IDC’s SaaS Predictions

IDC predicts (for 2006):

# Large ISVs Will Spin Off On-Demand Versions of Products
# Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Remain a “Tough Nut to Crack”
# Microsoft Strengthens SaaS Resolve
# Software on Demand Providers Focus on Partnering
# Mini-Ecosystems Emerge to Extend the Reach of Software on Demand
# SaaS Enablers Continue to Aid Availability of On-Demand Offerings
# Merger and Acquisition Activity Continues
# SaaS Providers Concentrate on Improving Offerings and Customer Experience
# Hosted AM Becomes a Stepping Stone Towards On-Demand Delivery
# SaaS Will Help Drive a Software Industry Transition to Subscription Licensing

Will Internet replace TV?

Mark Cuban doesn’t think so:

The last mile into our homes wont have enough bandwidth to support all that we will want to do via our internet connections at home. There is no moores law for bandwidth to the home. THere is a huge misconception that bandwidth will just continue to experience unlimited expansion for every broadband household. Its what we are used to with hard drives, processors, all technology. It gets faster, cheaper, bigger. Thats not the case for the next decade with bandwidth

The net result is that TV is going to be TV, delivered like TV for a long time to come. (I consider IPTV to be regular TV). There wont be enough bandwidth for it to be any other way.

The problem is that our consumption of digital media at home will continue to grow. The bandwidth we want to consume will many times exceed the bandwidth available to us at that time.

The viewing of internet video will continue to grow. We will upload and download more and more video, consuming increasing amounts of bandwidth. We will want to download movies in High Def quality. Digital pictures will increase in resolution, and we will upload and share our lives through digital pictures that consumes multiple mbs per picture. Too do all of the above without limit, where and when you want to do it just cant happen. For the vast majority of us, there wont be enough bandwidth for at will , unlimited downloads.

Mobile Content in India

Express Computer has a nice overview of what’s happening in India.

According to Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), the mobile content market in the country for 2004-05 was worth Rs 558 crore and is expected to reach Rs 1,802 crore by 2007.

Preeti Desai, President, IAMAI says, The increased interest in and demand for personal expression applications across mobile users is driving the applications and content market. Entertainment and content applications offered by content publishers, aggregators and operators are increasingly central to the revenue and competitive positioning.

According to Arpita Pal, Principal Consultant, PricewaterhouseCoopers, the content market comprising mobile gaming, ringtones, ringback tones and wallpapers is expected to increase tenfold in the next five years. Pal points out that mobile operators are working towards offering 3G to their subscribers to support content-rich applications.

Quarterly Earnings Forecast

John Hagel writes:

Public markets, especially in the US, do tend to put undue emphasis on short-term performance. But whos to blame for this?

Ask these same CEOs and their management teams two simple questions:

* What will your relevant markets look like five to ten years from now?

* What will your company need to do in order to thrive in these markets five to ten years from now?

Almost always, the answer will come back that theres just too much uncertainty to have a clear point of view on this. But, heres the rub: If the senior management team of acompany doesnt have a clear point of view on where the company is headed, why should investors put a lot of faith in the long-term performance of the company? In the absence of a clear and compelling long-term perspective, investors naturally fall back on short-term results.

TECH TALK: The MySpace Story: The Acquisition

The Acquisition

In July 2005, News Corp bought MySpace for $580 million. BBC News wrote then:

The central message was that the days of newspapers editing content into a one-size-fits-all package to be consumed without question by the reader were numbered.

Young people “don’t want to rely on a God-like figure from above to tell them what’s important,” Mr Murdoch said.

“And to carry the religion analogy a bit further, they certainly don’t want news presented as gospel.

“Instead, they want their news on demand, when it works for them. They want control over their media, instead of being controlled by it. They want to question, to probe, to offer a different angle.”

Myspace fits neatly into that definition. It is a network of pages – most set up by individuals, some by musicians and other creative types – each mixing self-generated text and pictures, links to other content elsewhere, and streamed music and video to create networks of friends and contacts.

The result is a densely interwoven community, which its adherents say is highly addictive.

Robert Young analysed the purchase of MySpace by News Corp:

Although ad inventory was surely part of the equation, I believe there is larger strategic reason that motivated Murdoch to make such a bold move: He is planning to create a competitor to MTV.

Much like Viacoms CBS decided to use the broadband web to bypass cable and compete against the 24-hour news networks like CNN and FoxNews (see PaidContents coverage here), the acquisition of MySpace positions Murdoch to challenge the dominance of MTV in their category. Im willing to bet that he will go even further by eventually extending the MySpace brand to include a dedicated cable & satellite network/channel. He is after all an old media guy. In fact, just a couple of weeks before News Corp. announced the deal, we all witnessed the webs potential in this context when AOLs webcasting audience for Live 8 outreached MTV and ABCs ratings of the same event (details here.) Such a data point can go a long way towards justifying a $580 million price tag.

In addition to live concerts, MySpace is an ideal platform to release music videos (which the major record labels are desperately trying to monetize), as well as other short-form reality programming (think Foxs American Idol) thats likely to attract the 22 million youngsters in the MySpace community an audience that happens to also watch MTV.

MySpace has helped catapult News Corp and Murdoch in the forefront of the Internet revolution. Going ahead, the challenge for them is to keep the spirit and community features that helped MySpace succeed even as they monetise the brand and the user base.

Tomorrow: The Future