Steve Jobs Hates Reality TV. Or he hates “Amateur Hour”. Or . . . wait . . . maybe he hates you, but wants your money.
At last week’s unveiling of the new Apple TV, Chairman Steve used the words “people don’t want amateur hour”. Of course, the amount of time that gets spent on YouTube makes that statement so obviously incorrect it wouldn’t even be worth commenting on had it not come out of the mouth of Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs is one of the brightest guys alive. And Apple’s CEO has decided that he wants to dominate the media business (and business change therein), so we should expect that he utter profound and magical words about things like “what people want”. And with Apple’s data on what we download via iTunes, the world’s largest distributor of paid-for media, Steve Jobs certainly knows some stuff.
Now please ignore his words, because they are not only wrong, they’re intentionally manipulative.
People like video with professionally-created production value, and make no mistake: a lot of what passes for entertainment on YouTube is garbage. But a lot of “professional” video entertainment is garbage, too. Jersey Shore, anyone? Programs like that and much of the other Reality TV genre may be “produced well”, but it’s their amateur feel that makes people come back.
And watch Cute Cat Videos on YouTube.
What Steve really means is that HE doesn’t want you doing things yourself or paying attention to the amateur (or professional) work of anyone who he hasn’t made a deal with. As I’ve mentioned before, the iPad is really, really evil for this reason.
Listen: as Australian über blogger / wunderkind David Risley says, finding an audience on the Internet is difficult, and job #1 is tightening your grip on whatever audience you have. And it’s getting harder every day. But it’s getting easier to see through ridiculous hyperbole, and Steve Jobs’ statement that people don’t want amateur hour is both wrong and transparent.
The Apple TV looks like a great device. Seriously. But the way Mr. Jobs is talking it up makes me worry that it’s just one more way for big companies to create business change at the expense of everyone else.
Now, back to the adventures of LOLCats . . .