Friday, August 18, 2006

Apple not embracing Web 2.0?

While I was originally fascinated with how Apple was using iTunes with its unrivalled Music Store to push sales of its iPod, and simultaneously giving a push to its "Mac" computer hardware brand (which consumer surveys show is preceived as separate from the iPod brand, so the marketing idea was not entirely efficient), it is also interesting to see that Apple is not making any inroads into consumer content creation, other than allowing upload of podcast details onto its Music Store (but again, market research shows low penetration for podcasts). So far, Apple is enticing us with rich media for sale and free download (as in the case of many video podcasts) through Music Store, but Azureus will have content creation abilities that could well take away revenue from Apple, and even and Google Video, Apple's other competitors in the rich media avenue. Part of the problem here is that while the quality of Apple's offerings exceeds that of Web 2.0 competitors, entertainment is being commoditised by cheap video hardware, software and free hosting, and there is no doubt that the resolution of freely available video content will catch up with Apple.

However, there are programmes that are inherently onerous to produce, and these will continue to generate revenue. Central to this market are nature documentaries filmed at remote locations. Second best, I would say are documentaries that require intense research, especially into material that is not readily available to the general public (Vatican library?).

At the same time, voices are growing for Apple to develop its other web-based service, .Mac.

I have further, unpublished comments on this topic.

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