Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders
One of Major League Baseball's top executives may not think Apple's iTunes app store is particularly user friendly, but he's not about to offer advice to the hottest technology executive on the planet.
Robert Bowman, the head of MLB Advanced Media, the league's Internet and digital business, loves apps. He wants his sport's games and other content to be on every wireless device out there and think apps will begin to shape how websites are designed.
"We actually think it's going to invade the website. We think people like apps," he said at the Reuters Global Media Summit. "They're easy to understand. They're compartmentalized. It's a quick way to get information."
That said, the Apple and Google app stores leave a lot to be desired, Bowman said.
"The app stores are not well laid out. The app stores are very hard to figure out. Even Apple ... they do a great job, but they're hard to understand. The Android app store is very hard to understand, so it's hard for people to find the content."
But, when asked what he would do to improve Apple's app store, Bowman demurred.
"I don't think I'm going to get very far giving Steve Jobs advice," he said of Apple's renowned CEO. "He's done pretty damn well not listening to me for the first 57 years of his life and so I'm just going to continue to let him not listen to me."
Bowman acknowledged that the Android app store leaves him "a little bit more frustrated."
However, the baseball executive is not alone is finding the app stores frustrating.
Despite charging $14.99 a pop, baseball has sold nearly 600,000 apps this year between the Apple and Android platforms, he said.
Bowman also dismissed questions about the future of set-top boxes or big TVs, saying both are not going anywhere.
"I don't think there's any history of media dying," he said. "I still listen to radio in my car.
"The big TVs aren't going to go anywhere. It's like the automobile," Bowman added. "We're a country that likes big TVs.
With financial markets in turmoil and the U.S. economy in recession, we asked top entertainment and sports executives at the Reuters Media Summit for some investment advice.
Our question: “If we gave you $50,000, where would you invest?” One rule: They couldn’t pick their own company. But then we thought $50,000 was too little for well heeled executives, so we switched it to $50 million. But that seemed excessive. After all, we’re talking about personal investments — so we settled on giving them a cool $1 million.