Mr.Steve Jobs once again took to the stage last night at another of Apple’s infamous press launches. Job’s revealed new features to the Apple music interface that are sure to get other social networks to stand-up and take notice.
The new software update will push Apple towards a real Social Network player
“This is a social network all about music”, Steve jobs said. I am sure i’ve heard that before ? Myspace anyone? A pretty big blow for the ‘original’ music social network ? Or, a big kick up that ass that could ultimately improve their business ? Combine or compete ? Take on Facebook ?
That said, back to what Jobs actually had to say yesterday; “It’s Facebook meets Twitter meets iTunes,” Jobs added as he explained Ping was a tool to help its 160 million iTunes customers to discover new music. That’s not a bad place to start when looking to expand your business into the lucrative social network market.
PING. No not BING, But PING. That is the code name that Apple have adopted for this new social experience. It will allow you to ‘ Follow ‘ artists and friends much in the same way users do with Twitter. Any actions by the users / artist will then feed/ping into the group of followers . Job’s went on to mention that all these actions have easy-to-use privacy settings to ensure users are in control of the flow of their information.
A lot of this technology is said to be derived from the LaLa acquisition last year. At the time Steve Dowling from Apple mentioned: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not comment on our purpose or plan.”
This step also got me thinking about the social affiliate programme ‘Blippy’. Apple have been quite cunning here, as by creating a network within it’s on platform that have effectively countered any intrusion from 3rd parties potentially taking revenue. An Apple network means that any music/ film suggestions users / artists may have are facilitated by Apple and any purchase is via Apple (holistically) .
That brings me nicely onto the subject of film. As if music wasn’t enough, the lucrative film market is something Apple see as another huge source of revenue as part of its entertainment service. The Apple TV is a product that has been around for a while, but it will now be @ $99 cheaper and only allow users to rent films via Netflix. Not sure if this will be as revolutionary as the update to iTunes but is most probably an area Apple are testing before going full hog. The problem for Apple is that most Apple products do not take the primary ‘screen’ slot in households. Yes, there are Apple ‘screens’ in many guises; be that iPod, iPad, iBook, iMac , or iPhone, But none have quite stolen the mecca that is the living room TV set. It is still the central screen for households throughout the world, and it will be interesting to see how this relationship with Apple evolves. Do Apple even need to bother about this area ? People will just watch films / tv shows through laptops , Why do consumers need to buy an Apple TV set ? An interesting area to keep tabs on.
Could go on and on about the potential here, and no doubt others will, but it will be fascinating to see how ‘open’ this Apple Ping world becomes and what the reaction will be from other social big guns.
Top it all off, They wheeled out Chris Martin from Coldplay for a bit of a sing-song