drag2share: The Real Reason Comcast Would Consider A Deal With Apple, Even If It Means Destroying Cable TV As We Know It (AAPL)
It’s not clear, though, why Comcast would want to dance with Apple.
Every other big media industry has been crushed by the Internet. The music industry is a shell of itself, the news industry is a shell of itself. The books industry is shrinking.
Even wireless carriers like AT&T that empowered Apple have been stung. They lost high margin text messaging revenue to apps like Whatsapp. They lost control of their customers to Apple. All that app revenue is going to Apple instead of them.
With that in mind, Comcast shouldn’t be in a hurry to team up with Apple. It operates a great business and has a healthy track record of protecting it against the kind of disruption and disintermediation that the internet has already performed upon the news, music and books business.
TV is ripe for that kind of creative destruction. TV has basically not changed since cable reached a majority of homes and became the main installed network for watching shows in the 1980s. And it’s still hugely profitable.
But it’s not all good in Comcast-land.
But most people do not know that the TV industry is in a long slow decline.
People are canceling their cable TV subs in the hundreds of thousands. This chart from One Touch Intelligence tracks net additions or losses of subscribers at Comcast, Time Warner, DirecTV, AT&T and Verizon and a bunch of other major TV providers. Overall, people are leaving TV.
Broadband internet service — which includes cable TV as a bundle — is picking up some of the slack, but not all of it. And as Charter Communications discovered recently, some users are abandoning broadband, too. (They’re probably migrating to free wifi.)
Comcast, naturally, is sensitive to this, and doesn’t want to be on the wrong side of Apple in the event that consumers demand a TV experience from Apple rather than their local cable company.
If Apple can deliver a great TV experience that keeps people hooked on paying for TV, then Comcast might be forced to work with Apple and hope for the best.
Look at this chart, and ask yourself: does Apple need TV more, or does TV need Apple more?
Pandora is the biggest music streaming service in the U.S. by a mile according to this chart from Statista based on data from Edison Research (.pdf). It’s an impressive feat for Pandora since Apple, Google, and Spotify have all been trying to beat Pandora with their own streaming services.
Here’s how big the iPhone is as a business, according to Bloomberg: If the iPhone were its own company, its revenues would be greater than Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola, Goldman Sachs, Google and Microsoft.
On its own, the iPhone is the ninth biggest stock in the Dow, and has bigger sales than 474 S&P 500 companies. (Apple sold 9 million new iPhone 5S’s and iPhone 5C’s just last weekend.)
A big part of those giant revenues come from margin, or course. ZDNet notes that up to 74% of the full price $849 iPhone 5S can be margin over the actual $218 cost it takes to build an iPhone.
You can read Bloomberg’s full story here, but here’s one of its charts showing iPhone’s revenues compared to other blue-chip companies:
App catalogs are flush with titles that allow users to play doctor, but according to the FDA, most of them are harmless and don’t warrant regulatory oversight. Instead, the agency has announced that it’ll take a more reactive, risk-based approach and will only require approval for mobile apps that “present a greater risk to patients if they do not work as intended.” Specifically, the FDA will scrutinize apps that perform the functions of regulated medical devices — such as an ECG monitor — along with those that are used as accessories to regulated medical equipment. As a telling statistic, only 100 mobile apps have received FDA clearance within the past decade, so imagine what would happen to the agency’s workload if it tried to exercise control over the Apple App Store and Google Play Store combined.
Apple sold 9 million iPhones over the weekend, a record for the company. To put it in context, we’ve charted out the company’s opening weekend sales since the iPhone 3G, which is the first time it announced opening weekend sales.
The big change for Apple this year was the introduction of the iPhone 5C, a colorful, plastic-cased iPhone. Apple didn’t break out what portion of iPhone sales were 5C, and what portion were 5S. It seems likely the new 5C model boosted sales.
In fact, during Q2, 6.2% of total online video ad views tracked occurred on an Apple device, compared to 2.4% on an Android device. In other words, iOS devices accounted for more than 70% share of mobile and tablet video ad views. And while the share of total ad views has been rising on both platforms, Apple’s growth has been more rapid (up from 2.4% in Q2 2012) than Android’s (up from 1.3%).
Looking at the full spectrum of non-desktop video ad views (not limited to just mobile phones and tablets), Apple devices still control a majority 62% share, split between iPhones (28.6%), iPads (27.3%) and iPods (5.8%). Android phones (21.8%) and tablets (2.3%) comprise about one-quarter of non-desktop video ad views, with OTT devices (such as gaming consoles and Roku) picking up the remaining 13.2% share.
Interestingly, the study results suggest that screen size and viewing behavior correlate. That is, iPad and OTT devices tend to follow more of a TV-style viewing, with roughly 45% of ad views on these devices occurring during long-form content. The corresponding percentage for PC/Macs and mobile phones is about 20%.
Apple iBeacon One-Ups NFC And Makes The Internet Of Things A Reality (GigaOM)
You might have missed iBeacon in Apple’s flurry of new announcements this week. Basically, iBeacon uses Bluetooth technology to connect iPhones to physical sensors. It has a much higher range than any NFC chips and NFC sensors, making it more appealing to retailers who can utilize it for mobile payments and in-store marketing
Comparing the latest figures to the Q2 average (ending in June), Apple’s gain was 0.5% points, while Android’s dip was 0.2% points.
Although Apple continues to hold the lead among smartphone manufacturers, Samsung has been enjoying some movement of late. Compared to the period ending in April, these latest figures show Samsung’s share up 2.1% points to 24.1%, still trailing Apple (40.4%) by a considerable margin of course.
HTC (-0.9% points to 8%), Motorola (-1.4% points to 6.9%) and LG (+0.1% points to 6.8%) are further behind.
The study also looks at mobile views by day of the week and time of day, with some intriguing results (all data limited to the US):
- The highest share of weekly mobile video ad views in the US was reserved for Thursdays (17%), followed by Fridays (15.3%), Saturdays (16.7%), and Sundays (14.9%), such that about half of views took place between Thursday and Saturday;
- Saturday accounted for a leading 22.4% of weekly views on Apple devices;
- Completion rates averaged 52.2% on the weekend versus 44.4% on weekdays;
- About one-quarter of daily tablet video ad views occur between 8PM and midnight;
- Smartphone video ad views decline slightly during those hours, but that’s a function of the behavior of iPhone users, as Android phone users actually watch 33.9% of their daily video ads during that time period.
Microsoft is paying $7 billion for Nokia’s handset business.
The two companies have been in a partnership since 2011. The first product of their partnership, the Nokia Lumia 900, was out in November of 2011.
In this chart, you can see how Microsoft’s share of the smartphone market has fared since it released that phone.
Microsoft remains stuck in a distant third with just 3.7% of the market, though it’s up from 1.5% when the Lumia launched.
Microsoft reportedly acquired Nokia because it was unhappy with the partnership. CEO Steve Ballmer thought Microsoft needed to completely control the smartphone branding. He thought that Microsoft and Nokia were wasting energy with two marketing plans.
Those might be problems, but really, they seem very small. The big problem for Microsoft is that its platform is at a disadvantage because it has fewer applications than Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android. It doesn’t offer anything that’s significantly better than those other platforms to make up for the lack of apps.
Owning Nokia does nothing to change that.
Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
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