Dennis D. McDonald ( consults from Alexandria Virginia. His services include writing & research, proposal development, and project management.


By Dennis D. McDonald

The weekly Cordkillers podcast with Brian Brushwood and Tom Merritt is consistently one of my favorites. Recently State of Cordkillers May 2015 appeared on my iPhone’s podcast feed and I gave it a listen.

Tom and Brian gave an update of where they stand with the show and also talk about possible format changes and strategic directions.

I enjoy the mix of gear, content, and business news the show currently has. I also like the fact that It’s Spoilerin’ Time, where they talk about — and “spoil” — specific TV shows, videos, media, and movies, is a separate program. Given that my interests are different from theirs (e.g., I don’t watch much “TV”) and that I watch things on such a different schedule, I never listen to that program and hope they don’t move more stuff there from the regular podcast.

I am happy that Movie Draft is no longer part of the main podcast. Paying so much attention to how much money individual movies take in I find boring and counter to the specialized tastes that modern media sources and streaming services now make possible. I like learning about new stuff that might interest me; do I really care about how much money Age of Ultron made last weekend?

The most interesting part of the special show was listening to Brian and Tom discuss their strategic visions. Brian seems more interested in becoming the “go to” source for information on cable cord cutting; several times he mentioned Cordkillers going on CNN as an acknowledged expert as a worthy goal.

Tom was much less impressed with that idea and the difference between these two becomes clear (which is one of the reasons the show is so interesting). Brian has strong roots in show business while Tom has strong roots in “new media.” Again, the different perspectives is one of the things that makes this show interesting. But become a recognized pundit on new media for CNN? Sounds awfully “old school” to me.

Another discussion topic was that, given that so much of what these two have been pushing ever since Framerate — “watch what you want whenever you want on whatever device you want” — is happening.

Does that mean the show has outlived its usefulness? Is there still a need for Cordkillers now that so much of what Tom and Brian have been pushing for since Framerate days seems to be coming to pass?

Absolutely yes, in my opinion. The landscape is changing. It’s getting more complex. We need guidance. This show is one of the best ways to make sense of what is still a very confusing situation – and it’s entertaining as well as informative.

One thing I wouldn’t mind seeing as a possible break from the well-organized main show we have now is an occasional “deep dive” into a single topic, say, “Roku —  where it is and where it’s going,” or “How do Netflix and Amazon Prime compare?” or “What’s happening to Vudu?” Perhaps special single topics like these would be an opportunity to bring on knowledgeable guests?

Keep up the great work guys!

- Dennis D. McDonald

  • Cordkillers Patreon supporter
  • @ddmcd

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