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This time around, the revolution will be streamed…

April 12, 2010

Don’t drink the water… there’s blood in the water. And it may belong to the cable companies.

Cable TV companies’ are always constrained by their capital costs (laying and maintaining all that cable). Apple has none of those worries.

Look, if you’ve been reading this blog, you probably think that I’m sort of Apply fanboy. I’m not. As pointed out, the only Apple device I own right now is a Nano.

You may think I have it in for cable companies, I don’t. Well, not really. Sure they get on my nerves from time-to-time but I really don’t have any plans to cancel my subscription… yet.

But as the article points out that although many have tried and failed at creating the online media portal, it is because the hardware hasn’t supported it.

The portals like Yahoo tried this. Their mistake? They didn’t make iPhones or iPads. Turns out, desktop and laptop computers and existing cell phones are lousy at consuming content. Everyone keeps running into the “lean forward lean back” problem. Computers are lean forward devices, but lousy entertainment machines. TVs are great to watch a movie on but lousy at doing email or web surfing.

The iPhone and probably the iPad are the first devices that truly solve this fundamental problem of media convergence. Probably because of their portability and touch screen, we are just as happy to do email and web surf as we are to lean back and watch a video or a movie with handheld, touch-screen devices.

Do I buy this argument? Well, a little. I don’t have a hardware-centric view of the media and entertainment universe. Sure, spiffy hardware makes life more fun, but it won’t single-handedly usher in the media revolution that will cause us all to cut our cable connections and move solely online.

Only one thing will do that, killer content. Hardware plays a role because it makes it easier to view content online. It makes people used to using a device to access the Internet for idle entertainment.

But that can only last so long. If the content isn’t compelling, than the iPad enabled portal experience will go the way of Yahoo!

But that won’t happen. Because out there, somewhere, there are a couple of bright sparks developing new forms of content specifically for Internet devices.

I don’t mean different apps or games that may be popular in certain circles, but ultimately have limited mainstream appeal.

No, I mean mainstream content. I mean some equivalent of Avatar, or American Idol, or Lady Gaga. Something that will come along, be only available via the Internet, and get A LOT of people hooked.

Maybe it will look like like TV/movies online. Maybe it will look like Tapulous or (egad) FarmVille. Or maybe it will look like something completely new.

We’ll know it when we see it, but not  until it hits us over the head. At that point it will seem obvious, if not inevitable, that such content needed to exist.

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