The crux of the matter, and content owners and creators need to understand this, is that (big headline) Apple is not in the content business... at least not the way most folks think they are. As I'm very fond of saying (eyes roll collectively) Apple is in the reverse razorblade business. Despite having a huge ecosystem of 185k Apps, thousands of movies & TV shows and millions of songs, they run iTunes, as Peter Kafka recently pointed out, as a pretty much a break even business. Content is a means to an end for Apple. Their interest is in creating a hyper-competitive market featuring proprietary, low-priced Apps and other entertainment content, that makes consumers excited about buying every form-factor of their high margin devices... and upgrading them regularly. You know all your friends who are crazy-passionate about Apple products? They've bought into this hook, line and sinker and now that they've spent a significant chunk of their disposable income on music, movies and Apps for their iPhones and iPads, (guess what?) they're never gonna switch to an Android device or a BlackBerry... but in the next year they'll probably spend what's left in their wallets on a new a sexy new razor to show off all those blades.
Content owners and creators who are hoping Apple will winnow the field of Apps or move prices higher in the market, so they may realize better margins, are deluding themselves. The model is all about you fighting for your very life, against hundreds of others, so Apple customers get the best content at the lowest price (why not free). They definitely don't want any one provider getting too much pricing power within their ecosystem. Oh yeah, and remember you're playing in Apple's sandbox... so that tech innovation leveraging their platform, that's giving you some competitive advantage... Apple might just decide one day to roll that out to tout le monde.
For some small companies this highly manipulated, low-price, high-volume market provides a real opportunity. Moreover, the sheer scale of it, the shopping experience and the elegant billing mechanism makes it an important place to play for all content providers. But iTunes is a very dangerous market in which to place all your bets. In terms of closed markets, content owners should ultimately be favoring those in which the owner's interests are more closely aligned with their own. More importantly, if we hope to see a healthier mobile content ecosystem, content owners and creators need to support, and advocate for, more open standards and markets.