A fascinating week for the digital media industry with Endemol revealing "banker" tendencies by delivering @33% of profits from buying back their own debt from hedgefunds, ITV appoint a new CEO, Sky deliver very strong results plus go 3D and the IPad is launched to mixed reviews.
A few numbers to throw into this - ITV revenues in the first 9 months of 2009 were £1.9 billion, Sky's recently released 6 month revenues were £2.9 billion.......but wait for it Googles UK revenues in the first 9 months of 2009 were £1.9 billion and the Apple app store having launched in 2007 with 11 apps is now running to 140,000 apps and is estimated to generate £1.5 billion per year.
In no time at all the app store has taken a bit slice of the content revenue pie and the consumer clearly loves it as the IPod touch is likely to soon overtake the Iphone in sales terms and its major USP is the app store.
The rate of growth of Google and the App store is amazing and outside of the highly specific and clearly well executed Sky model the remainder of the traditional UK media industry is left paddling around in the detritus.
The Ipad opens the possibility of digital text and video being delivered to the consumer on a paid for basis - which might actually generate profit for content owners. This is in contrast to the YouTube model which neatly leaves most content owners out of the equation.
Interestingly, very recently YouTube have started to approach their content partners to see if they can offer £ to secure rights and recently secured a deal with the Indian Premier League. However, very few YouTube partners make decent revenues from their channels and it seems that being on the app store offers a much better chance of monetizing content.
Perhaps the app store offers content owners the chance to make £ from their efforts in the digital age and the Ipad offers an interface that will work for text and video. Clearly piracy reamins an issue but Apple look like they have moved one big step closer to an economic model for content owners.