Why Apple’s company culture could torpedo its streaming service


Apple has always had a singular vision: Make the best computers with the best software. In that quest, it has arguably been successful. The iPhone, iPad, and MacBook are all among the best in their class.

But now, Apple is about to tackle something new: becoming a media company. On March 25th, at an event in Cupertino, Apple will almost certainly launch a paid news service and, after years of speculation, finally announce a video streaming service similar to Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

Given Apple’s track record, one expects this foray into media will have a similar level of quality. But paradoxically, the very culture that has led Apple to such highly regarded products may in fact hamper its attempts to take on the big streaming services.

But this is a move Apple must make. The company needs to expand its offerings from hardware to services. With the smartphone market having matured and with two-thirds of Apple’s revenue dependent on the iPhone alone, the company needs to look for new ways to generate both profit and growth. Services provide recurring, monthly revenue, and with 1 billion iOS users, Apple has a built-in market to tap. The rapid success of Apple Music, which posed a challenge to Spotify only a year or two into its lifespan, is a testament to the power of capitalizing on that userbase.

But a company’s success in new arenas is often dependent on its ability to focus its culture on a novel arena — and if the culture doesn’t fit, failure often follows. If one were to look at Microsoft’s attempts in mobile or Google’s attempts in social — both unmitigated failures — it’s clear that a company’s structure can have profound consequences on its efforts to move into a new field. And when it comes to moving into media, there are already signs that Apple’s culture is a barrier. A report from the New York Post suggested that CEO Tim Cook has had a heavy hand in the development of original content, suggesting creators “don’t be so mean,” and content on the platform shouldn’t have an overly negative view of technology.

That kind of meddling rarely works well in the world of art and entertainment. But that it is happening at all shouldn’t be surprising. Apple’s success in technology is the result a disciplined, focused commitment to a coherent and fluid experience from top to bottom. It’s …read more

Source:: The Week – Tech


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