Innovation with the Apple iTunes Music Store
Apple re-invented how we listened to music 10 years ago by introducing the iPod. The genius of the iPod was not the device itself. There were multiple devices on the market that played mp3 files. The genius of the iPod was the iTunes Music Store. If you remember, the music world was turned on it's head with the invention of shareable music files. Napster appeared and the record labels were scared of losing control of their kingdom. Instead of embracing the future of digital music and creating a way to monetize the process for the artists as well as themselves, they ended up suing their end users. While the record companies were engulfed in a legal storm to protect their antiquated business model, Apple created a new one. Steve Jobs had it right. Why pay for an entire album of music when you want to hear just one song. Why not give listeners what they want and the artists get paid for it. What a novel concept! It was a game changer. The music business has never been the same. It has been 10 years and the publishing business has taken a lesson from the unwillingness to change attitude of the record labels. The publishers realized that they will either figure out a new business model or someone else will introduce one to them. Well, Amazon lit a match with the Kindle and it has now grown into a Fire. The business model began to change. We still see outdated remnants of the old way of thinking. Digital Rights Management restrictions still makes us feel like we are getting the shaft as consumers. The pricing model for ebooks is nearly as much as their hardback versions. The publishers have embraced the technology, but they are not catching on to bigger picture of what ebooks can do.
Apple Innovation Brings Textbooks to the iPad
Apple has figured it out. They have gone to the textbook companies who control a large volume of the book market and they have given them a new business model. This new model lets them ease out of the old way of publishing by lowering their costs drastically awhile maintaing control of the content. Apple has always been a partner with education. Now that partnership will increase. The concept is simple: downloadable textbooks on the iPad or iPod, delivered via the iBooks Store. What is remarkable is the pricing model. The most expensive textbook in the store right now is priced at $14.99.
iBooks Author and iTunes University Drive Innovation in Education for Apple
As an added value, the textbooks are able to deliver interactive experiences with audio, video, and 3D graphics that create an immersive environment for the reader. To further the impact of what Apple has done, they also released iBooks Author- a free application that allows users to create beautiful, multi-touch, interactive books for the iPad. In addition they have increased the offerings in iTunes University to include self paced study courses at MIT, Yale, Stanford, and Harvard. All of the courses are free! These new technologies will allow users to learn in a different way - I think a better way.