most impressive is that at the time of writing, 155521 (23.62%) of these have already bought the game of their own free will. In the last 24 hours alone, a 11804 people registered to play, and 4910 of them bought the game. (updated statshere)

Those are good numbers regardless of whether or not everyone pays. Despite the propaganda from the RIAA, MPAA and their ilk, not every download would have been a sale, so converting a good portion that increases sales can’t be a bad thing. I’m pretty sure my HD Survival Handbook has been “pirated” but the legit sales are enough to have covered the time and effort that went into it, so I’m just not worried about something I can’t stop.

The developer also comments (somewhat obscurely I think):

“Piracy will win in the long run. It has to,” says Notch. “The alternative is too scary.”

Android’s Google Translate, Conversation mode:

Android’s Google Translate, Conversation Mode – effectively replicates Star Trek’s Universal Voice Translator.

Who could read that headline and not comment?

Mobile product director Hugo Barra demoed a forthcoming update to Android’s Google Translate, Conversation Mode, which effectively replicates Star Trek’s Universal Voice Translator– it uses the phone to facilitate a two-way conversation between people speaking in different languages.

Personally, I’m hanging out for the Halodeck.

The Attack Of Branded Content

The Attack Of Branded Content: Who Will Control TV On The Web? (TCTV)

I’m a much bigger fan of “branded content” than advertising because:

  • Branded Content is going to be relevant to the content, so it’s got a much bigger chance of being relevant to me if I’m watching the program;
  • Branded Content integrates the product promotion into the show so it’s less disruptive than unrelated advertising shoved at the audience;
  • It provides the brand a clearer message: they’re the only message associated with the show.

Now, Erick Shonfeld of Techcrunch is less of a fan of Branded Content than I am, but I think he makes a fundamental mistake in his introductory paragraph:

I’ve got to admit, the concept of “branded content” on the Web makes me cringe. It is generally used to refer to Web videos created and packaged specifically for an advertiser. Maybe I am old-fashioned, but I like my videos created for the audience first, not advertisers. And yet, in the budding Web video industry, branded content is bringing in some serious dollars and even some serious talent.

He makes the mistake that “videos [are] created for the audience”. Television Content has only one customer: the advertiser. The producer makes a show that the network/cable channel thinks they can sell to enough advertisers to get a return. The audience is never an important factor, other than there needs to be enough of them to sell the advertiser on advertising on the show.

Branded Content is more likely to be made for the audience because if it’s not then the brand is going to get much less value from it. On a recent Terence and Philip Show Terence Curren told the story of a mom-focused show sponsored by Kraft, but looking at the video the only obvious intrusion of the sponsorship by Kraft was a strategically placed bottle of Kraft dressing in a family meal shot. Terry says he would not have noticed other than he knew that Kraft sponsored the show.

Advertising – creating an audience that you can then ‘sell-out’ to advertisers by interrupting the entertainment to force you to watch advertising. With Branded Content we choose what we want to watch, in return we’ll probably see one or two branded items. If that’s well integrated into the show, it’ll only be obvious because broadcast and cable have become “brand phobic”: unless the brand is a sponsor they blur the brand out, or use fake brands.

Read the article and tell me in the comments whether you think Branded Content is a good thing or not. I think it’s better for the audience and better for the advertiser/brand.

I like the model that Mark Pesce promulgated in Piracy is Good? (or on video) where he explains the principles of Hyper-distribution: single sponsor, integrated product promotion; free and widespread distribution.

HTML5 Player Comparison

HTML5 Player Comparison

A good listing of features for HTML5 players that allow you to add features beyond basic browser playback, including full screen. Many are iOS compatible and will fall back to use Flash if the browser doesn’t support HTML5 or the format of your video isn’t supported under HTML5 on specific browsers. For example, if you format to MP4 H264 supported by Chrome, Safari and IE9, you’ll get a Flash player fallback on Firefox.