The list you see below reflects a lot of work done in earlier weeks–three virtual panels recorded in advance, plus a Wirecutter update that I started researching last year.
4/19/2021: Time to cut internet cords: T-Mobile, Verizon up their bids to be your next home broadband, USA Today
I wrote about the fixed-wireless home-broadband services now available from these two carriers–one of which looks better positioned to let more Americans dump their local cable or telco monopoly.
4/19/2021: A key lesson of sports on OTT: first, do no lag, FierceVideo
An editor at this trade pub asked if I could fill in with coverage of an online event they were hosting. That work started with a write-up of a panel about lessons learned in distributing live sports events on over-the-top (aka “OTT,” meaning delivered on a third party’s broadband) video services.
4/20/2021: Keynote Interview: Producing OTT Sports Content, StreamTV Sports Summit
I didn’t just write about Fierce’s conference, I also participated in it by interviewing Chris Marinak, Major League Baseball’s chief operations and strategy officer. You can watch our banter after registering with your e-mail or Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter accounts; meanwhile, take a close look at the screenshot at the right and you may be able to recognize the Nationals bobblehead I’d placed on my desk for this recording.
4/20/2021: MLB to RSNs: It’s time to think direct-to-consumer, FierceVideo
Fierce then invited me to write up my own appearance at its show, so I led with Marinak’s answer to my question about his statements in a March season-preview event that MLB wants regional sports networks to sell game coverage direct to subscribers instead of making them sign up for a big pay-TV bundle. (I’d covered those earlier comments in an Opening Day post at Forbes.) Marinak reiterated that stance, and my recap got picked up at a few places; among them, Awful Announcing‘s Andrew Bucholtz and The Streamable‘s Jason Gurwin provided useful context.
4/21/2021: Netflix subscriber growth downshifts in Q1, FierceVideo
I wrote one more post for Fierce, in this case because the usual reporter was taking a just-in-case day off after getting his second dose of a coronavirus vaccine. Netflix earnings are less annoying to cover than those of other tech companies, because NFLX posts an “earnings interview” video instead of making people listen to an audio-only recording on which all the executives usually sound alike.
4/21/2021: The Best Wi-Fi Hotspot, Wirecutter
This overdue update to the guide I’d last revised in those innocent days of early 2020 brings a new 5G-specific pick, T-Mobile’s M2000 hotspot. AT&T and Verizon’s 5G hotspots, lacking the midband 5G T-Mo offers, were nowhere close–and yet Verizon’s LTE remains so good that the top pick went to the same Vz 4G hotspot as last year.
4/21/2021: Preparing for the return to live, Collision
I started this interview of Nathan Hubbard (formerly of Musictoday, Ticketmaster, Twitter and Rival) by mentioning the last game and concert I’d attended in the Before Times. That last musical event was a John Hiatt set at the Birchmere, which led Hubbard to recount how he’d once played that Alexandria venue himself.
4/21/2021: Verizon’s Slumping Video-Subscriber Numbers: Here’s What A Post-TV Provider Looks Like, Forbes
Seeing Verizon lose another stadium’s worth of pay-TV subscribers led me to take a closer look at both its Fios TV service and its sales pitch for it online, which at this point represents the softest of sells.
4/22/2021: WWE: Breaking down the data, Collision
I talked to WWE CTO Rajan Mehta about the network’s applications of technology… after offering the disclaimer that not only am I not anybody’s idea of a WWE viewer, as a D.C.-based journalist I must self-identify as a C-SPAN man.
4/22/2021: Facebook Exec Sounds Off On Its New Audio Features, Forbes
Fidji Simo, who heads Facebook’s app efforts, spoke at a couple of Collision panels about the social network’s upcoming audio features–while other Collision speakers made some good points about Facebook’s history of not thinking through the implications of new products and features.
4/24/2021: SmartTechCheck Podcast (4-23-21), Mark Vena
I returned to my tech-analyst friend’s podcast to discuss Apple’s announcements from its “Spring Loaded” event and talk about my findings from testing 5G hotspots around the D.C. area.