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 We still see outdated remnants of the old way of thinking.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.
Looks Like The iPad And The Kindle Are Here to Stay: Tablet and E-Book Reader Ownership Soars During the 2011 Holiday Season.
Did you get an E-Book reader or a tablet device for Christmas this year? A Pew Research Center survey indicates that ownership in tablet devices and e-book readers increased from 10% to 19% during the 2011 holiday shopping season.
Tablet and E-Book Reader Benefits
One of the main benefits from using a tablet device is its accessibility. You can keep it on the coffee table or use it while walking up and down the stairs at your home. You can use it while lying in bed or while on the couch just as easy as you can use it on a plane. The ability to instantly turn on these devices coupled with Wi-Fi access to your network makes this device a replacement for 90% of what you use your laptop for. Most people use their laptops to access the internet, read email, and create and edit office documents, and spreadsheets. The rise of streaming media from companies like Netflix and Amazon has pushed the traditional Television viewer to seek more and more entertainment online. The iPad is an amazing entertainment device. You can stream movies, play games and check your social media channels from wherever you are.
When I showed my 86 year old Father the iPad, his first comment was that the clarity of the screen was incredible. He was pleasantly surprised that he could read an e-book without his glasses on. I had a similar experience showing the iPad to my wife’s grandmother, who is also in her 80’s. Within 2 minutes she had mastered the touch interface and was playing Angry Birds. I frequently see parents hand their 2 year old child an iPad with a learning game. Touch technology enables users who do not use computers to quickly adopt a new technology. This technology is here to stay. Recently, I attended the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada. I was impressed with the degree to which tablets were being incorporated into everything from cars to refrigerators.
Entrepreneurs Should Consider Adding Tablet and E-Book Reader Technology to Their Business
Entrepreneurs should consider adding a tablet to their office and personal workflow. Email is a breeze. Web browsing is fun again. The tablet is great for reading books, newspaper, and reports. The iPad can also create and edit office documents with Pages, edit spreadsheets with Numbers, and presentations with Keynote. All of these Apps sell for $9.99 each in the iTunes App Store. During my evaluation of the iPad, I concluded that the only thing that I can’t do on the device is graphic design. I use Adobe Creative Suite to create and edit graphic files. This is not something that the iPad tablet can do for now. Or so I thought. I was wrong. Adobe has created an entire suite of Touch Apps for the iPad and Android tablets. The technology incorporates 6 creative Apps: Adobe Photoshop Touch, Adobe Proto, Adobe Ideas, Adobe Debut, Adobe Collage, and Adobe Kuler. Photoshop allows users to edit photos, Proto allows rapid prototyping and creation of wireframes for websites and mobile apps, Ideas is a vector design application that allows Illustrator functionality, Debut is a presentation app that designers can use to present full-resolution native Adobe graphic files, Collage lets you create mood boards and inspiration pieces, and Kuler lets you create and navigate in a world of infinite color themes.This presents a huge paradigm shift in the design process. It will allow designers to work in a whole new way: More efficient, connected and mobile. All of the Apps sell for $9.99 each and can be found on the Android Marketplace as well as the iTunes app Store.
The Future for the Tablet and E-Book Reader Market
The future for tablets is great. Touch technology has enabled us to create and use technology in new mobile ways. The tablet is game-changing technology and every small business owner should consider ways to streamline their operations with these advances.
Pew Research Study: http://pewresearch.org/pubs/2176/tablet-computers-ebook-readers
Check the Adobe Touch Apps out here: http://www.adobe.com/products/touchapps.html?promoid=JFQGR
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