September 3, 2010

To the Fairest

Filed under: internet,marketing,music — Erik Dobberkau @ 10:50

When Eris, the goddess of strife in Greek mythology, was not invited to the wedding of Peleus and Thetis, she took revenge by inscribing the words “to the Fairest” on a golden apple and rolling it into the proceedings, which lead to an argument between the gods, resulting in the Troyan War — hence the name apple of discord (read the long version here).

So you might have guessed it, this post is about Ping, or rather about the posts about Ping. The usual suspects have been writing about this already (as they should), but what struck me quite surprisingly was that all of them were disappointed by the social networking capabilities of the new iTunes feature. After all, that’s what it is. The misunderstanding I’m sensing here is that people were expecting a Facebook or Twitter Killer App. Guess what, it’s not. It’s not even intended to be. It’s a well-thought idea to sell more stuff by having people promote what they like. It’s the opportunity of having a conversation or building a tribe right in the marketplace — you can’t go any closer. VentureBeat says this feature might well extend to books, movies and apps too. I wonder why Apple didn’t make it so straight away, because the adoption curve doesn’t change.

But what if it doesn’t work? So what? To all who forgot, Apple doesn’t depend on Ping’s success. FastCompany compared this to Google Buzz, which started out with a similar user base (160 million) and still wasn’t a huge success.

Sidebar: FastCompany also writes
“But, once again, Apple is living just a little bit in the future. If it didn’t deliver a signature element of risk in its new product launches, well, it’d be Sony.”
That’s what it looks like. Yet Sony, at its core, is still a lot like Apple. When founded about 65 years ago, they only succeeded because of their persistent belief in transistor technology (and engineering genius, of course), just the way Apple do with their products.

The people who really depend on it (some more than others) are the musicians. Independent artists on CD Baby are worried if Apple will give them access to their album pages so they can use this new opportunity. I’m curious to see how much time Apple will give to its new idea before its declared success or failure.

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