Friday, March 27, 2015

El Paquete and Mi Mochila -- sneakernet competitors

I would be curious to know how one submits and ad or music video for distribution in El Paquete and who and how much they pay to have their material included.

Michael Voss (@mvosscuba) of CCTV just did a news segment on El Paquete, a weekly distribution of entertainment and information on flash drives. Voss says El Paquete, which sells for about $2 per week and is available throughout Cuba, has has increasing amounts of advertising, like this ad for a local restaurant:


and videos of Cuban talent like Joel La J, lead singer for the band Los Metalicos.


El paquete is a cool response to a lack of connectivity, but I am left wondering who is assembling this material. Voss says "there's no single person or organization putting the weekly package together; rather it’s a loose knit grouping (sic) across the country." That does not answer my question though -- there are many neighborhood distributors, but who compiles the material?

Cuban blogger Isbel Diaz Torres (@Isbel_oc) has suggested that El Paquete might be produced by the government. I would be curious to know how one submits and ad or music video for distribution and who and how much they pay to have their material included.

El Paquete seems to have a sanctioned competitor in Mi Mochila, a collection of material curated and distributed by the Joven Clubs. Unlike El Paquete, the source of Mi Mochila is known and, as a Joven Club project, it is sanctioned by the government.



Is this inter-government competition? Regardless, I expect that the issue of government sanctioned copyright violation will have to be addressed during the negotiations leading to the US and Cuba establishing diplomatic relations.

The CCTV segment:



Update 8/11/2015

The BBC reports that "the advertising firm ETres offers Cuban businesses such as restaurants, photographers and beauty salons the opportunity to reach their prospective clients for a fee via the Paquete."

The Miami Herald also has an article on the return of advertising to Cuba.

Please, Cuba -- no billboards!

At most, allow murals and street art like "Wrinkles of the City:"



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