Missing the Mac Opportunity

Om Malik’s latest in Business 2.0:

But I think these companies are focusing too much on the numbers and missing the more promising opportunity. Why? Because rolling out a product for the Mac platform ensures a certain buzz and élan, which begets more buzz, which begets sales. Let me explain. By some estimates there are 5 million active Mac users. Not a lot, that’s for sure. But among them are most of the influencers — high-profile bloggers, most (if not all) technology journalists, and, of course, the hipsters.

I tend to agree with Om, and not just because I am a Mac user. While the market share is grossly disproportionate, PC users are by no means guaranteed to pay. Mac users on the other hand are seriously loyal to quality products that enable a positive experience.

I think the main issue though with some of the startups Om reflects on is DRM. Windows Media has it, Quicktime does not and the Mac WMP is not as capable in handling DRM – no version 10 yet. Without that safety net it’s going to be tough to push the convergence products like Sling or Orb without the nasty cease and desist or worse lawsuit from the MPAA or RIAA.

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