Own the Desktop, Living Room, Platform or Experience?

The war to “win the livingroom” arguably has been key to strategies of any number of service or device suppliers, ranging from cable TV companies to suppliers of TVs and game consoles. The issue is whether that “war” is worth winning, or can be won.

Netflix integration with video service provider set-top boxes might also be seen as one example of that strategy.

Traditionally, such arguments were made by firms with big stakes in the video or gaming ecosystems. One might argue the value of such a strategy is a bit less unclear now that content consumption of many types occurs on a variety of devices and networks, in a user environment where multitasking is the norm.

In other words, many devices, apps and networks all provide search, content, apps and communications value used “in the livingroom.”

These days, more attention seems to be placed on platform strategies. As Best Buy is becoming a platform for various “store within a store” revenue streams, so operating systems, browsers and devices remain key for some platform strategies.

That is not to say an “own the desktop” or “own the livingroom” strategy cannot be part of a broader effort to create a winning platform. But either the desktop or living room metaphors are likely less useful than once appeared to be the case.

In part, that is because the growth of mobile devices (smart phones and tablets) make “owning the customer experience” more valuable than once was the case, since the same tools and environments are used at home, at work and “out and about.”
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