(Part one from our interview with Mark Smillie)
What if you are not a Hollywood film distributor and you want to get your film—a training video, how-to guide, preview, entertainment trailers, etc.—into the Apple iTunes store?
You release it as an App instead.
At least that’s what Mark Smillie of Stonehenge Productions thought you could do when his client could not get his movie Geek Mythology released in iTunes. For one thing you need to be a recognized film distributor to have your film offered in the iTunes movie store. Second, the movie must be delivered via a stream, rather than a download.
So Mark created an App that contained the entire film only to be rejected four times by Apple because they require content to be streamed.
But even leaders of digital media revolution don’t always have it right. When Smillie countered that it made no sense to stream movies over Wi-Fi or 3G networks Apple must have listened. Three days later while driving the kids to school he got a call from Apple that the app was approved.
The good news for content owners and developers is that this opens up a whole new distribution channel. In addition to putting your content on YouTube and on your website, you can now post it in the Apple App store.
Special software tools are making this easier than ever
Much has changed in the Apple App Store over the past 2-3 years. It used to be that you needed special programming skills (knowledge of Objective-C and how to use Apple’s SDK) to produce Apps.
But now a growing portion of that complexity is handled by an evolving category of third-party tools like Phone Gap and Appcellerator. These tools simplify the development process by allowing developers to develop their apps using more familiar technology such as HTML, CSS and Java.
“Apple’s App Store is no longer the only mobile app exchange and these tools allow us to develop for other app stores like Android, Symbian, Palm and Blackberry”, said Smillie. He went on to say that “it also allows me to develop apps more quickly and less expensively, assuming they don’t require extensive functionality.”