opinion

Mac Attack

Stephen Yagielowicz
Known for its hip marketing campaigns that target youthful audiences, Apple is on a steady roll; with its iPhone, iPad and other devices capturing a significant portion of the mind- and market share of today’s younger (and not-so-young) generations.

Indeed, according to a new report by the IHL Group entitled “Going Mobile,” iPhone market share could double within the next year, as more than 56 percent of current users “are seriously considering an Apple iPhone,” for their next Smartphone purchase. The device has also now surpassed the BlackBerry in worldwide sales — but does the appeal of Apple’s mobile devices transfer into consumer desire for its desktop platforms?

As for Mac market share, w3schools.com reports that Mac usage on its site has grown steadily from 1.8 percent of users in March, 2003 (when its recording began), to todays market maximum of 7.6 percent of its website’s visitors. For its part, StatCounter.com reports that during the past year, overall web access by Mac OS X-based computers rose nearly two points to six percent in October — with the figure for the U.S. market hitting close to 13 percent during the same period.

Although the numbers may vary from site to site, one thing is clear: more folks are going the Apple route, including some within the online adult entertainment industry, such as Video Secrets, with its new Mac broadcast software for performers; and video powerhouse Pink Visual, with its content offerings targeting Apple users — including its robust services for mobile users on the iPhone and iPad platforms.

“While we have been fully compatible with Mac users on the customer side for many years, our recent upgrade to make our broadcasting software compatible with Mac-based performers was due almost 100 percent to demand from performers,” Video Secrets’ Brad Estes told XBIZ. “Over the past 12-months we saw an increasing number of applicants with only a Mac and even though installing BootCamp or Parallels would let them work with us, the added hurdles made it harder to get models online.”

“It is unfortunate that site developers and administrators in a post Web 2.0 standards-compliant world still need to make special exceptions for anything, let alone a major operating system,” Estes added. “I hope one day Steve Jobs and Adobe will kiss and make up and then we’ll just be left with special conditions for Internet Explorer.”

Pink Visual echoes Video Secrets’ need to satisfy consumer demand for Mac access.

“We have definitely seen an increase in Mac users across our network,” Q Boyer, Pink Visual’s director of public relations, told XBIZ. “And if you expand that out to include users of Apple’s various mobile products, it is accurate to say that these users now form a very significant portion of our customer base.”

Boyer hits upon the primary factor that leverages the importance of this audience relative to its size: it is not only affluent, but willing to spend money on online media.

“Our decision to cater to the Apple user is less about their quantity than it is about qualitative features of that demographic, however; among our customers, Apple product users spend more and retain longer than do their PCusing peers,” Boyer added. “That fact makes our choice to tailor our products for the Apple family of devices a rather obvious one, really.”

Regardless of the reasons behind the motivation, savvy operators will do all they can to reach as wide an audience as possible; but when developmental dollars are dear, it just makes sense to focus on the most profitable markets, as well as users of Apple’s other popular media access devices.

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