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How Amazon & Sirius Teach Us to Be Platform Agnostic

Do you read the paper, or surf to their website, subscribe to an RSS feed?  Do you listen to the radio, or download Podcasts, listen to Slacker, or Satellite?  Is prime-time TV your thing; do you watch on a television, via SlingBox, or do you Hulu?

The questions can go on and on, as today’s audiences are increasingly fragmented.  It’s a point I often make during presentations and conversations with clients – today’s audiences are increasingly sophisticated and get their news and information in varied ways.  The translation for communications professionals is that we have to think about communicating differently and in ways that go beyond the traditional methodologies.  That is not to say those aren’t important avenues, because they are clearly still powerful outlets, but today they are just one part of today’s communications landscape.  But increasingly, so are new technologies from audio and video on the web as Podcasts and Webcasts, to desktop widgets, and BlackBerry and iPhone applications; the translation communications and marketing are becoming platform agnostic practices.

There are two recent examples, which showcase how content providers are adopting new strategies that are increasingly platform agnostic.  First, Amazon on the heels of releasing the second edition of its Kindle e-book reader, released Kindle for iPhone.  Now, instead of only selling e-books to owners of Amazon’s own hardware they are able to tap into new audiences who own either the Apple iPhone, or the iPod Touch.  Further, this strategy will expand the availability of Amazon’s e-books; generating increased content sales and potential even furthering interest in the Kindle device.

Secondly, on the heels of the Sirius/XM merger, and under increased pressure to differentiate and compete in today’s media marketplace come rumors that Sirius XM is evolving and developing a new broader internet strategy.  It seems as though the firm is working to give subscribers easier access to the Sat Radio’s content from any number of devices including Windows Media Center, via Boxee, or even via the iPhone and iPod Touch.  These moves suggest that Sirius realizes the importance of reaching subscribers in any number of venues, in order to meet the increased demands of today’s consumer in an effort to keep them as subscribers.

With both examples, we see that these providers are leaving behind the idea of proprietary hardware to access their content – instead they will find greater success with a platform agnostic approach.  These instances can serve as examples of the new way in which communications professionals need to be thinking about delivering their own messaging.  With this approach in mind, the more avenues through which communications professionals can try and distribute their own messaging then the more success we’ll have at telling our stories.

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