The players in the set-top box space are few and far between. Oh what a missed opportunity, but there are many more to come.
Apple TV has been a pretty modest success when you compare it to some of Apple’s other products, but with 20 million units sold, the product has clearly captured consumer attention. Tonight at the CODE Conference, Apple SVP Eddy Cue said the Apple TV will continue to evolve as the company seeks to improve upon today’s TV experience.
Sales on Apple TV topped $1 billion last year, and Cue said it will be even bigger in fiscal 2014. And the company will continue to update the product as a way to improve the user experience for consumers.
Cue noted that the company had added a lot of new content to the Apple TV, and has tied more of its content to iCloud, like user photos.
When trying to explain the reason for the interest in TV, Cue said that it’s because the TV user experience is so bad. In particular…
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Apple is playing for keeps when they expand their content licenses and applications to other platforms; they are clearly in the music/video business as an end-to-end provider outside their hardware eco-system. Other companies whether hardware/software/or content providers can compete with a complete ecosystem. Apple will make their devices have the best experience – how can Rdio, Spotify, Samsung, HBO, compete even if they all partner. They can’t.
Apple became something more with the Beats acquisition today – a multi-mobile platform developer at least for the time being. The company will continue to operate Beats Music on Android and Windows Phone, Apple CEO Tim Cook tells The Financial Times’ Tim Bradshaw following the acquisition.
While Apple has offered iTunes for Windows in the past, this marks the first time that an app it runs, even through a subsidiary, will be available on a rival mobile OS. Apple says it’s “all about the music” when addressing this change of practice, and it marks a departure that could become very significant as we think about what this deal means for the future of digital media.
The Apple acquisition of Beats is said to be primarily about the streaming service, according to a source familiar with the deal, and the Beats brass team will be reporting to Eddy Cue, we’re told…
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The current Kickstarter campaign by Scrubs’ Zach Braff, Wish I Was Here, is a rocket success. At the time of writing, it has hit $1.5 million and 20,000 backers. (http://kck.st/11F6V1Z).
They’ve reached their $2 million goal in a month, and it’s great! Great for customers, “friends and family” supporters, and also really great for Mr. Braff, allowing him to keep creative control of his work.
At the same time, though, this approach to fund raising and the JOBS Act create various pros and cons for equity-based crowdsourcing.
The Kickstarter fund raising path is all about promising the customer a product both during and after the path of the project’s development.
The customers of Mr. Braff’s movie get value in a somewhat unconventional fashion but it is value that they willingly accepted, knowing the conditions of the product at the sale. Pledging $5,000 to attend the premiere and have Mr. Braff’s hand on your leg is a steal. Not including the t-shirt, art prints, sound track, weekly playlists, Production diary, and the script.
Purchasing equity, though, you might find yourself being more critical and somewhat more concerned with what Mr. Braff is going to do to manage the money. You start wondering, well, why should there be t-shirts at all? What is Mr. Braff doing at a Premiere, potentially creating a sexual harassment liability? Why is he not working on casting Batman and wowing Asian fans?
Purchase equity and you’ll also have full expectation of transparency and future returns. When there is any deviation from the plan, heads will roll. And that changes the project forever…even when you disclose to shareholders that you are absolutely maintaining complete creative control.
And right now, Mr. Braff certainly does have complete creative control, complete decision-making. It makes all the difference.
Since the passing of the JOBS Act, though, the SEC has been slow to sort out the rules. According to numerous articles (http://politi.co/10fl2Ha), the whole thing is a “giant mess” (actually, those were the words of a congressional aide, which says a lot in itself).
If the current SEC rules can’t spot fiduciary breaches, related party exchanges, or off-shore holdings, with the current regulations and reporting requirements, making crowd-sourcing a part of it, putting it under SEC scrutiny, would truly make an unbearable problem for the agency.
- Zach Braff’s Kickstarter Campaign: Wish We Were There, Too (fugitivecinema.com)
- Zach Braff Charms His Way to $2m on Kickstarter For New Film – Wish I Was Here (contactmusic.com)
- So Zach Braff raised a ton of money for his movie, and of course people on the internet are upset (shortformblog.com)
- More thoughts on why Zach Braff’s Kickstarter doesn’t suck (shortformblog.com)
- Zach Braff Hits $2 million Kickstarter Goal In 4 Days (variety.com)
- Zach Braff Raises $2M on Kickstarter (abcnews.go.com)
- Zach Braff raises over $1m via Kickstarter for new film (guardian.co.uk)
- Please Help Confirmed Rich Person Zach Braff Pay For His New Movie (celebuzz.com)