Tuesday, December 06, 2005

More Analysts Blogging About iTunes and NBC

Forrester analysts Josh Bernoff and Ted Schadler have joined the blogging scene with their Devices, Media, And The Future Of Everything blog. Bernoff posts today about NBC's deal with Apple to offer up some of their shows for iTunes users. Bernoff observes that "the popular shows getting into iTunes are produced and broadcast by the same company. That’s why “The West Wing” isn’t in there – it’s produced by Warner and broadcast by NBC."

He concludes that "The lesson here for other forms of distribution – cable VOD, streaming, mobile phones – is this: start with some popular content and prove the business model. Once the money starts flowing, the rest of the content will follow."

He should just call it the Apple way...

Over at the Jupiter Analyst Weblogs, Joe Wilcox writes about the deal that "while most people probably wouldn't chuck cable for iTunes downloads, the new content certainly increases source choices." On the topic of what's next for Apple, Wilcox points out how video differs from their music efforts:

Apple got many things technologically and functionally right with the original iPod. But Apple didn't have to supply content because consumers had hordes of CDs they could rip to MP3s and transfer to the portable music player. Video is different, because there are few sources for legal video content. As Apple begins to provide content, next step would be to extend the approach to the living room as with the rumored new Mac mini. The hardware won't be so important as the content and software delivery mechanism. And if Apple adds much more content, why shouldn't the company release real video iPod? Apple doesn't call the fifth-generation iPod a video iPod, which suggests to me there is more to come. I'd like to see a real video iPod with larger screen--even touch screen--capable of playing high-resolution content.
I don't completely agree with Wilcox. I think consumers have a ton of video content (i.e. DVDs) that they could rip and transfer to a portable media player. Unfortunately, no one has made it an easy one-step, click a button process like iTunes and CDs. I have transferred videos from my DVD collection to my smartphone and my son's PSP. However it's a multi-step, time-consuming, pain-in-the-butt process. If you make it as easy as loading the DVD to your PC and clicking one button then people will follow. Of course, the studios will be up in arms but what else is new....