Apple’s New Game Changing Content Strategy


Yesterday Apple laid out a new subscription service and broad rules for digital content sold through the iPhone and iPad. Apple wants to make sure all app purchases and subscriptions, such as content from Amazon’s Kindle or Nextflix streaming, only happen inside the Apple Store, it also wants to make sure publishers’ subscriptions outside the Apple Store is never less than what’s offer within an app. But the most significant move might be Apple’s decision to allow customers the option to provide their name, email and zip code to the content providers, as oppose to require them to pass that information on.

Apple's new game changer content strategy

Running subscription restriction and pricing restrictions will create better margins and cement Apples’ dominance as a content provider. The fact that Apple is betting most of us will choose not to give our personal information to the content providers, (and who would?), is a total game changer. I have always said that whoever controls the audience controls the business. I saw it happen back in the 90’s when a high-profile music client had the foresight to create a strong relationship with his fan base. One million names and addresses later, my client was poised to continue to sell products and shows to his fans without a label or distribution channel. When the music business collapsed, his career didn’t. At that point, he didn’t need them. As a matter of fact, the labels needed him.

Steve Jobs and his team at Apple have figured that out. They don’t want just the margins that come from content sales. They want exclusive control of the content consumer. If Apple is successful in making that work, they will control the most important part of the business pipeline: the consumer himself.

I work with a lot of content providers including authors, film makers, and musicians. One of the most important advice I give them early on our relationship has not changed over the past decade, if anything, I have gotten more passionate about its importance: get hold of your audience. Do not let anyone stand between you and them.

How do you feel about Apple’s new strategy move?

  • I think this once again proves why Apple is king in the digital world right now.nnThere overarching strategy becomes less foggy each year and I believe this was their next logical step. They have the audience. The audience is growing in masses. The just signed Verizon which should catapult them from the iPhone user side, thus app side. iPad is becoming the tool of choice for just about anyone. Now, they clean up the app side and take it to a new level.nnI think if I were Google (Droid) and their platform, I would be doing some super fast re-evaluation strategies right now.

    • I agree, Google has to be scrambling right now to figure out how not to give Apple the monopoly on digital content.

  • I think there will be some consumer and vendor backlash, but ultimately people will accept that Apple is a platform and not just a slick set of consumer devices.nnAs a Kindle user/fan I’m a bit concerned how this will effect Amazon, but I don’t typically read books on my iPhone so it doesn’t impact me that much.nnI have mixed feelings when it comes to systems like Apple and Google that try to control so much information, but at the same time it is really convenient. I have an iPhone and Mac with all my music, photos, apps and movies synced and I use Gmail, Reader and Calendar religiously.

    • I read my ebooks on my iPad and iPhone. My first-generation kindle died a year ago and now I wonder how Amazon is going to react to it. I hope they can play nice as oppose to what happened with Apple and Adobe and the Flash fiasco.

  • Well said. In simple terms, Apple knows that the customer is KING, not the ever trendy and overused term “content is king”. That said, this move will piss a lot of content providers off who are trying to capture customer base of their own.

  • Sprang

    I think apple wants to take over the world. Too bad facebook and google already own it. Lol

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