Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Mid-day Notes: Another flipbook maker turns to apps; DirecTV and NFL Sunday Ticket; Apple TV & Google TV

Selling Power magazine has a rather confusing approach to tablet editions, it has two identical apps in the iTunes App Store from Canadian flipbook maker Kastoff Enterprises. One app, released in October and called Selling Power App says it gives you access to one sample issue and then the user can get a one-year subscription (six issues) for $9.99.
Now there is a second app, more appropriately called simply Selling Power, which is also free and offers a sample issue (the September-October issue) and then says you can buy individual issues for $1.99 a piece. My guess is that the annual subscription idea wasn't a big hit and so this approach is replacing it.

In any case, this is another of those replica editions produced by a flipbook vendor. On the bright side, this is an easy way to make your magazine accessible for iPad owners. The app offers pinch-to-zoom, page swiping, etc. On the downside, you have to love flipbooks to want to duplicate the experience on a tablet. I could go on, but every TNM knows my view of flipbooks.

The vendor, Kastoff Enterprises of Montreal, Canada, calls its brand Turn-page and appears to be using Selling Power magazine has a showcase client. Maybe he cut the publisher a deal (like free!).

While Google TV has struggled to gain traction, Apple's newest version of Apple TV seems to be doing better. Part of the reason may simply be price -- at $99 its not much of an investment, and with its little one button remote, its a breeze to set-up and use.

Engadget is reporting that a recent survey from DirecTV hints that its NFL Sunday Ticket could be coming to Apple TV, as well as other boxtop devices. It's a good idea. While having a monopoly on the product is a good way to draw new customers, extending the product to boxtop makes even more sense. As a former DirecTV customer who was tired of constantly having channels pulled from my service, it is really the only way I'd consider buying anything from DirecTV again (anyone what to volunteer to climb on my roof and pull down that satellite dish?).

Apple has also issued an Apple TV update in an attempt to resolve issues with resolution some users have experienced. My experiences have been pretty good so far, but the device is still at the mercy of the content providers. For instance, Netflix seems to stream well, but YouTube is, well, it's YouTube.

If Apple is having more luck with its new TV product than Google is with theirs (my opinion), then the opposite appears to be true of mobile ad networks.

Apple yesterday launched its first iAd for the iPad, and an ad for Disney's "Tron Legacy" -- of course, and ad for a Disney product isn't really a real ad, is it? (A "real" ad, as any publisher can tell you, is one that is sold by a staff salesperson, with a signed insertion order, copy in house, and accounting ready to bill.)

If it is true (see here) that Apple is butting in to control or influence creative, look for clients and agencies to go elsewhere. Word to Apple, learn from publishers, there is always someone else willing to sell you that ad.