An article in today’s ReadWriteWeb prompted me to consider the possibility that all media which we consume could follow a service model like Netflix. What if Amazon decided to charge a monthly flat fee for a certain number of books? $10 for 4 books per month or something. Audible does this with audio books. It’s prohibitively expensive with Audible ($20/month for 1 book, I think), but they have to pay publishers and authors AND voice talent and production. Give an author a bottle of scotch and a $400 advance and they’ll write you a masterpiece (ref: Charles Bukowski). Audio books have a lot bigger food chain so they are more expensive by nature. Anyway, Audible is irrelevant for this (you can read a book a lot faster than listen to it). The real advantage that elevates Amazon above the competition is their amazingly broad distribution channel, which puts them in a nice position to offer services really cheap. If I’m an author and I can make $5 on each of 10,000 sold books or $1 off 100,000 sold books, I’m going to pick #2. Now imagine I can completely circumvent publishers because I distribute electronically only. I sell less, but make more … now I make $12 on each of 10,000 sold books. Amazon has the kind of reach to allow an author that sort of opportunity.
I’m sure Amazon considered this and then threw it out the window … but with a few recently successful service launches, the dynamic has changed. Amazon could combine their streaming movies, cloud drive (for storing music), android app store, and excellent mp3 store — many of which have just been released to the world. All of Amazon’s services are very solid, so along with books, they could just offer a flat monthly fee for the whole thing. Essentially, “media as a commodity”.
I’d pay $50/month for books, streamed movies, music, and 5 apps. And if the delivery systems were as seamless as the mp3 store OR the ebook to the kindle, they’d have an exceptional system. Amazon is already a primary destination for product purchases, so it amazes me that they have not yet made the leap to service provider. An author will make less per sale, but they are selling more units. If I am paying $50/month for any number of books, I am going to read (and toss) tons of them. Same with movies and music.
There’s been quite a bit of buzz around HTML5 and what it means for founders, project architects, and web developers. Relevance of HTML5 has be fueled by (1) rapid browser adoption of the as-yet-to-be-finalized standard and (2) the huge implications of media delivery through the video, audio, and object tags. HTML5 is a good thing, no matter how you slice it.
The revolutionary impact that HTML5 will make will be at the mobile browser level, especially for content delivery. This goes way beyond having your YouTube videos and movie trailers load and render way faster. No, this is a new application delivery system that moves us a little closer toward using the web as the OS. It definitely moves apps off the device and into the cloud.
If you need industry reinforcement of this trend, look no further than Disney’s recent acquisition of Rocket Pack for the usual 20 million. Rocket Pack is an platform for building and delivering games that is rendered through HTML5. In fact, in that small arena, they are the massive industry leader. It’s a real bleeding edge acquisition for a behemoth like Disney, but it’s a big picture move. [The tech "behind" the tech, so to speak.]
All of a sudden you can play standard def graphic games (comparable to a Wii) directly in your phone’s browser without Flash! Realtime and networked, no less. Despite my reliance on sunblock to setp outdoors, I’m no gamer, but, on the tech level … wow. So for all you biz people that are concerned with applications, there’s an under-exploited (for now) technology in HTML5 called Web Storage. This will essentially allow instant data manipulation, similar to working with a local database, but over the web. This is achieved by dynamically caching large chunks of data using a really huge cookie.
This caching serves the double purpose of speeding up your data interactions AND allowing you to use data-intensive apps across spotty mobile networks. Imagine having a local copy of your entire Salesforce CRM sitting on your phone. Oh, it’ll be encrypted, of course. Now when you are at a client’s site just before a meeting searching for an old proposal, it’ll take a few seconds to view, rather than a couple of minutes. This tech will greatly accelerate sort, indexing, and searching data on low power devices. I really like the possibilities and I’ll expound more in the future.
Android shall rule them all
It was a scary leap to hop the Android bandwagon with a minimum of research. I am, however, happy to report that I’ve successfully made the big transition from Blackberry to Android. Fear not, my friends! Previously, like many business-ish people, I thought Dockers and a Blackberry made the man. In fact, both suck. Dockers make me look fat(ter) and Blackberries make the web look like crap and really make the whole experience of using a phone about as exciting as using a toaster. Function without any sort of flashiness is just so … Dockers. I don’t understand why a business phone (i.e. compatible with [s]Exchange and Outlook) must mean an un-fun phone. Android and iPhone are both great platforms and are both fully capable of being enterprise-worthy. Naturally, you have to do a little tweaking. I’ll list the steps to make Android a business beast in a future post.
For now, if you are considering an Android for your phone and you think it won’t handle your calendar and meeting invites, you can happily reverse that line of thought.
- VPN works
- Remote Desktop works
- Every app you can imagine
- Remote wipe and monitoring
- Flash and Adobe Air support
- Exchange and Outlook synchronization
Also, Google seems to releases major updates to the Android OS roughly twice as often as Apple. I’m getting exceptional data and voice service through T-Mobile. Incidentally, I have an HTC G2 from T-Mobile. See below:
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topLingo took on a web project that most other web providers would not touch based on timing and cost. They not only stepped up and took on the project, but kept costs under control for a custom & rush development situation. With strong leaders and ...