NBC Universal and Time Warner have decided not to adapt their extensive media libraries into a format viewable on Apple’s iPad, according to a report from the New York Post. Citing unspecified sources, the newspaper said the two media companies feel like Flash dominates the Internet for video content, and that the effort to reach the iPad wasn’t worth it.
The Post’s story is a rather gleeful account that pitches the decision by two companies, NBC Universal and Time Warner, as Big Media thumbing its nose at Apple and Steve Jobs.
To wit, the reporter wrote, “Though the iPad has been a huge hit, media companies are feeling emboldened in their rebuffing of Apple by the launch of rival touch-screen tablet devices, such as the ones coming from Dell Computer and Hewlett-Packard, sources said. […] Jobs banned Flash software from running on Apple devices, arguing that the world’s most popular video software is unfit for his devices.”
Though the debate on Apple’s battle against Flash rages far and wide, Mr. Jobs actually argued that Flash was unfit for mobile devices as a class, not just Apple’s iPhone and iPad platform.
We would also point out that while both NBC Universal and Time Warner are among the largest media companies on the planet, many of the other largest media companies on the planet have readily and quickly embraced Apple’s iPad. Disney, CNN, CBS, Vimeo, YouTube, and various parts of the News Corp empire have either launched iPad-friendly sites or plans to do so. That would suggest “Big Media” is split.
Nonetheless, either company would have been a coup for Apple had they embraced the iPad, and both companies remaining in the Flash camp will be great propaganda for anti-iPad, pro-Flash adherents.
In the end, however, it isn’t likely to mean much. If Apple sells enough iPads and those owners watch enough video, Big Media will eventually be forced to make its content available to the users. If the device fizzles, or if Big Media doesn’t think it’s losing eyeballs to the device, they’ll stick with Flash.