Apple is winning in on-demand film, further vindication for Steve Jobs

Apple is set to become the biggest provider of on-demand films in the US by the end of 2014 according to research firm Screen Digest.

Through its iTunes store it will overtake the second-placed company Time Warner by the end of this year with sales of $280m and market leader Comcast in 2014, with sales of $470m against Comcast’s $400m.

If this is the case it will be a further vindication of Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ stubbornly-held belief that the secret of success is to own the hardware and the software, a belief that got him chucked out of the company in the 1980s when Microsoft-style software licensing seemed (to just about everyone but him) to be the winning formula.

Having successfully launched his iAds mobile service and with sales of the new iPhone 4 surging through two million in a week, the only cloud on the horizon for Jobs and Apple seem to be fears that at this rate Apple will soon control the media world as well as the gadget market.

With iAds, for example, the company is effectively media owner and agency although it does return 60 per cent of proceeds to app developers.

But Jobs is determined to keep other mobile ad systems, like Google’s, off his devices and this has already led to investigations in the US.

Apple, which is already the second-largest company in the US by market value behind oil giant Exxon Mobil (and ahead of Microsoft although Apple still makes less profit) is beginning to look like the Standard Oil of modern media.

If Jobs looks up Wikipedia’s entries on the ‘seven sisters’ and president Theodore Roosevelt it would give him something else to think about.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.