If you had asked me whether or not the big cable companies would ever allow streaming content to anything other than through their tightly controlled cable boxes, I would have been skeptical. They’ve shown time and time again that they’re extremely conservative about adopting new distribution channels that could potentially disrupt their existing business models. While I don’t necessarily agree with that thinking, it’s a mentality that hampers innovation and ultimately puts your company in a non-competitive position. A few years ago, that thinking would have been fine, but not anymore.
When Apple introduced the iPad a year ago, industry reaction was mixed at best. It was called an oversized iPod touch that didn’t have much going for it. But because of the much larger screen size, horsepower and battery life they gave it, along with the SDK, it became a fertile playground for creativity.
Fast forward a year to yesterday’s iPad 2 introduction. As I watched the keynote, you could easily get sucked into the blazing fast dual-core A5 chip, the thinner & lighter body or cameras. If it wasn’t the hardware, maybe it was the forthcoming iOS 4.3 software, the new iMovie or GarageBand releases. If you read between the lines, these were significant but tactical executions of a greater strategy at play.
Lots has been said about the future of publishing. Early efforts from Wired, Marie Claire, Zinio and others have either been brilliant yet unsustainable technical tour de forces or basic enhanced PDFs. Bonnier takes a fresh look at what the future of newspapers could look like. Note the thoughtful and contextual approach.
There’s no shortage of discussion on how to save the publishing industry, in particular, newspapers and magazines. The Atlantic Monthly’s piece goes in-depth into what Google might do — for better or for worse. But a lot of talk has been about Apple and the iPad. Will this “magical and revolutionary” device be manna from heaven or the bane of the publishing industry’s existence?