May 13, 2010
The App-Driven Internet
In Advantage Apple, Alan Kohler takes notice of potentially paradigm shifting changes that OS4, Apple's new iPhone operating system, may set into motion. OS4 will contain iAd, an an advertising platform that will allow app developers to put ads into their applications. Kohler writes
iAd is a direct assault on Google, or rather it completes the assault that began with the invention of the iPhone and continues with the iPad. Apps are simply a better and more reliable way to get content than the internet browsers on which Google relies.
If iAd will work on Apple iPads and presumption is that it will, "publishers will be able to replicate and then enhance their traditional business model – charging for the content and putting advertising with it – on two devices, one large and one small," writes Kohler. Correctly observing that "it turn[s] out to be very difficult for a content vendor to make a living selling material of any value in a browser on the Internet, distributed by Google" Kohler ads the "app store is now becoming much more analogous to the print distribution system" for content providers.
Good apps are expensive to make, it’s true, but they’re a lot cheaper than buying a printing press. ... And at least prices won’t have to be zero as they do with Google, and the publishing market will be able to find a new equilibrium that will support decent content.
As noted on LLB in Open Access in a Closed Universe: Thomson Reuter, Reed Elsevier, Wolters Kluwer and the Monetization Opportunities of Distribution Channels in the Legal Information Marketplace, one can expect an app-driven Internet will become be a lucrative distribution channel for legal publishers to market their products, perhaps even on an standing order or a subscription basis.
Apple is taking a big risk, however, in making it a closed system. The new OS4 tightens controls so application developers can use no third party tools and software – mainly designed to prevent them using Adobe’s Flash system. ... Jobs is once again betting that his fully integrated product design will prevail against an open platform.
That's just the sort of music legal publishers want to hear. It's not necessarily bad in and of itself. As previous mentioned in the above-linked LLB post:
While we might hope for the day when .txt is the new .mpg, when eText is DRM-free, it's more realistic to consider as something viable in the future semi-open access under a licensing model that allows law libraries to provide some form of limited duration eBook access to their user population.
Is the app-driven Internet the next stage in the trend where the ownership model is swapped for the licensing model? Wait and see...
Related LLB posts:
- Is the iPad Setting the Stage for the Wider Adoption of the Touch-Screen Interface?
- The Window of Opportunity for UI Development is Open: Who Will Create the Better Mouse-Trap for Using Secondary Legal Resources Online?