The evolution from product to platform has happened gradually over time. Having a platform with media stored on it is much more attractive and sensible to customers than needing to have all the media separately. The Mp3 players’ did it to music, allowing users to take piles of CDs and condense them to a few square inches of iPod. Netflix has had the same effect on DVD collections and e-readers/tablets are attempting to do it with books. Modernly preference is given to online file storage over physical media.
Amazon has made the most recent push for streaming media. The company released the Kindle Fire, it’s new tablet, on Wednesday. The platform also comes with a free month to Amazon’s instant video service. This takes a strong stab Netflix’s services, which have been teetering lately. It remains to be seen how many users will be drawn away from Netflix, but Prime users receive free shipping and access to 11,000 movies and TV titles. With another company in the race, the reach of digital over physical media exands.
Amazon’s video service will become on of the many programs available for watching TV shows and Movies online. Netflix’s split into two separate companies has many users scratching their heads. It may be the perfect time for another video streaming service to arise. Hulu stays competitive by remaining free of charge even though it does limit the range of content they can provide.
Amazon is also causing stirs in the tablet market by releasing the Kindle Fire. The Apple iPad 2 has done extremely well for itself in this arena. I iPad 2 offers many more features than the Kindle Fire but the Kindle Fire is just $199 dollars. The iPad 2 is $499. While iPad’s features beat the Fire, Amazon made a point to beef-up the features they thought mattered. Digital gaming, Internet surfing, movie watching and e-reading are all fully functional, if not impressive, on the Fire. A lot of customers would not even use the extensive iPad2 features, so they don’t see a reason to pay $300 more for them. The Kindle Fire is sure to be real competition for the iPad 2 and physical media.
There are tons of impressive options for viewing media. It is unclear which platform will end-up on top. But it is obvious that with the continued innovation of these devices physical media is becoming less and less necessary. Physical books, CDs and DVDs still have their place in the world but the expanding reach of digital platforms could be numbering their days.