Google, Apple, Amazon and Netflix: Surrender your eyeballs
The upheaval in media and technology that the iPhone started, the Android movement accelerated, and the iPad broadened into a full-on revolution has unleashed a maelstrom in the years since Jobs died that few in Silicon Valley, New York, or Hollywood have seen before in their careers. It’s not just that two of the biggest, most influential corporations in their worlds—Apple and Google—are fighting each other to the death. It’s that the mobile revolution they set off has suddenly put roughly $250 billion in revenue from half a dozen industries up for grabs.
For those on the wrong end of these changes, the past five years have been unpleasant. Newspaper publishers have seen print advertising revenue and circulation fall to twenty-year lows. The number of journalists employed at newspapers has been cut almost in half in the past five years. Book publishers are worried that they are about to get hit in a similar way. Amazon is not only driving prices down beyond publishers’ ability to make a profit but also trying to lure away their most profitable authors. Movie studio executives are already reeling from watching their DVD business evaporate. Now their ability to build audiences for bad movies is being destroyed by moviegoers’ loud and instant reactions to films on Facebook and Twitter. The television industry is worried because tech companies such as Netflix and Google’s YouTube are competing for their audience with their own content, putting pressure on monthly subscription rates.