According to a piece in the UK, Guardian, Apple is expected to close down iTunes after 18 years.
It’s a great heading, but the reality is that in a digitally transforming world with podcasts, movies, music, buy it, lease it, etc business models the brand wants to have its cake and it eat it in any way that consumers want it going forward. Buy films, subscribe to TV, have a monthly music streaming license, listen to podcasts. Each of us does various combinations of these in our own lives. While those who constantly write about Apple’s impending demise will raise their hands and exclaim yet again the moment of truth this is an incredibly interesting lesson for the rest of us struggling with ideas about a digitally transforming economy where we even see NFL players ask for contracts in Bitcoin.
Apple leads the response into a whole new future so have you thought about how you monetize your companies relationships?
Nobody could argue that experiencing Google or Amazon or Uber or HomeAway or any fractional or subscription service feel less and less tied to the previous decision they made and feel increasingly attached to the platform they made that decision on. A good Amazon purchase leads to a good review or a bad buy to a simple return. If you cannot find it on your first search (maybe even high on page one) you can retype in another search. What felt once like a set of deep and consequential decisions is not almost a small consequential decision. Trying a subscription service and then maybe a mix with buying is a living experiment in being a new digital consumer. That instantly and consistently makes you question what you might be missing using one method versus the next. Apple gets this because it is looking way outside iTunes to the ways we are all redefining our consumption patterns. Just look at the panic ESPN was in as people started cutting cables a few years ago.
Every single company has to recognize that their customers (BtB and BtC) are constantly reviewing the brand, the products and the platform for these experiences. Maybe future office cleaning services become more about robot cleaners working 24/7 around the staff than just late night human cleaners because we all want instant cleanliness and not just the following morning? We have to honestly ask:
Are our customers looking at different experience needs from elsewhere we need to respond to?
It takes a lot of strength to break away from extreme comfort because you know the precipice can be reached much faster than before.
When many things are not working well change becomes far easier, or at least the idea of having to face the challenge. From marriage issues to missed sales targets to underperforming marketing activities or poorly received products. iTunes is a great success. Admire the leadership for observing the increasing fragmentation in consumption patterns for media and the varying types of financial relationships (own, lease or subscribe) they now readily and even subconsciously calculate. Apple has seen the future and roughly where and maybe when it is heading there. Have you sat down with a team and asked them:
What does our customer or consumer consciously and subconsciously care about with our product, service and platform in the next three years?
Imagine if the Yellow Cab company had asked themselves this questions five years ago
Observe, talk, construct a test, test, experiment, review, test, be honest, test, reconstruct, experiment, look way outside, understand the real internal shifts and experiment, launch, observe, adjust, etc.
The above may well be the new digital strategy model we will all have to live by. We know from the 2018 Digital Genome DNA research that followed up on The Digital Helix that corporations who lean in hard to the idea of experimentation and one step ahead strategy models being the new living core of digital companies thrive when they are able to push and learn through all the stages of experimentation and at the same time become increasingly adroit at seeing shifts in how markets and consumers are behaving when they consume services. If you are running your strategy, design and delivery process this way then you are correctly adapting to a new digital DNA that only 28% of major corporations are succeeding at. It can feel frenetic, grey and confusing and anxiety based. However, if you actually follow the flow above it will free you to thrive in a digitally transforming world.
Every week I am interviewing leaders, visionaries and academics trying to evolve the way we think, listen, experiment, design and act to build a thriving world of then years into the future on Forbes Insights Futures in Focus podcast. I hope it is still going to be easily found on any new Apple podcast platform but I am going to observe, talk, construct a test, etc to see where this all goes. Catch it here