Sunday, January 30, 2005

Robert Cringeley's expansion on the Mac mini

As quoted here Bob Cringeley has a great theory that involved two companies that I greatly respect in terms of their innovation and business models - Apple and Netflix.


"You do realize that the MiniMac is the Netflix killer, and the next wave of the "digital content" revolution? With the MiniMac, a decent set of HD movies as well as old content, an iFlix client connecting to legal content and BitTorrent to transmit, Apple has eliminated the most costly part of the NetFlix model while maintaining all of the good pieces. When you examine the NetFlix annual reports you can pull out the fact that one of their most expensive costs is the handling of physical media. The man power, physical shipping, and multiple location warehousing is much greater than the cost of getting the content.

"Apple can use their existing contract with Akamai to deliver graphics to instead act as a collection of Torrent Tracker nodes. All they need to do is to start to build the actual content and then wrap it in a reasonable DRM solution. Tie it to a program that keeps the list of movies that you want to watch in a download order, and then keeps the top 5-7 on your MiniMac. You sign a subscription with Apple to pay $20 a month to have 4 movies. Since the top 7-5 on your list are down, you could instantly check in one movie and check out the next one.

Compelling? I think so!

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