The 1 Area Apple Couldn't Beat Google If It Tried (Hint: It's Not Search)

Lately, YouTube has become one of my go-tos for original programming. I'm not alone. Niche channels are also using Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) video streaming service to broadcast new programming that would otherwise be expensive to distribute via conventional means.

This month, Syfy debuted a handful of new episodes previewing a prequel of the reimagined Battlestar Galactica series that ran from 2003 to 2009. Called  Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome, the 10-episode series will be released in a two-hour Syfy special next year. Luke Pasqualino stars as William Adama in the years before he returns to the battlestar Galactica as its commanding officer.

I've streamed the first four episodes via YouTube, and so far, the cinematography is just as amazing as it was in the last series. But don't take my word for it. Check out the trailer and then navigate over to Machinima's YouTube channel to watch episodes for yourself:

As an investor, I love how Syfy thought nothing of launching to the Web first. We don't know if cost played a role in the decision, but I'm also not sure it matters. A demo reel of the series that leaked in March has drawn more than 180,000 views.

The message? YouTube, like Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX  ) , has achieved enough scale to carry a show. We can't say the same about Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN  ) -- not while it's handling just 1.75% of downstream video traffic -- while Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) iTunes acts more like a repository than a channel.

But it's actually worse than that. Sure, iCloud gives iTunes shoppers the distinct advantage of buying a show and then watching it on iPad, Apple TV, iPhone, or Mac. YouTube is equally pervasive when it comes to free content broadcast via unique channels such as Machinima.

YouTube is also offers plenty of social sharing options, including the ability to embed videos just about anywhere on the Web. You can't click a button to share an iTunes file. Heck, you can't even post to Twitter about it -- unless, of course, you leave iTunes to post to Twitter. In a business like entertainment, where discoverability is so important, it makes zero sense to bet on iTunes when the alternatives offer so much more.

Someday, Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome will be offered on iTunes. But it won't be because the showrunners want to gain an audience. Instead, it'll be because they've already built a following and want to offer new viewers the convenience of owning episodes.

Ready to learn more?
YouTube and Netflix offer a more disruptive option that's proving attractive for U.S. producers. Will foreign creators take to the model as easily? That's a key question before Netflix investors right now. We address this issue and much more in a brand-new premium report. Inside, you'll learn about the key opportunities and risks facing Netflix, as well as reasons to buy or sell the stock. We're also offering a full year of updates as key news hits, so make sure to click here and claim a copy today.


Read/Post Comments (7) | Recommend This Article (5)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On November 25, 2012, at 7:07 PM, EquityBull wrote:

    Another area they can't beat google at it seems is losing the tablet share market. According to IBM apple took about 90% share of mobile shopping and traffic for all tablets for black friday and the shopping weekend.

    Looks like IDC's numbers are way off or maybe they are counting shipped tablets as "sold". Or finally maybe buyers of non apple tablets simply are not using them. Jobs was perhaps right that those tiny 7" tablets were DOA. People buy them and they stink to actually use so they sit on the shelf.

    The iPad offers a useable experience and it is showing up in the numbers. The new ipad mini is 40% larger screen than the tiny android tablets. Apple called it here if IDC's numbers are to be believed. Or more specifically Steve Jobs called it. Looks like buyers of small 7" tablets by android are indeed DOA.

  • Report this Comment On November 25, 2012, at 9:17 PM, SuntanIronMan wrote:

    "You can't click a button to share an iTunes file. Heck, you can't even post to Twitter about it -- unless, of course, you leave iTunes to post to Twitter."

    But there is a button to do just that. On the desktop version of iTunes, you can click a button to share a iTunes file on Twitter (or Facebook). Where someone can go and preview the song or purchase it. Clicking that button will automatically take you out of iTunes and put you into default browser though with all the information already ready to post to Twitter (if that's what you mean by leaving iTunes to post). At least on Windows. I think Twitter might be more integrated on Mac OS X, not sure though.

    And on the iOS, you can do the same without actually leaving iTunes. Just click a button and the integrated iOS Twitter functionality will do everything for you.

  • Report this Comment On November 25, 2012, at 11:41 PM, TMFMileHigh wrote:

    @WhichStocksWork,

    >>But there is a button to do just that. On the desktop version of iTunes, you can click a button to share a iTunes file on Twitter (or Facebook).

    You're referring to the iTunes Store accessed in the desktop edition of iTunes for Mac OS. An unhelpful feature, really, because it asks those who don't already own said file to tweet or post about it.

    Conversely, there is no button for sharing files you already own or have rated. I find it to be a rare instance of poor design on Apple's part.

    FWIW and Foolish best,

    Tim

    --

    Tim Beyers

    TMFMileHigh, Motley Fool Rule Breakers Analyst, Supernova Odyssey I Portfolio Contributor

    Web: http://timbeyers.me

    Twitter: @milehighfool

    Tumblr: http://timbeyers.tumblr.com/

  • Report this Comment On November 25, 2012, at 11:41 PM, ConstableOdo wrote:

    Youtube is also a fine place to download copyrighted music which is hard to find in record stores. I've been able to download so much freestyle and disco music, it's unbelievable. People upload all sorts of goodies such as copyrighted Asian movies with English subtitles that I can either watch online or download. Sweet. Apple would never allow something like that. The only decent thing that Apple offers that's even remotely free is iTunes University. Apple nickels and dimes for nearly every single piece of content. Thank goodness for Google Maps and Youtube. They're absolutely great services that don't cost a cent to use.

  • Report this Comment On November 25, 2012, at 11:49 PM, TMFMileHigh wrote:

    @ConstableOdo,

    Style points for snark, sir. But on this point:

    "People upload all sorts of goodies such as copyrighted Asian movies with English subtitles that I can either watch online or download. Sweet. Apple would never allow something like that."

    Sounds like you've had way too many long conversations with 2007. Today's YouTube is a massive source of legally licensed original programming.

    Thanks for writing and Foolish best,

    Tim

    --

    Tim Beyers

    TMFMileHigh, Motley Fool Rule Breakers Analyst, Supernova Odyssey I Portfolio Contributor

    Web: http://timbeyers.me

    Twitter: @milehighfool

    Tumblr: http://timbeyers.tumblr.com/

  • Report this Comment On November 26, 2012, at 2:33 PM, SuntanIronMan wrote:

    Sounds like you want Apple to bring back "Ping".

  • Report this Comment On November 26, 2012, at 4:46 PM, SuntanIronMan wrote:
Add your comment.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2125553, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 12/18/2014 8:33:05 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement