Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Content Owners & Advertisers Take Note -- Mr. Jobs Forgot to Tell You Something!

Yesterday was a big day for Apple and Steve Jobs -- his annual keynote at Apple's Worldwide Developers' Conference. Everyone in the tech/digital media world watched it -- and just about everyone (including me) wrote about it. Everyone, by now, knows the headlines -- the big stories (especially the iPhone 4 and video).

But how about those other stories? How about some of the stories that perhaps were intentionally under-emphasized? In that vein, a funny thing happened yesterday for the world of content owners and advertisers on whose backs Apple has built its products (let's not forget that without content -- and without advertising that funds content creation -- even the coolest gadgets are useless).

In a watershed moment -- that received scant media attention -- Apple has taken a big, nay massive, bite out of the hand that feeds -- i.e., from those very same content owners and advertisers whom Apple continuously privately woos with promises of riches.

What happened? Safari 5 happened, that's what. And, content owners and advertisers take note. Check out this little nugget from the "What's New in Safari 5" page -- specifically, new "Safari Reader." Apple's description of its new "Safari Reader" feature -- verbatim -- is as follows: "Safari 5 removes annoying ads and other visual distractions from online articles."

You may ask, what's the big deal? Apple just cares about its customers. How wonderful of them! Apple is simply once again optimizing the customer experience -- how can anyone argue with that?

But, remember, Apple would have no customers if it weren't for the content owners and advertisers! Think (different) about it. Look again at that page that is linked above -- and look at Apple's visual representation of what its mystical new "Safari Reader" can do. In Apple's example, the victimized content is from Spin magazine -- but, as you can see, with Safari Reader activated, the reference to Spin is scrubbed. Erased. Eradicated. Decimated. Destroyed. Rendered meaningless -- of no value whatsoever, DESPITE THE FACT THAT SPIN CREATED THAT CONTENT WHICH ENABLES THE APPLE PRODUCT TO CREATE VALUE FOR ITS CUSTOMERS IN THE FIRST PLACE! And, of course, if the content creator is utterly useless in the mind of Apple, then of course the advertisers are even a lower form of life. So, advertising too must go -- and it has -- nary an ad to be found. But, Madison Avenue and your clients listen up (Spin, again that's you in Apple's example) -- YOU LIKELY ARE STILL PAYING FOR THOSE AD IMPRESSIONS EVEN THOUGH THOSE IMPRESSIONS ARE NOW INVISIBLE AND, HENCE, OF NO VALUE WHATSOEVER!)

So, in the words of that immortal 60's folk song, "Where has all the value gone?" I'll give you one guess. Yes, to Mr. Jobs and his team!

Make no mistake -- this is wild wacky stuff. This is a big deal. While I love Apple products -- we own a gaggle full of gadgets -- has Apple gone so far as to now essentially say that no one else matters? Has Apple's need for control just taken it into previously unexplored dangerous territory?

And, more to the point, will anyone call them on it? (If you choose to do so, why not try a new video call on the new iPhone 4 -- there ain't any ads there either ...)

(Thanks to Eric Quanstrom to pointing all of this out and finding this "noise" amid the glowing Apple cacophony ....)

Why Mobile Video Calling? Apple Answers the Question -- Masterfully -- Via Video

THE big story with Apple's new iPhone 4 is mobile live video calling. This was the "aha!" moment when Jobs did his famous "One more thing" bit at the end of his keynote yesterday.

I have long believed in the power and promise of mobile live video calling (both two-way video chat and one-way "See What I'm Seeing"). And, I predicted in December 2006 -- okay, a bit early -- that it would be coming to the iPhone.

But, why is mobile live video calling a big deal? Apple answers the question masterfully, as usual, using video -- watch it here by clicking this link.

This truly DOES change everything. The wheels are now in motion for mobile live video calling to be a massive market opportunity (Gigaom's new study concludes that it will be a $3.4 billion market by 2015).

And, once again, Apple is the driver.