Jackass of the Week Award? There are days when it should be a daily award, thanks to the supply of jackasses posing as media and tech journalists.
Today? Not one, but many jackass journalists to expose. Sometimes I feel like Wesley Snipes in Blade.
Starting off today’s list is Andrew Orlowski of The Register. What’s Andy up to?
Try this one. “iTunes doesn’t make money for anyone except Apple.” Yes. Andrew wrote that.
It’s part of an article full of drivel about Microsoft’s Zune opportunity against the iPod. You’ll love this one.
“The iTunes Store barely breaks even – but it fuels the much more lucrative downstream bit of the delivery system. iTunes sales remain vanishingly small as a proportion of the music business, but most importantly of all, iTunes doesn’t generate money for anyone except Apple.”
As is the case with most ridiculous pot shots, Andrew starts off with a well known and accepted fact—the iTunes Store barely breaks even.
Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs and other folks from the executive team at the company have said the same thing many times.
By reading that, you get lulled into a sense of fact, which is a pleasant experience, except that what comes next is far from it.
“The more lucrative downsteam bit of the delivery system?” What the hell does that mean? That’s what the iTunes Store is—a delivery system.
Then there’s the lovely words that journalists learn in journalist school and attach to phrases wherever an opportunity exists.
iTunes sales remain “vanishingly small?” Let’s see, isn’t iTunes Store up to number five among music retailers, which includes the likes of Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Target, Amazon.
They’ve been selling CDs for 20 years. iTunes Store has been out for barely three. Nice going, Apple. Bad, bad job Andrew.
Then, the phrase “iTunes only generates money for Apple” and no one else. That’s one of the more ludicrous statements ever in The Register, and there have been many.
Where does the money go? Andrew asserts that it goes to the broadband providers, PC manufacturers, insurance companies, battery replacement service, but not the music chain. That’s his view of downstream.
Bwahahaha! Maybe we could enshrine Andrew and The Register in the Jackass Hall of Fame.
What he forgets is that of each dollar in revenue, Apple keeps pennies. Those pennies cover the cost of promotion, the bandwidth, the iTunes Store operation, and so on.
Over 60-cents of each dollar goes to, guess who? Not those folks on Andew’s list, but to the recording companies.
There’s more of Andrews Greatest Hits in the same The Register, but reader beware. It’s a field of landmines.
You’ll love the bit about the iPod’s Achilles heel.
Here’s another good one, this time the BBC chimes in on a Jupiter Research report that’s so stupidly obvious that there’s no BBC byline.
What’s the so-called research? Jupiter says, “on average, only 20 of the tracks on an iPod will be from the iTunes shop.”
Wait. How can that be. That’s so shocking. Hmmm. 60-million or so iPods divided into 1.5-billion songs sold on the iTunes Store. That’s, on average, about 25 songs per iPod.
Isn’t research wonderful. It tells us so much. What about the rest of the music on an iPod? “The rest will be from CDs the owner of an MP3 player already has or tracks they have downloaded from file-sharing sites.”
The Beeb would get a name on the Jackass of the Week Award but they were too smart to attach a name to the article.
Not so for Rob Enderle, who’s won nearly as many Jackass Awards as Paul Thurrott. You remember Enderle? He’s the tech pundit who spouts off more predictions of gloom and doom than my HP calculator can track.
From the same guy who predicted the “fourth quarter (2005), in particular, should be ugly for Apple”, comes a slightly less malignant 2006 “4th quarter will be Apple’s hardest since the first iPod Christmas.”
Oh, if memory serves me correctly, Apple had their freakin’ BQE—best quarter ever at the end of 2005. Enderle says his opinion is “independent of Apple and avoids any bias—positive or negative.
He failed to add that his opinion is independent of reason and fact, and defies any bias toward logic or understanding.
Pity poor Dan Nystedt writing in IT World. Unable to figure out the inside or the outside of an industry, he creates journalistic fodder by rehashing day-old hash browns from Gartner researchers.
He quotes Gartner analysts Joseph Unsworth and Jon Erensen who disected their iPods, counted the cost of the parts, and concluded that Apple was making a gross profit on each iPod sold.
Gross? As in obscene, which led them to opine that Apple was trying to make profits instead of market share. Forget the fact that iPod’s market share in the US is a staggering 76-percent already.
Jackass candidates Unsworth and Erensen were saddened that Apple discontinued the one gigabyte iPod nano, which they think would be well priced at $99.
Yeah? I think the 24-inch iMac would be well priced at $199, but those buggers at Apple keep trying to make money with each one they sell.
Both researchers are saddened, too, by Apple’s going for profit instead of reducing prices.
That’s right. They called it “lack of aggressive pricing.”
That’s remarkable since it’s difficult to find a competitor, you know, those folks who sell music players besides Apple, with lower prices.
If memory serves me well, Apple had a difficult time keeping up with demand each of the past three holiday shopping seasons. Lowering prices may stimulate demand—the same demand they haven’t met—and reduce profits on each iPod sold.
The problem with research like this, and the journalists who spread it, is that neither is doing their homework, and both continue to perpetuate a myth that Apple’s products are somehow over priced.
The iPod is five years old and owns a whopping near 80-percent of the portable music and media player market. The Chicago Tribune’s James Coates thinks it’s mighty early in the game to count out Microsoft’s Zune.
Maybe so, but, uh, well, exactly why is that, James?
Because “Zune owns the catbird seat thanks to Amazon.com, where already more than 30 movie studios and television networks are offering a fat menu of Windows-only DVD downloads.”
You see, Amazon just launched their Unbox movie store which is an unsuccess that’s been successfully panned by everyone who’s looked at it, and I assume that Coates hasn’t yet looked at Unbox yet. Yet.
Why do I say that? Coates tied Amazon to Microsoft’s Zune media player (which isn’t even priced or shipping yet). Guess what?
The Zune won’t play protected Windows Media Audio and Video, either rented or purchased from Amazon. Or Napster, or Rhapsody, Yahoo! Unlimited, CinemaNow, MovieLink, or any other PlaysForSure online media service.
Says who? Microsoft.
I know, I know. It’s just too easy these days. Media pundits, journalists, researchers, analysts once could write whatever came out of their bums and no one could say or do anything about it.
Boys, welcome to version 2.0 of the Fourth Estate. It’s important that journalists accurately monitors what happens in the world. Version 2.0 dictates that there are monitors monitoring the monitors for accuracy.