First Ring Daily Live: What the Ring

Posted on December 2, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Podcasts, First Ring Daily with 9 Comments

In a second, special edition live episode of First Ring Daily, Andrew Zarian guests and we discuss cord-cutting and the mooch generation.

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Comments (9)

9 responses to “First Ring Daily Live: What the Ring”

  1. 3322

    I think the Mooch generation (which I'm not a member of) may be a result of their predicament: poor economy, too much debt from college, not enough jobs, to get credit (housing, cards maxed). It has even been legislated (insurance for children up to 20 something, 26?). My generation (I'm late 40s) was able to appropriate the content I wanted (Napster, for example). Everything is a subscription now. Consider how much all of these subscriptions's daunting (Netflix, cable internet, cable TV/DirectTV, Sling, Office 365, Groove, Pandora, Satellite Radio in car). I don't "charge-back" my kids (10,13,16) for using these things that I pay for and "share" on devices I own but the others sometime use. At what point are they mooches, or should stop being mooches? I got rid of cable TV (mostly because I hate how the kids' shows make parents look stupid, and my kids have come to hate commercials, and I don't want to pay for what I and my moochers don't watch!), using over the air in Phoenix area. It's spotty, though, and unreliable and very limited even in this area. I believe as long as NFL and other sports are shown mostly on live mediums (Cable TV), cable TV content will be needed by most. BTW, Sling basic doesn't really have what I want (I tried it, not good).

    • 1753

      In reply to dylanmcneill:

      I'm sorry, but I have to disagree, at least in part. My kids are/were studying and they make sure they have the basics covered. If they have that, then they will spend some of what is left on luxuries - and at the end of the day, these subscription services are luxuries. Neither has a credit card, neither has any debt, other than the student loan (although we are in the lucky position that tuition fees here are negligible, a few hundred per semester, which includes a public transport pass). Both are in their 20s and neither has a credit card.

      They eldest daughter has her own apartment and has a part-time job (you can earn a maximum of 450€ in a part time job without it affecting the student loan). The repayment of the student loan is also dependent on your performance and how quickly you repay - big reductions if you get a good grade, for example. She manages to do perfectly well, without running up any more debt.

      The youngest daughter has finished apprenticeship and university entrance exams and doesn't have any debt.

      On the other hand, they don't have any subscriptions for Netflix, Groove, Pandora etc. Neither do we (the parents). I do have an Office 365 subscription, Amazon Prime and Audible, but that't it. I order a lot through Amazon, so the next-day delivery on Prime is of use to me, the videos are a nice bonus. We have enough TV with the state and free to air channels.

      As to your question, when are they mooches? When they have grown up, finished their studies and then either stay at home without paying rent and "mooch" your paid for services or they move out, but still rely on you to pay for their subscriptions etc.

      But I think a lot of it has to do with cultural differences between the USA and Europe, specifically Germany. Here it is still seen as an admission of failure if you have debt, other than a mortgage. If you rely on credit cards to live, then it is an admission, that you don't have control over your life - in fact "credit cards" here are generally linked directly to your bank account and are paid off 100% at the end of each month, if you don't have enough in your bank account, then it uses your over draught.

      I know that in the UK this is not the case - in fact, the CC companies don't want you to pay off the complete balance at the end of the month, my mother had real problems trying to get them to automatically book the complete balance at the end of the month, they just wanted to take the minimum. I'm guessing that the US is similar.

  2. 1561

    Cool to know you're a Star Wars fan, Paul. I am also a huge fan.

    I also work for the company that broadcasts those House Hunters and Tiny Homes shows, so thanks for the plug. ;)

    I pay (way too much) for cable, but I do also have a login on my parents' Xfinity account, which I use occasionally for a couple of reasons. First, my folks pay for and barely use the TV service. They don't DVR, they don't have Internet, they're not going to use on-demand. Xfinity is not available in my neighborhood, because TDS has the exclusive rights in my area. TDS has its advantages, including 1GB fiber Internet, but their TV offerings are pretty basic. Even though we pay almost $200/month, we no longer get relatively basic channels like Disney XD, which sucks because my kids (and I) love Star Wars Rebels. Interestingly, that show is not available on digitally via Xbox Movies & TV. So, I can go pirate episodes off of BitTorrent, or I can use mom & dad's Xfinity login to watch that show. I also use the Xfinity login to authenticate to various apps when TDS is not a qualifying provider.

    My in-laws have an Amazon Prime subscription, which again, they never use. My mother-in-law bought a Kindle 3 years ago, and she got a Prime trial with it, which she kept because she likes reading books every now and then. I piggyback on her account (as the registered second adult), and I get Prime benefits like video and free 2-day shipping. But I also let my in-laws use my paid Netflix and Hulu accounts on their Kindles and Fire TV stick. So it works out.

    Back in the summer, I wanted to get HBO to get caught up on their original series. HBO Go from TDS was going to cost $20/month. So I opted for their over-the-top HBO Now service for $15/month. They have an Xbox app, but signing up without an iOS or Android device was a chore. I either used Blue Stacks or maybe ended up resetting my in-laws Fire TV stick under my account so I could register an HBO account. Anyway, it was a hack. Now I pay for it monthly and watch it exclusively on my Xbox, PC, or occasionally on the Fire TV stick. Why does companies need to make it so hard to take my money?

    I was quite a digital pirate in my 20 and 30's (I'm still proud of the fact that Metallica got me banned from the original Napster), but you know what? I've started paying for stuff, as it's become easier to access from all my devices. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it's just getting easier all the time. I'd much rather give Microsoft my money and get access to music, movies, and shows across all my devices any time I want it than have to manage NAS and backups and home servers and routers and gateways, etc., etc. The takeaway is pretty simple: make it easy for people to get the stuff they want, offer it at a reasonable price, provide some added value, and people will be glad to pay for it. They want to pay for it. Don't make it so hard for them or try to lock them in, because you're scared they're going to leave you.

    As a content company, my employer is working hard figuring out how to navigate in this brave new world. You'd be surprised how convoluted the contracts and agreements between content companies and outlets can be. A content company may want to make their stuff directly available to consumers on certain platforms, but doing so would jeopardize their distribution agreements with traditional cable companies. So, we're coming up with brand new content and making it available on new digital platforms, like Facebook Live, Snapchat, and to get it in front of consumers directly. We'll eventually get to a simpler on-demand structure, but it's going to be a long, slow process.

    Excellent podcast, by the way. You guys have a good rapport.

  3. 5112

    I am always amazed at the rationalization people will use to justify mooching, cheating, and or stealing products and services.

  4. 400

    Why isn't this in the RSS-feed?

    Anyway, nice one

  5. 3216

    I know several people who have "cut the cord" and I have looked at this myself and the costs involved are extremely deceiving.  Everything I have looked at shows me that I may well end up paying more to get the same thing I am getting now.

    Part of this is the cable "bundling" issue.  There are essentially three ways to get internet service:  Cable, DSL, and Satellite.  Depending on your location, cable may be the only one of the three that will get you the kind of bandwidth and speed you really want.  Regardless, each of these services may cost roughly the same unless you bundle that service.  And with some services, it can be nearly impossible to get anything more than the slowest internet package unless you bundle it.

    And, part of this discussion has to be the ability to get content away from home.  So, now you have to add in the cost of cellular phone and data service.  Many people don't count this because "they would be paying for that anyway."  But that's a false argument - it's merely a way to justify paying increasingly outrageous prices for cell phones.

    Bottom line, internet and content providers are doing everything they possibly can to lure you into getting everything from them and making it as difficult and expensive as possible for you to go ala-carte.

  6. 289

    Before committing to Direct TV Now or Sling or PS Vue, look carefully at the details around on-demand content, DVR capabilities and mobile viewing. Even within a given service there can be differences from show to show. Make sure you can actually watch what you want, when you want, on whatever device you want.

  7. 699

    I cut the cable cord over 2 years ago, and have never looked back. I was paying my $100+ Comcast bill each month, getting cable channels I never watch and getting sub-par (at times, non-working) WIFI at some of their advertised 'highest speeds.' A huge waste. Then, I discovered digital antennas (thanks Leo!) I cut the cable, and Comcast still wanted to charge me around $70-80 for freaking internet. WTH. So I switched to CenturyLink (which is our only other provider here in ABQ) and they charge about the same as Comcast for WiFi, but you have to get a home phone and their speeds suck, as well. So, I cut that, too, last month. Right now, I'm using my mobile phone's unlimited T-Mobile personal hotspot (on my iPhone and Idol 4S) which is about $100 per month for unlimited. When I use that on my Surface and/or MacBook the speeds really blow, but I guess it's better than paying $100 for nothing. So right now, I'm stuck. I want faster internet but I don't want to pay the $80 that both local companies will charge for sub-par service. Any ideas? I'm stuck. ;) Thx for a great show.