Apple’s 10 Billion…eBooks?

Apple iTunes Store Sells 10 Billion Songs

Ten billion. That’s how many songs have been legally downloaded from Apple’s iTunes Store.

This is what that looks like: 10,000,000,000

If it look impressive, that’s because it is. And it is significant because it may represent a small victory in the war over digital piracy. Apple has made it easy and affordable to buy music (something the record industry didn’t do themselves). As a result, people have paid money for stuff that they can easily steal.

If you own an iPod, iPhone or some other Apple device, you know that the Apple iTunes Store is really, really easy to use. Plus, they sell more than just music. You can get movies and TV shows as well.

As the iPad comes out, Apple will begin to roll out ebooks, newspapers, magazines, and other new media content. It’s going to be a broad range of materials, many of which will be purchased by the download. (Currently there is no subscription model.)

From a content perspective, this is a huge opportunity. People have grown used to getting content for free on websites. Few websites have managed to get money out of their visitors. Marvel Digital and Disney Digital have online subscription models, but those are premiere brands with highly exclusive content resources and characters.

As the iPad hits the streets, Apple is going to be working hard to get you to pay for content. Amazon already gets people to pay for ebooks and blogs on the Kindle, so there is a segment of the population prepared to pay for content.

No, don’t get me wrong. I am not looking forward to paying for stuff that I am getting free today, but that’s how it goes. Only so many websites and publishers can survive on the freemium model. Eventually someone is going to have to pay.

Sure, there will always be people who figure out a way to get stuff for free. In fact, many pirates don’t rip DVDs and MP3s because they want the media. They do it because they enjoy the challenge of cracking the code or beating the system. (And DRM doesn’t seem to work.)

With ereaders like the Kindle, Nook, and iPad, publishers are going to have to figure out a way to get people to buy digital books and magazines. Free is not a sustainable business model for most publishers. As the music industry will attest, it’s not going to be easy, but it is possible to get people to pay for media.

Price them right, make them easy to get, and maybe in a few years I’ll be blogging about how there were 10 billion ebooks sold on the Apple store.

LINKS – NOT NECESSARILY ENDORSEMENTS:

My Berlin Flickr Photo Schmapped

Ever been Schmapped? I just got Schmapped and I’m pretty excited about it.

Schmap is a groovy little application for people to use on their iPhone. It’s a little like YELP, but it’s designed to help people find interesting landmarks as they visit new cities.

The folks over at Schmap selected one of my photos from my trip to Berlin. So the next time someone goes to Berlin, they may see my photo as part of an iPhone-based guided tour. Good stuff. I’m proud in a geeky sort of way. It looks really neat on the iPhone.

Here’s the photo of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church:
Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church Outside

I’m not sure how they found my pictures, but I’m guessing they did some Flickr searches and it came up. I guess it’s a good thing that I tagged everything.

According to Emma Williams the Managing Editor of Schmap Guides, inclusion in the guide will drive traffic to my photo. They linked back to my photo, so hopefully it gets people to go check out the rest of my pictures.

I just got Schmapped and I can’t wait to be Schmapped again.

iPhone Growing Up

The iPhone is starting to grow up. Slashdot: Apple Targeting Business World for the iPhone. Technophiles will understand these announcements to be a “pretty big deal.”

For the non-geeks it means that iPhone can now accept some third party software applications, widgets, and security features that will mainstream it into the business world. It’s likely to replace some the venerable Blackberry in some organizations.

With the recent announcement of the software developer’s kit (SDK), Steve Jobs has suggested that the little-gadget-that-does-it-all is ready to graduate from college and join the workforce.

The iPhone will get a job, learn how to use business applications, play nice with Microsoft, and dress appropriately for work.

That doesn’t mean that the iPhone doesnt still have to follow Uncle Steve’s rules. In fact, while you still live under the roof of the Apple Family, the post-pubescent iPhone is still going to have a curfew. That is, applications and tools will still follow Apple Family rules for hygiene and decency. This is a good thing, since Apple users tend to be people who want their applications, hardware, and gadgets to all play nice together.

I dont have an iPhone yet, but I plan to adopt one soon.