back to article Digital GIANTS in BLOODY battle to put your EYEBALLS in a JAR

As consumers become ever-more attached to their gadgets - variously glued to PCs and tablets, and, after-hours, laptops, game consoles and mobiles – the gigantic digital businesses are competing with each other to capture and monopolise users' screen time on internet-connected devices. And all of the contenders are using many …


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  1. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Wither telly?

    > businesses can hope to have access to consumer eyeballs for several hours a day

    Is this a case of inventing the facts to fit the story?

    ISTR there used to be a company that had access to the eyeballs of a large proportion of the country for several hours every day. They were called ITV - though I don't know what ever happened to them. once their competitor corporation discovered they could screw up the commercial business model by giving away for free (i.e. sans annoying advertisements) exactly the same content.

    The moral being that while there may be a new monopoly in town, one should never underestimate the capricious nature of the public. All it takes is a change in the wind (or privacy, or advertising nusiances - or the next generation wanting to distance themselves from "their parents internet") and all of that hard-won "market share" can disappear. Just look at the junk heap of generation#1 internet companies to see what can and does happen to all the success stories, eventually.

    1. monkeyfish

      Re: Wither telly?

      Didn't AOL have a near monopoly once?

    2. frank ly

      @ Pete 2 Re: Wither telly?

      "... once their competitor corporation discovered they could screw up the commercial business model by giving away for free ..."

      ITV's 'competitor corporation' (the BBC, I assume) were giving it away for 'free' for years before ITV existed. How does that affect your point?

      1. Pete 2 Silver badge

        Re: @ Pete 2 Wither telly?

        > How does that affect your point?

        Yes, the Beeb have always given away their content for free (within the UK, at any rate). They have also been the home of minority-interest programmes that no commercial outfit could make money from. However it's only in the past couple of decades that they've abandoned the niches and moved into the ITV space (others might say "dumbed down") so aggressively, in a bid to retain viewer numbers and thus, their justification for so many £££billions from everyone. While there were only a handful of channels, they were pretty much bound to get 10+million viewers per night for peak time programmes. However to get even close to that now, they have to attract people who wouldn't naturally be BBC viewers - hence they've decided to eat the lunch of other channels that are in no position (financially) to do anything about it.

        Or "screwing up the commercial business model" to be a little less subtle about it. Using their guaranteed income to compete with, rather than complement and play "nice" with those who rely on advertising to survive.

      2. M Gale

        Re: @ Pete 2 Wither telly?

        If you can call taking advantage of an enforced license on a TV like it's some kind of Weapon of Mass Dissemination that needs to be regulated, then yes, the BBC is free.

        Back in the real world, the BBC sits on top of a forcibly-extracted pile of cash that most broadcasters would sacrifice their first-born children to get.

      3. Nym

        Re: @ Pete 2 Wither telly?

        Oh, THAT'S what they were giving away free...

    3. Mage Silver badge

      Re: Wither telly?

      Sky is ITV's competitor.

      Multichannel Pay TV has destroyed the UK Telly, not BBC.

  2. i like crisps

    Got One!!






  3. sandman

    Oh lucky us

    Great, we get to choose from such a restricted set of rapacious capitalist bastards (allegedly, your honour). It's a pity about FAGAMe, FAGIN would work much better ;-)

  4. Snowy

    I rather like FaGame. So many other things you can get Fa to stand for, but the cleanest and maybe the most apt one was Fee Agreement.

  5. Captain Hogwash Silver badge

    Re: brocks-and-mortar

    Is badgers upping their game what ended the cull?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Digital GIANTS in BLOODY battle to put your EYEBALLS in a JAR

    I see EL Reg HAVE gone back to RANDOM capitalization of THEIR headlines again. THIS makes no SENSE and is jarring TO read! Please stop IT!


    1. Wyrdness

      Re: Digital GIANTS in BLOODY battle to put your EYEBALLS in a JAR

      Agree completely. I'm far less likely to click on stories with randomly capitalised titles, as I tend to assume that they won't be worth reading anyway.

    2. monkeyfish

      Re: Digital GIANTS in BLOODY battle to put your EYEBALLS in a JAR

      They can't stop IT, you fool, they can only bite at it's hand!

    3. CptScorcher

      Re: Digital GIANTS in BLOODY battle to put your EYEBALLS in a JAR

      Yes but you have to admit they didn't use the term 'fondleslab', 'fruity firm' or 'google the ad company'. That has to be a first.

  7. IR


    So with all those letters, including vowels, they come up with an acronym that sounds like gay paper folding.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If not for the dot-com crash, it could have all been so different...






  9. jubtastic1
    IT Angle







    Something beginning with P




  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Becoming a bank

    Banks are regulated a couple orders of magnitude more, which I suspect is the reason why no big company has tried to become one since GM and GE.

    I do think Apple would benefit from direct consumer financing, in areas where phones are unsubsidized. But they prefer to stay very narrowly focused on a few things, so if they ever did that, you'd know they finally buried Steve Jobs.

    1. Decade

      Re: Becoming a bank

      Well, eBay is constantly nagging me to get a PayPal MasterCard. I consider PayPal the most hated way to pay online, so I steadfastly refuse. PayPal looks like a bank and sucks like a bank, and in Europe it's regulated as a bank. But they need to stop sucking so much.

      Apple loves to push the risk onto others. The cost for the iPhone subsidy is borne by the carriers, and Apple imposes minimum order contracts. Apple sells Macs on credit, but the debt is with Barclays, not Apple.

      Google and Amazon have a better chance. I have no idea why I would trust Facebook and Microsoft with my money.

  11. DropBear

    "Brock and mortar"

    Sorry, as far as I'm concerned, the sooner brick and mortar dies, the better. Sure, I do feel for those whose job is on the line and no I won't be buying a loaf a bread or getting a haircut online any time soon, but in generic retail there's just no comparison.

    Online stores almost always offer a selection so overwhelmingly wider I don't even see the point of visiting a brick and mortar store any more, especially since they never seem to have even the stuff they do sell on stock these days (I needed a good chair when the old one finally broke down the other day, and I went to a specialized dealer: they quoted me six weeks for delivery - two bloody months including the holidays. I just ordered elsewhere online...). I can't realistically shop around 10-20-30 places in the real world comparing offerings and prices but I can easily do that online. I can neither look up related information nor check customer feedback for stuff I buy in stores, yet that's generally a thing I do a lot online. I have often bought stuff that cannot be bought in my entire country neither off- nor online (not because it would be illegal or anything, but because there's seemingly not enough interest for anyone at all to bother selling it around here...). And I'm not even going to talk about pure-digital goods delivery speed as opposed to traditional media. For me experience is superior in so many ways there's just no point even arguing.

    To be fair, I have nothing against brick and mortar outlets as such, they can linger on as long as they like for all I care. But if it's an either-or situation as it's often the case, I damn sure know which side I stand on. Good riddance!

    1. buyone

      Re: "Brock and mortar"

      So in your digital delivery world how do you know those clothes suit your particular body shape? How do you check the suitability of whatever, the quality of build, the feel. Perhaps you buy your cars without driving them? or do you trust online reviews?

      1. Decade

        Re: "Brock and mortar"

        I already buy my clothes online. The local stores don't carry the styles that I want, and their brands are way too expensive. I do careful research, learning the vocabulary of fashion, to find clothes for my body.

        It makes terrible financial sense to buy a new car. Car dealerships are some of the least trusted businesses in existence. There's a reason Tesla is selling their cars direct, and why car dealers are trying to outlaw Tesla's sales model. Used cars are big business for eBay.

        Online reviews suck. When a product has reviews, most of them are superficial, and there's a lot of fraud. There's safety in bigger brands, but a lot of the time you just need to try it for yourself. It helps to have a great return policy. Especially when Amazon pays for the return shipping.

  12. Nym


    Who's that?

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