I just read a great MG Siegler blog post that simply explains the key to Apple’s success and the reason HBO is probably making a huge mistake by not allowing people to subscribe to it directly without a cable company serving as a middle man.
Here’s how Siegler explains the secret to Apple’s success:
“But this is what Apple does. And again, a big part of why they win. The iPhone came along and ate into Apple’s one-time largest business, the iPod. And now the iPad is busy cannibalizing Mac sales. And the iPad mini may cannibalize some iPad sales. This would look like a nightmare scenario to just about any other company in the world. But to Apple, it looks like progress. Because that’s exactly what it is.”
By contrast, here’s his take on HBO.
“The math is not in favor of selling HBO access directly to consumers. But if we’re just thinking about this from a pure product perspective, I don’t think anyone would disagree that this is what we all want. HBO is choosing not to build the service we will love, they’re choosing the short-term money. The safe bet. The math.
But if they don’t diverge from this path, it will lead to their demise. Innovation always beats math, eventually. That, you can take to the bank.”
I couldn’t agree more.