When Apple unveiled the iPad, Leo Laporte was sitting in the front row with his laptop and camera pointed at the stage, streaming Steve Jobs‘ annoucement for the internet to see.

Leo hasn’t been invited to an Apple announcement since.

Apple likes to control the message and they did that with today’s unveiling of the upgrade to iOS4 and new iPods in not only a press event in Cupertino, but one that was for the first time streamed to the internets, they took another new step by streaming their own announcement at Apple.com.

It hurts the cottage industry that has surrounded Apple‘s announcements.  Gizmodo, Engadget and Laporte’s TWiT circle the Stevenotes on their calendars and beef up staff to cover them live.  Pageviews skyrocket as the world tries to find out what’s happening as it happens.

Now with Jobs controlling the broadcast, there will be less of a frenzy as people try to find out what’s going on – or will there?

20 minutes into Apple’s live broadcast, their live stream was down while Gizmodo’s livestream was humming along with more than 17 000 viewers.

Seth Godin has a brilliant marketing blog – with no ability to comment on his site.  It goes against conventional wisdom, but it works for him because he forces the conversation out to the web.  He forces those with something to say about his posts to say it on their own social networks with a link back to the original content.

Apple‘s refusal to stream announcements (until now) worked in the same way.  By trying to put a lid on the excitement, it allowed pressure to build and explode into a heightened sense of excitement.

While it’s cool to have been able to see Steve announce the new iPod line in real time today, I didn’t have the same sort of thrill as when I would constantly have to hit refresh on liveblogs to catch up with the action.

What about you? Did you watch today’s Stevenote? Do you like the live approach or did you prefer the old underground method of following Apple announcements?

buzz bishop future shop tech blogThis post was originally published at The Future Shop Tech Blog.

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