Last week Samsung presented their new “iTunes-killer” and they go… I think I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard that Sony, Samsung, Nokia, Amazon, Microsoft or any other big company that comes to mind right now, is going to bring out a competitor for the iTunes Store and that logically (of course) it’s far superior and with better offers.
But let’s do the math. The success of the iTunes Store has long since stopped being a nice program, a good interface, or a good price. The success of the iTunes Store has long been based on only one thing: the 375 million devices that Apple has sold between the iPhone and iPod and iPad (adding up to pre-IOS models) .
Do we need to make it any clearer? As if this wasn’t enough, associated with those 375 million computers is a computer using iTunes and a few million more that don’t have a company mp3 player. Better features? Better prices? More accessible? All that has been put on the back burner, the market created by Apple is so huge that no company can afford it right now.
To think that for a company to sell more than 100 million pieces of equipment of a product is already considered a success on a very large scale, in fact there are very few devices that have achieved this. If we add up all the Apple computers sold since 2001, we see that there are almost four times that number of units.
The figures are astronomical and as I say for the third time in this entry, it’s been a while since the iTunes Store stopped being a simple whim and a store that fights with another store just like that.
The problem is that companies rely on their creations, that is, their devices to create stores around them. This is understandable, given Apple’s success, the logical thing to do is to try to imitate them. The problem comes when that device hardly reaches, to say the least, 1 million sales, a figure that is considered to be of some success. The store’s target audience is extremely small compared to Apple’s.
But there’s still hope, there’s still hope for the companies that still think they can steal some of the pie from Apple. Amazon is from my point of view the only company that is thinking right and thinking about its strategy .
What is the secret of Amazon’s success? A very simple one, not depending on the hardware. Since at this point nobody can compete with the infinite market of Apple-created equipment, the trick is to generate and sell content compatible with them and at the same time with any other device .
A platform open to any company, brand, model, operating system and device. While Apple only allows you to watch and buy one chapter at 99 cents from iTunes or a compatible device. Amazon allows any user to buy at the same price, the same chapter and on top of that to see it on any computer without depending on a closed model.
Is it the future? Competing against Apple in this sector has become more of a whimsy than a reality, although I think the path followed by Amazon is the right one.
Any company that tries to match Apple and copy its hardware+software based business model is going to fail, since at this point it is very difficult to match the number of units of the company on the block.
However, examples of stores like Amazon, open and unrestricted, have much more future because they do not depend on any specific support.