Is it time for Apple to rebrand iTunes?

On April 28, 2003, iTunes began selling digital music downloads with an opening catalog of just about 200,000 items.  Less than 7 years later, on February 24, 2010, iTunes sold its 10 BILLIONTH song download.   About 28% of all music is sold through iTunes. Today,  iTunes accounts for about 70% of worldwide online digital music sales, making the service the largest legal music retailer. 

But anyone who has visited iTunes knows that iTunes is much more than music downloads.  You can instantly download audiobooks, HD movies, aps, music videos, TV shows, games, books and podcasts.  In fact, just about anything digital can be downloaded from the iTunes store. 

So, is it time for Apple change the name of iTunes to something more representative of their offerings?


Is The Death of the Digital Camera Nearing

Remember when you took pictures 12 or 24 at a time?  Then you had to drop them off at a drug store and wait 10 days to see if any of your snapshots turned out well enough to sandwich between sticky pages in a photo album?

Well, if you do, you are old.  You also witnessed the death of the film-loaded camera.  Taken over by the impressively easy, almost professional quality digital camera – a device that can take hundreds of crystal clear images which you can instantly see and share. 

Are we approaching the end of the digital camera as we know it?  According to this article, 76% of people with cell phones use their phone to take pictures.  With the explosion of social media, facebook pages, twitter accounts and the like, who has the time to take your digital camera home, pop out the SD card, transfer your photos to your computer and attach to an email anymore? 

With cell phones (let’s call them what they really are – computers with phone apps) boasting 6 megapixals or more, chances are, the phone you carry everywhere you go is better equiped at catpuring the family at Yellowstone than the digital camera anyway.  And within seconds after taking the photo, your friends, fans and followers can be right there. 

Well almost.

Bank Of America’s Credit Card Activation Line

I recently recieved a new credit card from Bank Of America.  But before I can use the card, they require me to call an 800 number to activate the card.  No problem.  I appreciate the outward appearance of security forcing me to call their number first.  As I dialed the number, however, I recall that Chase didn’t make me call them to activate my new debit card.  All I needed to do was use the card.  Which approach makes me feel more secure, I wondered.

Anyway, while I waited for the call to connect, I peeled off the sticker that was stuck to the front of my card – happy that the sticker didn’t leave that annoying sticky residue all over the card.  So far so good.  The automated menu prompted me to push #1, then #3 and then a few more options in order to activate my card.  Um…OK. 

The female recording then told me that my card was in the process of being activated.  I wondered what that process looked like?   However, in order to keep me occupied while I waited, they presented me with several offers that they apparently thought might be of interest to me. 

I was offered credit card protection.  I was offered a balance transfer special.  For the next 2 minutes, I was offered several other products and services that I didn’t want.  By the time the call ended, I had spent well over 3 minutes activating my card which we all know could have been done in one or two keystrokes on my phone (or not at all if you are like Chase). 

Now I understand that federal bailout money probably doesn’t go as far as it used to.  So, banks now have to find new ways to make money off their existing customers.  But making me listen to offer after offer BEFORE telling me that I can use my new credit card is not the way to do that. 

How about starting the call by thanking me for being a credit card holder?  You know who I am.  You know everything that I have purchased since we started this “relationship”.  Tell me that you appreciate the past 12 years that I have been a loyal cardholder with your bank.  Then tell me that my card is activated.  Period.  Give ME the option of ending or continuing the call. 

But Bank Of America just doesn’t get it.  The purposely created a situation where they forced an interaction with them so they can SELL ME.  Yes, it was only 3 minutes of my time but that was 2 minutes and 30 seconds more than enough for me to understand that Bank Of America doesn’t really value me as a loyal cardholder and customer. 

If they did, they would have left me in control of the conversation.