Forrester Research announces the death of Apple’s iTunes Store – again (Apple doesn’t need NBC)

“Forrester Research seems to be working hard to publish the demise of iTunes. Curiously, the better iTunes does, the more Forrester researchers ratchet up the alarmist fear-mongering. Comparing the increasingly shill reports of doom for iTunes with actual sales data makes for an entertaining look at the nature of sensational reporting masquerading as independent research and analysis,” Daniel Eran Dilger reports for RoughyDrafted.

The latest Forrester dimwit (spouting a lot of hooey about NBC Universal and iTunes Store) is James McQuivey who get roasted quite nicely by Dilger in the full article here.

NBC needs Apple more than Apple needs NBC, but neither need each other very much, yet, so it’ll probably take some time for a deal to be resolved. For now, Apple’s out about $20 million and NBC is out around $50 million while this epic standoff continues (italics indicate sarcasm). Seriously, Steve Jobs vs. the likes of a Jeff Zucker is like pitting a speeding locomotive vs. damp dish rag. There’s no drama in a forgone conclusion, despite what assorted Forrester bumpkins dream up.

In the meantime, NBC can flame out with a succession of Windows-only, forced-ad-viewing online video schemes and Apple can continue installing video-capable iPods, iPhones, Mac portables, and iTunes software into the market by the tens of millions each quarter. By the way, as far as we can tell and only theoretically, of course, BitTorrented NBC shows play just fine on iPods, iPhones, and Macs (unlike NBC’s Apple-exclusionary ventures). Zucker or whomever is in charge of NBC at the time (Jeffie might soon be taking his long overdue golden parachute jump) can come crawling back to Steve Jobs when and if NBC finally figures it all out.

29 Comments

  1. I honestly think everyone’s looking at this the wrong way. What I think is coming, or should be if it isn’t, is a marketplace of hardware that accesses a market place of content. IOW, aTV should be able to access NBC.com just the way it portals to YouTube. It should go to sites like Joost, and Vongo. If you have a Netflix membership, you could access their growing streaming rental catalog. but if you want blockbusters, you can do that to. This keeps competition working the way it should on both ends. Content on one, hardware manufactures on the other. iTunes video should be mostly rentals, but if you want to buy and download, then studios can set their prices. As long as there are plenty of places to find content, the market will work for the publics good.

  2. Well the new Amazon DRM-free MP3 thingy certainly isnt competition. It’s so confusing and badly designed, even I who is willing to try another service just basically gave up on it after a few minutes of browsing.

    Amazing how Apple has made the template and people still can’t copy it. eMusic.com is probably about the next best thing.

  3. I agree derelict. It is such a disappointment that the Apple TV won’t do any of this even though it probably has the capability. I would buy it in a second if it could hook up to stuff like Joost.

  4. Apple makes much more of its profit from selling iPods (and iPhones) than from the iTunes Store. Therefore, the iTunes Store, while profitable, is more of a means of selling more Apple hardware. NBC Universal makes it profit from selling content. THAT is the primary difference that defines this competition.

    Apple wants to make it as inexpensive and simple as possible for consumers to obtain content. iTunes software and Store fits the bill perfectly, and helps sell more hardware. NBC Universal, on the other hand, wants to charge as much as possible for consumers to obtain content, or make it more complicated through “free” schemes with strings attached. Since Apple defines and controls the market for the devices that play the content, and consumers generally want to pay less for content to play on that hardware, Apple will obviously win this battle.

  5. The loss of NBC will cause a modest dip in iTunes revenues. Worst case, none of the purchases will convert to replacements. This is unlikely to “lead to the death” of iTunes as iTunes, and only iTunes, feeds the vast army of iPods out there laughing at the antics of the “iPod killers”.
    Both iTunes and the iPod family initially gained market share because they were “from Apple”. That alone lasted them until it became obvious they were also “better than the rest”, which was how they won the bulk of the Windows market. They are still better than the rest despite millions spent to change that status. I don’t see how the loss of any one, or group, of content providers is going to change that. NBC will learn that a bigger share of a much smaller cookie is NOT always “more cookie”. They are greed-driven and will return once their experiment is over. Or not … who cares!
    Dave

  6. Well lets see, I don’t own a TV, the ONLY way I watch tv shows is to download them from iTunes. Basically, if I don’t see it on iTunes I have NO IDEA it even exists. I am a pretty big buyer of Books and Kids shows and movies on iTunes. I can easily live without NBC. Cya……

  7. I think the loss of NBC really is bad for Apple. Apple wants to remake the way people watch TV in the way it remade music with the iPod. SJ calling AppleTV a “hobby” is a serious mis-direction play. Apple wants their style of TV delivery to become the de facto standard, but they’re just not doing the job right now, for a bunch of reasons:

    1. No subscriptions
    2. NBC pulls out
    3. Other providers giving a compelling alternative. For example, on ABC.com, you can watch yesterday’s episodes for free with very few commercials. And in HD! Granted, it’s still on the computer, but it’s just as good a viewing experience, perhaps better, and it’s free.

    Unless Apple drops a bomb and provides HD and subscriptions in early 2008, I think they’re going to miss their chance to remake the video industry.

  8. Even if all the “paid for” content was eliminated from iTunes and it was replaced with free content (podcasts, etc) Apple would still have legitimacy for selling hardware (i.e. appeasing the RIAA) which is the real reason for iTunes existence.

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  9. @ hairbo,

    There are no compelling alternatives. I want video on my HDTV. 13″ to 24″ computer screens won’t cut it. I can just see my family huddled around the computer watching TV. Not!

    Apple TV does not have subscriptions because The Studios are afraid of Apple getting too powerful. NBC is afraid of Apple as well.

    Once everyone has failed at teaming up with Microsoft and doing it themselves, they will come back to Apple and do it Apple’s way. It should only take a year or two.

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