When Steve Jobs introduced the new Apple TV he said something in his comments that really pissed me off. In fact the way he said it, reminded me of individuals that thinks their opinion on all things is superior to others you know the type.
For the past 6 years new media, and podcasting has changed the landscape forever on how media is being consumed and what is available to consumers today. In 2004-2005 no one knew what a podcast was. By early 2006 there were 10′s of thousands of shows being created out of studio’s, spare bedrooms, lofts and garages reaching audiences that were desperate for targeted content that had value.
The podcast evolution delivers millions of hours of content to consumers worldwide each month. Looking back I do not know how many of the core group of podcasters that started in 2004 are still creating content, but they deserve a footnote in the history books, podcasting and new media has simply changed the world and continues to push boundaries.
Since 2004 Content Creators and Consumers have had a pretty level playing field via the Internet, with devices like the Roku & Boxee creating more distribution opportunities we continue to make inroads into big medias turf. Yet the big purse strings that media controls, have resulted in them working like crazy to negate the impact user generated content has had. Which leads me to ask the following, it should be noted that Apple was not bad mouthing new media when they added it to iTunes in 2005. They were not bad mouthing new media when we helped drive sales to their iPods to make them an industry powerhouse. They were not bad mouthing new media when show producers like me introduced video to help drive sales to the iTouch and iPhone.
Yet Steve Jobs had the balls to say this during the introduction of the Apple TV. Mr. Jobs claimed that people want “Hollywood movies and TV shows,” and he added that “they don’t want amateur hour.” I obviously disagree.
When I heard that my first thought was WTF. The more I have thought about this it is obvious to me that the new Apple TV has been made for one thing, and one thing only and that is to make them a bunch of money. Through the rental of movies and TV shows. I am not against a company making money, but I am disappointed in the approach and attitude displayed at the announcement. Yet they did not remove the podcast link, it will be sometime to determine how the new cloud integration will work, my hope is a lot of new media is consumer through the device. The question that remains is why did Steve Jobs have to refer to independent content creators in such a negative way?
I am one of the lucky ones, only a small percentage of my audience listens and watches my show through iTunes, they are tech savvy and know how get the show on over 200 different devices. But what happens when Steve Jobs words influence Microsoft, and others who then start removing support for new media from their devices. While I doubt this will happen, his comments set the seed
Millions of dollars in venture capital, millions of dollars in stock offerings, and a huge amount sweat equity have been invested in what Steve Jobs refers to as “amateur hour”. While not all companies and media creators have survived, some have, my show is profitable, and completely independent. The new media company that I run is fortunately profitable. Their are a couple of companies that are in a lot of trouble, but nothing comes easy in this space. We are fighting the establishment for advertising dollars, and many companies have refused to advertise in new media. Comments like Jobs create doubts about the viability of the media, which if the truth be known on the effectiveness of new media advertising, those same advertisers would be lining up to get a piece of the action
This all boils down to one thing, Steve Jobs was willing to bite the hand that feeds him. If this leads to the removal of new media from Apple devices there will be hell to pay. One thing for sure, how successful he is with the Apple TV is going to depend on how well the can compete with other companies that are embracing the space. Maybe this is all for mute because he considers Apple TV a Hobby and is willing to leave us behind.