By Eric Bleeker, CFA, Andrew Tonner, and Austin Smith
Austin’s Roundtable Youtube video:
Austin Smith: What about you, Eric? Anything you’re watching in the year ahead?
Eric Bleeker: I think that you have to go with television. It was supposed to be the theme of this year. I think it will finally be the theme of next year in some ways, because you’ve got four companies — Apple, with over $100 billion in cash — but then you’ve got Google, Samsung, and Microsoft. They all see this as the next battlefield.
It’s a natural extension of the systems that we love so much. We talk about gaming on a tablet — you think about how easily that can scale into a living room thing, and you’ve already got the devices, such as this iPad Mini, to be able to control it. You’ve got a natural remote controller built in.
The problem with television is, content companies and cable companies — the telecoms — they have an almost mutually assured destruction pact, where they’re pushing back against someone like Apple, who they’re afraid is going to take their lunch money.
I think you really do want to watch this, coming in, because it could be the beginnings of some kind of unbundling of cable. It could be similar to once when you unbundled the classifieds from newspapers. It can be a huge revenue source.
The point I like to make is, the music industry is really small. I think it’s like $17 billion a year.
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