The AppleTV Rumour: If it’s true it Will Radically Change the TV Industry
The rumour mill is flying high that at this WWDC 2015 the AppleTV will launch with what they are referring to as Streaming TV. In this Macrumours article titled “Time Warner CEO ‘Pretty Confident’ Apple Will Launch Streaming TV Service“ it‘s almost a given that they will launch a newly found AppleTV.
The rumours around such a device re-look go back to Christmas of 2013. Then people got as excited as they are today however, a great let down followed. There was nothing for the AppleTV and for that people were fairly disappointed.
Possibly a Time with a Difference
Things are looking brighter that there will be a change on this front. One reason for this is often where there’s smoke there’s fire. There have been a lot of strong and convincing rumours that a potential TV streaming service would be made available from Apple.
Even some have interpreted Apple’s logo for WWDC as having an AppleTV buried in the picture. If you do look at it carefully the AppleTV does appear to be there. Some will be, once again, very disappointed if there’s no fire around the smoke.
What Does it Mean
Should we end up say with a revitalized piece of AppleTV hardware it will be faster and more capable at what it does. With that goes many things including the ability to provide different services of a more advanced nature.
Should Apple continue a long the route they announced with HBO to deliver the service referred to as HBO Now the implications are far reaching. Let’s just look at one aspect of this announcement for the breadth it entails.
The HBO Now channel will cost approximately $15 a month but unlike cable TV it will be provided via the internet as a streaming service. It is going to provide access to everything past and current in HBO’s library and on your terms. You can watch it when you want to and how you want to as the service is a streamed service.
Unlike cable TV, which provides you an on demand capability, the scope is small. You get only what the cable TV provider is prepared to give you and only some content is on demand.
With HBO Now all content is on demand. And most significantly it includes all content. All content, streamed and on demand. This is not just evolutionary but it is revolutionary.
TV is Mared in a very Different Model coming from a very Different Past
TV, as we know it, has been with us for a long (relatively speaking that is) time. At it’s introduction there was production, content and delivery. However, delivery was always scheduled, thus the need for a TV Guide. There certainly wasn’t the technology which made it possible for us to view whatever we wanted from a channels library though likely we wished we could.
Thus, it was culturally normative to know, back in the sixties, that the Ed Sullivan show came on every Sunday evening and it was almost culturally the norm that everyone watched the show (a sort of common bond).
Streaming TV turns the past Model upside down
Streaming TV has more than one cultural effect but sticking with just the above TV scenario, the rule book basically goes out the window with the TV Guide. We have to know what kind of content a channel provides but not the when is it going to be on.
As such, the normative bounds of society change. No longer would we all be watching Saturday night live say on Saturday night but we could watch it or whatever we choose whenever we want.
There are some implications to this that are not all positive in that shared bonds through the watching of specific shows all at the same time are lost. Yet, it is probably far more beneficial to be operating freely and as we choose. This is a sociological issue that goes beyond the scope of this article.
Today’s current model is very cost beneficial to the cable companies. It not only ensures a connection, guaranteed revenue but it goes a step further. It artifically keeps prices high since there is no difference to services from companies they can easily follow each others pricing model.
Enter streaming video and the field is wide open. It just takes a wise entrepreneur to unsettle things a bit. There is choice here and this would encourage better overall costs. You only buy what you need.
Could Apple do to TV what it did to Music
Apple certainly could get the ball rolling. However, this is too large for anyone to overlook. In the end though, due to Apple’s user friendly technology, they could dominate a very powerful industry.
The winner? The consumer who now has choice, the when and wherever s/he requires it and the ability to buy just what’s wanted. It more than likely though is a win for everyone but this is one area Apple could make a major mark.