Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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This paragraph from the FT’s Lex Column coverage of Vivendi caught my eye:

Say what you like about Vivendi, but the French media conglomerate has done an admirable job of recession-proofing its business model. A focus on subscriptions – whether for pay-TV, mobile phones, and the ability to hunt goblins and orcs in the online game World of Warcraft – has helped Vivendi weather the downturn better than rivals more dependent on advertising. A day after Germany’s Bertelsmann reported a €333m net loss, dragged down by a collapse in ad revenues at broadcaster RTL, Vivendi on Tuesday unveiled profits that beat most analysts’ estimates.

Subscriptions are such a simple mechanism and one of the things that are actually made easier with the web, where you can subscribe to things with both smaller amounts of money and more granularity. Ease is worth paying for. Over the last few months I’ve wondered, for instance, why I can’t get just the Lex Column delivered to my Kindle (Amazon’s fault I assume) and why I can’t subscribe to all my favorite label’s releases for the year. (For whatever that’s worth.)

September 1, 2009