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Mark, I agree with you on the big picture stuff (tactical execution, major online digital retailer, Jobs health) except for one thing.

Recommendations from the community is not new; Amazon made it "mainstream." Instead, I think Genius is Apple's attempt to demonstrate to the music labels that it is working to help them sell more music (and as well, the studios with regard to movies and shows).


One more comment: Apple used the event to position iPod touch also as a video game player heading into the Christmas season. The on-stage demos and TV ad emphasize that.

Mark Sigal

Hey Mark,

Good comments on both fronts. Part of the reason I think that this was a big deal was the combination of focus on a beachhead that Apple is runaway leader within and moving into a space that previously you thought first and only Amazon about (although plenty of others doing variants of recommendation services, Pandora being my fave in music arena).

I had not specifically focused on the game player aspect since it has been a rallying call from the get go, but you are no doubt right on that front.

The angle of showing media companies that they will sell more of their wares in the iTunes universe is certainly a big reason that NBC came back into the service.



i agreed with all your comments, particularly the need to show SJ
alive and well. the problem is that when it comes to apple, the bar is so high that expectation is always out of proportion to delivery. if their huge bucks are coming from laptops, and conversions thereto, i would have like to see a showing of the upgrades. hopefully they might do this in november.

Mark Sigal

Hi Joseph,

Believe me, as a shareholder in Apple, I am pre-wired to hope for stuff that juices the stock or AHA moments that get me even more pumped on the company, as I truly consider them without peer.

That said, I have been either a partner, customer or stakeholder in Apple's success dating back to 1993 so the one piece that I have been watching most is their ability to combine vision with execution.

Back in the days of yore, they would get distracted by new shiny objects and abandon the old ones, much to the dismay of customers and partners, which is part of the reason Microsoft was able to outflank them.

An event like this was more surgical than sexual, which given how much heavy breathing they have delivered in the past 18 months or so feels like an appropriate decision, as their opportunity is about more than marketing optics or playing to stock analysts, and I very much want them to realize their potential, as their rising tide will lift a lot of self-interested boats...mine included!




Well, I see I was not the only one who was taken aback by that number. The ones who thought this event was a yawner obviously don't realize what a huge deal it is for a business to suddenly have over 65 million consumer credit card numbers on file. A business with creativity (and integrity) can transform that info into a marketing coup of epic proportions. In fact, that was the "holy shit" moment for me.

Mark Sigal

Great comments, Steven. Obviously, the devil is in the details in terms of how Apple grows the engagement, dollars and lifecycle of spend with their constituency base, but so far, so good, right?



Hi, I'm just discovering your blog, via the comment you posted at gigaom.com.

What's really astounding about this 65M number is that, just three years ago, iTunes had about 10 million account holders. At the time, Jobs was quoted to say that « iTunes may be the second largest Internet store behind Amazon.com. »


Mark Sigal

Hi engrish,

Thanks for the note and the link. I am sure that part of what is driving amazon's assault on digital music, books and video is a recognition that at some point this becomes a zero-sum battle for consumer engagement and margins, not just ecommerce dollars.

That said, huge respect for Amazon who is probably the closest co-equal to Apple and Google in my 'chess masters' circle.

Plus, unlike Google, both Apple and Amazon have stared down 'sustainable mediocrity' scenarios and found a way to emerge as stronger and more dynamic companies.



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