iPad is coming, but where are the content deals?
The Wall Street Journal reports that, with the iPad arriving in stores and on doorsteps in just a few weeks, Apple is still "scrambling" to secure content deals for their magical and revolutionary new device. Why?
Apple hasn't yet reached a deal with many major TV producers on the price cut, these people said. Some are concerned a price cut could hurt their existing businesses, these people said, including jeopardizing the tens of billions of dollars in subscription fees they are paid by cable and satellite companies for their traditional TV networks.
At the same time, some magazine and newspaper publishers said they are hamstrung by several factors that could delay the apps they are developing for the iPad from being ready by the time of the device's release.
iBooks is the exception, but is it because book publishers are smarter, more desperate for the digital age, or just softened by existing devices like the Kindle? 9to5Mac provides our favorite answer to why TV and other companies aren't racing to embrace the iPad: they're self-destructively crazy (via the Viacom vs. Youtube lawsuit):
For years, Viacom continuously and secretly uploaded its content to YouTube, even while publicly complaining about its presence there. It hired no fewer than 18 different marketing agencies to upload its content to the site. It deliberately "roughed up" the videos to make them look stolen or leaked. It opened YouTube accounts using phony email addresses. It even sent employees to Kinko's to upload clips from computers that couldn't be traced to Viacom. And in an effort to promote its own shows, as a matter of company policy Viacom routinely left up clips from shows that had been uploaded to YouTube by ordinary users. Executives as high up as the president of Comedy Central and the head of MTV Networks felt "very strongly" that clips from shows like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report should remain on YouTube.
Viacom's efforts to disguise its promotional use of YouTube worked so well that even its own employees could not keep track of everything it was posting or leaving up on the site. As a result, on countless occasions Viacom demanded the removal of clips that it had uploaded to YouTube, only to return later to sheepishly ask for their reinstatement. In fact, some of the very clips that Viacom is suing us over were actually uploaded by Viacom itself.
Dear Hollywood, hire some young, new-media savvy executives, sign deals with Apple, Google, Microsoft, etc. Give us your content, your TV shows, movies, magazines, newspapers, comic books, and everything else at a fair price and under fair terms, and we'll give you our money with ridiculous abandon. Everyone will be happy. B'okay?