Digital Media "Comes of Age in 2006," Thanks to Apple [Update]

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Digital media is going to be big in 2006, according to ElectronicNews, and, "We can all thank Apple Computer Inc. for breaking the log-jam." The magazine said that CES 2006 showed that many of the pieces are in place for broadband-delivered media to become an important player in the living room, and all because Appleis iTunes Music Store and iPod shifted the tides of consumer interest.

"Appleis wildly successful iPod player," wrote Mark Kirstein, "coupled with music on its iTunes Internet music store, established a breakthrough value proposition for customers. The companyis iPod video launch in October was the pivotal event that began drawing video content owners into the mix. Since October, the television and movie industries have raced to make their content available in digital format across a variety of channels and platforms."

The article offers several examples of other developments in the industry pertaining to this development, but closed by noting that large scale digital video delivered by broadband is still awaiting the killer solution from Apple.

In a synergistic moment of mundane proportions, TheStreet.comis Tony Wolverton wrote about much the same topic Tuesday: "If digital media is to become as much a part of the American living room as the couch and the TV, it may take Apple Computer to get us there."

Mr. Wolverton posits that Apple has many of the components in place needed to make this happen -- FrontRow, the iTMS, a growing catalog of video offerings -- though the company is not currently providing a solution to tie these ideas into traditional home entertainment solutions.

Doing so, he said, could allow the company even greater success in this market. His article is balanced with contrary positions extolling the value of open systems that leverage pricing advantages.

[Update: The story was updated with information on Tony Wolvertonis editorial at TheStreet.com.]

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