Business is about numbers. Revenue and profits. Expenses and personnel. And customers. Once a company has a very large number of customers– or, in the case of Google and Facebook, users– those numbers take on a significant value.
Google is an advertising company but it also sells hardware, though not very well. Why? Google wants to take advantage of those few billion users and turn them into customers that pay, not users that get used.
The world has grown increasingly fragmented, and it’s not just rich vs. everybody else, or developed nations vs. less developed nations, or rich politicians vs. those who serve for the greater good. Fragmentation is everywhere, and especially in content.
People have more choices today than at any time in history. Choices to do good or bad. Choices in education. Choices in entertainment and information. Choices on how to access the world.
Apple has about 1.5-billion devices on planet earth and well over 1-billion paying customers. The company has brand loyalty and wherever business segment Apple plays, it tends to dominate revenue and profits, and guide the industry in its own image.
Content is the new craze and it’s everywhere from Disney and Netflix, to Amazon and Google, and 100-million websites, nearly a million Podcasts, a booming number of internet radio stations, more than a billion YouTube viewers watching 5-billion videos a day.
That’s why Apple is getting deeper into the content business.
To be fair, Apple has been about content for a long time. The original iTunes Music Store was about content– music– and the move to TV shows and movies was natural; especially so because the customer base continued to grow under iPod, then iPhone and iPad.
Numbers matter. Big numbers matter even more.
With more than 1-billion customers and 1.5-billion devices on the planet, Apple did not really have a choice but to expand content offerings beyond the basics. Original content has helped to put Amazon and Netflix on a par with Hollywood movie moguls and it is likely that members of the traditional movie making business have lobbied Apple for a few years to invest in content specific for Apple’s customers.
Maybe Oprah said it best.
They’re in a billion pockets, y’all. A billion pockets.
Numbers matter. Apple has some big numbers.