Ian Singleton


Posted in Uncategorized by iansingleton on January 27, 2010

I’m writing this about three hours before Steve Jobs is due to launch the iPad or iSlate or whatever it’s called.

While the press has been full of speculation about the hardware, there’s been an equal amount of speculation about what the iPhone and its bigger-screened brother mean for the content industries.

There’s talk – for instance, in this article in Wired – that it will prompt a new industry of developers. And my inbox now contains messages about how I can learn to market my app or develop it better.

And the minute I saw this book, I was reminded of the story of Joseph Kennedy’s shoeshine boy.

There’s this comment which was made on Techcrunch

I am a developer and I have been wondering for years now when we were finally going to merge all the quality content (mostly stuck in old media) and all the superior delivery forms the web has spawned. As to what you posit:

“Many of these things could be done were this content converted to a rich webpage, but up until now there hasn’t been much benefit to doing so because there was no way to comfortably consume it.”

I completely agree but would just change this statement to say “…there was no way to comfortably consume or profit from it.”

So, now here is the model that makes it worth doing – content as paid applications. Apple has gotten everyone much more comfortable paying for apps with the IPhone. And books (especially textbooks) are so expensive that consumers will have a much easier time paying for that content in a vastly more immersive form and engaging form. Plus, unlike subscriptions and paywalls, the consumer gets something physical(ish) – the application.

I think the best part of this will be for self-publishers though. Any author/content creator will be able to hire a developer to build a nice application around their content for a small fraction of what it would cost to self-publish in traditional forms. I would especially expect to see established authors who won’t need to do a ton of marketing becoming their own content production companies.

Finally, this will give rise to a new breed of content-creator which will be a author-designer-photographer-researcher-etc-etc hybrid which is already where we have been heading with the web. This should just accelerate that.”

My own experience from icanplayit is that the content industry is unbelievably tough. So Boddd is conceived not as a get rich quick scheme but as an app which will be genuinely useful – to me.


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