MLB.com chief Bob Bowman: For first rate digital content, look to Apple’s iPhone and iPad, not Android

Bob Bowman, who runs Major League Baseball Advanced Media, the digital business jointly owned by all of pro baseball’s teams spoke today with AllThingsD’s Peter Kafka.

“MLB.com boasts one of the most successful subscription businesses in digital media; last year, the company reported 1.5 million subscribers, and expects that number to hit 2 million this year,” Kafka reports. “So it’s worth listening to Bowman’s take on Apple vs. Android, his company’s recent Facebook experiment, and why mobile advertising is taking off.”

Peter Kafka: You’ve complained publicly before about the difficulty in supporting multiple flavors of Android for your apps. But this year you’ve expanded the number of Android handsets you’re supporting from 6 to 11. Did you ever consider not working with Android at all?

Bob Bowman: The short answer is no. But what we have done is that we don’t support every Android phone. Because at some point, it’s diminishing returns. The Android user typically is less likely to buy, and therefore the ROI on developing for Android is different than it is for Apple.

Peter Kafka:Why do you think an Android owner behaves differently than an iPhone owner?

Bob Bowman: The iPhone and iPad user is interested in buying content–that’s one of the reasons they bought the device. The Android buyer is different. It’s a great phone–make no mistake about it. But if you really want first rate digital content on a device, your first look will probably be an iPhone. And on the tablet, an iPad.

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Android is an OS, not a phone, so “it” can’t be a “great phone”; in other words which one, exactly, is so “great?” That said, this mythical generic Android phone is a “great phone” if you like to install trojans and other assorted malware, risking your personal information, after-thought apps, rampant fragmentation, patent infringement, poor approximations of Apple products and services, and, most of all, if you’re cheap. Otherwise, get an iPhone.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

Related article:
MLB.com At Bat 11 released with free MLB.TV trial on Apple iPad, iPhone, iPod touch – April 1, 2011

22 Comments

  1. But we need crappy Google phones with Android!
    Competition is always good!
    We need Acer tablets with windows 7!
    Dell streak!
    We need this crap!
    Its good for consumers to get to choose crap!
    Competition is good!
    Without a choice of rubbishy tech products, Al Quaeda will take over our world and teach our kids to be Muslims!
    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!

    1. Ignorance in tech may be forgivable but Derek shows his ignorance in life by the way he mentions religion as if it was a negative outcome of tech ignorance.

      Consider studying the worlds great religions and their aim to help mankind progress towards peace. Both Tech and religion can be used to harm mankind but they are more suited for the betterment of the world.

      1. I’m sorry, I know this is not a blog to discuss religion, but I can’t let you get away with that platitude. Christianity and Islam do not have as their aim to help mankind progress towards peace.

        Jesus did not come to bring peace, He came to pay the sacrifice for sin.

        Muhammed’s main goal was the supremacy of Islam over all infidel religions, through Jihad or whatever means necessary.

        1. Sin merely means missing the mark, i.e., not acting in loving ways, all ways. Jesus is here to wake us up from fear, shadows and the illusionary self-created separation from God. Still asleep? Better luck next life… Namaste. 🙂

      2. First, wrong forum for this type of post. Second, you presented an overly idealistic and inaccurate description of the majority of organized religions.

        At their core, organized religions typically emphasize propagating the “one and only true faith.” Supremacy in this contest between religions confers power and wealth to those who run the religions. I have no need for religion. Many may disagree with me, but I have no need for them, either.

        “A delusion held by one person is a mental illness, held by a few is a cult, held by many is a religion.”
        — Robert Todd Carroll, American author

  2. MLB has always gotten it. They’ve been there from the beginning with a great app. Their $15 charge is much more than most, but the app is so well done it’s worth the premium price.

    1. He’s just trying to point out that Android users are cheapskates and never want to pay full price for anything. I’m not sure why any developers are writing apps for Android. Android fanbois are always saying that they’d rather play free Flash games than games properly designed for their devices.

      I’m sure Android is good for consumers that want more bang for their buck, but as far as it being a financially sound platform, I’m just not so sure about that. I’d really be amazed that developers can build quality apps for so many various types of Android smartphones with multiple UIs, OS versions and hardware. I always thought that was one of the problems of Wintel PCs where customers had to configure their computers for various games and applications.

      There’s one thing for certain when it comes to developing apps for iOS users is that those consumers using the iOS platform are willing to spend money for quality.

  3. I’m sorry, I know this is not a blog to discuss religion, but I can’t let you get away with that platitude. Christianity and Islam do not have as their aim to help mankind progress towards peace. That is an impossible philosophical chimera.

    Jesus did not come to bring peace, He came to pay the sacrifice for sin.

    Muhammed’s main goal was the supremacy of Islam over all infidel religions, through Jihad or whatever means necessary.

  4. Meanwhile, the MLB app is $14.99 for the iphone, another $14.99 if you have an ipad, $199 for a yearly subscription, and you STILL HAVE TO WATCH THE SAME VOLVO SLIDESHOW ADD OVER AND OVER AND OVER in between innings. What’s the deal MLB.TV? A subscription and you still have to subject us to 18 versions of the same two minute soundless volvo add?

    Ok, rant over. I feel better.

  5. @ John

    And John, there are not any “Christian” people who want their form of religion to dominate the world? There are not those Christian Fundamentalists who want their view of morality to dictate the laws of this land?

    Many of you Christians are on your own jihad. Take a look.

  6. I’d be happy to pay for MLB if I could watch the friggin Yankees in their home market!!! I grew up watching them for free on network television and refuse to pay $70 / month to get YES network. Why they don’t allow in market viewing is beyond my powers of comprehension!!

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